Finding the Perfect Gown
Updated: Mar 13
Some girls dream endlessly about trying on wedding gowns. They can’t wait to assemble a tremendous entourage of Kleenex toting bridesmaids, the moms holding up ranking signs and voting on their favorite gowns. They envision that moment over and over- contently admiring their own reflection and everyone wiping tears away when they finally “say yes to THE dress.” I was so not that girl.
Day in and day out, I’m clad head to toe in black- sometimes with sparkles, or the occasional stripe, but always the same refrain-black, black, black. Background info: I got my wedding gown at Wedding Angels before I got out of corporate America and bought the whole boutique. Ok, back to the story. When it was time to try on bridal gowns, I pretty much broke out in hives at the thought of taking off my “ninja uniform” and donning a white garment across my built-for-childbirthin’-hips. Add to that the fact that I was a solid size 14/16 at the time, and I would have to try on said white garments in a public place…I was pretty much needing to be medicated.
When I called to make appointments, I was horrified to hear that samples sizes were mostly 8s and 10s, and that bridal sizes run smaller than regular clothing. I haven’t had my hind parts in a size 10 since 5th grade. You think I’m joking- I wish I was. So, while so many girls are counting the seconds until they slip into their first wedding gown, I was constantly replaying in my head the million anxiety ridden, flushed face, cold sweat scenarios that have unfolded when I’ve had my “swimmers shoulders” stuck in an off-the-rack Easter dress in an Ann Taylor fitting room.
This story, though, does have a happy ending. I was lucky enough to have Karin, who is still our manager to this day, as my consultant at Wedding Angels. She put me at ease immediately, as she has done for hundreds of brides over the years. Karin miraculously found a handful of gowns that were likely to flatter me. But, all we could do was pull them over my head or hold them up in front of me to “imagine” how they would look in my size. Wow. Just what I wanted to do- imagine how I would eventually look in a dress that I was planning to wear in front of 250 people on the most highly-photographed day of my life. Perfect. Thanks.
Anyway, Karin was incredibly encouraging and I clicked with her immediately, so I kept a good sense of humor about the whole process. Plus, with her help, I’m happy to report I was able to avoid getting stuck in any of the gowns. We found a size 14 sample by Jasmine Couture, and I finally got it on my body without the maneuvers qualifying as cardio. Of course, it didn’t zip by a mile, because remember, bridal runs small. Ugh.
Anyway, Karin worked her magic, clipping the dress on me, adding a sash, and customizing a halter neckline to flatter those swimmers shoulders I mentioned before. She was my fairy godmother- and it helped a lot that she’s no size 2 either. My gown was amazing, and all these year later when I work with thousands of bridal gowns a year, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect dress for me.
When I acquired Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique in 2007, I was on a mission to start offering sample gowns in a range of sizes! Based on my anxiety over my own bridal-body-issues, I wanted to provide a fun and low stress option for brides who might not be a “sample size”. Over the years, we’ve built our Glamour Collection to include more than 30 styles in sizes 14-24 across all of our designers. Our comprehensive collection features gowns from every silhouette to flatter and feature all of your gorgeous curves. You’ll love being the center of attention with confidence in a gown that was made for your beautiful body! And you won’t even feel like you need to be medicated, like I did all those years ago- I promise!
At Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique we are passionate about helping you discover your beauty in the most memorable garment you will ever wear in your lifetime- no matter what your measurements are! There is no more beautiful looking woman than a woman who feels beautiful.
And, before you go all skinny-people-are-people too on me, I’d like to share one more random thought. We have some sample gowns that are teeny tiny sizes too- in general we try to vary our selection so that our stunning brides of all shapes and sizes can feel their best. In fact, one of my most memorable brides of all time was a size double zero, and almost six feet tall. The totally slim hipped, lanky, pilates-esque goddess type frame I had wished for almost every day of my teenage years. I will never forget her hugging me tightly after bursting into tears in front of the mirror. “Thank you.” She said through a tearful giggle- “I’ve never felt like a beautiful woman before. I’ve always felt like a pre-teen boy. I feel so feminine in this dress- I never thought that would be possible.” I was speechless. And I will always remember her joy at realizing her own beauty. The right gown and a fun, supportive environment really can do that for a girl.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder.” –Salma Hayek
no matter your measurements!
Read more about the plus size experience at Wedding Angels here.