How to Find the Right Plus-Size Wedding Dress

Mar 25, 2024Wedding Tips

Navigating the wedding dress shopping world as a curvy woman can be a daunting task. It’s common for some bridal shops to not even have a selection of plus-size gowns, leaving brides with curves feeling frustrated and left out.

Thankfully, with the progression of diversity in styles and access to designer-brand plus-size fashion, it’s becoming easier for plus-size women to feel confident in a bridal gown that fits like it was made for them.

how to find the right plus-size wedding dress

What Sizes Are Considered Plus Size in Wedding Dresses? 

Plus-size wedding dresses typically range from sizes 14 and up, with some selections offering up to size 30. However, sizes can vary depending on the designer and retailer. It’s important to note that bridal gown sizing can be different than the size you’re used to wearing, so don’t get too stuck on the number. 

You could fit a size six in one designer’s gown but a ten in another. Each designer has their own size chart, and it varies significantly from regular clothes sizing. You want to focus on how the gown hugs your curves and shows off your figure, and not the number printed on the tag.

Understanding Your Body Shape

A gown that fits perfectly should support and shape the bust, accentuate and complement the body’s shape, and extend long enough to cover the shoes but not so long to where it can be easily tripped over. It’s essential to know which body type you are so you can determine which styles are the most flattering on you. 

Some typical body shapes among curvy women include pear, apple, hourglass, and rectangular. Choosing a plus-size wedding dress that highlights your best features while minimizing attention to areas where you may feel less confident can be a challenge, but it helps to know what you’re looking for going into it. 

Most Flattering Silhouettes for Plus-Size Brides

To help narrow down silhouette options for wedding gowns, here are a few popular dress silhouettes that look especially flattering on plus-size brides.

Ball Gown

This timeless wedding dress silhouette is extremely flattering on a plus-size bride for many reasons. The fitted bodice of a ball gown clenches at the waist, creating definition and balancing out proportions by accentuating the waistline while also concealing the hips and thighs under a full skirt. This style of dress can be ideal for someone wanting to create or enhance an hourglass silhouette.


The contoured seams and structured bodice of a mermaid gown provide support and shaping, helping to smooth the figure by enhancing natural curves. The elongated shape can also provide a lengthening effect, creating a taller, slimmer appearance. This option might be ideal for brides aiming to look slimmer and taller while still showing off some curves. 

A-line Dress

The A-line silhouette has been around for decades, making it a timeless and classic style. It gets its name from the shape of the dress—fitted in the hips, then gradually flaring out from the waist to the train.

This silhouette directs attention toward the bride’s natural shape and resembles an “A.” With this style being so popular, there are a variety of fabrics, necklines, and sleeve options to suit the brides’ personal preferences. 

Sheath Dress

Sheath dresses often contain vertical seams or paneling that can create a lengthening effect, visually elongating the body and creating a seemingly taller and slimmer silhouette.

Another attractive feature of a sheath dress is that it’s typically not as snug as other fitted dresses, like a mermaid silhouette. The tailored fit provides structure and support while still allowing for ease of movement and comfort, making it suitable for plus-size brides who want a flattering yet comfortable dress.

Most Flattering Silhouettes for Plus-Size Brides

Additional Tips and Recommendations

Now that you’ve researched what silhouette might fit you best, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into action while shopping for your perfect plus-size gown. Below are some shopping tips on how to be the most successful when finding your ideal plus-size wedding dress.

Research Retailers That Carry Size-Inclusive Samples

It’s essential to research what bridal shops carry plus-size samples before scheduling an appointment with them. Of course, sample gowns rarely fit any bride perfectly, but it’s still important to see yourself in a gown that is similar to the size that fits you best so you can get a better idea of how that style looks on you.  

Don’t Get Caught Up on the Number

As mentioned above, wedding dress sizing and regular clothing sizing are significantly different, so don’t be shocked if you’re a few sizes larger in a gown than normal. What matters most is how the gown fits and makes you feel. No one is going to be looking at the tag on your big day, so try not to focus on the number.

Join Online Communities for Support and Inspiration

A part of human nature is a sense of belonging, which is why social media and online message boards or blogs can connect you to different communities that you might not have known existed before. Many curvy brides share their bridal looks, and it can be helpful to see dresses similar to the ones you’re looking at on another curvy woman. 

Representation is important, and finding online communities to inspire and empower plus-size brides can help make wedding dress shopping less stressful and more relatable. 

If you’re looking for plus-size wedding dresses in the Kansas City or St. Louis area, Savvy Bridal offers a variety of sample sizes ranging from 14 to 24, with an option to order up to size 30. Our professional stylists will ensure a comfortable and supportive shopping experience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Find more Inspiration

Afford Your Dream Dress™

How to Find the Right Plus-Size Wedding Dress

Mar 25, 2024Wedding Tips