Being A Plus-Size Bride
Updated: Feb 24
So, I’m not going to lie to you, I definitely hemmed and hawed a lot about writing this post. It’s something deeply personal to me, and I didn’t want to put it out there and say the wrong thing. This topic is also extreeeeemely vulnerable for me, because it’s something so close to my heart. But, at the end of the day, I believe it has to be said. So here’s the bottom line: being a plus-size bride is okay. I know in this day and age, that can seem like a radical act. Loving yourself and your size when you’re getting married is pretty much unheard of today. Especially with all sorts of toxic messages coming from the wedding industry, like “Shedding for the Wedding” and “Sweat for The Dress” (insert gagging noises here). But I am here to tell you, in all my gusto, to take that garbage mentality and punt kick it out the window. And then slam it shut. I know it can be hard to shake, trust me I know. But I’m here to tell you as a recent plus-size bride that the biggest favor I did for myself during that time was accept and love my body exactly as it was. I’m here to talk to you about my experience as a plus-size bride, as a bride who didn’t go on a crazy wedding diet and starve herself just to fit into a dress she only wore one night of her life. Peppered with pearls of wisdom & advice, I unpacked a lot of the hot button issues around this topic. So, let me take a deep breath.
Okay here we go.
The Wedding Diet: Let me just tell you straight up that didn’t go on any type of wedding diet. At all. The night my husband and I got engaged, we went out to celebrate at our favorite Southern kitchen, featuring fried chicken, mac & cheese and cocktails. The next day we went grocery shopping and bought all the usual things we always buy, no crazy Atkins bars or meal replacement drinks included. And some of my wedding planning period was during the start of COVID, when we were all stuck at home stress-eating our feelings & not getting outside much. Was I hard on myself sometimes? Yes. Did I criticize myself sometimes? You bet. I’m definitely not immune to negative self-talk. And some days I really had to be my own best friend. But honestly, nothing in the world could convince me that stressfully tracking every single calorie I consumed was worth it. Or that cutting out carbs and then feeling shaky and hangry later in the day was worth it. Let me repeat myself from earlier: one the best favors I did for myself during this time was disregarding any notion of a wedding diet. It was liberating. It was freeing. I was focused on the 10,000 other things occupying my mind as a bride during COVID. My sister in law once told me about a friend who only ate half a turkey sandwich at lunch every day when she was a bride. I sat there, heartbroken but not at all shocked. If that was all I ate for lunch you wouldn’t want to be anywhere near me because I would be so hangry. Ladies, being a bride is stressful. Planning a wedding while working full time is stressful. Our bodies need fuel to keep going. We want to feel happy, vibrant and calm during this very special time of our lives. Give yourself a huge present for your wedding and just say no to wedding diets.
Dress Shopping: Okay, this is a big one. First of all, can we just take a moment to discuss the fact that there are SO many bridal boutiques out there that carry little to no plus-size wedding gowns? That alone makes my blood boil. When you’re a plus-size bride your chances of being able to just mosey on into a bridal boutique and expect them to have your size is slim. Because of this reason, I definitely encourage you to do your research for the area you live in, and ask around. I actually found out about the boutique I got my dress from because my cousin, a fellow plus-size bride, got hers there, too! She highly recommended them, so I immediately added it to my list. The boutique’s name is Bombshell Bridal, located in my hometown of Metro Detroit, and they made my dress shopping experience so joyous. Bombshell is dedicated to making every bride feel confident and special in her own skin, regardless of dress size. They have hundreds of size-inclusive gowns to pick from, in pretty much every style and shade you could think of. If you let me, I could literally spend a whole week in there, just trying on their dresses. I’m not kidding. One of the most important things about dress shopping is that you go to a place that makes you feel excited, confident and beautiful. Never once was there a conversation about what I couldn’t fit into or what wasn’t an option, but rather, here are all the different gowns to pick from, what one makes you feel like a bride? I felt included in the bridal world, and that my friends, is what it’s all about. I ended up picking an off-the-shoulder, Dutchess satin A-line gown in the shade Oyster, and literally felt like a member of the Royal Family. I fell completely in love with it because it was an absolutely gorgeous gown that made me still feel like myself, just as a bride! It fit my body exactly as it was right then, not ten pounds down from there. Of course, like every dress, some alterations had to be made, but it was so freeing and joyful knowing I found the prefect dress for my body, and felt no pressure to hurry and lose weight just to fit into it.
Setting Boundaries with Family & Friends: This is a tough one, but also extremely important. As “well-meaning” as they may try to act, sometimes friends and family members just don’t know how to keep their mouth shut when it comes to this topic. I have a friend getting married, and her mom loves to not-so-subtly remind her that when she was a bride she was a size two. I have no idea what it is that makes this happen, but sometimes weddings can really bring out the worst in people – especially when it comes to wedding weight. And yes, even some of my own family members and friends were guilty of this with me. Comments like this hurt, and take away from what should be some of the happiest moments of our lives. In a perfect world things like this wouldn’t even be an issue, but unfortunately here we are. Even more, the feminist stick up my ass gets furious thinking about how these comments & expectations are almost always directed at the bride, and rarely ever the groom. As someone who has been there, this is my biggest takeaway from this situation: set. boundaries. And yes, I know what you’re thinking: way easier said than done. But believe me when I say that if you’re dealing with an issue like this, boundaries become absolutely necessary. I’ve had to say things along the lines of, “I hear what you’re saying, but I feel comfortable and happy with the way I look now.” When it comes to wedding planning in general setting boundaries can be helpful, but especially when it comes to warding off wedding weight comments. And at the end of the day, the people who love you and support you for exactly who you are, are the ones that will show up for you during this time. During my days as a bride there were many a time when I thought, “This process is really bringing out people’s true colors.” This is one of the biggest moments of your life, and if anyone is too busy bringing negative comments to the table instead of supporting you, they can see themselves out.
The Most IMPORTANT Thing To Remember: Okay. I know this is horribly cheesy but it really is true: your husband/partner is marrying you for YOU. They love you for exactly who you are. End of story. And let’s be honest, they really don’t care about what size your dress is, or if you were able to lose that last 5 pounds before the big day. You two are getting married! This is a monumental occasion which deserves joy and celebration, so treat it as such. Everything else is just background noise.
Dress: Bombshell Bridal, House of Wu Designs
Tuxedo: Gentleman’s Guru
Photography: Fairytale Productions
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Flowers: Thrifty Florist