Francesca has received not one, not two, but three cries for help from brides-to-be! There must be something in the air! Francesca knows what it is, too: love, and the scarcity of plus-size wedding gowns in traditional bridal boutiques. But she comes to the rescue! Here is the first of the letters, from an internet friend in Phoenix, Arizona:
I recently got engaged and have an issue I am hoping you can help with. We are planning a wedding for Summer ’09 and I started looking at gowns. We are on a budget, and I am trying to spend less than $500. At the same time, I really want to feel like a princess and am drawn to ball gown style dresses- my price and ball gown style do not seem exactly compatible.
However, my question is this. There are some great on-line retailers out there, but I found all my flattering and super-fantastic clothes through trying them on. A lot of the on-line retailers do not allow returns. How do I find a super-fantastic wedding gown in my budget when there are so few opportunities for a woman of size to try them on? I know a few things to avoid from my everyday clothes- like halters do not work for me- but I really feel like it is hard to make such an expensive commitment without knowing for sure.
My measurements are 46-40-48, I’m 5’6″ with a small bust, large back and shoulders – but I’m not afraid of sleeveless.
Dear Internet Friend in Sunny Phoenix,
Francesca’s heartiest congratulations on your engagement!
Indeed, the inability to return items is a big problem when it comes to pricier items such as satin-and-lace wedding dresses. It is Francesca’s only bone to pick with Sydney’s Closet, who otherwise have so many beautiful gowns for the big day!
It is for this reason that God created Plus Size Bridal, and other vendors who do allow returns on wedding gowns –though usually with restrictions. It means that one can try different sizes and styles with little financial risk, as long as one is careful to return unused dresses within the return period and to follow all the instructions carefully.
Here are two princess-making, ball gown-style, halterless dreses for under $500, available in your size (in this case, a 20W) at Plus Size Bridal:
Style #1783W, with the pretty band which will “feminize” the bust area and may help balance the shoulders – one must try it on to find out! The detailing is available in different colors, including “same color as the dress.” (See also style #1516W, which, at $505, is only a smidgen past your budget.)
Style #1963, with the pick-up skirt which is so in style right now:
More wedding questions and dresses to come tomorrow!