Tips and Ideas for Plus Size Brides

Posted By:Randy Fenoli
March 20, 2009
Recently, a reader of our blog (Lovely28) wrote the following:

Hi Randy, I watch the show regularly. I am a plus size bride and i am having trouble finding the right dress. I've been trying to get ideas from the show but i just haven't seen any of the brides that seem to have the curves i do. What looks good on us bottom heavy babes. Hopefully something new is coming out for us!!!

Thank you so much for your email!There are thousands of plus-size brides out there that share your concern and feel challenged when trying to select a wedding gown. I'm sure that one of the most frustrating obstacles you are facing is the fact that most gowns carried in a bridal salon are sampled in a size 10.

The first piece of advice I have to give you is to be careful of taking too much advice. Remember that most advice you will get are simply "guidelines" to use when searching for a dress, but you will never be 100% sure of how a gown looks on you until you try it on your body!

Being plus-size shouldn't be the only factor you consider when choosing a gown.
I think that silhouette is more important than size!
Are you tall or petite?
Are you busty? Do you have large hips? Do you have a thick mid-section?
You also need to consider the type of wedding you are having. Is it formal or informal? Is your ceremony or reception indoor or outdoor?

Here are a few of my guidelines, suggestions, and some of my favorite gowns for fuller figures:

I feel that heavy fabrics can sometimes make the person look even heavier, so I generally prefer to choose gowns that are made of lighter fabrics.

Here is a Christos gown in a silk organza with beautiful lace overlay:

It has a soft sweetheart neckline and a pretty A-line silhouette, which is flattering to most body types. Because it's light and has lace, I think it would look perfect in a garden setting.

These 2 gowns by Augusta Jones have rouching which can be very forgiving when trying to conceal a thick waistline, and an A-line silhouette which is good for accommodating fuller hips. Both are made of silk taffeta, which is a very lightweight fabric.


This next dress by Romona Keveza, also a rouched silk taffeta, rests at the tip of the shoulder, which can give the appearance of broader shoulders and in turn can balance out fuller hips.



This strapless A-line Lazaro gown has a beaded tulle overlay which can be nice if you prefer a bit of sparkle.



And this silk satin Lazaro is trimmed with lace, if you prefer a more traditional look.



One of the most exciting things to happen in bridal recently is the launch of the Red Label Collection by Kirstie Kelly for Disney. She designed this entire collection with a plus-size bride as her "muse", and the dresses go up to a size 32W.



I am proud to say that Kleinfeld has one of the largest selections of plus-size gowns of any salon in the world. However, we may not have a plus-size sample of every gown I've featured here.

But don't be overwhelmed by your size; Remember, every bride has the same challenge of finding the perfect dress, and if you ever wish to come into Kleinfeld, I would be more than happy to help you choose a gown that you will LOVE, and that will look GORGEOUS on you!

Kindest regards,

Randy
Comments

March 21, 2009
11:29 PM
bahamasbride said:

Hi Randy Any ideas for the perfect dress for a destination wedding?

April 04, 2009
4:16 PM
Older&Fuller said:

Hi Randy, I am older and full figured first time bride (I will be 40 when I walk down the aisle). I've tried several gowns on and they all look like my bosom is being served on a platter and that I have the shoulders of a linebacker. I also have hair down to the bottom of my back that I do not want to wear up (as I never wear my hair up) and I have a round face...what would be your suggestion for the best type of gown and hairdo? Thank you, Older&Fuller

April 07, 2009
8:29 AM
Randy Fenoli said:

Dear BahamasBride, From your screen name I take it you are getting married in the Bahamas. One of the first things you have to keep in mind when shopping for a destination wedding dress is: How are you going to get the dress there? Traveling with a dress can be a challenge. Fabrics that don't wrinkle easily are important if you are packing the gown. Lace is a good choice. A lot of brides also choose chiffon, organza, taffeta, or silk shantung, because they are lightweight, perfect for a warm outdoor setting. The term "Destination Wedding", can mean many things these days. The wedding could be a casual gathering in a vineyard in California, a formal affair under a chandelier hung from a tree in South Carolina, or held in front of huge snow-filled window of a ski lodge in Colorado. Whatever the case may be, choose something appropriate for the setting, and a dress that flatters your body. Remember, there are no set rules anymore. You are the bride, it's your wedding, and you make the rules!

April 08, 2009
9:05 AM
bella88 said:

Hi Randy, I am a plus size bride to be and was wondering if you carry any sample sizes that I would be able to try on? I was also wondering if you are available for questions during the week if I were to make an appointment. I love your suggestions and need someone to be HONEST about a dress. I am a petite plus size and have a hard time with the body of the gowns because I'm not tall enough and they end up not fitting right. I watch the show often and am also interested in Kleinfelds because of the alterations department, they seem incredible!!!! Thanks :)

April 10, 2009
8:44 AM
RANDYFENOLI said:

DEAR Bella88, I would LOVE to work with you to find the perfect dress! Kleinfeld's carries one of the largest selections of plus size designer wedding gown samples in the world. And, I truly believe we have the best alterations department on the planet! some of our seamstresses have been with Kleinfelds for over 25 years! The average height of a girl is 5'5" and petite starts at 5'4", so most girls do fall into a petite size category. I'm sure this can add to your frustration of finding a gown. I work with hundreds of REAL brides every week, and they have REAL bodies! I love nothing more than working with a girl with curves. When you book your appointment, please ask customer service to notify me that you would like for me to be present at your gown selection and I will fit you into my schedule. Looking forward to meeting you and helping you find your gown! Kindest regards, RANDY

April 14, 2009
9:03 AM
Alina Maria Dascal said:

Hy Randy, My name is Alina and i'm from Romania-Europe.I watch the show every day on Travel&living channel and is amazing what i see there, realy is paradise from every future bride. My question for you is: it's possible to buy a dress from Kleinfeld? or maybe you have some sugestion for me; i know that Romania is far away but maybe i have a little chance..... The wedding is next year sow is not so time rush. ps: sorry for my english Many regards Dascal

April 20, 2009
2:15 PM
curves/budget said:

Randy - I need your help. I am 5'11", with curves and on a budget for my destination beach/formal affair. I have an appointment at Kleinfelds in a few weeks. Can you help?

April 28, 2009
8:29 AM
RANDYFENOLI said:

Dear Curves/Budget, You can call customer service and have them request that I be available to work with you and your Kleinfeld consultant during your appointment. If I'm available, I would LOVE to help you with choosing a gown that you simply love and look beautiful in! My Kindest Regards, RANDY

April 28, 2009
8:43 AM
RANDYFENOLI said:

Dear Dascal, Thank you so much for watching the show. I didn't even know Say Yes To The Dress was aired in Romania! I would not recommend purchasing ANY wedding gown without trying it on first. If you wish to fly in, we would love to help you choose the gown of your dreams. Every single day I have brides that fly in from all over the world to shop Kleinfeld for their gowns. We get a tremendous amount of brides from Ireland, England, Canada, Africa, Dubai, Mexico, France, Sweden, and the Dominican Republic, just to name a few. I just recently worked with a gorgeous bride that flew in all the way from Moscow and purchased a stunning gown! However, before you make the trip you should check on what the import policies are for your particular country. I have had a bride or two that had trouble getting their gown through customs. Please let me know if you decide to come, I would LOVE to meet you! My Kindest Regards, RANDY

May 12, 2009
3:12 AM
CanadianBride said:

Hi Randy, I enjoy watching the show and respect the suggestions you make, so here goes. I'm an older(45), plus-size bride-to-be(second marriage) and want something different in a dress for an outdoor fall wedding. Can a bride of my age & size (16/18) pull off a red dress? What would you suggest in terms of style and fabric when using such a dramatic color? I'm sure I could talk my Daughter into a trip to NYC for an appointment!

June 06, 2009
9:30 PM
nypeach said:

Randy, can you tell me who is the designer of the first dress that consultant Sarah tried on? It was fabulous!! My fiance wants us to get married in his family church, which is a beautiful, tiny little wooden church in Lyons, Georgia. I am originally from New York City and live in Georgia now. My fiance's church is so beautiful and reminds me of the tiny church that John and Carolyn Kennedy were married in. I am a size 12, voluptuous, and want to wear a gown that is sexy, but simply elegant. I absolutely loved the first dress sarah tried on. Thanks!

June 08, 2009
4:40 PM
Kleinfeld Marketing Team said:

Hi nypeach,
The first gown Sara tried on is by Pnina Tornai, view it here: http://www.kleinfeldbridal.com/index.cfm?pid=52&item_id=11937&rowid=19&page=1
Thank you for watching Say Yes to the Dress!


June 10, 2009
6:15 PM
MARRIED4TEN said:

IM ALREADY MARRIED BUT WE HAD A VERY SMALL CEREMONY MY HUSBAND PROMISED ME IF WE MADE IT TO TEN YEARS I CAN HAVE THE WEDDING I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED. I WOULD LOVE AN ANTIQUE COLORED MODERN DRESS DO YOU CARRY THOSE SORT OF COLORED DRESSES?

June 17, 2009
10:30 PM
makeup junkie said:

I'm still searching for the designer of the wedding gown that bride Melanie Terrell picked twice with consultant keasha and Randy's help. I LOVE the dress, please help!

June 18, 2009
12:01 PM
Kleinfeld Marketing Team said:

Hi makeup junkie,
The dress Melanie chose is designed by Pnina Tornai. Unfortunately it is not photographed. It is Pnina Tornai style 31625239. Thank you.


July 05, 2009
6:07 PM
not big/not little said:

Hi Randy, Im a devoted fan of the show and will be headed your way when I get to pick my dress. Im not a small person or a true 'plus size'. Im right in the middle, like 14-16 but plus size is usually too big for me. I will not have a limit on the price and am seriously wanting a Pnina Tornai! Would there be hope for someone like me? Does she do larger sizes? I hope you can help me.... Love you on the show

July 07, 2009
3:45 PM
dlmagoo said:

A larger bride came into the store on one of the shows... she was more busty but wanted a strapless dress. You gave her a dress that resembles Alita Graham Style No: 31508518 in that it had all the layers, but covered her girls and didn't show a lot of cleavage. I believe she was having a beach wedding. Do you happen to know the designer for this dress? Thanks Dee

July 07, 2009
5:40 PM
Kleinfeld Marketing Team said:

Hi dlmaggo,
Please check the "Featured Gowns" page on our Say Yes to the Dress micro-site, click here: http://www.kleinfeldbridal.com/index.cfm?pid=Say-Yes-To-The-Dress
Thank you & lots of luck!


July 09, 2009
11:19 AM
dlmagoo said:

I looked at the show featured dresses and didn't see it at all. Could it have been the Alita Graham dress, just in a bigger size.. more fitted for a plus sized bride? Thanks Dee

July 09, 2009
11:20 AM
dlmagoo said:

Sorry.. I am a very busty girl, is there anything you can recommend? Thanks Dee

September 25, 2009
11:20 PM
Carmen9139 said:

hi randy I think u have a wonderfull eye when of comes to dresses I am 6.1-6.2. With heels and i'm a plus size I love the red Dress that is on display in the store I see it now an then went the consultents wall Passed who is the designer and what is the style number I hope you Can help me please....... Thank you

September 25, 2009
11:26 PM
Carmen9139 said:

hi randy, I think you have a wonderfull eye for dresses I am 6ft 1-2 with heels and I am a plus size I LOVE the red dress that is on display I see it now an then when the consoltents walk past it who is the designer an what is the style number I hope you can help me please........ Thank you so much

December 02, 2009
12:59 AM
marcarlos said:

hi randy! i have a questioni might already know the answer too but i'll ask anyway.. do Pnina Tornai dresses come in plus size?

December 02, 2009
8:18 PM
Brandi0921 said:

Hello! While watching an episode of Say Yes to the Dress, I seen a woman try on the same dress that your consultant Sarah was married in. I know the woman bought the dress on the show also. I was wondering who the designer was. I love the dress! I think someone already posted on here asking the same question, and I followed the link Randy had so kindly provided (http://www.kleinfeldbridal.com/index.cfm?pid=52&item_id=11937&showpic=main&rowid=19&page=1), but I don't feel as if it's the same dress I seen on the show. I searched your website aimlessly and still can't seem to find it. Can you help? Much Appreciated!

December 11, 2009
3:23 PM
mommom said:

Hi,Randy I am wondering why the designer and what number is the dress that Sarah tried on. The 3rd gown.I have searched and I still come up empty handed. Thanks

December 15, 2009
4:04 PM
NHBride10 said:

Hi Randy! You always pick the most amazing dresses, I especially love the Pnina dresses I have seen you pick out for brides. Keasha had picked one that I saw for a bride named Stacey, and I instantly fell in love with it. I looked on the featured gowns section, but it's not the same dress that she picked on there. I wanted to make an appointment to go and see the dress, but I am concerned because I am a size 14-16. I was wondering if Pnina dresses come in that size, and if they typically still look amazing on brides that size. I am shorter, and have a full bust, and am not sure if I would disappointed after going there if it didn't come in my size. Thanks!

December 30, 2009
10:53 AM
Peaches129 said:

I am a plus size girl (currently size 20 after losing 40 lbs, and I am planning on losing an aditional 50 lbs) and 5'3". I found an amazing pnina tornai dress online but with no style number. It's a chiffon mermaid dress with a ruffled skirt and a lace v-neck. My question is, does pnina tornai make plus size dresses? does she have samples to try on or only in smaller sample sizes?

January 21, 2010
11:15 AM
Veronica said:

Huge fan of Amy Michelson (and Pnina of course..) Mother of two, 40something, and who-am-I-kidding... size 15... Could an Amy Michelson gown possibly look good on a mature athletic 5'8" dragonboat racer...? If Your dream designer is Amy, what should one look towards as an alternate...? I guess you have to try it on, and trust your consultant?

April 09, 2010
9:12 PM
hugeboobs said:

Hi Randy, Help!!! My boobs are huge. I was one of those girls who got breast implants when I was in college and now that I am thirty and have gained a little weight once in the working world not only have my jeans gone up to a size 14 but my boobs have grown even bigger, 38DDDD. Thats right 4D. So do you have any suggestions for silhouettes that I should look to? I am planning a trip across country to see your store this upcoming November and I would like to have my homework done so I can find something within my time slot. It would be a shame to travel all that way from California and not find anything. Thank you!

May 13, 2010
1:11 PM
catherine Navas said:

Hello, Randy. I love the show and I love you. I think you are a wonderful. Can you please tell me who is the designer of the second dress Sarah tried on from your staff. Please help from Miami.

June 01, 2010
1:30 PM
KrystalG said:

do Pnina gowns come in plus sizes? I was looking to get a reception dress and get my ceremony dress altered somewhere, but I have no idea where to start! I love the black and white pnina dress from her 2008 collection, but it isn't on Kleinfeld's website. I don't know if you know which dress I'm talking about or not, It looks almost like a ballgown, but I'm also wondering the cost of it, should I call the store to find the cost?

June 08, 2010
12:20 PM
Diva6887 said:

Randy, help! I've looked on the Featured Dresses tab for the Getting in the Spirit episode where Sarah picks her dress and I can't find a style number anywhere for the dress she actually selects. It's no longer on Pnina's Web site or Kleinfeld's. Could you please help me out with the style number for Sarah's wedding dress? I absolutely LOVE it! Many thanks!

August 31, 2010
11:38 AM
Ash3 said:

Randy, I've been searching everywhere and I can't seem to find a list of dresses that Sarah tried on. I just caught the tail end of the episode featuring Sarah's appointment. I fell in love with the one she was shown wearing right before she tried on "the one" but missed any information that was given regarding the dress. It was the big ball gown with the large pleated skirt and a sweetheart neck line (I believe). Could you please help me with the style number or a link? Thank you SO much!

September 21, 2010
8:58 PM
Sam said:

I'm definetly plus size at a size 20/22.. I have fallen in love with many a kleinfeld dress.. Believe it or not my biggest concern is my arms.. I want them covered up to the elbow.. All the dresses I fall in love with are strapless.. My question is there a way to add on sleeves?? I don't want a ballero or jacket.. I want sleeves.. Maybe in a lace.. Is that possible or am I losing my mind in taffeta hell?? I would love to come to kleinfelds.. Do you think there is anything in my size I could try on?? I'd like to see what one looks like on.. Insead of pinned on.. Hoping you have some insight..

December 16, 2010
11:06 PM
Linnie said:

I'm sad that responses to questions have thinned out. In the event that someone is reading comments and responses resume, I'd like to ask for suggestions. I will be in my late 40s when I marry for the first time. (I come from a family of a multitude of divorces; steering clear of the whole concept seemed the wisest course. Though I had every expectation of spending my life alone, a wonderful fellow came into my life and turned that expectation on its ear.) My fiance has been married once before. Also, I am a 5'11" plus-size, and though broad-chested, not overly busty (48C). All things considered, is it wrong, ill-advised, or in poor taste to want to find a "real" wedding dress? If so, what do you suggest as an alternative? If not ... I've looked at plus-size wedding gowns online and find that there's such a sameness for the most part. We're paying alimony, supporting my fiance's non-minor children, paying for the wedding of one, and buying a house large enough to include elderly parents. Due to these and other considerations, our wedding budget is limited. Having said that, I'd rather not have the seemingly same wedding gown that you see 90-95% plus-size brides in. Do they all seem to wear the same thing because that's the only thing that looks good on us? If so, do I want to wear that "same" gown? Or do I want to give up on the whole idea? Answers to any questions, any style guidance, and all advice is welcomed with heartfelt appreciation. Linnie P.S. Any episodes of your program(s) that I watch, I am always totally impressed with Randy's perception in dealing with the brides and helping them find their vision, even when the brides either don't know what that vision is, or are mistaken about it. Does he always get it in just one or two dresses?!? Awesome skill! Thank you for your time.

December 17, 2010
6:15 PM
Kleinfeld Marketing Team said:

Hi Linnie
Kleinfeld has the largest selection of sample gowns available in plus size 16 – 30 for brides to try on. Most of our designer gowns are available to order up to size 38 but regarding samples to try on, Kleinfeld has selected some of our most popular, most flattering, and hottest styles and ordered them in larger sample sizes. You can view some of them here: http://www.kleinfeldbridal.com/search-for-plus-size-wedding-gowns.cfm?pid=51&title=plussizegowns&changed=1 but that is just a sampling since they are not all photographed. Please make an appointment and our consultants will guide you toward the perfect gown for you!
Thank you & lots of luck!


February 03, 2011
11:59 PM
worried and chubby said:

hi i was wondering if you had any tips on what's would be the best kind of gown for a someone short and chunky, like 5'4 and 190 lbs chunky in the middle with 40 d's. i haven't tried on anything on as of yet, ya have any suggestions? i kind of had my heart set on one shoulder look but idk if that's out of the question. i have small shoulders and a think mid-section im scared to make the dresses look hideous



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