Plus Size Wedding Dresses

Plus sized weddings dresses are available from many wonderful designers, and come in every imaginable style and fabric. From cheap gowns for the bride who doesn't want to spend a lot of money to formal designer fashions, you can find the gown of your dreams. The dress pattern for full figured wedding gowns is no different than that of smaller sizes: a few inches make the difference between a happy bride and one who has starved for months to fit into a dress she will only wear once. Whether you need an informal gown for a fun wedding, the perfect mother of the bride dress, or a
chapel-length princess dress embroidered with pearls, choosing a wedding dress can be fun and exciting.

Although we all have a general picture of the classic, ballet-length wedding dress, bridal gowns come in all sorts of flattering styles. You may want an ivory sheath that creates a column of elegant white without the girlish fluffiness of a tea-length gown. You may prefer the full-skirted, snug-bodiced satin gown that turns a bride into a princess for a day. Elegant satins and dupioni silk make today's bridal gowns beautiful, and your bride's maid and flower girls may wear simplified versions of your gown in your wedding colors for an easy, lovely coordinated effect. Hawaiian destination weddings will require cool cottons and silks that breathe and still look wonderful in the damp ocean air.

Every woman wants to look beautiful on her wedding day, and full figured women can easily do so by avoiding some common bridal fashion traps. First, don't let yourself be conned into paying too much for a gown, shoes and a garter! The bridal magazines will seduce you with glamorous gowns and then sock it to you when it comes to the price tag. There are millions of wedding dress options, and you can spend as little or as much as you please. Wedding apparel doesn't have to be terribly expensive: you can find inexpensive gowns at vintage shops for under $100, and for truly cheap gowns, hit Goodwill and get one for under $50. On the other hand, if your dream has been to wear a fabulous dress, you may decide to have one custom made. In this case, make sure to find an establishment that will work with you to find the best design for your shape. Don't be a slave to fashion, either: your attire should reflect your taste and flatter your particular body. Don't let mothers and sisters influence your choice of gown unless you really trust and like their taste, or you'll wind up walking down the aisle with a feeling of remorse.

Here are some potentially problematic gown features:

Sweetheart neckline. This one is tricky for full figured women and for their flat-chested sisters. The sweetheart neckline only looks nice on a medium-sized bust, which fills it out but never threatens to overflow. Unless you're used to wearing such a neckline, the sweetheart will also cause you moments of insecurity where you feel compelled to look into your cleavage to make sure things are where they should be.

Sheath. The sheath can be an extremely elegant design, but this dress, for reasons only known to designers, too often comes heavily embroidered and ornamented with seed pearls, sequins and other bridal paraphanalia. The point of the sheath is to achieve a fluid, graceful column: when you over-decorate it, it becomes rigid and you wind up with something that looks more statue than statuesque. A sheath dress has to have some structure, but the structure should come from within the design, leaving the exterior of the gown simple and classy.

Slits. Slits look great on the models, especially in those currently popular ads I like to call the "dead bride" look. You've seen it. The bride's hair is snarled; she is posed sprawled across a sofa or on a cold tile floor, looking like she just came off a major drug binge. Her eyes are surrounded by nasty shadows and her skin features a greenish hue. Most of the time, there's a slit in the gown so the model can get her legs into the chalk-outline pose desired by the photographer.

In real life, slit skirts aren't so bad, but you run the risk of looking tacky if they aren't exactly the right length and in precisely the correct spot, and anytime there's a slit, there's one more flap of fabric with the potential of getting tucked into your pantyhose. If you manage to avoid walking down the aisle with your skirt tucked into your stockings, that slit may still catch in a heel and send you flying. If you have great legs, good balance and a gown that hides the rest of your body, you may want to use the slit to feature your legs, but otherwise, I'd skip it.

Halter necks. Halter necklines can look very nice, if the purpose of the design is to show off your shoulders and back and if the neck isn't enclosed by a tight collar of fabric. Some sheath dresses are paired with haltered collared necklines, and it starts to look more like a diva dress than a wedding gown. If you want to be a diva-bride, that's fun, but if you're not going for the Broadway look, you may prefer to avoid the collared halter.

Remember that most weddings are commemorated by photographs, which will be looked at over the generations. If your wedding pictures mean a lot to you, you'll want to choose wedding apparel that will still look beautiful thirty years from now, when your grandchildren will be looking through the family album. Think of all the people who married in Peace t-shirts and love beads in the '60's, and then decide whether you'd rather have a gown made of trendy naval-baring cutouts and mylar bows or something a little more traditional.

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