Wedding dress shopping: the great, the good and the ugly.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Yesterday was my first wedding dress shopping excursion. Initially, my mom, my best friend, and I were going to go, but my mom got sick in the late half of the week and couldn’t join us, so it was up to Katie and I to take sufficient pictures, and laugh extremely loud at bad dresses so that I could recap the experience for my mom (and for all of you)!

Before my appointment I was really nervous because I had read blog after story after story about how shopping for traditional dresses when you’re “plus-sized” is a nightmare. Like, there’s no abundance of resources – it’s pretty much like “bridal shop ladies are going to be bitches; deal with it, or don’t.” I was already discouraged and self-conscious walking in. Dresses were the very last thing to do on my list, but I took the opportunity to find styles. I kept talking myself off the ledge – I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to find the one. 

I told Katie about my fear on the way there, and she gave me a good, verbal slap across the face. She told me that she walked into her experience feeling the same way, so she never got to enjoy it. She told me just to roll with it, pick out pretty dress, and to be open. I wish I could keep her in my pocket. 

So, I walked in, walked around the shop, and got a feel for the dresses they had, and here’s what I thought. 

The great: 

  • Hundreds of pretty dresses at my disposal. I loved it.
  • Getting to laugh at myself a whole lot
  • Not feeling confused about what I liked, or what looked good – I loved what I thought I would
  • I tried on dresses I would’ve never picked, and I have no regrets about never wanting to pick them ever again
  • Found out that the experience was fun despite the feelings I had before.

The good: 

  • I think I found the dress, but I found it without my mom there. I’m excited to go back.
  • Katie told me which dresses should go instantly, I wish I had a picture of the look on her face.
  • Bridal consultants were helpful, and as I was trying on, they’d bring recommendations.
  • I didn’t stress about it. I just went with the flow, and I was happier that way. 

The bad: I was actually a little reluctant to do this section, but there were times where I ventured onto the shore of “terrible experiences,” and I had to work very hard to stay patient.

  • I told my consultant which dresses I’d never try on – she brought me five of them and told me to just “try them.” No. NO. NO. NO. 
  • Although there were hundreds of dresses around, I knew that I didn’t want to try them all on. There was no need to bring me the cupcake dress. 
  • My hips and butt made it impossible to try on mermaid styles. There was a ballgown that I wanted to try on and the bridal consultant mentioned that because I couldn’t get the mermaid on over my thighs, I probably wouldn’t be able to get the ballgown on. She DISCOURAGED me from trying to try on on something that I really loved.  I’ve watched enough say yes to the dress to tell this lady what’s up – the dresses were way different styles. I (patiently) told her that we should just try it. We did, and guess what? I got it on, AND it’s the dress that I was most in love with.
  • There were a few dresses that I liked, but the sample sizes were small, so sadly, I didn’t get to try on some things that I really liked.
  • The consultant wasn’t very tactful sometimes, and that bothered me. If I were a truly fragile person, I probably would have been reluctant to go try on dresses again.
  • I also got put into a lot of “plus size” dresses. Super plain, ugly satin, gaudy. BLAHHHH.
  • Oh, the owner of the shop kept busting into my room and micromanaging my consultant. I was very annoyed by that. My guest and I didn’t need to hear about her misgivings. Pull your person aside later and do that. That put a slight dark cloud over my experience. I hate seeing that happen. 

Overall, the experience was good for me, and I’m excited. See below for a fun slideshow. I excluded the dress I liked the most. It’s so different from any of the ones in the slideshow, that I felt okay about posting these. Bryan saw them too. He laughed and said “You’re not getting any of those, right?”

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This was a resounding no. I couldn’t stop laughing.

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This was one of those dresses that the consultant told me “lots of girls with your shape get this one.” I absolutely hated it. It made my stomach look even more round, and it was not glamorous or pretty.

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I saw this one one on Pinterest, and thought I would LOVE it. Turns out it was just “meh” on me.

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I liked this one, but it wouldn’t go over my hips. It’s not quite was I was looking for though.

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This was the first dress I tried. It was horrific – and the most expensive of every dress I tried on. My favorite dress was actually the least pricey.

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Mila Clarke Buckley
Mila Clarke Buckley

Mila Clarke Buckley is a type 2 diabetes advocate who started her food blog, “The Hangry Woman”, after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and struggling to find approachable resources to help her manage the chronic condition and live a happy, healthy life.

HangryWoman.com aims to take away the shame and stigma that comes with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis and covers topics like diabetes management, cooking, and self-care from the perspective of someone living with the chronic condition.

Mila has worked with companies like OneTouch, a Lifescan Company and Whole Foods Market, and she has been featured by The Kitchn, Houston Press, Travel Noire, Healthline, Yahoo Lifestyle, and WebMD.

Mila lives in Houston with her husband and two pups.

Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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