Wedding Fashion for Plus Sized Brides

Hi Kat,
My name is Sara and I just found your website. Wow I was so relieved I wasn’t the only one who hated the idea of a cookie cutter poofy foofy wedding! Amazing site! I have always dreamed of a 50’s style tea length wedding dress. I found one I love on unique vintage thanks to you, but here’s my problem. I’m plus sized. Like say a size 26  plus sized.

I’ve been really ill for the last year and between taking care of my Mom (she had a stroke on my sixteenth birthday) and my illness, weight loss has been on the back burner. I’m set to be married November 5th of this year. I’m on a tight budget, but I just can’t stand the idea of not having a wedding dress. Please please help me find one!

Sara, loosing hope in Georgia.

♥  ♥  ♥

I have been alarmed recently by the number of emails like Sara’s that I’ve received from my readers asking for advice on where to look for plus sized wedding dresses. I’ve had so many in fact that I thought this was certainly a topic worth covering on the blog. I also read this article on Businessweek and was pleasantly surprised that there does seem to be the beginnings of a shift in the ‘ideal’ bridal look and size. So today I indulged my inner shopaholic and have done some fantasy dress shopping for all you curvacous ladies.

You know this already but I’m going to say it anyway, you do not have to be a size 0 to look like a supermodel on your wedding day. Your fiance is the luckiest man in the world to be marrying you – he knows that and so should you. So don’t go feeling rubbish about yourself just because you don’t fit into the dress shop sample sizes!

As someone that’s be everything from a size 6 to a size 16, I know all too well what it’s like to feel pants about the way you look…and to feel like you don’t fit in with the rest of the world. But you know what, I’m hear to help and I’ve found some pretty damn awesome dress suppliers on my travels, all of whom want to make you feel fierce!

OK pep talk over. I spoke to some of my favourite designers to ask what they offered for plus sized brides and I’m pleased to report that I was inundated with responses! OK on with the shopping…

Vivien of Holloway

“Here at Vivien of Holloway we are renowned for our 1940’s and 50’s reproduction ladieswear, but we also a great place to head for Fifties style bridalwear. The Vivien of Holloway sizing is based on original 1950’s sizes. Customers are recommended to come along the shop to ensure they get fitted correctly.  If you’re ordering from home you’re advised to measure yourself before ordering anything! Our sizes range from a 10 (which is about the equivalent of a high street 6-8) to a size 24 (available in circle dresses only).”

“For gorgeous plus-sized brides, we have white or ivory Halterneck Circle Dresses available, either in plain satin or covered in our luxurious lace. These all have a boned bodice with a satin halterneck strap and a full-circular skirt. This style is also available in a fabulous range of florals and polka dots, for the sassy bride in all of us! The dresses look exquisite when worn with one of our fluffy petticoats, giving you a glamorous 50’s look!”

“Our largest size is our 24, which measure a 46″ bust, 38″ waist and 50″ hips.”

Knot Couture

Photography Credit: Story Photographer

“We cater to plus sizes since all of our dresses are made to order! One of our recent brides sent us photos of her wearing the dress and you can see them here. We can make any of our gowns in any size, or we can replicate any style dress to the bride’s exact measurements.”

Uptight Clothing

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An Eclectic Nightclub Wedding: Ant & Lou

Ant & Lou were married in Chianti, Italy but had a massive reception party at The Kazimier nightclub in Liverpool on their return. “We wanted to get married abroad and bring with us all of the people we love dearly,” Lou told me. ” It was important to both of us to have our friends and family there, but to also have a very personal wedding, something that was exactly us.  We found a beautiful castle in Chianti, Italy and started our wedding process from there.  Everyone came on different flights at different times on different days and even though there was an ash cloud, an unexploded WW2 bomb found in Pisa airport and severe winds causing planes to be diverted, everyone got there eventually.  One group of friends were travelling for 26 hours just to get from Liverpool to Tuscany! but they made it and their positivity was beautiful.”

The couple asked photographer Assassynation to photograph their reception in Liverpool. I’m actually really good friends with Sassy and she emailed me the day after this wedding to excitedly tell me all about it and that I was going to love it…and she was right!

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A Vintage Gas Station Anniversary Shoot: Kelly & Charly

Some of the more eagle-eyed of you might recognise Kelly & Charly from their awesome vintage and Rock n Roll-inspired wedding that I featured back in February or Kelly’s beautiful bridal shoot which went up back in November. Well they are back and just as beautiful as ever!

For their anniversary the couple wanted to mark the occasion with another photo shoot with their wedding photographer Juliane Berry. The shoot was held in Rancho Park and The Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles and had a super stylish and vintage vibe. They had two vintage cars (a 1927 Ford Model T and a 1932 Ford Phaeton) as well as various props and loveliness including sugar skulls that the couple had bought in Mexico.

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The Jasmine Star London Workshop – A Review

A few months ago I approached wedding photographer Jasmine Star to ask if she’d be at all interested in coming to London to teach a workshop for photographers and if so could I help her to organise it.

My motives were entirely selfish. She has inspired me and the way I run my business ever since I was first introduced to her by a friend… and I wanted to meet her!

At the beginning of the year I set myself three goals. One of them was to meet Jasmine Star. I’ve learnt that nothing ever falls in your lap, and with her being based in Orange County and me (just outside of) London, it was unlikely I was ever just going to ‘bump into her.’ So I decided that if I wanted it to happen I better bloomin’ well try and do something about it. Jasmine and I have spoken over email a few times in the past, but to try to persuade her to fly half way across the world to a country she’s never been to…was I thinking too big?

Fast forward a few months and I’m waiting in the reception of The Rookery Hotel waiting for Jasmine and her husband JD to come down and meet me. I’m nervous as hell.

I heard Jasmine before I saw her. Whispering (!) to JD as they walked down the stairs, wondering if I’d be waiting (erm of course I was! I was in fact 45 minutes early, this was not a meeting I wanted to be late for.) However as soon as they walked in my nerves dissolved. Their smiles lit up the room. We hugged and squealed. A bundle of energy and excitement, Jasmine was even wearing a bright yellow dress like me. That means we’re destined to be Best Friends Forever right?

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A Batman Engagement Shoot: Crystal & Darren

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Gratton of Ophelia Photography while she was over in London on vacation. Amongst many things, we spoke about Lisa’s desire to create something a little different and fun around her engagement shoots and this Batman-inspired session proves her point nicely!

Lisa told me how the groom, Darren, who was initially quite nervous in front of the camera really came to life as soon as he put on this Batman suit! Well it is every little boys dream to be a superhero isn’t it?

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Help Me Choose the New Rock n Roll Bride Intern

To say that choosing the next Rock n Roll Bride real-bride intern was difficult would be an understatement of immense magnitude. When I posted two weeks ago that I was looking for a new ‘Alice’ to come and write her wedding planning story for us I expected to receive maybe 10/15 entries…67 applications later and my brain is a little fried from trying to pick the one which I think will have the most interesting story for the blog.

So, I’m being a wimp and hoping you, the loyal readers of this ‘lil blog will come to my aid and help me! After all, I want you to be inspired by the stories you’ll be reading. I have managed to narrow it down to three ‘finalists’ (for lack of a better word.) Please read their entries, check out their inspiration and let me know who you think should come and write for me.

Who’s story do you find most interesting? Who writes in a way that makes you want to read more? Who’s inspiration board is most inspiring to you? Who do you want to hear more from and who’s wedding do you want to see on the blog?

I’m also planning on getting to know my intern in like, actual real life. I hope we can hang out, drink coffee and cocktails and generally talk all things wedding. When I get invited to wedding shows I want her to come with me and hold my hand.

I don’t just want my intern to be an unknown ‘contributer’ to the blog, I want to make a new friend damnit! I actually want to be real life friends with everyone that applied (seriously, you are all too cool for me) which is why I’m handing the final decision over to you. I can’t take the pressure – it’s like picking teams for school sports and I always hated sports…

You have until Sunday 31st July to pick your favourite, and the winner will be announced on Monday 1st August.

♥  ♥  ♥

Lisa My name is Lisa, I am 23 years-old, and as I type this I am sitting in my sunny bedroom in New Cross, South London. My fiancé, Liam, is out earning a crust while I make dippy eggs and soldiers and enjoy my day off from work as a barmaid, and my day on as a wedding planner. Our friends know us as Roo (that’s me) and Lamb (that’s him) and neither of us are from London. We were both born and raised in Liverpool, and met just over a year ago at a very drunken, very hazy party. It was love at first beer-goggled site, but we wouldn’t actually meet each other again until November. Lamb had moved to London to work during his last free year before university; I had moved to Brighton to study for a degree in Museum & Heritage Studies, and we happened to bump into each other at my then-boyfriend’s gig in Camden. All over again we were smitten kittens – I ditched the zero and bagged my hero, and the rest is all wonderful history.

We are getting married in 2012, although our venue and date are not finalised yet but so far we’re looking at between July and September, 2012. I’m tempted to nudge Lamb towards the winter months, though. I want to go all Phoebe from Friends with a fabulous winter coat.. and definitely mittens. We still have three venues to choose from in either Brighton (the Duke of York’s theatre), London (Battersea Arts Centre) or Cornwall (Polhawn Fort). We have viewings in each venue scheduled in a few weeks, so I’m not quite out of wedding venue HELL yet. I won’t lie; finding a venue has been utterly depressing, which I know you can absolutely relate to given the hiccup you had a few months before your own nuptials. We are not religious, therefore we’d find it inappropriate to get married in a church, and we want somewhere that is a total blank canvas for us to cover in our personalities. I was the person who e-mailed you t’other week about if it was possible to have someone ordained here in the UK. Since you posted my e-mail on the blog, I’ve been roping in friends and relatives to sign the Any Campaign and we’re really hoping that it’ll be a success.

In terms of caterers and whatnot, we don’t have anybody in mind as of yet – so far we’re planning on a real “mucking-in” wedding where our talented friends and family help us with the things that are usually expensive (for example, Lamb’s dad is a mean cook, my mum is an outrageous seamstress, one of my sisters sources vintage goodies by trade, and one of my bridesmaids is a trained florist). In terms of decor, favours, and other odd little details, I have a few vendors on Etsy lined up to shine. For example, a shop called marcher for their alphabet stamp rolling sets (we’re making all of our invitations, as you’ll be able to read about under the “skills” heading) and crearting for their ring holder/guestbook set as I’ve written about on my blog (follow the link to the listing, you won’t regret it!)

My Inspiration

Since we’re both magpies, we’re letting ourselves be led by lots of appealing themes. We want our wedding to be both a celebration of us as a couple, and a celebration of all the people who help to make our relationship work. With that in mind, we’re ignoring any comments that sway in the “oh my god i can’t believe you want [insert insane idea here]” direction, and focusing on the pre-determined hindsight of “oh wow, remember when Roo flashed her embroidered ‘Mrs. Riley’ knickers after they kissed? That was SO her!” For example, I have decided to choose six bridesmaids – since we’re hoping for our wedding to be quite intimate I decided to put some feelers out around wedding bloggers and see if they thought this was too many. Apparently it’s customary to have one bridesmaid/groomsman per 25 guests, and my suggestion of six was seen as outrageous and overbearing. I mulled it over, and I decided I don’t care. I am having my two big sisters, my three best friends, and Lamb’s sister. Lamb has one sister and one brother, and I wanted his sister to have the opportunity to be a part of one of their weddings (since she has no sister to ask her to be bridesmaid). We both got a little teary when I asked her, and I couldn’t be happier with my choices.

I am giving each bridesmaid a role to take charge of, to take some pressure off us and really make them an integral part of the day. One of my sisters sources vintage clothing, and I’ve asked her to be in charge of sourcing the bridesmaids’ dresses from huge vintage warehouses. Instead of having them dressed in the same/similar styles/colours, I’ve told all the girls to individually choose a dress that suits their personal style. My other sister is a marvel at hair and make-up, so she’ll be in charge of making us all look beautiful. My friend Abby is a trained florist; a few days before the wedding we’ll all get together and she’ll teach us how to make our bouquets – then we’ll make boutonnieres and corsages for all the guests. My friend Hannah is a bit of a party animal, and will be organising my hen party. Louise, Lamb’s sister, will be helping me to bake our wedding cakes, and my friend Rea will more than likely help out with invitations, and general duties relating to guests.

My three main sources of inspiration over the past few weeks have been Twin Peaks, David Byrne and Richard O’Brien’s “The Crystal Maze” (stick with me on this one). Twin Peaks is pretty much the greatest TV series ever made next to Clarissa Explains It All, and I’d really love to emanate some of Lynch’s splendor in our day – think mood lighting, drapery, delicious coffees, and lots of cherry pie. “Our” song is Talking Heads’ This Must Be The Place, from their Stop Making Sense album/gig. We want to take some decor inspiration from their stage design during the show and have vintage lamps everywhere. With regards to Richard O’Brien, not only do I dream of a leopard print coat, but we are determined to stay true to our vision in that we don’t care if Lamb’s socks don’t match his shoes or those napkins don’t really sit well with those center pieces. Did Richard O’Brien concern himself with the practicalities of building the Ocean Zone next to the Aztec Zone? No he did not, and neither will we.

So far, other ideas include terrarium table decorations, a traditional English roast dinner reception, six homemade wedding cakes instead of one bespoke one, Northern Soul dancing, an “open mic” style of structuring speeches (i.e. anyone can get up and say/do something, providing they’ve not had too many sherbets), outrageous party games, blankets, patterns, lace, richness/fulness, mother nature, and a guestbook quilt (where guests write messages of support on squares of fabric, and later I sew them together to make a quilt for our home). The inspiration board that I made for this application is the first board I’ve made in a long, long time (since college, in fact!) and I think it showcases our personalities perfectly. Our wedding is going to be absolutely insane, by hook or by crook, and I really do hope you’ll seriously consider me for your next intern! As far as Facebook goes, I have temporarily deactivated my account while I knuckle down to some serious planning, but I can easily log back on should you need me to. And Twitter? My account is gathering dust of late so I made a brand new one today!


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