After I first got engaged and the excitement had worn off enough for the real planning to begin, I consulted my Pinterest boards. I had boards for wedding dresses, photography, decor, and hair and makeup. I had spent years collecting thousands of images on an online portfolio just for fun (what can I say? I'm a planner). But when I went to look at all these images again, something struck me: No one in these photos looked like me. There was not a single wedding image that featured someone over a size 6, it seemed, let alone someone over a size 12. There were no styled wedding dress shoots with plus size models — hell, there didn't even seem to be photos of real plus size brides floating around Pinterest. Sure, there was the occasional plus size wedding dress photo that looked like it was pulled out of either stock photography or a catalog from 1999, but that was pretty much it.
In the last few years, the wedding industry has made the first, slow steps to become more size inclusive. There are bridal brands that specialize in plus size dresses and Facebook groups for plus size brides. And, if you're lucky, you may even be able to try on a plus size sample in a bridal boutique these days. But seeing gorgeous, unique images of plus size women in wedding dresses is another story. Whether you're searching from some aesthetically pleasing inspiration or are just trying to find a dress that comes in both your size and budget, this list of 12 dresses should be able to help you out. While this shoot highlighted some of the shortcomings of the industry — for example, it was nearly impossible for us to find a single plus size wedding dress sample over $7,000 — it also highlighted the fact that there are options for everyone and every body. And that's exactly how it should be.
Ella & Oak offers designer, plus size options for brides with a very convenient catch — for $25, you can try any three dresses you'd like on at home. Most of Ella & Oak's gowns are mid-to-high range prices, with the Lillian gown coming in at $2,850.
Forget what you thought you knew about David's Bridal dresses, because you're probably dead wrong. While David's Bridal does indeed have dresses for truly any budget, it also has big name designer collaborations that actually come in inclusive sizing. This Oleg Cassini ball gown is priced at $1,492.20 (on sale).
Plus size fans of the extremely Instagrammable Lovely Bride boutiques are in luck: Theia is just one of the many brands the store carries in a substantial plus size range. The brand's Daria gown starts at $1500, and features the most gorgeous back detail.
The most important thing to know about Azazie's Indie Dress (other than the fact that it looks great, of course) is that it's $199. And for a small, small fraction of that (just $25) you can try it on at home before buying. Azazie is quickly becoming one of the most affordable, most convenient dress options for brides of all sizes — and this dress proves why.
Of the many, many things that are frustrating about plus size bridal, one of the least talked about of them is this: The assumption that plus size brides don't want to spend a lot of money on a dress. Sure, some of us have a budget to stick to, but some of us also (like every straight size bride — surprise!) want to throw down major cash for a gown. If you want intricately embellished details and cloud-soft tulle, then Watters is for you. The Lucretia Gown from Watters offers all the glam you could want and more — and a price tag to match at $4,000 to $5,330 (depending on alterations and customizations).
For brides that are into intricate, delicate details with beading and embroidery and also don't want anything that will require an entire entourage to get on and off, there is Alexandra Greco. While it would certainly be exciting to see this dress offered beyond a size 20, Alexandra Greco is the perfect indie brand for those with a healthy budget (the Palma gown shown here starts at $3,501) who are aiming for magic garden vibes on their big day.
Azazie's Eudora dress is ideal for anyone with an ultra romantic vision for their wedding. It also is only $249 and yup, you guessed it, available to try on at home for $25. Plus, it comes in three different colors and sizes 0 - 30.
While it's rarely reflected in mainstream bridal content, the truth is that many plus size brides want to look sexy on their wedding days, too. Louvienne's Remy dress is understated glam, and incredibly sexy. Not every bride wants lace or tulle on their big day, and plus size brides are no different. At $2,650 the Remy dress is a great mid-range option for someone looking for a more understated option that still makes a statement.
This David's Bridal gown is size inclusive, trendy, and oh yeah — only $199.95. Whether you're looking for something perfect for a beach wedding, courthouse elopement, or an after party look, this no fuss, off-the-shoulder sheath dress is worth considering.
Did someone say royal wedding? This long-sleeved Kleinfeld's dress is the perfect blend of modern glam and classic details. The illusion lace paired with the all-the-way-down buttons is just perfection. And, as an added bonus, the gown (complete with train) all looks much, much more expensive than its $995 price tag.
Yes, Torrid makes wedding dresses now. And, yes, they're pretty . This off-the-shoulder gown features gorgeous (yet super comfortable and soft) lace detailing and just the right amount of stress. If you're looking for a wedding dress that's 100 percent comfortable and 100 percent affordable (this one is just under $169) and will still look great in photos, this one's for you.
If you're all about a stunning back detail, check out the Helene Gown from Ella & Oak. It's priced moderately at $2,530. but you can try it on at home for just $25.
Whether you're looking for a super sexy mermaid look or an ultra romantic lace number, these gowns are proof that plus size bridal is stepping up its game. And it's time that more people know about it — because everyone should feel including in the process of finding "the one," not just straight size people.
Photographer: Colette Aboussouan | Accessories Stylist: Gabby Prescod | Makeup: Joy Fennel For MAC COSMETICS | Hair: Takashi Yusa using L'Oreal Paris / Creative Director: Becky Brown | Executive Fashion & Beauty Editor: Kara McGrath | Bookings Manager: Guillermo Perez | Photo Editor: Clare Thigpen | Junior Art Director: Shanelle Infante