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The No-BS Advice You Need To Hear When Wedding Shopping As A Fat Bride

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Okay, let’s start with the basics. Fat women are brides, too. 

Now, do you really want to gasp and clutch your pearls? Fat women also get asked out, romanced, spoiled, and have sex. Amazing sex. I should know, I’m one of those fat women. My fiancé and I fell wildly in love, he put a ring on it, and I’m marrying him in four months.  

If you’re reading this as a fat bride, you’ve possibly noticed being a fat bride is, for a multitude of fucked up, nonsensical reasons, low-key offensive to some people. “How dare you be fat (what no one wants) AND take one of the eligible men and get married (what everyone wants)?” they (and the wedding industry at large) may as well say. “Where are your plants, your million cats, and your sad little Jelly of the Month Club? You broke the rules. Becoming a bride is winning. Fat girls don’t win.”

Aside from the fact that this insidious mindset is giving patriarchy apologist and an “ew, as if” bigger than Cher Horowitz could ever muster, it’s just plain embarrassing. As much as you and I know that, though, that isn’t to say it’s not hurtful when you feel those spiteful vibes radiating from someone who should ultimately be happy for you or, at the very least, mind their business.

So, what’s a fat girl to do? 

It’s simple: Win. Get fucking married if that’s what you want. And do it in the most fabulous way possible. 

Enter: my official guide for wedding shopping as a fat bride, complete with simple tips, hacks, and recs to not only take on an institution that was never set up for us, but to break it and resize it just for us. Before making your vows with your partner, make some vows to yourself to ensure your wedding day and the days leading up to it are fun as fuck not filled with dread. 

Vow One: I Vow NOT to be the “Weight Loss Bride.”   

Come on, betch. Let’s not be that bride. A regular movement practice, eating more veggies, and drinking more water? I’m all for it, especially because it will help with overall productivity, focus, and self-love. 

But it’s impossible to ignore that pre-wedding weight loss talk is a slippery slope. Letting it monopolize and control your entire “getting married” process means you’ll miss out on the most fun parts of the journey. Not to be cringe-level mushy, but you and your partner chose each other just as you are. Don’t forget that. 

“You can’t find self-love by walking a path paved by self-hatred,” says author and leading expert on weight-based discrimination Virgie Tovar. “My life wouldn’t be easier if I were thin. My life would be easier if this culture wasn’t obsessed with oppressing me because I’m fat.” You, exactly as you are right now, are not a problem to be solved. So ultimately, speak to your doctor (and for the love of God, NOT TikTok or IG) about any concerns or questions you have and do what’s best for YOUR body. 

Vow Two: I Vow to Wear Whatever I Fucking Love and What Makes Me Feel Good.

You don’t have to have all the answers about what you’ll wear at your wedding. Maybe you know a few: “I definitely want something sleeveless” or “I absolutely want a mermaid-style skirt.” With even a couple of answers, you can begin looking for designers and styles you like. Below are a few designers who cater to curvy bodies, with most going up to size 32.   

Plus Size Bridal Designers to Check Out 

Allure Bridal: Feminine, classic, and full of whimsy and light, Allure is a brand I adored because of their incredibly romantic styles. It was also recently featured in Brigerton’s new bridal line.

BR1001 Gown

Essence of Australia: More of a minimalist bride? Essence of Australia fits that bill. The general vibe here is clean, modern, elegant, and chic. These dresses are for women of power with the curves to navigate it.  

Glamorous Column Plus Size Gown

Casablanca Bridal: This is definitely one of my favorites based on the quality, designs, and detail of what’s offered. The versatility is also spot on; they are some amazing modern bride takes and options for vintage/classic brides.

Blakely Gown

After you settle on the right vibe for you, you can find a designer near you that carries that dress or style. Pro tip: The Knot does a phenomenal job compiling shops and their prices by region for plus-size dresses

What about the extras? Robes with your bridal party’s names? Bride and Wifey hoodies and sweaters? Matching silky PJs? I suggest Etsy. Not only are you supporting local small businesses — lots of them women-owned — but there’s also a LOT more size diversity than you’d find on other sites. That said, no platform is perfect: Many of these designers offer up to 5XL… and a lot of them don’t. Ensure you double check the sizes offered (and the associated measurements!!!), and NEVER trust one size fits all. Because it literally doesn’t!

Vow Three: I Vow to Keep My Cool (Literally) as Much as Possible. 

My fiancé and I decided we’ll get married in New Orleans, where the heat and humidity can be as intrusive as a drunk uncle grabbing the mic during the toasts. So what my dress is made of is just as important as how gorgeous it is. Below are some fabric options that still make a stunning dress without buckets of sweat pooling underneath you. But of course, be sure to ask your gown designer about cooler fabric choices: 

Silk: luxurious, breathable, best for summer. 

Chiffon: lightweight, sheer, breathable, comfortable. 

Tulle: Classically beautiful, used in a LOT of wedding dresses. Whether it’s French, micro, American, or silk tulle, you can add structure and volume to your look without a lot of heat. Additional bonus: Tulle petticoats can be removed for easier dancing at the reception.   

Eco Satin: Beautiful, lightweight, woven in Italy using recycled/upcycled yarn. 

Vow Four: I Vow to Prioritize What’ll Make Me Feel Comfortable

My primary goal is to be comfortable and happy my entire wedding. That includes taking care of any chub rub. Thick girls have thick thighs that need to be protected for a very long day. 

My loudest rec is definitely Thigh Society.  With amazing colors for multiple skin tones, affordable prices, and sizes up to 6x, this is absolutely my undergarment bestie that keeps my lovely rolls and folds un-chafed and happy. 

On my actual wedding day, I’m opting for The Cooling, the brand’s lightest, sheerest style that wicks moisture and heat away. It comes in four different lengths, and I’m going for the 7-inch option.

Thigh Society The Cooling

For the rest of my busy wedding week, you’ll find me in The Original. Velvety, versatile, and semi-sheer, These bad boys are always on me, whether that’s under my clothes or by themselves for a workout. Yes I have three or four pairs. Didn’t I tell you they were affordable?

Thigh Society The Original

Vow Five: I Vow to Not Have Bloody Stubs For Feet at The End of The Night.

Let’s face it. Heels are out for blood. Literally. But don’t just settle for pain and suffering. Instead…

Tip 1: Break those bad boys in. Strut around your home, vacuum, wear them at work back and forth to the water cooler. Do some squats and drop it low. Wear them with puffy socks to give yourself a little extra room on the day of. 

Tip 2: Pre-Heels: I don’t wear heels often, but when I do, I never do it without Pre-Heels. This blister-prevention spray blocks friction on skin where shoes rub back and forth, with protection 20x stronger than most blister sticks. And it lasts six hours! My husband’s lucky I’m not marrying this spray instead! 

Barefoot Scientist PreHeels+ Blister Prevention Spray

Tip 3: Chill the F Out: I don’t care how good the photo ops are just a short 45-minute walk from the venue, you do not need to traverse the whole fucking city in your heels. Limit standing or moving in those gorgeous heels to 20 minutes. Time it if you need to. Then, sit down for a moment. People will wait. You’re the damn bride. 

Tip 4: Have Fun With Your Flats: Covered in rhinestones, or Star Wars-themed because you  met at Comic-Con, flats are a fun and exciting switch-up if you make it so. Let go of the idea that you aren’t “girly” enough and need to stay put in heels all day. Converse, and Etsy all have great options to make your sneakers exactly how you want them to be for your big day. Here are a few of my faves! 

Custom Pearl Wedding Sneaker
 $109.99 (was $243.33)

White Wedding Flats with Organza Flowers
 $227 (was $268)

Vow Six: I Will Enjoy My Day the Way I Want to Enjoy It

Let’s be so for real right now: If you remember nothing I just told you (rude, but I forgive you), remember this: Take pride in your day. Take pride in who you are, exactly as you are. And – simply by being you – trash all the misconceptions and stereotypes about who a world plagued with bitter fatphobia tells you you’re supposed to be . Sometimes, smashing the patriarchy is as simple as living unapologetically. So let’s do this shit.   

Cathleen Meredith
Cathleen Meredith
Cathleen Meredith is a writer, influencer, public speaker and positivity ignitor originally from Sacramento, California. She is passionate about theatre, dance, Mexican food, non-profit work, unicorns, glitter, traveling, bacon, and all other things awesome sauce. She is the Creator of FATGIRLSDANCEā„¢, a Worldwide Movement Bent on Trashing Body Image Stereotypes through the Universal Language of DANCE. Her and her fiance Steffan will be married in May of 2024, and her debut novel published by Kensington is scheduled for release September of 2024.