Moms and Maids

I want my Maid of Honor to Enjoy the Dress Fitting Experience but...

edited February 5 in Moms and Maids
I'm getting married in a little over a year so we have time to plan this out but I'm not sure what to do. My MOH is a large lady. Her dress size is somewhere in the 25-35 range (she's unsure herself, possibly feeling self conscious about measuring herself). I had visions of us going dress shopping together to find the perfect dress for her, but I'm finding these stupid bridal shops - in NYC no less - do not carry a size appropriate for her to try anything on in. I want her to enjoy this experience, not cringe because nothing is available for her to try. She's the only one in my bridal party (I opted for no bridesmaids or flower girls). Does anyone know of bridal shops that cater to larger women and carry a variety of plus sizes to try? 

Addendum: the reason I'm talking with her about dresses so early is she lives in Florida and I'm in NYC, and she's coming to visit in April. I was gonna take her around to dress shops during her visit so we could do the fun dress shopping thing together.

Re: I want my Maid of Honor to Enjoy the Dress Fitting Experience but...

  • Agree with PPs it doesn't sound like it would be fun for her, and it may be better to give her parameters (length, color, fabric, etc) and let her choose something on her own. BUT if she wants help picking out accessories, shoes, etc you could make a fun adventure out of that. She may not know until she has a dress though, and I wouldn't push your wedding stuff too much with her.
  • edited February 5
    Thanks for your input, y'all. I wanted to make this a girls day out but she's definitely sending me signals she'd be more comfortable shopping on her own.

    Any advice for making sure her dress will match future ties/pocket squares for the groom and best man?
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Tell her what color her dress should be and let it go at that.

    Some people, including me, hate clothes shopping, even (especially) for special occasions like weddings because it's hard for us to find clothes we like that fit, look good on us and are within our budgets. It's so unpleasant for us that it just doesn't make a good "bonding experience" at all. It sounds like your MOH is one of those people.
  • I will echo PPs, just tell her a color and let her pick out her own dress. It can either “match” or compliment the groomsmen’s attire. I say “match” because in matching wedding colors, close is good enough. 
  • I'm a plus-sized gal myself.  Though a size 20-22, so it's at least not impossible to find clothes in stores.  But it is frustrating, especially for something really specific like formal wear.  In general for any clothing, I tend to find my choices are 1) nothing in my size  2) very small selection in my size  and/or 3) matronly*.

    In a situation like you've described, I would have fun going with my friend to watch her try on bridal dresses.  But I'd much rather be given some dress parameters, ie color, and then have the whole internet at my disposal.

    *A bit off topic, but I have to give a scream to clothing manufacturers, "Hot women come in all ages and sizes, jackasses!  Just because we're past a certain age and/or past a certain size doesn't mean we don't want to look stylish."

    While I'm screaming at them, FFS can they finally standardize sizes in the industry?  Women everywhere from sizes 0-60+ will thank you. 

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  • It’s pretty typical for bridal salons to only carry a few sample sizes. You’re much better off at a department store or wherever she’s comfortable shopping.  
  • Why not make a girls day out shopping for accessories, shoes, or just having dinner/drinks? I know the wedding industry makes us think we have to have the big bridesmaid dressing shopping experience, but it's not fun for everyone and can feel really bad for some people. You will have a better bonding experience doing something that will make you both feel good. 

    Side note: my sister and I went shopping for underwear and a flower girl gift right before my wedding, because those were things I forgot until right before. We had a ton of fun and it's something we still laugh about. She hates shopping and would have been miserable if I tried to have her make a big thing out of it. 
  • Agree with PPs about giving her color/length parameters and letter her shop on her own. My MOH is also OOT so I totally understand the desire to do fun wedding planning things together while she’s in town though. As others have said, maybe go cake tasting or shopping for your own attire instead. 

    If a close match to the GM vests/pocket squares is important to you, you have a couple options - 1) if you’ve already picked out GM attire, send her a pic of that color and ask her to stay within a few shades or 2) if you haven’t already picked out GM attire, have her send you a pic of the dress she decides on and have your FI pick GM attire within a few shades. Easy :smile:
  • I'm a tall and slim person and I hate shopping with other people. Do what other people have suggested and give her a colour and style and let her go with it. 
  • I'm plus size, and for a while I was above a size 24, you're officially introduced to how frustrating it is for us to shop for regular clothing, let alone formalwear.  Do not take this as a personal thing for her to want to go shopping on her own (as PP have said best to give her color/parameters and let her go on her own) because it's hard enough on the psyche to shop for regular clothes, let alone be either turned down or the fake apologetic "we can check online and order it for you there" or "we can measure you and order according to your size without ever getting to try it on to see if you even like it." This is why I have a couple places I order from overseas that I've had great experiences with that I can spend an extra $20 and have the dress fitted to my measurements (JJ's and LITB, though I prefer JJ's) and not worry about any numbers other than my measurements.  David's Bridal is going to be the only place you're going to find any selection, though limited, in plus-size in-store to try on.  This is the experience for plus-size women everywhere or we're in a back corner if you're lucky to find a store with plus-size stock.   Nordstrom's only goes up to a 22-24 in-store but they do sometimes have formalwear if you're lucky, but if she's above a 24, it's going to put a person in a bad state.  Tim Gunn pointed this out years ago how unfair clothing shopping is for plus size regardless of the price-point, you cannot buy what stores do not stock, and this isn't an experience those who are in smaller sizes (even 20-22's) can really understand.  

    I'm also just going to put this out there, shopping for plus-size clothing in Florida is actually one of the better places to go since there are some good places to go in the region and with Prom Season coming up it's also a good chance to maybe find something.
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  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I legitimately don't know what "the experience" is or why anyone is supposed to be psyched for it.

    But then again I do my relationship deepening in normal time spent together, instead of making a big thing of it.


  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    Jen4948 said:
    Food for thought: one's size is not the only reason why a wedding party member may not want "the experience" of shopping together.

    If they're going through tough times, have scheduling issues or just don't feel comfortable shopping with at least one of the other people who might be there, they might want to forgo "the experience" altogether and shop on their own.

    This. I'm a size 6 and I hated shopping for my own wedding dress, let alone any bridesmaids dresses I've had to shop for. I hate clothes shopping in general and any sort of planned clothing shopping outing would be uncomfortable for me.

    OP, you don't need to have all these "experiences" and scrapbook moments related to wedding planning like the magazines tell you that you NEED. Just hang out with your friend while she's in town doing things you both enjoy.

  • I can't echo all the previous posters enough.  We had multiple issues at play for finding a dress for my MOH.  She's not just a bigger size, she's curvaceous AND 5'11" AND we tried shopping in the Salt Lake City area.  Everything out there has sleeves to fit Mormon standards, let alone that there are usually not bridesmaids at Mormon weddings, so there were hardly any shops there.  Her mom is a seamstress and has made all her "big moment" dresses for prom, wedding, bridesmaid, etc., so her mom made her MOH dress for my wedding.  It was a stunning black gown that she can wear again in the future.  Having a custom made dress is definitely not affordable for everyone if you don't have access to someone who will do it free of charge, but it is a GREAT option if your sizing is outside what is readily stocked in stores.  We flipped through the pattern books at the fabric store and found something we liked, and her mom went to town on it.  The shopping for dresses sucked.  The shopping for fabric was a blast!
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