Friend got engaged - dress shopping tips?

Hi girls,

One of my best friends just told me she's engaged and I couldn't be more thrilled (I was literally crying when she called to tell me).  I'm just so ridiculously happy for her!  I'm getting married in September, so it's really special to me that we'll get to be brides together for a little bit.

Her Mom passed away back in high school, and I was by her side through all that.  It's bittersweet that her Mom won't be here for this, and it's so important to me that this is a happy and special time for my friend.

My friend is curvy, I estimate around a size 14?  She's a bit self conscious, and would prefer not to have something skin-tight.  She envisions a scoop neck lace 3/4 sleeve A-line dress.  She also don't have a very high budget, though I don't think she's put together actual numbers yet.  I'm planning to help her beef up that budget if I can to make sure she gets a dress she feels beautiful in, but it still will likely be around a $1500 budget max.

Any suggestions on dress shopping?  I'm a size 10 and there were dress shops where I could barely try anything on - I'd hate to take her somewhere where she can't even put any dresses on!  Are there certain brands or dress shops where she'll be able to try on dresses, or have more modest styles that she'd feel comfortable in?  She's based in Boston, and we can look anywhere in New England if you girls happen to have geographic-specific locations.  Any tips on what to bring dress shopping?  Mine was very different - it was just me and my Mom, and I brought a strapless undergarment.

Thanks in advance!



Re: Friend got engaged - dress shopping tips?

  • Alfred Angelo is very kind to women of all sizes. I would try to find one of their signature stores.

    David's Bridal supposedly has a great selection, but I dont' know if the horrid service is worth the trouble.
  • Only suggestion is to keep an open mind.  I envisioned 3/4 sleeves too, untill I tried it on.... 

    Bella Sera Bridal  in Danvers (30 minutes North of Boston) is a great place to start.... and maybe end.  The staff are extremely nice and accomodating.  Alfred Angelo is also in Danvers, but also have a location in Boston. 
    Like PP said, Davids probably has a great selection she is willing to overlook the poor service. 
  • I had good service at David's, so I guess it depends on where you go.  But don't let her get discouraged at the actual number size they bring out.  I'm a 13-14, and there were some 16s that were too small.  For some reason, wedding dresses are sized small.

    Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend. - Andrew Futral

  • I second Alfred Angelo.  Also, look for salons that have the Mori Lee, Julietta line. None of those are three quarter sleeve, but they it's a beautiful line of gowns for plus size girls.  I also second, not getting hung up on dress size.  I am a street size 14... and had to get my dress in a size 20 to accomodate my chest.  

    David's does have a decent plus size selection.  All in the $400.00-1000.00 range.  I would STRONGLY suggest going during the week if you are going to go to Davids though. It's a madhouse on the weekends.
  • I'm in Central FL...not sure how far away you are from there...but there is a great shop in Melbourne called Aurora Bridals..I got my dress from there & the girls are great there!  They had a good variety for me to try on (and I'm a street size 18/20).  Good luck!
  • I would suggest checking out the designer Mori Lee ( ) and see where their styles are offered in your area. The plus size (ranges in size 16 - 32, called Julietta) line is beautiful and very well priced -- I got style 3072 and for under $1000 after tax, and I'm in Canada, so the prices would probably be a little cheaper in the states.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Alfred Angelo all the way.  She could even maybe find a Maggie Sottero gown...

  • I love my Maggie Sottero, and most dresses are under $1500. I am not in the Boston area, but before I went shopping, I called dress shops and asked if they carried samples in my size. 
  • I'm not much help for which designers she should check out except for a friend of mine who wanted a more modest style went with
    As far as finding something she can try on......
    I would look around online with her, and find some styles she thinks she likes, then find a salon that carries that designer, call them and see if they maybe have that dress or one similar and find out the size they have it in.
    Seems like a lot of work, but it definitely sounds like you'll do anything for your friend.
    Not that you need to hear it, but you're an awesome friend and she's very lucky to have you in her liffe; especially at such an emotional time in her life.
    my_wedding_original Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'm not sure about a specific designer, but I had a friend who is plus sized (she wears a size 24 I believe) and bought her dress at a shop in Connecticut called Mariella Creations.  I'm not sure if she was actually able to try any dresses on, but she said the staff were so helpful to her when she went dress shopping.  I have the opposite problem in that I am very petite and I was swimming in most of the dresses I tried on......I believe most of the samples I tried were between a 10 and 14, so your friend may be able to try on more dresses than you and her think.
  • In Response to <a href=" Topic Wedding BoardsForum:973cdc6f-961e-4fb0-a628-bef2bb559697Discussion:82dae79e-c3d4-4dfb-bf66-d126c678a9f5Post:0057069b-a944-4455-bb1b-9962ab172418">Re: Friend got engaged - dress shopping tips?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I would suggest checking out the designer Mori Lee ( <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> ) and see where their styles are offered in your area. The plus size (ranges in size 16 - 32, called Julietta) line is beautiful and very well priced -- I got style 3072 and for under $1000 after tax, and I'm in Canada, so the prices would probably be a little cheaper in the states.
    Posted by whatyoudotome24[/QUOTE]

    my dress is a morilee. Size 18 and i absolutly ADORE my dress!!!
  • Theres a dress-buying sticky on this board - not sure if it has designer info or anything, but prob tips.  If not, have her look up her body style and what will look good w/ her shape.  That was what was important to me!  :)
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  • I'm an 16 pants, 20 tops (very frustrating- I have boobs and belly, no butt or hips). My gown is a David's Bridal size 22 (being taken in a little bit). I agree on the poor service, but I am so in love with my wedding gown, it's not even funny.

    It's halter neck (no sleeves), empire waist, ivory lace. Fairly modest as wedding gowns go and I feel tall and slender and like a princess in that gown.

    I spent hours and hours on dress sites looking at all the different dresses. I was in love from the moment I saw my gown on the website. Went to the store to try the sample (and a few others my sisters pulled for me). I knew right then and there I was wearing that gown. I then ordered it online and took it to a seamstress for alterations, rather than letting them overcharge me for it.

    But doing most of my shopping online, I avoided most of the poor service at David's. Take a couple people you really trust with you and take charge of the situation- don't let the salesgirls bully you (and they will if you let them- she brought me 10 dresses, none of which were on my "favorites" list that she had. I finally got dressed and went into the racks and my dress was right there. no idea why she wouldn't bring it to me so I just took it and tried it on. My sister also had a david's salesgirl drag her out of a fitting room when she had nothing on, to give her a different slip or something. when my sister protested that her ass was hanging out, the girl said, "oh, we're all girls here.)

    I would recommend that your friend does some online/magazine research first- particularly to know what style she might look best in for her body shape and what she WANTS. I'm inverted triangle so sleeves are bad for me, but if she's got bigger hips, that might be the right thing for her. I knew I wanted lace (but would have settled for chiffon) but that came from looking at hundreds of pictures of gowns before I even went shopping.

    Lastly- have fun! You are a great friend and I hope you two have a wonderful time shopping for her wedding gown.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker Follow Me on Pinterest When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally
  • When she calls salons, she should ask if they have samples in her size.  That should also help her assess how their attitude will be, i.e., "we can clip this size 8 to your bra in back so you can get an idea of what it looks like" vs. "heavens, no, we don't carry anything above a 2."
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