As many brides (and their bridesmaids) know, the search for The Perfect Dress is not always easy. It requires a Pinterest board and a stack of bridal magazines, much to-ing and fro-ing over necklines and sleeve length, debate about budgets, and many fittings. For a lot of brides the search is complicated further by the distinct lack of inclusive, plus-size bridal wear options. Those Pinterest boards and magazines? They're full of white, slim, blonde models.
"I first noticed a lack of positivity towards women's size and appearance when I started working in the wedding industry five years ago," Kate Beavis, owner of alternative wedding blog Magpie Wedding, tells Refinery29. "I was shocked by the extent of it. I remember visiting a large wedding show which was filled with weight loss stands as well as teeth whitening, Botox and the like. There were even Slimfast samples in the VIP goody bag! When a woman is proposed to she feels ecstatic; she can't wait to start planning her big day and most importantly she feels loved. However, wherever she looks in the bridal industry, the overall message is to look perfect on your wedding day and the wedding industry's idea of 'perfection' can only be achieved through weight loss."
Work is being done to diversify the bridal industry and size inclusivity is a key part of this. With British women on average being a dress size 16 and the plus-size fashion industry currently estimated to be worth a staggering £753.7 million in the UK alone, many designers and independent boutiques are working to offer brides of all sizes the opportunity to find 'the one'.
So where does a curvy bride look for her ideal dress? We've done the hard work for you, rounding up the best places to find comfortable, beautiful and stylish plus-size wedding dresses in the UK. Read on for our suggestions.