Bridesmaids and Moms: Show Your Style continued...
This mix-and-match approach can also be a solution for the plus-size mother-of-the-bride.
"If the bride chooses lavender or pale aqua as her wedding color, and you just can't see yourself in a pastel gown, you can still fit in if you choose a black or navy skirt and wear the accent wedding-party color just on the top -- or the other way around," advises Freeburn.
Since every option and combination is available for viewing on their web site, it's easy for the whole wedding party to get online together and find the right look for each member, even if they're thousands of miles apart.
Finding Your Dream Gown
While style advice can narrow your gown choice, finding a store that carries what you like can be another hurdle to clear. If you haven't already figured this out, many local bridal shops carry sample gowns in one size only: the "bridal size 10."
What you should also know: That "bridal size 10" would be more like a 6 or 8 in regular street clothing. So, don't panic if the sales folks tell you to go up as much as two sizes.
Another disappointment: In some bridal shops, plus-size customers are asked to "hold the dress up" to see how it looks and to place their order with nothing more than a paper-doll interpretation of how the gown might look on them.
If this has been your experience, stop right here. You don't have to settle for that kind of de-personalized treatment.
Experts say the plus-size bridal market is exploding, and a good number of bridal shops are answering the call. Many now stock samples up to size 28. David's Bridals has created an entire department that caters to the plus-size figure, found in all 240 of their stores.
But what if you've got your heart set on that designer gown on the magazine cover? Experts say you should look for a shop with experienced fit consultants. These "super-tailors" can help you see exactly how your dream dress will look on you, regardless of the sample size.
"A-well trained bridal consultant knows how to do this, and if you don't get this kind of personalized service, without making you feel self-conscious, then this is definitely not the shop for you," says Aucone.
One thing all our experts agree on: A plus-size bride, attendant, or mother of the bride or groom should expect to be treated with dignity. If a salon does not make you feel that way, move on.