Fitting the Fabulous, Curvy Bride

We all want to be as healthy and radiant as we can on our wedding day. There is no better time to retrain yourself to exercise and eat right than when you're preparing to walk down the aisle. But what if you are exercising, eating right and still aren't a size 2? One fact that every woman needs to face is that "healthy" doesn't necessarily mean size 2.

Everyone's "healthy" is a different shape and size. As a bride, you need to be able to work with your curves, and flatter them. "Work what your Momma gave you" is a fabulous phrase to keep in mind as you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress. Here are some tips to help the curvy bride feel and look amazing on her big day!

1. Know your body. You can't walk into a dress store with visions of super models dancing in your head. All you're doing is setting yourself up for a letdown. Know and embrace your figure. For example, you already know how you feel about those skin-tight clingy fabrics. You hate them normally: you'll loath them on your wedding day!

2. Be realistic. Be happy with your body and dress it to looks its best. Don't buy a dress expecting to lose 50 lbs. before the wedding. All you're doing is setting yourself up for stress. You may lose weight between picking your dress and the big day, but don't make it a life priority. You have a lot on your plate as it is. Instead, become best friends with your seamstress. Wedding dresses can be taken in up to 4 sizes. If you're realistic, no matter that happens you'll look your best.

3. Call ahead. For a day without disappointments, when you call ahead to make an appointment ask questions. Ask the bridal shops if they carry plus size samples. If they do, make sure to ask how many. There is no downer like showing up to try on dresses and not being able to put them on. Likewise, it is just as disappointing to show up to a store thinking that they carry plus size samples, but they only have 2 dresses and they're size 14. The same is true for your bride's maids if they are curvy and want to try on dresses.

4. Consultant's expertise. Use your consultant for all she is worth. She knows what she's doing, and she only gets paid if you're happy and look good. Let her pull everything that she thinks will suit you. She has seen many shapes and sizes in her day, and she knows what made them happy in the end. Her expertise will keep you feeling comfortable and confident walking out of the dressing room.

5. Don't go fabric happy. Everyone dreams of their wedding dress, and many women want to be fairytale princess for their big day. But as a curvy bride you may want to steer clear of all the extra fluff and frill. Exaggerated materials may tend to exaggerate the figure, accentuating you in the ways you really don't want. If you want the ballerina dress, try to keep the rest of the dress simple and chic.

6. Try different shapes. Try all the different shapes and silhouettes that are available to you. Having fixed notions about different styles before you even try them on may stop you from finding the dress that was meant for you. For most women, the dress of their dreams is not the dress that they dreamt up.

7. Don't settle. Never settle for the selection that you find at one store. If you do find a dress that you're madly in love with, stick with it. Otherwise move on! This is your big day and your dream dress. Never settle for a dress that will do, just because it's what is available.

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