Smart Start with Susan Southerland: Wedding Gowns for Hard to Fit Sizes


Getting engaged is such an exciting time. However, the exhilaration of saying “I will” can quickly be replaced by the overwhelming concerns surrounding planning a wedding.

I designed my Smart Start series to take the worry out of planning your wedding. Smart Start will be delivered to your inbox every week filled with tips on the business and the art sides of planning a wedding. It will break up your tasks into easy-to-accomplish segments so you can enjoy the planning process.

If you have questions or ideas, please don’t hesitate to email me at You may also find back issues of the Smart Start series by clicking HERE.

Finding a wedding gown should be a fun and exciting experience. For brides who are either smaller or larger than the samples carried in gown salons, however, the experience can be downright frustrating. Here are some tips to find the perfect gown when you aren’t the perfect size:

1. Find a salon that has your size in stock. Make a few calls before venturing out to try on wedding gowns. If you find a salon that has your size in stock, you will get to enjoy the “trying on” experience.

2. Work with a knowledgeable salesperson. An experienced gown salesperson will know what type of gown will fit your shape and height. Find someone you trust and let her make suggestions. You may see something that she suggests on a hanger that makes you crinkle your nose, but once you put it on…magic!

3. What you wear under your gown is as important as the gown itself. Before you start trying on wedding gowns, find good shape wear. Go to someone who knows how to fit bras and corsets so they fit properly.

4. Don‘t feel pressured to purchase the latest trends. Buy a gown that makes you feel confident and beautiful. Don’t let six-foot, 115-pound models dictate what you wear.

5. Don’t let the number on the tag upset you. You will probably find that your wedding gown size is a few sizes bigger than your normal size. That’s standard in the wedding gown industry.

6. DO NOT purchase a wedding gown based on your weight-loss plans. It’s better to wait to purchase the gown until you drop the pounds, or better yet, don’t put the added pressure on yourself of trying to lose unreasonable amounts of weight prior to the wedding day.

Here’s a great article on finding the proper neckline for your shape:

Happy Shopping!


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