The National Association of Wedding Professionals

A Dress Size for Everyone

Plus size brides can have a very difficult time finding just the right gown and even trying gowns on.  Call before visiting bridal shops and ask if they have plus size gowns available.  There are certain styles that will help to make the plus size bride even more striking on her wedding day.  There are basically two options to choose from; accentuate the curves or minimize them. 

                A-line gowns work well for the plus size bride because they flare away from the bodice to create one clear flowing line.  Empire gowns are another good choice because they fall just below the bust line and cover the tummy area well.  If you are a petite plus size bride try and find a gown that has a basque waist.  This is an elongated waist that dips to a point in the front center.  It will help add height.

                Long sleeves or half sleeves will cover stretch marks and loose skin.  If you go without sleeves then you may want to consider a wrap.  Stay away from puffy sleeves they will add bulk.  Choose a gown that is a lightweight fabric such as chiffon, silk or light satin.  Heavy clingy fabrics will give off an even heavier appearance.  It's best to stick with a matte finish rather than a shiny glossy fabric.

                When choosing a neckline look for an open neckline such as a v-neck, scoop or keyhole.  To flatter a full figure purchase an uplifting support bra to accentuate a full bust.  If you want to minimize the curves choose a one piece minimizing undergarment. 

                Keep the gown simple.  Stay away from an overload of beads or sequins because it can give the illusion of more pounds.  You also don't want to draw attention to the wrong areas.  A simple gown will give a more long and lean appearance.

                Take advantage of your beautifully made up hairstyle and face and frame it with a great sparkly necklace, drop earrings and a fantastic headpiece.  Unless you're going for the choker look don't wear a necklace tight around your neck.  This will make your neck look thicker.  If you decide to wear a veil make sure it has enough body to go with your look.  You want to look proportioned not like you have a miniature veil on top of your head.  Likewise, if you choose to wear a tiara make sure it doesn't get lost in your hairstyle.

                When you decide on the bouquet this also should complement your size and be in proportion.  Most likely you will be having some photos taken holding the bouquet.  You don't want it to look too small.  The only exception here is if you decide to carry a single stemmed flower.

                The plus size bride may have to put a little more effort into finding just the right look for her big day but it can be accomplished.  Take your time and don't get frustrated!  You will find that perfect gown and look terrific in it too!  Be prepared though, many times there will be an extra fee because of the additional material.

                Good luck and happy shopping!

Wedding Timeline

12 to 16 months out

  • Choose a date with one optional date
  • Start a wedding file / inspiration binder
  • Set a budget
  • Hire Consultant
  • Determine the Style you want for your wedding
  • Select location for Ceremony
  • Select location for Reception
  • Start shopping for wedding dress
  • Start shopping for wedding rings
  • Start your guest list
  • Go to or work with your consultant to select the following vendors,
    • Photographer, videographer, music, florist, transportation, rentals, linens, stationary,
  • Block Hotel Rooms
  • Update passport
  • Set appointment for vaccinations
  • Start looking for Honeymoon destinations for honeymoon
  • Contact travel agent

8 to 10 months before the wedding

  • Finalize guest list and addresses
  • Select bridal registry
  • Select groom's, attendants attire, bridal party dresses
  • Review your vendor deposits
  • Engagement photos
  • Order invitations and personal stationary
  • Finalize honeymoon plans
  • Send out save the date cards
  • Select officiant / minister for ceremony

5 to 7 months before the wedding

  • Prepare maps and directions to ceremony and reception
  • Plan your bridal party luncheon
  • Review requirements for wedding license

4 months before your wedding

  • Send out invitations
  • Buy guest book, garter, champagne glasses for the bride and groom

2 months before your wedding day

  • Make appointment with beautician for you and your wedding party
  • Make appointments for wedding part pedicures and manicures, massages
  • Make appointments for make-up artist
  • Finalize dress fittings
  • Buy bridal party gifts
  • Buy gift for your fiancé
  • Choose ceremony and reception music
  • Select rehearsal dinner location ( grooms parents)
  • Review sizes and measurements for men's formal wear

1 month prior to your wedding

  • Review ceremony and reception plans
  • Talk with photographer about your preferred photos
  • Confirm and pay vendors final payment
  • Work on finalizing seating chart
  • Call or email guest that have not responded
  • Pick up your marriage license

2 to 3 weeks before your wedding

  • Pick up wedding rings
  • Confirm set- up and arrival times for vendors
  • Give final head cout for ceremony and reception
  • Check on parking arrangements
  • Check on guest hotel rooms

1 week before your wedding

  • Pack your luggage for your honeymoon
  • Pick up your bridal gown
  • Pick up formal wear
  • Organize tickets, passports, traveler checks and travel agenda
  • Bachelor party

1 to 2 days before your wedding

  • Get manicure and pedicure
  • Confirm flights
  • Envelopes for gratuities for vendors
  • Wedding rehearsal
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Bridal emergency kit
  • Give rings to the best man
  • Try to get a good nights sleep

Your wedding day

  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Try to fight pre-wedding jitters drink plenty of water
  • Get your hair and make-up done early
  • Try to stay calm
  • Check in with your consultant for a review of set-up
  • Check with consultant about deliveries
  • Have a great day Relax and enjoy

Wiesen Family Wedding

Beautiful beach wedding and reception at the Naples Beach Club in Southwest Florida.

We want to thank the vendors that made this wedding beautiful.

Tonya Malay Photography
Courtney Repta Catering Manager
Officiant Father Louis Lopez
High Voltage Band
Florist-Libby’s Flowers
Hair/Makeup-Salon Tease
Video-Fidelis Films
Cake-Naples Beach Club


View 15 more images...

Formal, Semi-Formal, Informal

Hardly anyone nowadays adheres strictly to the following definitions, as it is entirely possible to have a formal wedding but not serve a sit-down meal. However, for traditionalists, we've included them. It is useful to know that regardless of the time of day you hold your ceremony, the style of dress, the size of the guest list, and the type of meal served largely define the wedding category you are operating in.

Formal: A formal wedding ceremony usually sticks very closely to traditional marriage rites. The ceremony often takes place in a church, temple, or other holy place. The reception is generally large and fancy, both in decor and attire, and features a full bar, semi-buffet or sit-down hot meal of either lunch or dinner served at a club, large home, or hotel. The bride often wears a full-length gown with a train and veil: the groom a cutaway or tailcoat. The number of guests is above two hundred people.

Your Wedding Cake

The traditional wedding cake is a thing of the past. No more just plain white cake with butter cream icing at your wedding reception. You can get yellow, chocolate, marble, spice, carrot, almond, coconut, etc, the list is really endless. And how about adding raspberry or chocolate mousse as a filling? Cheese cakes and fruit baskets are today's top favorites. And remember each tier can be a different flavor. This gives your guests a choice of which flavor they would like to try.

Just as important as the flavor of your wedding cake, so is the design. Bring in a picture to your baker or sketch some thing down on a piece of paper and let your baker design your cake along with you. Your baker should be glad to do this with you. Also try to speak to the actual decorator that will be decorating your cake. This way you may feel more confident that your cake will be just the way you want it to be and less chance of miscommunications. You can use a smaller cake and place mini pastries on the table too.

Then there's the bridesmaids charms on strings baked into the cake, and the grooms carved cake, a shower cake, Venetian Table, pastries for the morning of and the day after and so much more. Ask your baker for a discount on these items if you ordered your wedding cake from them.

Remember to ask the baker to leave you boxes to take left over cake home.

Order wedding cake 1-2 months before the wedding.

Traditional cake toppers are plentiful in size, color, and statuary or design one for yourself. Venetian glass blowers are great choices to make a custom shoe, swan, castle, etc. to suit your theme. Or you may choose fresh or silk flowers as toppers, fillers, etc. Ask your baker for recommendations.

Share this little age old secret at your wedding reception. Tradition has it that a single girl who sleeps with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow will dream of her future husband...Cake anyone?

Engagement Party

Bride and Her Family

  • Invitations and announcements
  • Bride's wedding dress and accessories
  • Floral decorations for - ceremony, reception, bridesmaids
  • Formal wedding photographs and candid pictures
  • Music for the ceremony and reception
  • Transportation
  • All reception expenses
  • Gift for the bride's attendants
  • Gift for the groom
  • Groom's wedding ring
  • Ceremony expenses