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Not everyone’s a size eight: Tips for the full-figured bride

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Most women spend hours combing through all the bridal magazines they can get their hands on comparing styles and fabrics. But when it comes time to start visiting bridal shops and trying on gowns, many plus-sized brides find the selection to be disappointing.

“Most shops only carry sizes up to 12 or 14, and a lot of brides-to-be are embarrassed to go in and look at dresses,” said Chris Sconzo, owner of PlusSizeBridal.com.

Noticing that the plus-sized dresses were flying off the racks of his family’s bridal store, Sconzo decided there was a need for a service specializing in hard-to-find sizes. His Web site is the first online-bridal store catering exclusively to the plus-sized bride. Brides can select their gown online and try it on at home. If it doesn’t fit, PlusSizeBridal.com will exchange it for another size, style, color, or refund the price.

Ordering a dress online has a number of advantages: it’s convenient, easy to compare prices, and the available selection is much bigger than that of a typical store.

Here are some tips from PlusSizeBridal.com on how to select the perfect dress:

• Set a budget right away. Decide how much you can afford to spend. This will help you avoid the wasted time and frustration of looking at gowns that are out of your price range.

• Allow plenty of time. It’s a big decision, and you don’t want to have to rush into anything. You also want to leave enough time for any needed alterations.

• Find your style. At first all of the options will be overwhelming. But if you narrow your search down to styles that look flattering on you, and emphasize your best attributes, you will find the right dress more easily.

• Use the size charts. All wedding gowns are sized differently according to the manufacturer. Most women think that if they wear a size 14 in ready-to-wear, they are a 14 in bridal. Not the case. In fact, bridal gowns are actually smaller. A size 14 in ready-to-wear usually is a size or two more in bridal attire. Using the size chart for the specific dress you are ordering is critical in saving time and money.

For more information visit www.plussizebridal.com or call 866-PLS-BRID. Using the size charts provided, customers can shop for a wide selection of gowns and accessories. Most items can be shipped within three days, and any gown can be returned within five days if the customer is not satisfied.

- Courtesy of ARA Content

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