I read a lot of online message boards and see the question asked all the time, "What are the names of plus size wedding dress designers?" Well, from the all of the research I've done, I've only stumbled across one (excluding online retailers of dubious quality, of course!) that I've seen call themselves a plus size wedding dress designer: Bara Luxe.
A couple of interesting notes… When they first launched their line in 2009, their ads said they were the only plus size gown designers around. I see on their website that they actually carry "missy" sizes, and that their plus size wedding gown collection is actually separate. Although they are out of New York, I was disappointed with their styles (did you see the FUR one?!) and opted instead to work with designers that can provide my curvy brides with quality AND style (because, hey, plus size brides deserve stylish dresses, too!).
So, yes, we buy the same dresses they make for "straight size" brides, only in larger sizes. And yes, it would be ideal to have dresses that were made for curvier bodies. Wedding dresses with more support, or structure. Well, one part is easy–we just work with different foundations. Don't be surprised to find you need a special bra or slimmer under your wedding gown (we'll help you figure out exactly what you need, don't worry!).
The other part, "made for curvier bodies", is tougher. Let me explain:
the difference between size 6 bodies is much less than the variation in body type in women
size 12 and up.
Does that make sense? Think about your curvy friends–you could have pears, apples, triangles, upside down triangles, squares, hourglass shapes and more… Because we all carry our weight differently, in different places and proportions, we don't get dresses that fit you perfectly right away (for the most part, anyway). Most brides will need some alterations. If you are more busty, then we order a dress to fit your chest and have to bring in the waist.
OK, end of mini lecture… Short recap: because there are so few exclusively plus size wedding dress designers, we work with well-known, reputable companies that will make dresses up to size 32, and then we work closely with the bride to help her get the perfect fit!