The Place to go for Curvy Bridal Couture
28 May 2012
Fran @ Hitched
Finding the perfect wedding dress can be a task and a half
for brides-to-be, no matter what your shape or size. I tried on 13 dresses in sizes ranging from
12-20 when I bought my gown in December 2011, purely because every dress and
every style is totally different. What
fitted well on my top in one style didn’t work well with my waist or bottom,
but then I would try on a totally different shape of dress and look like a
completely different person. I ended up buying a dress that worked really well
with my curvy figure and that I knew I would feel confident in throughout the
I recently interviewed Joanne Cooke, owner of the newly
launched Curvy Couture Bridal Boutique (www.curvycouturebridal.co.uk) in Essex who gave me a proper insight
into how her boutique works and tips on what curvy brides can do in order to
prepare, prior to shopping for their wedding dress.
Is your studio open for walk in brides, or do brides-to-be
need to make an appointment to view your gowns?
“We book 2 hour appointments for our brides, our boutique is
situated in a rural location so we don’t get any passersby. This was to ensure
total privacy for our brides. There is
nothing worse than having to jostle to look in the mirror, or wait for someone
else to finish with a dress that you want to try on. We generally try to establish the size and
style range required before the appointment so as not to waste time just
pulling dresses. Two hours might seem a
long time, but most of our brides have never been able to try on more than one
dress in most shops. I would estimate
that most brides that visit us are able to try on 8-10 dresses.”
Do you offer a personal consultation, with advice on what
styles of dresses women should go for, based on their shape?
“Contrary to popular opinion there are no hard and fast
rules that dictate what style dress will suit what body shape - all our dresses
are from designer plus size collections and have been specifically created to
flatter the fuller figure. We prefer to
let the brides try on what ever styles they wish, they can then see for
themselves what flatters them the most.
We do explain some simple basics ie: a sweetheart bustline flatters the
bigger bust much more than a straight bustline, sleeves are not always the best
way to "hide" upper arm - a wrap is often more elegant. We give our opinion, only if asked, generally
brides bring their bridesmaids/mum with them and they give their honest
What is your most popular selling style of wedding dress?
“We don’t have a best selling style as such, but our Sonsie
collection by Veromia is by far the most popular. Designer Jason Jennings, seems to have a real
understanding of women’s bodies & curves, instead of trying to hide the
body he embraces the curves and uses embellishments as a way to draw the eye
away from problem areas. As a curvy woman myself I would like him to design my
What designer did you end up wearing on your big day?
“I wore a dress from Evans informal bridal range for my
Wedding, but that has now been discontinued, leaving big beautiful brides very
few options, unless they are willing to buy a dress by looking at it in a size
10. My sister Natasha who is also a big
beautiful bride is getting married in September, it was the traumatic
experience of trying to find her dress that prompted us to launch Curvy Couture
Bridal Boutique. She did, after a lot of
research and hundreds of miles, find a dress. The question is .......will she
actually wear it......I think not, I'm willing to bet that she will be walking
down the aisle wearing a Sonsie number.”
What should a bride-to-be bring with her when she comes to
your bridal studio in hope of finding her dream gown?
“The plus size collections have corsetry incorporated within
the design, therefore eliminating the need for support underwear or even a
bra. Our own informal collection does
not have the same type of support and therefore underwear is advised. We have a selection of silhouette enhancing
underwear available in sizes 18 - 34. If
a bride has already purchased her shoes it is advisable to bring them with her
when trying on the dresses. We do however have a large selection of shoes in all sizes available to try with
dresses and we have a gorgeous range of vintage bridal shoes available in sizes
Anything else you would like to add?
"We like to think that we bring a new approach to the bridal
industry, as we are all big girls we have tried to think of everything that
would put our brides at ease and make the experience more enjoyable. We provide robes so there’s no hiding behind
curtains just in underwear, our support underwear is available to try on with
dresses, we have plus size jewellery (as regular sized jewellery is always too tight around the neck & wrist) wraps, shawls and jackets. We also offer every bride and their guests
refreshments. We try and create an
atmosphere that is akin to a girlie afternoon trying on clothes and talking
hair and make-up.
If our brides go away with good memories of their dress
buying experience, then we have succeeded!”
If you're a curvy bride and have yet to find your dream dress, then why not make the journey over to the Curvy Couture Bridal Boutique in Essex and see if Joanne can help.
Click here to contact Curvy Couture Bridal Boutique via the hitched.co.uk suppliers directory - and be sure to share your wedding with us on our real wedding section so that we can all see what gorgeous dress you chose.