Shopping for a wedding dress can be a wonderful experience---but it can be frustrating for some full-bodied girls who can find only all-white dresses. Without much choice in colour, the size 16 bride should focus on flattering cuts and styles that look good when worn and photographed. Consider the shape of your body when choosing a gown.
Curvy All Around
If you are a curvy lady on top and bottom, try a ball gown with a Basque waist. This type of gown is form-fitting to the natural waist, but the line continues down another 2 or 3 inches to a V or curve in the front, providing a slimming effect.
A high-waisted A-line dress with a low neckline also flatters curves---and hides a tummy area you might not want to show. The A-line gives a nice, smooth flair without accentuating areas you might dislike.
Avoid dresses with a lot of pickups, as the extra fabric makes a bigger silhouette in pictures. Pickups are material bunched up throughout the skirt and pegged on the lower material. It a classic---but big---skirt seen on most princess dresses.
Small amounts of ruching can be thinning, but too much can create a larger silhouette in photos. Ruching occurs when material is pulled over in a diagonal fashion to create a line. A little has a thinning effect, but too much adds material, negating the thinning effect.
For those who are pear-shaped, the ball gown and A-line still apply. This will help the eye focus on your "better" half.
If you are particularly proud of your shoulders, consider a halter-style top to show them off.
A bateau neckline, which cuts high and wide across the shoulders, will make your top half look more proportionate. This will give you a nice hourglass shape in photos.
Avoid mermaid-style dresses, which are tight all the way down through the hips and behind.
If you have broad shoulders, go for a V-neck or sweetheart. A sweetheart neckline forms the top of a heart with the top of your breasts. The dip will draw the eye inward and elongate the neckline. This dip will also draw the eye in photos, giving you a balanced look.
An A-line dress is a good choice because the skirt flairs---but narrowly, as not to overemphasise hips and butt.
Avoid off-the-shoulder looks, as they will tend to exaggerate a wider frame in person and in print.
If you are busty, accentuate your features with a form-fitting, scoop-neck bodice and create balance with a full skirt.
Styles with natural or dropped waistlines help elongate your torso. This gives a thinning effect in photos.
Avoid empire waists, as they will over-accentuate the bust area and add pounds in photos because of the excessive material below the bust.
Considerations for All Size 16s
Try on dresses you might not normally consider---you might find something that surprises you. Try laced-up backs, which allow you to adjust the bodice to fit all your curves exactly.
Take digital photos and review them. You might find what you saw in the mirror does not look the same in a photo.