Penny's Wedding

UK Wedding Blog

“You’re awfully big boned to be a bride”

Is this something you expect to hear when shopping for your wedding dress?

I for one did not expect to hear this but it happened to me!  As mentioned before in previous articles, I don’t have a skinny frame but I’m not exactly obese either; I think ‘generously proportioned’ is a fair description.  I’m a genuine dress size 14 and stand 5’8” tall therefore I have a reasonably proportionate body type and as I am comfortable with my body shape I didn’t anticipate any issues with how a wedding dress would fit me. 

I had only been engaged for a few months when I decided to embark on my wedding dress shopping.  Now, this is probably the most exciting and not to mention important part of the whole bridal experience so naturally I had high hopes and expectations.  Due to a friend’s recommendation, I chose the Donna Salado bridal shop in Abington, Northampton to have my very first bridal gown experience.  There is absolutely no doubt that the dresses in this shop were beautifully crafted but my issue is not about dress design, it’s concentrated on the horrendous customer service from the assistant working on this particular day. 

The assistant in question was at least middle aged (and that’s being generous to her) and somewhat sour faced; she wasn’t quite the welcoming and friendly person I expected for a bridal shop.  She behaved as if I were a nuisance or wasting her day – perhaps there are an abundance of women who waste their days shopping for wedding dresses when they’re not even in a relationship?  Anyway, I pushed all of this aside thinking my expectations were too high and got on with things.  

Now, for some unknown reason the assistant kept focusing on my body shape as she assisted me with the fastening of the wedding gown, commenting very loudly so the whole shop could hear “You’re awfully big boned to be a bride”.  What does this mean?  Am I an ogre?  Do I not deserve to get married?  Of course this comment shocked me and I was all too aware she was being rude but being the typical English lady that I am, I was far too polite to say anything back.  I brushed the comment aside and assumed she’d had a bad day; her sour face certainly suggested that the last 30 years had all been ‘bad days’. 

Over the next 30 minutes the sly comments kept coming at me but I think the final straw came when I was told that my dress would need to be ordered in at least a size 24!  Call me cynical but it hardly seems like a coincidence that in this particular shop you have to pay considerably more (in my case it would have been £800 more due to the ‘extra’ material) for the bigger sizes so it wouldn’t surprise me if they use this tactic on purpose. 

I’m annoyed with myself that I stood in that changing room and listened to this horrible lady’s comments and I said absolutely nothing in response.  The barrage of abuse continued throughout the entire appointment and I did absolutely nothing.  The levels of abuse ranged from damn right rude and unacceptable to subtle digs about my hair colour or my skin tone.  In honesty by the end of the appointment I was left deflated and contemplating if I would ever find a dress that was appropriate for someone as ‘horrendously big’ as myself. 

It’s been 9 months since this experience and I am pleased to say that not only have I been to other bridal shops which have exceeded my expectations but I have found the perfect wedding dress and it looks beautiful.  After months of beating myself up I reached the conclusion that the assistant was clearly a miserable middle aged spinster who simply couldn’t deal with having to see a beautiful and young 20 something looking forward to a happy and positive future. 

Jealously is so obviously a bitter pill to swallow!

Penelope x x