I’d found my frontrunner at Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier, but since I’d only tried on a handful of dresses at this point, I went to Kleinfeld’sjust to make sure. I mean, we only get to do this (theoretically) once, right?? I’m glad I did, because the experience showed me exactly what red flags to look for in a gown store if you’re busty.

First, I told my consultant exactly what I’d told Kelsey at Mark Ingram, including my bra size and clothes size. She then argued with me about both, brought me a corset three sizes too big (I’m a 32G, but she insisted that I was a 38DD), and a few gowns 10-12 sizes bigger than the samples I’d tried at Mark Ingram. My consultant said that she could only order a gown twice my size to get the extra fabric for the top, and then Kleinfeld’s would try to alter the dress down from there. It’s one thing to alter street clothes this way, but the idea of doing that with something as complex as a wedding dress made me extremely nervous.

I went ahead and tried the dresses she’d brought in, all of which were simple A-line dresses, nothing special. My consultant told me they had nothing else that would fit me — a total surprise, given Kleinfeld’s reputation for having the biggest selection of dresses in New York. Although I should have asked for another consultant at this point, I was too intimidated. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Say Yes to the Dress on TLC featuring one of the pushier consultants, you probably understand why–the store’s style is very high pressure. This was a huge mistake on my part! Instead, I asked for Ulla-Maija dresses by name, since I’d had such luck with the designer at Mark Ingram. My consultant brought me a couple of them. I liked one and asked about the half-muslin option. The consultant didn’t know anything about it and told me she doubted they could do that (and as Darlene illustrated here, Kleinfeld’s really doesn’t use this option with Ulla-Maija). I was so worried that Kleinfeld’s wouldn’t be able to fit me properly that I decided to go back to Mark Ingram and my dream dress, which I’ll cover tomorrow!
TIP #3: If your consultant doesn’t take your concerns about fitting your bust seriously or doesn’t seem knowledgeable about fitting someone with a bigger chest, don’t be intimidated! Women with ample chests buy wedding dresses all the time. There are designers who will work for us and consultants who know about those designers! Ask a manager for another consultant who is better suited to your specific needs, or go to another store. There are styles beyond simple A-line dresses that DO work for our bodies.

For some wedding dress inspiration, I post pictures of fellow busty girl Christina Hendricks modeling several styles for InStyle Weddings after the jump (photos via skinnyvscurvy.com).

And here’s Christina Hendricks on her actual wedding day, in a custom Carolina Herrara: