Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Whether you’ve been building a secret Pinterest board for years or couldn’t care less what you’re wearing down the aisle, wedding-dress shopping is inevitably a whole to-do. There’s money, time, body-image issues, indecisiveness, and strong opinions (solicited and otherwise) at stake — and if you’re plus-size, it’s even more complicated. I’m getting married next year, so I’m in the process of figuring out what to wear on my body that fluctuates between size 14, 16, and occasionally 18. As a longtime retail reporter, I was optimistic that the bridal industry would offer plenty for size 14 and above (which is, after all, 68 percent of American women). Categories like swim, activewear, denim, and RTW have evolved so much — surely bridal has, too?

Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case, as I’ve learned over the last few months. In traditional brick-and-mortar bridal boutiques, it’s a successful visit if I can try two or three dresses that are vaguely my size; even rarer is being able to zip up all the way, since in-store samples usually max out at size 10 or 12. And this is bridal sizing we’re talking about, which is anywhere from two to four sizes smaller than regular sizing.