How to Shop For a Wedding Dress as a Curvy Bride

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Wedding dress shopping is nerve-racking for every bride-to-be, no matter her size. So whenever we get the chance to help women find their dream dress, we take it -- and we make sure to enlist a pro!

And this time, we turned to Shannelle Armstrong Fowler, the founder of plus-size bridal boutique Haute & Co. Bridal in Chicago and host of PeopleTV’s "The Perfect Fit."

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"No matter if you're a size 2 or a size 22," Shannelle says, "every woman wants to look her very best on her wedding day."

Shannelle’s main tip for making that happen? Focus on alterations!

After all, fit is SO important.

"Alterations will be between 20 and 30 percent of your overall budget," Shannelle tells our bride-to-be Wendy (and All. Of. Us). "And sometimes a little bit more, depending on what you’re having done."

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"We measure gowns to fit by the fullest part of your body," the bridal expert continues.

So if your bust is the largest part of your body, for example, buy a dress that fits you best there -- and alter the rest of the dress accordingly.

Now, according to Shannelle, if you’re looking to accentuate your waist, go for a ball gown that cinches at the waist. And if you want to highlight your sexy hourglass figure, opt for a trumpet silhouette instead.

See Wendy’s three stunning dress options and, most importantly, the one she picked in the video above!

(Hint: It’s a breathtaking Essence of Australia gown that Shannelle paired with a Richard Designs veil and Badgley Mischka shoes from DSW!)

Oh, and calling ALL brides: no matter how daunting the dress-hunting process may seem, don’t procrastinate!

Shannelle suggests hitting the ground running about 10 to 12 months before your wedding to allow enough time for delivery and alterations.

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