This post is long overdue.
Mae Bridal in Witney Oxfordshire was by far the prettiest shop I visited, there is only one range of plus size dresses, but they are seriously awesome dresses.
I didn't buy my dress from here, only because I'm from Yorkshire and went up there to try dresses with my mum and we ended up buying one together (an experience I wouldn't change). If I could have bought 2 dresses I would have bought one here for sure! (I nearly did!) So since I didn't buy a dress I thought I could at least write a post to tell other plus size Oxfordshire ladies about my experience.
Every inch of this shop is perfect. Here are some pictures to prove it (Incidentally I snapped these pictures when I had my hair and makeup trial, with Jules hair and makeup who runs some of her trials out of Mae Bridal)
Under normal circumstances I would not have gone into Mae Bridal... let me explain my logic: growing up plus size in the 90's I soon became to realise that there is nothing in a boutique for me. Boutiques are stunning places with filled with dresses dreams are made of, the size lables however stop at a 20 (If you're lucky). Over time I just got into the habit of walking past boutiques and not pausing to look in the window.
I found Mae bridal through searching for stockists of a particular brand of dress: Sonsie by Veromia, and here they are:
There's lace and beading and sparkles, not cheap sparkles but glorious beautiful bling!
If you are bashful this shop is for you! Trying on wise, Mel left the dresses behind a big (and luxurious) curtain (see picture 1), then I stepped into the dresses by myself and Mel popped in and fastened me up, then the curtain was pulled back for my party to see. If you are bashful about anyone seeing you in your underwear then this is great! Take note: most shops involve someone seeing you in your underwear! Mel's approach is a real rarity.
Mel was really friendly and I didn't feel uncomfortable at any point. Sometimes you get a vibe from someone that they are holding their feelings about your size back (badly!) out of politeness, Mel wasn't like this at all. It's hard to be plus size not to feel judged, wedding dress trying on brought these feelings to the surface for me, largely because you are forced to scrutinize yourself and there is so much pressure for everything to be perfect something bigger gals are told that they can not be. (Incidentally wedding perfection is an impossible goal, something WILL go wrong on the day to some degree, I promise! -Ours was a missing cravat which my groom went dashing into Oxford for, a couple of hours before he was due to tie the knot!) Anyhow off topic, apologies.
I guess I should show you some pictures of me in some dresses then! (direct links don't work so each link will take you to the Veromia webpage, then just look for the number)
With blogging pictures paint a thousand words, so I'll let them do the talking, pretty gorgeous dresses though! I can of course chat about any of these dresses, just ask in the comments.
There was one dress I liked a lot (which I haven't shown you... yet!) it went into a sale and Mel remembered me and e-mailed me to let me know which was really sweet. (Like I said I nearly bought a second dress!) I know someone will have got an amazing dress though!
Another big advantage for me was that Mel was really good at communicating over e-mails, with my job I found it hard to phone places in opening hours.
Mae bridal really was breath of fresh air, a beautiful boutique with beautiful plus size dresses! If you are in the Oxfordshire area and are planning to tie the knot, give Mel a call!