Real Brides: Danielle

My husband and I are actually high school sweethearts and have been together since November 18, 2009. That's exactly 8 and a half years from when we started dating to our wedding day, May 18, 2018! Although we attended the same middle school and knew of one another, my husband and I didn't actually meet until my freshman year of high school. These two schools were considered creative and performing arts schools, so between the two of us being in different majors (similar to having a specific major in college) and being in different grade levels, we only started spending time together when we ended up in the same group of friends. In my sophomore year of high school, I realized I had a crush on Gregory, but I wasn't sure how he felt about me. We began hanging out outside of school with our friends, and one Saturday afternoon was spent walking around a park with the two of us silently holding hands. We were both just young and way too shy to admit our feelings! What ended up happening was that Gregory did finally ask me to go with him to the upcoming school dance (after lots of encouragement from our friends!) I said yes, of course! Though I did spent the next few days confused about whether or not that meant he was my boyfriend... until he randomly asked me if I wanted to update our relationship status on Facebook or if he could! When I started searching for my dream dress, I was a size 22 in street clothes. I fell in love with wedding dress styles I only ever saw on very thin bodies that didn't look anything like mine. I was nervous because I was plus sized and not really fashionable to begin with. Stores like David's Bridal and Alfred Angelo had dresses that actually fit, but most of my options were either uncomfortable or nothing like what I pictured myself wearing on my wedding day. A local plus sized bridal shop was recommended to me, Koda Bridal, and I had so many more options there than anywhere else I'd looked. I didn't have to compromise the vision I'd had of myself. My dream wedding dress was Style J6474, which had everything I knew I wanted, some things I hadn't realized I wanted and loved, and it was customizable for the one detail that was missing. The tulle and cascading lace appliqués were an absolutely stunning combination that I had been searching for all along. They gave the dress a rustic feel that was a prominent aspect of our wedding's theme. The long train and ivory tones incorporated the elegance I wanted to include in my bridal look, being someone who grew up obsessing over princesses in Disney movies. Through the process of trying on different gowns, I discovered I liked godets, which were already part of the dress, and a semi sweetheart neckline, which Moonlight Bridal easily modified for me. The true test the average bride doesn't usually go through was watching my wedding gown change as I went from size 22 down to size 16. Due to health related issues, I lost a lot of weight through no effort or intention of my own. Despite the way my body changed and numerous alterations that had to be made, I adored my dress every single time I got to put it on, and each fitting further solidified for me that I had found my dream dress. On my wedding day, I slipped into that dress and I was home. All my nerves eased away the second I knew it would fit my continuously changing body, and I simply felt beautiful and excited to take the next step of beginning my future with my husband. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity! Please let me know if there's anything else you need from me. I'm happy to help in any way that I can! Photographer: @hannahbarlowphotography

Dress: J6474