Wedding gowns for the curvier bride

Johannesburg – Plus Size model and owner of the Embrace Your Curves brand owner, Candice Manual and designer Valencia Harrison are changing the narrative of bridal wear.

Fuller women now have access to wearing stylish wedding attire suited for their curves.

As a body positive activist, Manuel has for many years been dressed and styled by Harrison for many red carpet events.


“With many industries coming to a sudden halt (Covid-19), we used the time to create something iconic in the Plus Size Fashion industry,” says Manuel.

She relates that the inspiration for ‘The Curvy Bridal Collection – By Valencia Harrison Designs & Embrace Your Curves, launched this week, came after she celebrated her five-year wedding anniversary last December 2020.

“Finding the perfect wedding dress in 2015 for a curvier woman was not the fairy tale I had envisioned. I was not afforded the opportunity to sit and sip champagne with my mom and bridesmaids to fit a full rail of dresses that was made to fit my body type or style. I simply purchased fabric, took it to a seamstress and gave her a picture of what I wanted my dress to look like.”

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The pair now offer the full Cinderella experience, a rail of ready-made items for brides to try on.

“However, we do custom designs as well should the bride want a mixture of styles. We also allow make to hire or the hiring of our readymade items.”

Manuel explains they have standard price range as they do not believe in the “rise per size” aspect.

Their dresses are exquisitely beautiful.

“Our Mel dress is a soft French style lace and a dropped capped sleeve. The sweetheart neckline lends a traditional spin. The soft Aline skirt is flattering, showing of a gorgeous waistline and finished off with a detailed edged slit for that little bit of sass. The JOY dress is a fill lace gown with flirty slit detail has a fully stretch base fabric allowing for comfort and adds to the soft elegance the dress possesses. With loose flowy sleeves it is the perfect pick for the Curvy brides wanting to cover her arms,” says Manuel, who adds that these are only some of the options available.

“We want our range to be completely inclusive.”

Although the pandemic has crippled the wedding industry, Manuel says to beat the blues and make the business a success in a time when people have lost jobs, they are offering a Launch Special price on their designs, meaning brides can book and pay now and wear later this year.

“We are aware that 2020 has being tough on all and his way we try to accommodate budgets.”

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