Local Gown Designer Caters Exclusively to Plus-Size Brides
Powell-based Andi B Bridal creates wedding gowns with curves in mind.
Headquartered right here in Central Ohio, Andi B Bridal started out as an e-commerce wedding gown boutique for plus-size brides and now has its first brick and mortar space. Owner Jennifer Kessler converted the top floor of her Powell-area home into a boutique and showroom for the brand in 2019, though she had to shutter temporarily due to COVID. The retail space is now open again for brides to try own gowns designed with their needs in mind; appointments can be requested via the brand’s website.
Kessler studied fashion in Florence, Italy, where she was inspired to make meaningful garments—like wedding gowns. Here in Columbus, she operated custom wedding gown brand Ghinda for several years; during that time, she noticed a trend.
“I got a lot of curvy brides at Ghinda, and they would come to me with these heartbreaking experiences, just disheartened with their experience bridal gown shopping,” Kessler recalls. These clients would tell Kessler of boutiques that didn’t carry sample sizes they could try on, so instead of twirling in a gown in front of family or friends, they were left looking at it on a mannequin or holding it up to their bodies in front of a mirror. Some gown designers even charge extra, Kessler says, for gowns ordered over a certain size.
“I think we should all have access to beautiful gowns … to be able to try things on and feel comfortable and beautiful, no matter what size or shape [we are],” she says. “It’s just a huge passion of mine.”
So, in late 2018/early 2019, Kessler made the decision: She would only focus on creating gowns for those women who are often left out by traditional bridal salons.
Andi B Bridal isn’t the only Central Ohio boutique that sells larger gowns, of course, but it is the only one focused exclusively on that demographic. Sample sizes for Andi B start at 16 and go up to 26, though Kessler says that, with enough advance notice, she’s happy to create larger sample sizes to ensure every bride can have a personal try-on. For brides who can’t travel to the Powell showroom, Andi B mails sample gowns—plus accessories, like veils—for at-home try-ons, called “Boutique Days.”
The shopping process begins with an online style assessment, which asks open-ended questions about wedding inspiration, colors, venue and more. From there, questions turn toward comprehensive gown specifics: sleeve length, lace preferences, color, skirt style, neckline, train and back cut.
From there, a stylist helps each bride narrow down her options. Once a gown is selected, the bride can request further customizations to details like the train, sleeve or neckline. Every gown sold is made to order, and most gowns are in the $800 to $1,500 range.
Click through the slideshow below to see some of the latest designs from Andi B Bridal.
Styled Shoot Vendors
Photo: Jennifer Schaaf Photography
Gowns: Andi B Bridal
Florist: SunflowerKate Florals
Makeup artist: MelissaRoshan Potter
Hair stylist: Beyoutiful Creations
Videographer: Trey Pride