Caroline and Mark on their wedding day | Photo by David Knight, www.irishweddingphotography.com

Real Weddings

Say Yes to the Dress bride Caroline beams on big day - 'There are larger size brides out there'

Days after saying 'I do', Say Yes to the Dress bride Caroline Harte reveals how struggle to find plus size wedding dress left her completely disheartened

The first Say Yes to the Dress bride has walked down the aisle.

Beaming Caroline looked absolutely radiant as she posed for photos with husband Mark Quinn, just after both said their 'I do's.

The couple, who first got together over nineteen years ago, tied the knot this weekend at the Radisson Blu in Sligo, just weeks after Caroline dropped into Say Yes to the Dress store Vows, where presenter Franc was charged with finding her her dream dress.

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And in her stunning A-line gown with pretty embellished sheer flutter sleeves, you wouldn't guess that just six months ago she left a bridal store in Sligo completely turned off the idea of the white wedding dress.

"I tried on six dresses in the first fifteen minutes," Caroline says of her first and last trip to one bridal boutique in her home county, "I literally couldn't get them passed my knees."

After attempting to try on the size 10s and 12s and being told that her size could be ordered in, 'plus size' Caroline gave up on trying to find something to suit her shape and style.

"It was six months till the wedding and I just was completely turned off the whole thing," she recalls. "I left the bridal store so disheartened and so upset.

"I would never want anyone to feel the way I felt leaving that store."

However, while family members and colleagues urged the bride-to-be to continue her search, Caroline says she became more relaxed about the entire situation, having often left dress shopping up until the last minute.

"I'm a jeans and Converse kind of girl," she says, "I even left buying a dress for my sister's wedding until the morning she was getting married, so I knew I'd find something for myself at the last minute."

Enter Franc, and RTE's Say Yes to the Dress bridal boutique Vows in Cork, where Caroline, true to her word left it a risky eight weeks before the big day to find 'the one'.

"They'd such a range of dresses," Caroline gushes, "in every size too. I'd 100% say if there's plus size brides, make the trip down to Cork."

When it comes to other boutiques however, newlywed Caroline suggests that they clearly state that they only carry samples in certain sizes, or that they carry a range of sizes so that there's something for everyone to try on.

"People in Ireland love their food, they love to clear their plates and they love their mammy's cooking," she says. "There are larger size brides out there."

She also adds that brides to be shouldn't feel pressured into losing weight before their wedding.

"Most brides seem to think that they need to lose weight, but when Mark proposed I was this size. I thought - why should I have to change? I'm comfortable in my own skin."

See Caroline's visit to Vows on Episode 5 of Say Yes to the Dress on RTÉ 2 tonight at 9.30pm.