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How Many Sizes Can You Alter a Wedding Dress? Most Important Things You Have to Know Before Shopping for a Dress

Planning a wedding could be both exciting and stressful. It could sometimes seem like a seemingly unending ride. From picking the wedding date to finally walking down the aisle, the beauty lies in the intricate details: contacting friends and family, choosing your wedding dress and bridesmaids. All in all, it could be a long and time taking process.

But, what happens when after spending months deciding on a wedding dress, it doesn’t fit perfectly. Or you’d love to look like an 80’s goddess rocking your mum’s wedding dress down the aisle? Can I fix the size and if yes, how many sizes can you alter a wedding dress? Here’s a way out.

Say hello to alterations: the day saver, game-changer, and antidote to wardrobe malfunctions. You can bring the beautiful wedding dress you love but isn’t a perfect fit to your exact size. So it looks simply perfect and exquisite on you.

There are various types of dress alterations, some quite essential, others a little more complicated with many more details. 

Here is an article designed to have you on the right path to having your perfect wedding dress regardless of necessary alterations. 

Types of Alterations

Basic Alterations 

Just as the name suggests, this involves making simple necessary alterations to the dress. This could be adjusting the dress’s length, shortening the hem, amending the sides of the dress for a better fit, or even shortening the strap. 

These changes are usually easy to make. However, if the dress you intend to wear has lace trimmings you’d like to retain, ensure you see whether the trim is an attached piece that can be detached, adjusted, and reattached. If unsure, speak to your tailor before making the purchase. A perfect gown should support the bust, frame the face, accentuate the body figure and overall look great. 

Detailed Alterations

This would cover more intricate alterations that need to be done. Simply put, it’s customizing the dress. This could include: changing the dress’s neckline, changing its sleeves, adding lace trimmings, hand beadings, or even a bustle. 

This form of alteration usually takes more time and costs more. However, with adequate budgeting and time, you can make all necessary changes to bring the dress to perfection.

How Many Sizes Can You Alter a Wedding Dress?

This ultimately depends on the particular dress in question. Usually, you can alter a wedding dress two sizes down and a size up. A dress could also be recut if you need to take more than three sizes in. However, your tailor could make other special alterations depending on your size, the dress’s current size in question, and its peculiarity.

It is relatively easy to take in a dress; however, letting out a dress is a little bit trickier. Since how far you can go without ruining the dress structure depends on the amount of seam allowance on the dress and the type of fabric, this could cover making the dress a size bigger but likely not more. However, your clothing could still be made two or three sizes bigger. Your tailor has to get creative with designs, side panels and have unavoidable pattern alterations.

With us, this is specialization, so you don’t have to bother about ruining your wedding dress. However, if you wouldn’t want any form of pattern alteration, go for the same dress’s closest and more effective alternative. After all, the closer to your actual size the dress is, the fewer alterations you need make, and the less you spend.

Here are important points to consider when fixing your alteration appointments.

Space Out the Calendar

When it comes to dress alterations, it is essential that you give enough space to avoid last-minute pressure and hurried decision-making. Express alterations could be done. However, I recommend starting your alterations at least 8 weeks before your wedding. This helps you avoid stress, tension, and unforeseen wardrobe malfunctions. How many fittings you’ll need to have depended on the volume of alterations required and how much your body changes during that time.

Since alterations usually take 2 to 3 fittings, the final fitting could be done a week or a few days before the wedding. With alterations, procrastinating isn’t such a great idea. 

Draw a Feasible Budget

Drawing a feasible budget is as essential as giving enough space for alterations on the calendar. When choosing your wedding dress, it is vital to consider the alterations that’ll need to be made to make it a perfect fit for you and factor the cost into your dress budget. The more alterations need to be made, the higher the price.

Consider Your Anticipated Wedding Weight 

You might intend to drop a few pounds before your wedding day; however, never order a smaller dress as motivation. If you feel you can’t choose a wedding gown alone, seek the help of people whose opinion you value: a close friend or relative. 

When unsure what alterations to make, go with a close friend or family member. This would help you get more comfortable and will also provide an objective view. 

Accessories Count too

When going for your alteration appointments, you must take along the shoes and undergarments you intend to wear with the dress. This will give you a better idea of the dress’s overall look and length, as the dress may look shorter if your heel height isn’t taken into consideration when fitting. If your shoe isn’t available, you can bring a comfortable pair of shoes about the same size as the one you intend to wear on the D day. Preferably, one without a strap so it’s comfortable to wear and pull off easily.

You could also bring your headpiece and veil (if any) to try on with the dress if deciding on the train’s length. Additionally, it is a great idea to get your hair and accessory-ready for the final bridal appointment. This will help you visualize yourself in the dress, just like on your big day. 

Pay Attention to The Fabric When Shopping.

When choosing a wedding dress, it is important to pay attention to the material. Though it could be easy to alter a dress, it is vital to note that certain fabrics have an exceptionally vivid memory. Fabrics like taffeta, Chiffon, and silk satin will leave a mark when let out.

A Little More Attention to the Details

In case if you are considering a lace-trimmed gown, you have to make sure that this is a separate piece that can be removed, altered for height, and then reattached so you don’t lose all the thoughtful details. Otherwise, If it is part of the fabric design and not a separate piece, it cannot be easily altered.

If it’s a lace or beaded dress you intend to take out, the seam allowance won’t have beading or lace on it, so you might be left with a line of plain fabric on the seams. If you’d like to have the beadings on it, it might require that you purchase a similar material and have your tailor attach it as a side panel or have the hand beadings redone. 

How Many Sizes Can You Alter A Wedding Dress

So, how many sizes can you alter a wedding dress? Depends! Ultimately, pattern alterations always come in handy when it comes to a wedding dress fitting. All you need do is get the closest size to your actual size and have a great tailor. Then relax and be ready to rock the beauty down the aisle. 

Bonus: Wedding Dress Size Adjustment FAQ

My Wedding Dress Is Too Small; what Should I Do?

It could be tricky at times, but most tailors tend to leave some hem allowance for times like this. The artistry of your seamstress sets in if the hem allowance left does not work out well for the dress.

Will My Baby Bump Affect the Fitting Of My Dress?

Your dress can still be exquisite with your cute baby bump, and you don’t have to wear a shapeless dress for your big day because of this. At the same time, you can also consider it when choosing your wedding dress style. There are stunning wedding dresses that can also help hide your baby bump.

Can I Make My Short Wedding Dress Longer?

Sure! It is not impossible but depends on the creativity of your seamstress. You can add that extra ruffles or layers to your dress to give it the length you desire.