How Much Can a Wedding Dress Be Taken In?

How Much Can a Wedding Dress Be Taken In?

When it comes to creating the perfect appearance, the fit is everything, which is precisely why alterations and adjustments are crucial for your wedding dress. Your special day is the only time you can flaunt your magnificent gown, which you spent months searching for, undergoing various adjustments and fitting appointments.

How Many Sizes Can You Take In a Wedding Dress?

How much a wedding dress can be taken in ultimately depends on the wedding dress. As a general rule, you can usually alter a wedding gown two sizes down or one size up. If a dress has to be taken in three sizes, it might need to be recut, which might incur additional costs. 

However, taking in a dress is relatively easy; letting out a dress is more difficult. You can only let it out depending on the amount of seam allowance on the dress itself. If there’s enough material, the dressmaker could make the gown a size bigger without tampering with its structural integrity.

That doesn’t mean your dress size can’t be let out two or even three sizes bigger. Your bridal shop tailor would need extra cloth material and some creativity for the unavoidable pattern alterations. However, if pattern alterations aren’t an option, go with a similar dress that’s appropriately sized. 

Types of Wedding Dress Alterations

There are two main types of wedding dress alterations:

  1. Basic Hemming

Simple alterations involve basic hemming, which fine-tunes the dress’ fit, making them fundamental to the dress alteration process. A well-fitted gown should support and contour the bust, accentuate and compliment the body shape, and be long enough that the hemline covers the shoes without being a tripping hazard.

  1. Adding Details:

Adding details and other more comprehensive alterations costs both additional time and money. These alterations usually include adding details such as off-the-shoulder straps, sleeves, beading, and other embellishments, train length, strapless neckline alterations, and a bustle. 

Most wedding dresses don’t come with a bustle; instead, it’s sewed into the bridal gown during the alteration process, as it keeps the train from trailing the bride when she moves and dances. 


how much can a wedding dress be taken in?

What Is a Wedding Dress Fitting?

​Whether off the rack or custom-made, every wedding gown requires alterations to ensure a perfect fit. You can spend a lot of money on a dress, but it will look no better than a bridal dress that costs a fraction of the price if it isn’t fitted properly. Likewise, any average-cost bridal gown can look stunning with proper wedding dress alterations. 

Bridal alterations are necessary, as they take you from the first fitting to your perfect wedding dress. Make sure you account for alteration costs in your budget while wedding dress shopping. You should expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $1,000, depending on the extent of the alterations. 

The entire alteration process is usually completed in two to three fittings, with the first lasting up to an hour. Your bridal boutique most likely has an in-house alteration service or a  seamstress in charge of working on the shop’s dresses. If not, they will be able to refer you to a reputable tailor.

Wedding Dress Alteration Tips

Here’s a list of wedding dress alteration tips that should help make the experience smooth and memorable:

Buy Your Dress Early

Wedding dress alterations require time above everything else, so buy your dress early. Sure, you only have three to four alteration appointments and fittings to attend to before the final fitting. 

It’s best to schedule a fitting eight to 12 weeks before the wedding day, with the final fitting no later than two weeks before your wedding. The more extensive the alterations, the more time-consuming they are, so if you’re reworking your dream wedding dress, budget time as well.

Bring a Supportive Friend or a Family Member

A friend or family member will make you feel more at ease and relaxed, function as an extra set of eyes, and assist you in documenting the experience. Most wedding salons also offer bridesmaid dresses, so bring your bridesmaids for a joint dress alteration experience.

Keep Your Anticipated Wedding Weight in Mind

Refrain from ordering a dress that is too small, hoping to diet into it by your wedding date. Instead, keep your expectations realistic, and order the appropriate size dress. It would be easier to let it in if you truly lose weight instead of letting it out. 

Consider a dress with structure, such as a built-in corset, which can be easily manipulated in terms of support. If you can’t find the dress you like, A-line silhouettes are fantastic for covering some lingering weight.

Bring Your Wedding Accessories

Don’t forget to bring your jewellery and other wedding accessories, such as gloves, that might influence your overall look. For example, the style of your gloves would influence the sleeve length, and your wedding necklace might help determine your neckline type and depth.

Wear Your Wedding Heels and Undergarments to Each Alteration

You should bring and wear your wedding heels and undergarments you’ll wear for your big day on each alteration appointment. This will help the stylist and tailor to obtain the proper fit. You want to wear the very same wedding shoes and undergarments you’ll be wearing at your wedding, including shapewear, for the best possible tailoring. 

Bringing in your wedding shoes is important, as it allows the tailor to adjust the hem. However, if you haven’t picked out your wedding shoes, bring a pair of height-compatible ones you’d wear on your special day.

Wedding Dress Alterations Can Be Complicated

Wedding dress alterations are perhaps the most complicated part of wedding dress shopping. Keep in mind that it’s always easier to take in a wedding dress than to let one out due to the limiting factors within the pattern and material. 

If you’re interested in learning more about wedding dresses, visit us at The Sposa Group — we offer a wide assortment of dresses of all styles, fit for all body types, as well as a library of various guides about wedding dresses.

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