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How many sizes down can you alter a wedding gown?

You’ve found the perfect wedding dress – the one that makes you feel like a true princess and look stunning from every angle. You’ve waited months for it to arrive, tried it on and were convinced that it was the dress of your dreams… until you realized that it didn’t fit you the way it was supposed to. Don’t worry, though, because wedding dress alterations are perfectly normal and quite often required to get the perfect fit. But how many sizes down can you alter a wedding gown?

Understanding Wedding Dress Alterations

Wedding dress alterations are often necessary because everyone’s body is different, and no two dresses will fit the same on two different brides. Alterations can range from minor tweaks to major changes to the dress’s structure, depending on how it fits you. At a minimum, most wedding dresses will need to be hemmed to the correct length, while others will need to be adjusted for bust, waist, and hip measurements.

The Rule of Thumb

The experts will tell you that you can increase the dress size by one or decrease it by two sizes without having to change out the dress entirely or recut it. Some slight alterations can change the size slightly so that it fits you better. Not all wedding dresses can be altered quite so easily, though. A dress that is too small by more than two sizes is unlikely to be a candidate for alteration as it would require a complete recut, taking the dress apart and cutting it down to a smaller size, which would likely ruin the dress’s shape and design.

Factors That Influence Alterations

Several factors influence how well a wedding dress can be altered. Here are some of the key factors:

Style of Dress:

Wedding dress style plays a significant role in determining how much it can be altered. A-line dresses, sheath dresses, and ball gowns are typically the easiest to alter, while mermaid or trumpet dresses can be more challenging to adjust as they are more fitted and have more detailing.


The material used on your dress can play a significant role in its alterability. Wedding dresses that are made from heavier fabrics such as satin or organza are often more challenging to alter. On the other hand, lightweight fabrics such as chiffon and taffeta are generally easier to work with.

Seams and Detailing:

Seams and detailing on your dress can determine how much it can be altered. If there are intricate beading and lacing, they might limit how much adjustment can be made without compromising the integrity of the dress.

When to Alter Your Wedding Dress

The timing of your wedding dress alteration can be as important as its execution. Here are some tips on when to get it done:

As soon as possible:

It is best to get your wedding dress alterations done as soon as possible. Most alterations can take up to two weeks, and it is best to leave some buffer time for last-minute adjustments.

After you have your shoes and undergarments:

Having the right undergarments and shoes can make a significant difference in how your dress fits. It is best to have them on hand when getting your dress altered.

After you have your final measurements:

Your body weight and shape are likely to change during the wedding planning process, so it is best to have your final measurement taken closer to the wedding date.


In conclusion, you can alter a wedding dress by one size larger or two sizes smaller without drastically affecting its design. Wedding dress alterations are quite common, and they should not stress you out or compromise the dress’s detail. Consider the style of your dress, the fabric and the seams when planning your dress alterations. It is also important to remember to get your alterations done as soon as possible, and always with the correct shoes and undergarments.


Can a wedding dress be let out 2 sizes?

The question of whether or not a wedding dress can be let out two sizes is a common one, as many brides-to-be may fall in love with a gown that isn’t quite the right size. The good news is that there is usually some leeway for this type of adjustment, but the amount will depend on a few key factors.

First, it’s important to consider the overall design and construction of the dress. Different styles will allow for different amounts of alteration. For example, a dress with a simple silhouette and few embellishments may be more easily let out than a heavily beaded bodice or intricate lacework. Similarly, the material of the dress can also play a role in the amount of alterations that are possible. Certain fabrics, such as silk or satin, may be more easily adjusted than others.

The actual amount that a wedding dress can be let out will depend on the seam allowance that was left during the original construction of the garment. Most dresses are made with a small amount of extra fabric in the seams to account for minor size adjustments during alterations. If this allowance was sufficient, then letting out the dress by two sizes may be possible. However, if there wasn’t much or any additional fabric left in the seams, then moving up two sizes may not be feasible without significant changes to the original design.

It’s also worth noting that alterations to a wedding dress can be pricey. The more work that needs to be done, the more you can expect to pay. In some cases, the cost of alterations for a dress that needs to be let out by two sizes could be similar to the cost of purchasing a completely new dress. As such, it’s important to factor in the cost of alterations when assessing whether or not it makes sense to purchase a dress that isn’t the right size initially.

Taking a gown one to two sizes down is pretty common, and should still keep the integrity of the original design fairly easily. Of course, the closer to your actual size the better; you’ll save money in alterations, and the gown will look best when it is closest to how it was designed. However, whether or not a wedding dress can be let out two sizes will depend on the specific design, construction, and seam allowance of the dress. it’s important to consult with a skilled seamstress or tailor to determine the feasibility of alterations and the associated cost.

What is considered plus-size in wedding dresses?

When it comes to wedding dresses, there is no one-size-fits-all definition of what is considered plus-size. Generally, the fashion industry considers any woman wearing a size 18 or above to be plus-size. But, this can vary from designer to designer and even from one brand to another. It also depends on the style and cut of the dress as different silhouettes might fit differently.

It is worth noting that plus-size ranges typically go up to size 32, with some brands offering sizes up to 40. These sizes are made to cater specifically to plus-size women’s figures, taking into account different body shapes and proportions. Plus-size wedding dresses are designed to fit and flatter curvier women, paying particular attention to features such as sleeves, corsets, and other details that offer extra support and shaping.

Unfortunately, many bridal stores lack in offering diverse sizes for brides to choose from. Some may carry a limited selection of plus-size dresses and fail to cater to plus-size brides’ needs. However, many designers have recently recognized the need to offer inclusive sizing, making it easier for brides of all sizes to find their perfect wedding dress.

Plus-Size wedding dresses are typically size 18 and up, but this can vary depending on the designer or brand. It’s essential to try on different styles and gown shapes to find a dress that flatters your curves and suits your figure. With more designers now offering inclusive sizing, it has become easier for plus-size brides to find the perfect wedding dress that makes them feel beautiful and confident on their special day.