Finding the perfect wedding dress can be such a lengthy process that many brides-to-be will start shopping months in advance for the wedding. You want to give yourself time to find the right dress, and you might not find it at the first shop (or the first few shops) that you visit.
This means months of trying on dresses, making sure the size is right and making alterations to a dress that might not be a perfect fit but that has the right style.
If you buy a dress months ahead of your wedding, though, you run the risk that your body will change in that time.
Your weight can fluctuate even from one day to the next, so it’s not impossible for your body shape to change after a few months between try-ons.
You should definitely try on the wedding dress about a month before the wedding to make sure it fits and to see if any changes need to be made. This may give you enough time to have alterations made in time for the wedding. So, what do you do if you try it on and it is a little small?
First of all, don’t freak out. A wedding dress that is a size too small is not the end of the world. There are some things you can do to tweak the size and make the dress fit again. There is no need to panic and toss out the wedding dress. You won’t be starting from scratch, after all.
We point out that stressing about the problem is not going to help and isn’t even necessary because a month before the wedding is when a lot of brides-to-be start experiencing plenty of extra anxiety. Keep calm and keep on reading to see how to fix a wedding dress that is too small.
Determine the Problem
A small wedding dress can be fixed, but there is not a single solution for every instance of this. The dress may be too small in one area of your body and a perfect fit in another. It is important to determine where the dress is pinching and squeezing and then deal with that.
In many cases, the dress that fit you a few months ago will fit you just fine now, except in a particular area. The typical problem areas are the bust and the waist, but in either of these cases, adjustments can often be made without having to get a new dress.
Check with the Bridal Shop
Did you have a plan in place for how to fix a wedding dress that is too small? Most people don’t, and that’s okay. You don’t have to have a seamstress on speed dial to get the problem taken care of. In many instances, you can just contact the bridal shop and see if there is anything they can do about it.
Often, the bridal shop will have a first and second fitting plan so that you can have the dress altered with them if it doesn’t fit you closer to your wedding day. This probably won’t even cost you anything, although the policies do vary from one shop to the next.
Just make sure that you give the shop enough time to fix the dress if it is too small. Some of them may need longer than a week to make alterations, especially if they are really busy.
While you definitely want to try on the dress a week before your wedding, you should play it safe and check it about three to four weeks out as well.
This will give you more time for a bridal shop to do alterations.
The Seamstress Option
What if the bridal shop does not do alterations or you don’t have enough time before your wedding to get the alterations done with them? They may be willing to do the changes needed but they need more time. You can’t just reschedule your wedding.
Don’t panic, though. You can always hire a seamstress to let out the dress for you. While it is wise to have a tailor or seamstress in your contacts and ready to help you out, it isn’t completely necessary. You should be able to find one who can assist in time. These experts can adjust your dress for you very quickly, making the dress fit your specifications and your measurements.
Most tailors and seamstresses will be able to make the necessary alterations in a matter of weeks. The work can be pricey, but if you want your wedding dress to be comfortable and a good fit for your wedding day, then this extra step may be necessary.
What Can Be Done?
You might be wondering what exactly a professional will do to your wedding dress to make it fit you properly again. Are they going to tear up the fabric, rip out stitches, or and add in panels to make the dress the right size? Usually, they won’t have to do anything drastic, but alterations can take some work.
Many modern wedding dresses are designed to be let out, made a little longer or a little wider without a lot for work. However, to make the changes look seamless, it will likely take a professional.
The tailor may need to let out some of the waist or the bust and then make sure everything looks even when they are done. Your wedding dress should still look the same but be slightly wider in those key areas.
What Are Your Other Options?
If you don’t have money or time for alterations, what can you do about a wedding dress that is too small? You have a few options, and how viable they are will depend on how small the dress is for you.
First of all, you can try to squeeze into the dress anyway, which could be risky if there is a zipper involved. That zipper could pop open or come off the track if stretched too far. The dress may be uncomfortable on the day of the wedding, which can be distracting and might make you feel miserable on your big day.
Another option is to wear tight fitting, slimming undergarments, like Spanx. These can help to hold everything in and keep the dress from feeling too restrictive.
The other option we want to suggest is to use a different dress. You could get a rental quickly to take the place of your wedding dress, so at least you will be comfortable. Then, you can always put the too tight original wedding dress on for pictures so you have that captured for posterity.
Finding out your wedding dress is too small for you can be upsetting, but it is not catastrophic. Your budget and the time you have left until the wedding will determine what kind of options are available to you.
Hopefully, this information helps you to deal with the situation confidently rather than stressing out. We want to reiterate one last time that you should try on the wedding dress at least a month before your wedding date so that you have time to figure out a solution if the dress is too small.