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How Many Sizes Can A Wedding Dress Be Taken In?

It’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll likely make, your wedding dress. And the truth is, the way it fits is of as equal importance to the design and style. As such, you’ll want to ensure it fits you seamlessly. But what about wedding dresses that are too big? Can they be taken in? If so, how many sizes? Well, today, we are going to be exploring these very things. 

So, how many sizes can a wedding dress be taken in? Most reliable seamstresses will recommend taking a wedding dress in no more than two sizes. However, there are things like the style of the dress, the material, and even the embellishments that can affect how much a wedding dress can be taken in or if it can be taken in at all.

If you want a wedding gown that fits like a glove, keep reading. I will explain everything you need to know about having your wedding dress taken in.

How Much Can A Wedding Dress Be Taken In?

Commonly, a wedding dress is taken in no more than one or two dress sizes. 

This way, the integrity, style, and beauty of the gown can remain while still adjusting it to the bride’s body. 

So, it is important to choose a dress size as close to your needs as possible.

This will reduce the risk of an unalterable dress or the loss of important design elements.

Now, that is not to say a dress three or four sizes too big can’t be altered correctly, it is just going to take a lot more work and money, and you may have to sacrifice some delicate designs or embellishments on your dress. 

Why could I lose features of my dress that I love if I have to take it in more than two sizes?

Well, this is because a dress that has to be significantly altered is going to need to be recut. 

So, instead of just adjusting the seams and hemlines, your dress will need to be fully recut to allow for these dramatic changes in sizes.

This is why most tailors and seamstresses suggest a two-size limit for the majority of wedding dress styles.

Where To Get Your Wedding Dress Taken In

There are a few places you can consider having your dress taken in, but ultimately this may rest upon your budget and also the time you have to get your dress altered before your big day.

Seamstress Service

Firstly, there is usually a seamstress service offered by the bridal boutique you purchased your dress from.

Most bridal boutiques offer alterations as part of their bridal packages.

So, if you purchase a gown from them, they will also provide one or two alterations appointments. 

This can save you a lot of time since you do not have to go searching for a seamstress you can trust, or that can even squeeze you in. 

If your bridal store doesn’t have its own seamstress, you may have to outsource this service.


Another option is a tailor. Yes, tailors specialize in suits, but many are quite able to alter wedding dresses as well.

Just make sure you have asked your desired tailor if they can offer you this service before you stop shopping around.


Lastly, if you are on a really tight budget and the alterations you need are minimal, you could consider doing it yourself.

Now, I only suggest this option if you are handy with a sewing machine and have at least basic alteration knowledge.

How Long Does It Take For A Wedding Dress To Be Taken In?

Altering a wedding dress can take anywhere from two weeks to two months. Naturally, every gown alteration will be different and take a different amount of time to be fitted to perfection. 

The more sizes you need your dress to be taken in, the longer this process is going to take.

This also goes for how detailed the dress is and how complicated the design is.

The more ornate the dress, the more involved the alteration process is going to be and the longer it is going to take. 

This is why you should always start alterations two or three months before your big day.

This will give you plenty of time to have an alteration fitting appointment or two.

Plus, you will be able to accommodate any last-minute changes to your wedding dress needs. 

Such as, if you lose or gain a significant amount of weight, that affects how your dress fits your new body. 

By giving you and your alterations team this generous amount of time to work with, you are also not worrying about sourcing materials quickly.

The global supply chain is having difficulty keeping up with demand at the moment, which has resulted in many industries experiencing delays in orders or even materials being completely unavailable. 

Other Things To Consider When Getting A Wedding Dress Taken In

Now that you know how many dress sizes your wedding gown can be taken in and how long these kinds of alterations can take, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind when you get your wedding dress altered.

How Much It Will Cost

This is a biggie that none of us can avoid because unless you are getting married to Elon Musk or some other insanely wealthy person, you are going to be at the mercy of your wedding budget. 

Alterations are not cheap, but they are important if you want to feel your most confident best on the day you get married.

There is nothing worse than an ill-fitting gown to make a bride feel uncomfortable. 

Just like any other service, the more things you need to complete, the pricier it is going to be.

So, pick a dress as close to your size as possible to avoid extra time and money being needed to complete your alterations.

Also, try not to lose or gain a large amount of weight once your alterations have begun. 

Your seamstress is not psychic. She is only able to go by your current measurements when altering your wedding gown. 

The Style Of Your Wedding Dress

The actual style of your dress will influence how easy it will be for your wedding dress to be taken in.

A simple slip dress with an A-line skirt is going to be much easier to alter than a bells-and-whistle ball gown with lace, silk, and diamond appliqués. 

Also, keep in mind that any gown that has important design elements close to the hem or seams may be very difficult to take in.

This is because it is these areas where your seamstress will initially remove fabric to make it smaller.

This could result in losing those beautiful details that may have caused you to fall in love with the dress in the first place. 

It is even possible that some designs and styles just won’t hold up well at all after being taken in, and your seamstress may have to tell you it can’t be done.

So, always keep a seamstress’s opinion at hand when you are choosing your wedding dress for the first time.

How Much Time Do You Have

If you wait until a week before your wedding day to drop your gown off to be altered, do not expect big things.

In fact, you may have many a door shut in your face because a week just is not ample time to alter a dress correctly. 

If you have little time between picking your gown and getting married, you are going to be limited with your alterations options.

Choose a gown that is as close to perfect as possible.

This way, your seamstress will not have to rush her job with a massive alteration project. 

If you can, you should start your alterations at least two months before your wedding day.

Do Not Forget Your Accessories

This is one thing that many brides forget when it comes to their alterations appointments.

Always bring your accessories with you when you are trying on your gown.

It does not matter what part of the alteration process you are in; you want to make sure that all your accessories work well with the new fit of your wedding gown.

Getting Your Wedding Dress Taken In

It is very common for most brides to need some sort of alteration to their recently bought wedding dress.

This is not because of bad design or because you chose the wrong gown, but everyone’s bodies are different.

Each bride will need to tweak her gown a little to fit her body perfectly.

Keep in mind that most gowns shouldn’t be taken in any more than two dress sizes, and the more complicated your dress style, the harder it will be to take in, and you should have no issues with your gown alterations.

Just make sure to start the process as early in your wedding planning process as possible. 

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