Every day when we go into the store we are asked any number of wedding dress questions that we realize has been asked several times. We did a “What Do I Do If?” blog not too long ago and thought we would do another with a few more questions!
How many sizes can a dress be taken in?
This is very tricky and there is no one answer for this question. I personally have seen a size 12 strapless ballgown taken down to a size 0. Would I ever recommend this? Never. The bride who took the chance on this fell in love with a dress that was discontinued and it was her only option. She found one of our amazing seamstresses who worked with her and made this dress perfect!
Having said that we would not recommend sizing a dress down more than two sizes. This depends if it can even be done at all. If a dress has sleeves, a high mesh back, or ornate beading, this is definitely on a case by case basis meeting directly with a seamstress who sees you in the dress.
In many cases it can be done, but there are always costs associated and should be considered carefully. Perhaps ordering a new dress in your size would be less expensive than a sample needing a great deal of work.
How many sizes can a dress be let out?
Again there are a number of answers to this however we start by explaining something called seam allowance. Seam allowance is the extra fabric available inside a dress where the seams are sewn together. Sometimes you are able to get as much as an inch out of each seam allowance, other times there is nothing to use.
There is another option called a gusset. A gusset is when fabric is added to the same and can widen the dress significantly, but it will add another seam.
And finally an option is to remove the zipper and make the dress into a lace up back. We have done this a number of times when a bride and/or bridesmaid is pregnant and needs extra room.
What is a bustle and how much does it cost?
A bustle for your wedding dress is when hooks and or buttons are added to the back of your skirt to pull the train up to floor length. This is done prior to your reception so you are able to dance and move about without tripping on your train.
Bustles are typically not expensive, however depending on the length of your train, the fullness of your skirt, and how many hooks/buttons you will need factors into the cost. There are always multiple ways to do a bustle and your seamstress can show you those and price them out with you. However to give an answer, a one hook or button bustle can be s little as $30 when having your dress alterations and pressing done together!
What size do I choose if I measure between sizes?
It is definitely rare that a bride measures to a perfect size on a size chart. When we take measurements we then look at the designers sizing and put much thought into what size to get. Some things to consider are the largest measurement you have and the style of the dress.
Let’s say you fall in love with a mermaid dress. Mermaid dresses fit tight all over. If your largest measurement is your hip, then that is the size you need to order and here is why. When you have a dress that is tight on your hips you must be able to stand without it wrinkling and pulling, as well as sit down. Trying to let a mermaid dress out to fit the hip is not advised. Can it be done? Probably, however fit the hip in an instance like this.
Now if your largest measurement is your hip and you choose an A-line or a ball gown, you may not necessarily need to order for that measurement. There are any number of scenarios when it comes to measuring and your dress size and our stylists will explain and best advise you.
I am going to lose weight, can I order a smaller size?
It only takes one time where this goes wrong for us to say absolutely not. The best way to handle this is to wait until much closer to the wedding, get remeasured, and then order the size you are fitting into.
Our store refuses to order a size that a bride hopes to be. We will advise to order the size that you measure to that day, and if you lose you can take in. If you don’t lose, the dress will fit. Either way it works. Or better yet, come back closer to the wedding date when we must place the order and we can remeasure then. We will never order dresses too small in the hopes that a bride will lose weight and fit in it. It does not motivate anyone, it is an enormous stress knowing it won’t fit.
How should I hem my dress if I want to wear heels for the ceremony and flats for the reception?
This is another one of the wedding dress questions we get asked. When you him the dress ideally it should just skim the floor. You don’t want to trip down the aisle for sure! And if you are wearing heels it will skim the floor wearing those. If you take them off it will be too long. So what do you do?
The first thing we advise is to reconsider! Perhaps a comfortable pair of wedges would work for both the ceremony and reception, or a lower heel would work for both as well. If a bride is intent on two very different heel heights and one dress, we advise choosing one length, end it will usually be to make sure you do not trip walking down the aisle. Your first look and family photos will be taken before the ceremony and therefore the dress length will look best hemmed to the higher heel shoe.
Sure your dress will be too long at the reception and the bottom will get dirty, but that is what cleaning and preservation is for! You will be dancing the night away and will simply need to be careful in your dress that may be a tad too long.
Have wedding dress questions for us? Text us at 215-491-8500 and we will answer right away! For a great dress shopping experience and sound, honest advice, make you appointment here!
About the author: Wendy Ianieri-Salerno is co-founder and co-owner of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, now in its eighth year in business. In that time the store has grown from a small bridal boutique to a full-service bridal store serving not only Bucks County, PA but the surrounding counties and even border states. With the customer experience in mind, Wendy steers the company by offering the best designers and wedding attire while creating a caring, family atmosphere. A life-long Bucks County native, she currently resides in Warrington with her husband and co-founder/co-owner Franco Salerno, and their two daughters for whom the store was named, Daria and Deanna.