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Your wedding day is one of the most special moments in your life, and you want everything to be perfect, including your wedding dress. However, what if you find yourself in a situation where your dream dress is a bit too big before the wedding day?

In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons behind this common issue, how to prevent it, and practical solutions to fix it. Joining us is Giselle Ghofrani, a seasoned designer and alterations expert, to share her valuable insights on what to do if your wedding dress is too big.

Common reasons why your dress
would be too big

You’ve lost too much weight before your wedding

One of the primary reasons brides encounter sizing issues is the desire to lose weight before the big day. It’s natural for brides to want to look their best on their wedding day, so they try to slim down or tone up and it can really affect the way a dress fits. I usually recommend scheduling the first dress fitting about six to eight weeks before the event and having at least three fittings to allow for gradual adjustments. I do this so we can get the work done little by little, keeping the seams open just in case.

Open communication with your tailor

If I notice that the bride is drastically losing weight, or that she’s under more and more stress and is shifting weight, a final fitting a week before the wedding means that our tailors can accommodate the changes. If you have a good tailor who can make the adjustments, I would recommend being honest with them and telling them that this is your body when you are under stress and asking them what would they recommend.

Check with them if they are comfortable with you going in a week before the wedding for a final fitting. If they aren’t able to do this, you need to figure out a plan with them and see if they can construct something inside the dress like a waist belt that can be made a little tighter on the day.

How to avoid your dream dress being too big

Start at your ideal weight

I advise brides to aim to be close to their ideal weight during the first fitting. This minimizes drastic alterations and helps maintain the integrity of the dress. While crash diets are not recommended, maintaining a stable weight in the months leading up to your wedding is ideal. I completely understand as someone who’s struggled with my weight my whole life, you just want to look your best, but brides need to realise that it does compromise the integrity of the dress, particularly when there’s beading on it because with embroidery, the more you bring it in, the seams aren’t going to match up in the right way. The pattern can sometimes be a little wonky, so you want to make sure as much as you can to be your ideal weight in the beginning.

Choosing the right tailor

Do your research and check with the salon that you’re working with to let your stylist and wedding planner know that you think that your alterations might be a little bit more than just standard and to help you find a tailor who specializes in doing more customized alterations. This ensures that your dress is in capable hands.

What to do if your dress is too big

Adding a Grosgrain Ribbon

If your dress lacks the desired snugness, I suggest adding a grosgrain ribbon at the waist. This versatile solution not only provides support but can also be used for emergency fixes during the wedding day. I would get a one-inch wide grosgrain which is the safest width and then all you need is a needle and thread and stitch it to where your waist is inside your dress.

Adjusting the Corset

For strapless dresses, extending the corset can help lift the dress and provide additional support. I recommend using a longline corset with a smooth front, offering both comfort and functionality. Most couture corsets and couture strapless dresses have a top neckline very low down from the underarm and the waistline feels very low when most brides want it to side higher. This is a big problem that I see. What we do is extend the boning and add a corset into the dress to help push it up. We then stitch the grosgrain lower than the waist so it also helps push it up. If you are losing weight and the dress slightly falls, at least it’s a tiny bit lower. This all comes down to the bride being in her dress and communicating properly to their seamstress.

Emergency Fixes

In case of unexpected dress issues on the wedding day, having tools like clippers, safety pins, and ribbons can be a lifesaver. Many brides choose to have a professional dresser with them on the day that can tie an emergency makeshift grosgrain ribbon if needed. I’ve even used a ribbon from the florist to make straps for a too-big dress! You can use a grosgrain for everything, not only for your waist belt but if a shoe strap breaks, you can wrap it around your shoe. There are all sorts of different tricks you can use it for.

The Wedding Day
Emergency Kit

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Your wedding dress should be a source of joy, not stress. By understanding the potential issues and taking proactive measures, you can ensure a perfect fit on your special day. From effective communication with your tailor to considering alternative undergarments, these tips will help you navigate the challenges of a too-big wedding dress, leaving you free to enjoy every moment of your celebration.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out.
You can connect with us at hello@thestylishbride.com