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How Many Sizes Can You Alter a Wedding Dress? 
Have you got a wedding dress that’s fitting a little too large? Perhaps you’ve lost weight in the run-up to the big day and are now left with some extra fabric either side of your bust, waist or hips? Or perhaps it’s the other way round and you’ve gained weight due to early pregnancy or comfort eating, or maybe you chose a dress that was a bit too small. Not to worry. Here’s the 101 on wedding dress alterations, including how much you can take them in or out, average costs, plus some generally recommended dos and don’ts. 
 
First off, ask your bridal consultant if they offer tailoring services in-house. Not only is it a huge time-saver, but those seamstresses will have likely worked with your specific dress before, or similar styles by the same designer. This puts your gown in safe hands. Many bridal shops will also give you a small discount for choosing to do your alterations with them. 
 
Taking Wedding Dresses In 
 
Taking in a wedding dress by one to two sizes is pretty common, and should still maintain the original cut or shape. That being said, buying closer to your actual size is generally better because not only will you save money in alterations, the dress will also look its best when it’s kept closest to how it was originally designed. 
 
However, if you’ve fallen in love with a sample gown that’s miles too big, a talented tailor or skilled seamstress can work wonders to resize the dress. After all, most people won't fit the standard measurements of any dress perfectly, and you’ll be pleased to know that it’s easier to take in than it is to let out. Always go with the larger size if you find yourself split between two. 
 
Many brides plan to lose weight or get in shape for their wedding day, but this can make it difficult when ordering a wedding dress 6 months in advance for example. 
 
Letting Wedding Dresses Out 
 
While this is trickier than taking in, it’s not an impossible task. Many dresses will have extra seam allowance and can be comfortably let out by a whole dress size without creating any structural issues. Anything more than that and your tailor or seamstress will have to get very creative with their tools and skills. Adding discreet side panels is an option, for example. 
 
Average Costs for Wedding Dress Alterations 
 
The cost of alterations varies according to how much work needs to be done, and the kind of alteration it is. As a rough guide, somewhere between £275 and £350 is a fair estimate for standard alterations (hem, taking in the waist, hips and bust, darts, etc.). For more complicated alterations, you may be looking at a figure closer to £450–£525. On average, three fittings are needed when altering a wedding dress. The standard protocol is as follows: 
 
First fitting: the dress is pinned and tailored to fit you 
Second fitting: any outstanding alterations are made 
Third fitting: you try the dress on to make sure you're 100% happy, and then you take it home! 
 
We advise you to include alterations in your overall wedding dress budget because virtually all wedding gowns need alterations of some sort. 
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