Wedding dress issues

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Feb 22, 2007
I thought I liked a dress. Turns out it is not made anymore and it was on the wrong rack.
I have been looking a few weeks and I haven''t found anything else I like. Maybe I am just too picky.
So the lady at the store suggested I talk to someone she knows who made dresses. I''ve heard good things about this person too. Well, I didn''t have a positive experience with this person and I ended up questioning what I really liked. This person will tell you if it will not look good on you. Nothing was said like that, but that''s what I felt. My mom had the same impression. I also didn''t feel this person was interested at all.
However, this person also pointed out that because I am so small, most dresses would be still large on me and would require significant alterations. I have looked at sizing charts and my measurements are not on there (too small). I am a size 0 or 00 in street clothing...and even that size doesn''t always fit me. I don''t know. That was a concern I had from day one since I have to get so many things altered, but this person was the first to actually tell me. I''ve never had something as complex as a wedding dress altered so I don''t know how hard it would be to take it down a size.
I went to another dress shop. I tried on several dresses. Even ones that I might not have picked. Some were pretty, but I just wasn''t loving or even liking any of them. Then, the owner tells me I don''t have much time and girls who are having their wedding in September have already ordered their dresses. That just makes me feel worse, because I have been looking when I have time (engaged for 1.5 months). I''m just so busy and I travel with my job. My wedding is in six months.

I usually don''t cry, but the second my mom dropped me off after looking at dresses, I started crying. I just feel like buying the next stupid white dress that looks decent on me and saying to heck with it. After all, when I look at wedding pictures, all the dresses look the same. This whole experience is dragging me down and I wanted it to be fun. I shouldn''t be this stressed.

Sorry for being so negative and venting. If you have any advice or words of encouragement, that would be awesome.


Jun 28, 2006
Awe, i''m sorry you''re feeling so frustrated! It can be frustrating when we have such big expectations for something and we can''t find what we''re looking for. I don''t think it should be that big of a problem to have a dress taken in to a size 0 or even 00. I mean, you''re not the only really skinny person who''s ever gotten married right? You might want to check out some place like too. They''ll recreate any dress you want (you can even design it entirely yourself) and make it exactly to your measurements. There''s a thread about them on the wedding channel''s dream gowns message board


Feb 5, 2007
I totally feel your pain about trouble finding a dress that jumps out at you. I feel like every dress looks the same, and I''m not going to get that "wow" factor because my dress will be so similar to every other dress out there.
don''t get me wrong, there are some beautiful strapless dresses out there, but I''ve always liked ones that were different.
If you have your heart set on a dress, don''t settle on something different, there''s always a way of getting what you really want.
You''ll always regret it if you do settle!


Apr 10, 2006
don''t worry about have to take a 0 down a size, most brides needs their dresses taken down atleast one size, I''m sure I will! I agree with the pp though, don''t settle, if you are short on time, look online at dresses and then go try on the ones you like, that helped me so much!

I feel so bad for you trying on samples though, I am a 2 or a 4 and the samples were enormous on me and so hard to tell what the dress would look like, so I am sure that is a nightmare for you!


Jun 20, 2006
Don''t worry, you''ll find something! I doubt that you''re actually so small as to need a custom dress. Most people have to have their dress sized down a size or two (they order a little big, just in case). I''m a size 0/2 petite, and found dress shopping frustrating because all of the size 10 samples were just ridiculous on me. Call around and see if anyone near you carries samples in a 6 or smaller.

Sizes also vary widely among designers. I would guess that Watters and David''s won''t work for you, but that some of the higher-end designers will have gowns that fit you. I think I ended up being a 4 or 6 in Vera Wang, so smaller dresses exist!

Also, didn''t someone just have a thread about whether to order a standard gown and have it altered, or to pay some smallish amount of money to have it made to exactly her size? I believe that Pronovias does that too. Perhaps someone at your favorite bridal store can point you to designers that offer that service. You''ll find it, don''t worry!


May 16, 2006
I didn''t have the ''big moment'' when trying on dresses and b/c it was the one wedding chore i looked forward to most, it ended up being stressful and icky when nothing jumped out at me. I am not tiny like you, but i did find it frustrating that all the samples were so big and I kept thinking why is it that the most important wardrobe item you will EVER buy has to be tried on with huge metal clips and sister/mom holding up the gaping fabric!? Ok, so i understand that shops can''t possibly have all sizes in stock, but wow would that make things easier for all size girls.

You can, as others have metnioned, take it in a couple of sizes, so now just focus on narrowing down a style you like and try try try...evetually one will pop out

and yes, the sales people will say things like ''ohhh, you better hurry up and order a dress!" ignore''s pressure sales tactics....shops were saying that to me a year prior to my wedding...when i chose my (couture) dress 5.5 months out and placed a deposit, no one said a word about it being rushed....somehow when the money is on the table the designers have time for your gown!! ;-)


Aug 8, 2005
i can understand where you are coming from. i tried on lots of dresses and it was so hard to figure out how they would look on my in my size b/c of the material they had to clip back just so it would stay on me. one place even clipped it in the front so that i could see how the back would actually look! i ordered my dress in the smallest they made and still had to take it up. i don''t think it''s all that uncommon. and it can be done. my dress fit like a glove


Apr 7, 2006
Sucks when something that is supposed to be fun is anything BUT fun, doesn''t it?

I got engaged last April, ordered my dress in mid-May and had it in my hands by late July for my mid-September wedding. It was Watters. So it CAN be done in much less time than they tell you! And who says you need to go bridal-bridal anyway? Plenty of people have bought just gorgeous white dresses at Norstroms, J Crew, etc. -- not typical bridal gowns, which it sounds like you''re not liking anyway! And something simple should be much easier to tailor too. Plus being so tiny, I''d imagnie you wouldn''t want too much dress anyway since it''d likely overwhelm you.

Just my two cents!


Nov 30, 2005
You might want to try David's Bridal. I had an unfortunately experience in one (made me wear a foam thingy that added inches...I really don't need inches added!
), but the second time I went was great! The girls are so enthused about weddings, that you feel excited and happy!
They have dresses in a lot of sizes so you can try things on that actually fit, or are close to it. I found it invaluable for figuring out what I really wanted in a dress. I really recommend going just to try different styles on and see what you like. You do have to be a little firm. If you don't want to wear one of the underthings, then you don't have to. The second time I insisted on a boned corset thingy and refused to wear the crinoline thingy... I was so much happier!


Mar 21, 2006
OK, like you I was totally not looking forward to dress shopping, and its a little ridiculous trying to imagine what the dress will look like when its completely the wrong size. Though I was too big, not too small, the main effect for me was that I just didn't/couldn't consider some dresses if they were too small to get on at all and be able to imagine what it would look like inthe right size. I also never had the "oh this is the one" moment, really didn't get thrilled by a lot of dresses, so... Just put those thoughts out of your head and treat it more as a project with less weighty expectations.

The key is figuring out what looks good on you, what will look smashing on you when its in your size, and making sure to ask questions about how they will or will not be able to make it fit. ie, will you need to special order the dress with your hollow-to-hem measurement, what is the fee for that, will the dress alter easily, etc. You just have to suck it up and be prepared to pay for alterations or special orders if needed.

Second, you DO have choices. After you figure out silhouette, come up with some other opinion. Do you like silk, satin, beading, lace, a particular designer? Go with that, if it makes you smile and looks good on you. Doesn't have to provide some orgasmic "this is the one!" moment... But it should look good, you should be able to imagine looking really good when it fits, etc.

As for timing, you have to keep shopping but you are not completely screwed or anything. Given your size, you should probably order your own dress and not try ebay/sample sales/etc. I second the Davids recommendation in that it may really help you narrow down a silhouette for a dress by trying stuff on in your size or closer to your size. Once you know that, and some details like what kind of straps/sleeves/lack thereof you want, you can shop more broadly. Just keep looking, and narrowing down the options ( after you've tried on something twice ie. halter tops and hated them both throw them out as an option) and it will come.

I went shopping with my super-tiny roommate for her wedding dress, who swam in all the samples, and here's what I learned from that. You have to look at the dress on the model sometimes to see what it is supposed to look like. She almost bought this dress that looked quite discreet on her (in the sample size) but on the model it was very revealing (not what she wanted) so disaster averted. She didn't look great in the super-ornate dresses or big ball gowns as they overwhelmed her. She did not want strapless, so imagining how the straps would scale down was almost the hardest part, and of course made the alterations more expensive. She also couldn't order certain dresses with intricate patterns on the skirt hem, because it would be too hard (some of the time) to alter the skirt length from the waist. (On some dresses it IS possible to change the length from the waist and keep the hem detail intact, or to remove the hem detail, shorten the dress, and put the detail back on.) She ordered a 0, it was probably a full size too big when it came it, and she spend almost $500 on alterations. This was on a designer all lace gown that needed to be taken in almost everywhere, so she understood why it cost so much, but you should be prepared. Another fairly small friend ordered a Maggie with corset top so that she could avoid needing torso alterations.


Jan 2, 2006
from a seamstress point of view. get some front and back pictures of what you like and go to someone who sews well. bridal dresses are rediculously easy to make.

make sure you hire someone who drafts a pattern FOR YOU. and makes a toile beforehand to work out the bugs in the dress.

most good seamstresses can drape you for the dress you want right there without a pattern. I can anyway.
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