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16 Things to Do if a Wedding Dress Doesn’t Fit

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Finding out that your wedding dress doesn’t fit on your wedding day is a nightmarish situation. You’ve likely had it on a couple of times before the big day, and you had no issues then.

But to find out – when the wedding is only hours away – that you cannot get into that same dress is devastating. But while you might be tempted to panic, you shouldn’t.

All hope is not lost if your wedding dress doesn’t fit. You can salvage the situation whether the issue happens on your wedding day or before.

In this article, we go over sixteen things to do if a wedding dress doesn’t fit. We talk about what to do if the dress is too small and what to do if it is too big. Read on for the details.

9 Things to Do When a Wedding Dress Is Small

Check the Size of the Dress

Ordinary daily work. The process of fitting the dress in the studio of hand crafted clothes

When your wedding dress doesn’t fit, one of the first things to do is check the size. By checking the size of the dress, you can confirm if the dress you have with you is yours.

If the dress with you is not yours, you can fix the issue by seeking the bridal store’s help to get your correct wedding dress. But if that is not feasible, you can try fixing things with the other tips in this article.

Remove Your Bra Paddings

Removing your bra paddings can help get your wedding dress to fit. Removing the bra paddings will free up space in your chest region. So, if the extra width in your chest region was holding the zipper back, it should work fine when you take the bra pads off.

Let the Dress Adjust to Your Body

dress up the bride in a wedding dress with corset and lacing

Instead of stressing over your dress, you could leave it on and allow it to adjust to your body. Sometimes, when you leave the dress on, your body will adapt to it, and zipping up will be much easier.

If you are trying this, note that zipping up all the way will not become easy immediately. You have to zip up gradually as the dress adjusts to your body.

Wear Shapewear


If you do not have shapewear on already, you could try wearing some. You could wear a corset, shaping dress slip, plunging shapewear, or anything similar.

Wearing shapewear can reduce the friction between your body/skin and the dress, making the dress slide on readily.

Try Standing Upright

This might not help if the dress is significantly smaller than your size. But if you stand upright, your body can align better to let the dress slide on.

Reduce Your Salt Intake

This fix is only helpful if the wedding is weeks or months away and the dress is slightly smaller than your size.

When you consume a lot of salt, your body will retain more fluid. Unfortunately, when your body retains fluid, it gains water weight, making you bigger than your dress.

By reducing your salt intake, your body will retain less fluid. Consequently, you will lose water weight, and your body can return to the size the dress fits.

Get Extra Hands

Girl is satisfied. The process of fitting the dress in the studio of hand crafted clothes

Ordinarily, you need two extra hands to get into your wedding dress. So, if your wedding dress appears not fit, you could try getting more hands to help.

  • Start by getting yourself in the dress and getting the dress in position at your waist. Then get one person in front of you to hold the dress while a second person works on the dress from behind.
  • The person at the back should fasten the hook and eye atop the zipper. Then while you take a deep breath, the person in front should press the dress backward to create extra space for the zip. At the same time, the person at the back should try to pull the zip up.
  • If the zip goes all the way, you are good. But if it only moves halfway, you will need extra hands.
  • Get two more people to press/push the dress backward from the side. Then while they do this, the person at the back should try getting the zipper to the top.
  • If this works, you are good. But if it doesn’t, don’t force it.

You should only use the fix described above when the dress does not feel too tight. Trying to force yourself into a wedding dress that is already too tight will leave you uncomfortable throughout your wedding. Obviously, you do not want that.

Besides making you uncomfortable, forcing yourself into your wedding dress can weaken/damage the seams and zipper.

Get a Professional to Alter the Dress

Rows of wedding dresses on display in a specialist wedding dress shop.

If you’ve tried everything and nothing works, get a professional to alter the dress to fit you. This might be your best bet if the wedding is a few days or hours away.

This fix applies to any size issue you may have with your wedding dress. Whether the dress is too big, too small, too short, or too long, a professional can help you alter the size.

Adjust Your Diet

Diet concept

If you have enough time before the wedding, you can try modifying your diet to get in shape for the dress. But if you intend to change your diet to get in shape, ensure you speak with a dietitian.

3 Things to Do When a Wedding Dress Is Big

Check the Size of the Dress

As said before, when your wedding dress doesn’t fit, confirm that you have the right dress. If you do not have the correct dress, try recovering the correct one. But if that seems unfeasible, try the other fixes below.

Use Extra Bra Cups

Close-up hand asia woman help make craft pink single fill up bra cup insert for post mastectomy

If your wedding dress feels too big in the upper/chest region, you can fix it by adding extra bra cups.

The extra bra cups will add some width to your chest and bust area, making up for the difference in size between you and the dress.

Use a Sash

dress up the bride in a wedding dress with corset and lacing

If the wedding dress is too big around your waist or midsection region, you can adjust it to fit you by wearing a sash. You can also use any appropriate belt-like wear.

3 Things to Do if Your Wedding Dress Is Too Short

Besides being too big or too small, your wedding can also be too short. If this is the case, there isn’t much you can do to change things. But you can try the following:

Use Shorter Heels

Bride dresses shoes before the wedding ceremony.

If you feel the dress looks too short because of your heels, you can try using shorter heels. But if this doesn’t work, try the fix below.

Wear a Tulle Overskirt

A simple way to fix a wedding dress that is too short is to wear a tulle overskirt. The overskirt will cover the areas left uncovered by the dress.

Add Lace to the Bottom of the Dress

Wedding Dress.

You can add decorative lace to the bottom if you want a relatively permanent solution to your short wedding dress. The lace will make up for the shortness of the dress and add some design to it.

If there is no time to add lace to the dress or if you do not know how to sew, wear a tulle overskirt instead.

What to Do if Your Wedding Dress Is Too Long

Wear Heels

White wedding shoes for women.

If your wedding dress is too long, wearing heels can give you extra height to cope with the length.

You can try low heels first. If that doesn’t work, you can move to medium heels. Then if that still doesn’t work, you may wear high heels. Just ensure whatever you choose to wear is not uncomfortable for you.