(Closed) Bridal shop ordered my dress a full size too big (STEAMED!!)

posted 12 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
3793 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

ETP- I believe that they sometimes do that on purpose, especially if they offer in house alterations.  I think they’ve also been burned plenty of times for dresses that are too small, since it is much harder to take out a dress then to alter them down.

Having said that… it completely steams me too.  I believe that the sizing of my dress was misrepresented to me.  I ended up getting a 10, and then had to have it altered down twice to make it fit.  My biggest worry was the beading on both hips, and it ended up not being a problem.

While it was frustrating, I did have the best seamstress on the planet. (I took it to a local seamstress who came highly recommended). The dress ended up fitting me extremely well in the end.  I just wish that if I measured a certain size that I get that size.  If I had been measured and sized correctly, all I would have needed was a hem and bustle, and it would have been a heck of a lot less stressful!

In my case, the shop pressured me to order the 10, telling me that a 10 was what I measured (?!)– so I didn’t feel like I had a lot of recourse.  When I measured myself and compared to the manufacturer’s sizing chart on the website, it was clear that the largest size I should have ever considered ordering was an 8… and that was only about hips, which shouldn’t have mattered in my A line skirt!

Can they pay for your alterations?

Post # 5
3793 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Then you should have them compensate you!  I’m pretty outraged at the fact that I’ve heard this same story over and over from a variety of people.  I understand that there is a slim chance that we might gain weight in between the purchase and receipt of the dress, but there needs to be some consideration given to the individual.  If I tell you that I’m not going to gain weight, then you should respect that, and not wink and nod and order whatever the hell you want!

In hindsite, I wish I’d made a bigger stink about it… so I hope that you do!

Post # 6
49 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would be very upset. Alterations are very expensive so they’ve just managed to wring more money out of you needlessly. I would complain loudly and threaten to give them a negative rating with the BBB.

I find this very curious. The cynical me thinks many bridal shops with in-house alterations might do this as a way to make more money. Think about it – they probably make a much higher margin on their alterations (i.e., cheap labor) than they do the gowns (they can only mark it up so much with competition).

Did you get to see a size chart and the size they were going to order? I’m just wondering if it’s standard for them to just order blind (without you seeing the form and signing a contract). I cannot imagine spending thousands on anything and not being able to know exactly what I’m getting, but then again I’ve not started shopping for dresses yet, but will soon.

I’m also curious if they give you a hard time if you tell them when you order that you will be getting alterations done elsewhere? Anyone care to share their feedback on this?


Post # 7
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Wow….I’m so sorry to hear this!!! I am looking to order my gown in a few weeks and I will definitely make sure to verify the size that I am getting after looking at the size chart.

I would definitely have them re-order the dress with rush-shipping in YOUR size. I am so angry that they would do that to make more money. You have a strong case to turn them in to the BBB and I would threaten to do that if they give you trouble. Good luck getting the dress in your size or having it altered!! A good seamstress can really do anything to a gown so hopefully if you stick with the one that is too big, it will still look perfect!

Post # 8
1530 posts
Bumble bee

I’m so sorry to hear this.  I definitely think this is pretty common (but crappy) practice amongst bridal stores. At the time I ordered, I was between two sizes (according to their measurements) and the owner of the store recommended the larger, claiming it was easier to take in than let out.  Wouldn’t you know it that the larger size required me to pay an extra $140 for the “plus size”!  I didn’t know until weeks later when I found a manufacturer’s sizing chart that I was at least 2 sizes smaller than what I ordered.  Of course, then I lost more weight and my dress ended up huge!  My alterations were a disaster and I was never quite happy with the dress.  It kills me when I think of how much extra I paid for the extra sizing AND the alterations. 

EngagedtoPanda–I’d talk to them again and see if there’s any way they can reorder the dress because of the discrepancy and rush your order. 

Mrs. DG, I totally agree with you that they should take the individual into consideration.  I kept telling them that I knew I’d lose weight as the wedding got closer (as I did) and the owner of the store and seamstress would just not listen to me.  They kept doing alterations that weren’t enough, saying “everyone gains weight before the wedding!”  If I tell you I’m not going to, then I know myself! 

Post # 9
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

The people at the bridal shop told me to order my dress in a petite, but they didn’t have the dress in petite. I went in knowing that if the dress was too short, I wouldn’t be taking it home.  The length turned out fine, but I lost maybe 1-2 pounds, and now the dress doesn’t fit… literally falling off!  I don’t know if they make the dress even bigger than what they have in the stores, but I agree with Mrs. DG that they force you into alterations.

Please let me know how alterations work!  I want to make sure my dress fits me on my wedding day…  I think you should fight over the sizing.  Does your paperwork say size 6? 

Post # 10
500 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010 - Carlouel Yacht Club

Ugh…that stinks…but I think that the dress shops tend to do that…one hand feeds the other, so to say. I didn’t have this particular problem in ordering a size too big on purpose, but I’m still mad about my situation as well. I’m smaller than the smallest dress size that the manufacturer makes…it is a 2, but I wear a street size 00 (so the dress is about 2 inches smaller in each measurement). I’m cringing over the alterations that will surely have to be made when my dress comes in…

Post # 12
749 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Fight, fight, fight them for all you’re worth. I just hate how bridal shops force brides into way overpriced alterations that they wouldn’t need otherwise. It’s a horrible business practice and they are messing with peoples’ weddings. Go for it and let us know how it turns out. We’re rooting for you!

Post # 14
14 posts

Having worked in bridal shops for many years in the past, our policy was to order by the wedding gown manufacturers charts and our experience with the gown manufacturer itself.  With some companies, their dresses ran smaller than specified for certain styles.  And with dresses with intricate beading, and if there is little or now seam allowance, if there is any let out needed, you are screwed.  Typically, the gown is ordered for the largest part of the body. 

Street sizes and bridal sizes are different too.  Bridal sizes are skin tight fits, with no “wearing ease”.  Every day clothing has usually an inch or two extra for comfort. In addition, everyday clothing allows 1 1/2 inches to 2 1/2 inches inbetween each size.  In Bridal, most of the companies only allow 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch inbetween each size.

Often times when a dress is ordered, the shop may have to decide between two sizes to order.  A bride rarely fits perfectly with in one size of a size chart.  Her bust may be in one size, waist in another, and hips in another.  In street clothing however, there may only be one size difference, or because of the wearing ease, no size difference at all.   So, rather than have a dress come in to small, we order the next size up.  I have been in the uncomfortable position of ordering a size 10 for a bride who worked very hard to lose weight to get down to a street size 6.  But when we tried on the manufacturers gowns in the size 10 they fit her well.  The size 8 were too snug, and would have needed let out, which is a more expensive alteration.

Most bridal salons will tell you that they do not make much money on alterations.  It is extremely labor intensive.  And a lot of bridal salons these days have independent contractors that work within the salon for their alterations.  Or, they underright a portion of the cost of the alterations to their customers that buy their gowns at the salon to keep the prices reasonable.  Finding skilled seamstresses these days is difficult.  So few women are sewing anymore.  And to keep a seamstress, you pay her well.  It is skilled labor.  It is a rare skill that can do the intense work, handle the beading, fitting, and work with the fine fabrics.  Ha ha, we have a high burn out rate at certain times of the year.  Go into the back room of a bridal salon and you will see  a lot of stress!  I’ve been there!  (we rewarded ourselves with lots of chocolate…not near the dresses of course)

Please feel free to contact me if you have any other fitting questions.  I will be most happy to help!  I am new to WeddingBee.  I have over 25 years experience in the wedding business, as a seamstress, wedding gown designer, headpiece designer, buyer…I’m semi retired now making headpieces, veils and jewelry.

[email protected]




Post # 15
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

This same thing happened to me. The sample I tried on was an 8 and it fit PERFECT. I mean perfect. They gave me the scare-story that if I ordered the 8 it wouldn’t come in until end of August, early September (my wedding is Sept 12). But if I ordered the 10 it would come in at latest in mid August.They assured me that since it is a corset back I would maybe not even need to do alterations.

So, being new to this whole wedding racket, i believed them and ordered a size too big. The dress came in JUNE! A full two months before they said it would. AND it was too big! Of course. They wanted my money for alterations. I took the dress and told them I already had a seamstress (which I didn’t). I didn’t want them getting anymore money out of me!! I managed to find a seamstress locally and she makes fun of the bridal salons and how they charge $150 to do a simple hem, things like that.

Someone needs to do something about this, the amount of money that brides get scammed out of is despicable. I hope things turn out well for you. I have to say that the whole experience of buyingmy dress and getting it altered has been nothing but one huge hassle, and has caused me a lot of needless stress.

Post # 16
3793 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Oh I forgot to mention the other load of hooey that I heard.  I tried on my dress in a Sample size 8, and that was loose on me.  The consultants told me how sample dresses are tried on multiple times a day and so it must have been all stretched out because I measured bigger than an 8.  After I ordered, my salesperson let it slip that they had gotten the sample I tried on just 3 days earlier.  It wasn’t stretched out and I probably should have demanded to see the sizing chart.  I would have ordered a 6 or *maybe* an 8.

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