How to Choose the Right Size for Your Wedding Dress

How to Choose the Right Size for Your Wedding Dress

How to Choose the Right Size for Your Wedding Dress. Mobile Image

Feb 14, 2024

Are you wondering what wedding dress size to order for your body? One of the most common topics we get questions from brides about is wedding dress sizing. When brides begin shopping for their wedding dress they are often not sure what size bridal gown they should be looking for and wonder how to determine what size dress they should order for their wedding dress. This is where expert bridal stylists come in to help guide brides.


There are a few important things to know about wedding dress sizes that will help brides know what size will best fit their bodies and will be the best size wedding dress to order. We will share all our best tips in regards to wedding dress sizing and choosing what size wedding dress to order based on your body measurements.


Video: How to Choose the Right Size for Your Wedding Dress


If you are a bride ready to shop for your wedding dress, you might be wondering how to determine what size wedding dress you should purchase. It can be confusing to understand how bridal sizing works, so be sure to watch our advice video all about how to choose the right size for your wedding dress before your next wedding dress shopping appointment. 



Wedding Dress Sizing


The first important thing to note when it comes to wedding dress sizes is that the bridal size does not match the size you are in regular clothing. We have seen many brides have some anxiety or nerves when they notice the size of the wedding dresses they are trying on. Do not let this rattle you at your wedding dress shopping appointments. Bridal sizing is very different than your everyday street clothing. If you are a size 4 in your everyday clothing, you will probably be looking at a bridal size 8 to size 12.


Bridal sizing also depends on each wedding dress designer. Each designer will have their own size chart so you can’t expect a bridal 10 to be the same dimensions across all designers. This can be really confusing to brides when they are shopping but don’t let it lead to panic.


Body Measurements


To ensure the best fit of your wedding dress, your dress will be ordered based on your body measurements. You will be trying on sample size wedding dresses that will fall somewhere in the middle of the size chart. Bridal stores order their inventory in the middle of the size chart so that many brides will be able to try on the different dresses. But your individual dress will be ordered based on your body measurements, not based on how the sample gowns fit you.


Your bridal stylist will take three measurements to determine what size wedding dress you should order. These three body measurements are your bust, your waist, and your hips. The waist is measured above the belly button, the area that if you were to bend over towards the side, your body gets a crease. The hip measurement will be the widest point of your hips and bottom.


Based on these three measurements, your bridal stylist will line you up on the designer’s size chart and see where you fall. You should order the size that accommodates your largest measurement. For example, if your hips are your largest measurement, you should order the size dress that will fit your hips and then during the alterations process, the bust and waist can be taken in if needed. It’s much easier to take in a dress than it is to try to expand the size because there is only so much extra fabric in the seams to work with.


Don’t Size Down


At our bridal salon we often hear brides say they are trying to lose weight before their wedding or tone up to look their best on wedding day. We never encourage our brides to lose weight - every bride is going to be beautiful in their dress on wedding day! But this is something we hear a lot as bridal stylists, especially brides thinking they will order a size down for their dress as motivation or a goal size to fit into by wedding day.


We highly recommend brides do not order a dress size smaller than their body measurements. There are a few ways this can play out leading up to wedding day. Let’s say you really do hit the gym hard and you’re toning up before wedding day. You might actually be growing in your body measurements because you are gaining muscle mass even if your body look leaner. This can especially be a problem if your dress is more fitted because now your body measurements might be larger than when you initially ordered your dress. Another scenario is that you don’t make it to the gym as much as you planned or you actually gain a little weight under the stress of wedding planning but are still stuck with a smaller dress size.


Another thing we have seen brides try to do is to order a dress with certain measurements to make sure their body matches those measurements, so that they pay less in alterations. We also discourage this because the designer size chart and the dress, the measurements, vary ever so slightly. Just based on the production process, sometimes dresses come a little bit bigger or even a little smaller than what was on that size selected on the size chart. So it’s really best to err on the size of a bit bigger than smaller. Alterations fees are not based on the amount of fabric removed from a dress, so it won’t save you money in the long run to try to squeeze into a smaller size. Don’t add extra stress onto yourself by needing to fit into a smaller size or finding out at your alterations appointment that you can’t fit into your dress.


More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Advice


We hope you have found this advice helpful when it comes to knowing how bridal sizing works and what size wedding dress to order and purchase. For even more helpful advice when it comes to shopping for your dream wedding dress and finding your bridal style, be sure to check out our past posts:



About Lovella


If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!



About Wedding Fashion Expert


Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.