Know what to expect before visiting the bridal salon.
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As any bride-to-be can attest, shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most exciting aspects of planning your big day-but it can also be one of the most confusing. Whether you're purchasing a wedding dress off-the-rack, ordering something made-to-measure straight from the designer, or going the custom route, finding your dream bridal look isn't always a pleasant process. Here, we answer perhaps the common question surrounding the bride's big-day attire: Are wedding dresses true to size?

According to Kaitlin Nonko, the Denver area manager of anna bé bridal boutique, every designer uses a different size chart based on their own patterns. That means wedding dresses and other bridal attire almost never runs true to the standard sizing conventions most shoppers are familiar with. "Some designer's patterns run small, so the bride might require a larger size than seems necessary. Other times they'll need a smaller size based on the cut of the dress," she says. For example, a bride who has a pear-shaped figure who's planning to wear a full-bodied skirt will likely order a smaller size that will fit her perfectly in the bust and waist. With this type of wedding dress, the hip measurements won't matter as much.

For this reason, some brides-to-be are often confused by the shopping experience, especially if they're browsing sample sales or salons without the help of a professional. Some women may even be discouraged by the sizing and how the dress they ultimately need to buy differs from their usual size. Despite sizing inconsistencies, however, a bride shouldn't fret about achieving the ideal fit.

"The most important thing a bride can do is leave it up to the experts," says Nonko. "Since bridal stylists work with designers' brands everyday, they know extensively how each designer's size chart works." Don't hesitate to ask the stylist to review the designer's size chart, if it will help. Also, keep in mind that alterations are almost always necessary for bridal gowns. With a little but of finessing, an expert tailor can turn any dress into the perfect-fitting gown of your dreams.


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