So often at a brides first fitting, they say 'Oh I forgot how big it was!'....
Lots of wedding dresses that have a fuller skirt come with several layers of gathered net under the outer layers of fabric. The dress may be a bit pouffier than you'd remembered and now you're thinking about the practicalities of the day....will my dress fit down the aisle?.....will anyone be able to walk next me?....I've got to wear this all day and night, will it be comfortable?.....will I fit in the tiny classic sports car that's picking me up?!!
A pretty straight forward solution to the volume of the skirt is to remove the gathered layers of net which you will find stitched to the lining of the dress. Please note I'm talking about the stiff scratchy net right under the dress, not any of the tulle which is probably on the outer layers of the dress, you can't see them unless you lift up the top layers of the skirt. It's these layers of gathered net which are creating the bulk of the volume. Your dress might be cut in a certain way that it will always have a fuller skirt, but the net really gives the shape more definition. You can just go for it and get rid of them - no problem, they can be unpicked and your dress will just fall a bit more softly, or you can unpick a couple of layers at a time so you can see a more gradual transition and find the right shape you're happy with. All this being said, if your dress arrived and you thought, heck lets plump this dress out a bit (again depending on the style and cut of the dress) you can add in extra gathered net, or if you have an A-line or princess dress, order a hooped petticoat off the Internet (you can pick one up from eBay or Amazon for £10) and get the volume this way. A fishtail/ mermaid dress can also have net volume added from the knee and you can also find specific fishtail hooped petticoats online to add more volume. These hoops will also make walking a lot easier and in the summer if it's hot, the hoop will help keep the fabric off your legs to keep a bit of air circulating!!
If you're feeling really bold, you can even chop the bottom off the skirt and really show of those pins and make your dress short or tea length. The two examples below are of dresses which had a makeover, the one on the left was an oyster satin dress which was being worn after the wedding for a cocktail party (love it got a second outing!) and the other was a sample for a younger bride who just wanted something a bit more fun... and why not, that's what girls are supposed to do right?!