How To Turn A Maxi Dress Into A Wedding Dress 

A woman in a white maxi dress with orange flowers
With a clear vision, the necessary skills, and plenty of patience, you can convert your favorite maxi dress into a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind wedding dress.

The versatility of the maxi dress is unmatched! You can wear one to a casual brunch with your girlfriends and wear another one as a guest to a wedding. But did you ever consider that you can turn a maxi dress into a wedding dress? Sounds interesting, yes? Let’s take a look at how to do that.

Envision Your Dress

The first step in turning a maxi dress into a wedding dress is picturing the final look in detail. You must have a precise, detailed vision in your mind so that you can choose the right maxi dress to convert. For instance, if you want a tiered wedding dress, you could start with a tiered maxi dress and go from there. Alternatively, a chiffon maxi would be the best place to start if you want a wedding dress with a lot of movement. 

Ensure that you choose the right color for your wedding dress. Creating your dream wedding dress will require additional fabric and embellishments that should match your maxi’s color. For instance, choose the right shade of white for your maxi dress to create a traditional white wedding gown, then match it to everything else you will add.

Break It Down Into Sections

Four main sections make up a wedding dress. Before choosing your maxi dress, you must consider the following:


The dress neckline is important because it is the most noticeable part of the dress. Different kinds of necklines range from the more revealing sweetheart, v-neck, and portrait, to the more covered-up bateau, jewel, and one-shoulder. While some necklines can be modified, getting a maxi dress with your preferred neckline is smart.


Sleeves strongly indicate a bride’s personality and preference. For instance, a religious bride may choose long sleeves that completely cover the arms and shoulders. Long sleeves can also make a dress look regal and formal, so they could be a great option for a bride that wants to look like a royal. Alternatively, if you are going for a sexier look, spaghetti straps or a strapless dress may work for you. 

If you would like a bit of both worlds, consider making a convertible dress with detachable sleeves. For instance, with a strapless dress, you could make a lace bodice with sleeves to wear inside the dress that you can take off for the reception. So you could get a dress with the sleeves you want or modify it as you please.


If you want the traditional wedding dress look, you might like a voluminous skirt to make a ball gown or A-line skirt. As such, you will have to buy extra fabric to create that volume which maxi dresses don’t have. You could create an entirely new skirt and wear it over your dress or sew in some crinoline under the maxi dress skirt to add some volume.

If you prefer something more form-fitting you could choose a mermaid-style maxi dress as your base.You will need an extra layer of fabric to keep your dress from being sheer, add more structure, and give you a better silhouette. In addition, the extra fabric will act as a barrier to protect your skin if you add embellishments to your dress.

Many maxi dresses have pockets nowadays so that can be a fun feature to retain for your wedding dress. And a dress with pockets is always more fun than a dress without pockets.


Trains can take a simple dress to the next level. You can choose to create a train by creating an entirely new skirt to wear over your maxi dress. Alternatively, you could add extra layers of fabric to the back of the dress to create a gorgeous train. Detachable trains are also a fun option. You can have one attached to the waist of your dress and then remove it after the ceremony. All you need to think about is how long you want that train to be and modify your maxi dress accordingly.

Find A Seamstress/Tailor

If you are a seamstress, this can be a lovely DIY project but for most people, creating a wedding dress is beyond their skill level. So if you’re like most people, enlist the help of a seamstress/tailor. Ensure that you are both on the same page and make the necessary compromises to create your dream dress. Also, check out their previous work before speaking with them so you can gauge their skill and creativity level.

It is ideal to have a picture or sketch of the final look, plus pictures of the details in each dress section. That way, as you try to explain your vision, there is no misunderstanding. Creating a unique dress takes time, so make sure to find your seamstress/tailor as soon as possible. That way, you have enough time to source extra materials and make any alterations.

Count The Cost

Make a reasonable budget for this conversion. DIY projects like these are often cheaper than buying a brand-new wedding dress, but they can get out of hand without proper planning and budgeting. If you are making the alterations yourself, it will definitely be cheaper than paying for a seamstress. But if that seamstress is a friend, you could get a nice discount. Either way, make a budget and try to stick to it.

Converting a maxi dress into a wedding dress is an exciting challenge for a bride and her seamstress. It is an opportunity to create a truly unique dress that you can wear to other events in the future. It also allows you to express your personality and creativity and have a wedding dress you absolutely love and enjoy. 

Is It Cheaper To Make A Wedding Dress Than To Buy One?

That depends on what kind of dress you want. Some fabrics are more expensive than others which could make buying cheaper than making a custom dress. On the other hand, if you are converting an existing dress to a wedding dress, there are ways to affordably customize it so that it ends up being cheaper than buying a brand-new one.

Why Do I Need Extra Lining For A Wedding Dress?

The lining adds structure to your dress, giving it a better shape and fit. Since wedding dresses are traditionally white or light-colored, the extra lining will help to hide the seams. Lining also protects your skin from irritation caused by embellishments on the dress and keeps you warm and comfortable. For a flowy dress, the lining keeps it from sticking to your body to give that beautiful ethereal look.

Lior Shapiro

I love clothes with pockets and dresses, and I think any woman can pull off a good maxi dress.
I believe women's clothes with pockets make the world a better place.