It’s every bride’s dream: an audible gasp accompanied by misty eyes and a few unmistakable sniffles as she appears. A vision to behold in a dress that looks like it was made specifically for her—and her alone.
If you want to have that effect on your guests, here’s how it’s done.
After choosing the dress, the secret to captivating and moving your guests (and fiancée!) is through the dress alterations. When done right, your wedding gown should appear as though it’s an extension of you.
So. Now that the secret’s out, here’s everything you need to know beforehand about wedding dress alterations.
When should you schedule your wedding dress alterations?
Your first alteration appointment should be made 6-8 weeks before your wedding.
During this appointment, you must let the sewist know your vision for the dress–including how you want it to look and feel ultimately.
Do bridesmaid dresses need to be altered, too?
Yes, your bridesmaid’s dresses should be altered to fit as well. However, depending on the dress you choose, bridesmaid dress alterations may be easier to achieve. They may require some hemming or taking it in an inch or so at the waist.
Your bridesmaids should schedule their fittings approximately a month before the big day to ensure a perfect fit.
Bella Bridesmaids has an extensive selection of gorgeous dresses. They cater to all bodies and have a wide range of materials and styles to choose from. Check out their website. And yes… they have wedding gowns too!
How many wedding dress alterations do you need?
A typical bridal gown requires 2-3 fittings to get it perfect. Your seamstress will let you know what they recommend during your first appointment.
Your final fitting should be scheduled no later than 1-2 weeks before your big day.
Who can alter my wedding dress?
This is a task for an experienced seamstress, not your friend, with a sewing machine deep in her closet.
Find someone who specializes in bridal alterations or someone who comes highly recommended. You can use online reviews to help you narrow down your search, and as you check out potential candidates, it’s okay to ask if you can see examples of prior alterations they’ve made.
What can I expect at my initial wedding dress alteration consultation?
The seamstress will want to see what they’re working with. They’ll assess how your dress currently fits, and discuss any changes you want made.
It’s important to bring your wedding day shoes and the undergarments you plan on wearing during the big day. That way, the seamstress can work to hide any bunching or straps and can get the dress at the exact length you want to accommodate the extra inches, courtesy of your heels.
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. If you have any specific areas of concern or if anything is pinching, too tight and you can’t breathe, let the seamstress know.
Be open to their expert opinion, too. Your expectations may be unrealistic depending on the style of the dress; however, they’ll likely have some equally gorgeous suggestions based on their first-hand experience.
What commonly needs to be altered on a wedding dress?
The most common adjustments that need to be made on wedding gowns include hemming, taking in or letting out around the waistline and bust area, shortening or removing the train, and strap or neckline adjustments.
How much does it cost to get a wedding dress altered?
As with anything, prices fluctuate depending on the type of work needed. Simple hemming costs $150. However, the average bride spends around $450, and extensive resizing and other modifications can be $700 or more.
It’s okay to ask for an upfront estimate before you commit to anything.
How should I care for my wedding dress before the big day?
Your seamstress will likely have a host of care instructions after the final alterations have been made. The dress will likely be handed to you in a protective plastic covering, and depending on the material, it may need to be hung up to prevent wrinkles.
If you’re worried about stains or anything unfortunate happening to the dress on your big day, ask what can be done in case of emergency, such as on-the-spot stain removal. Also, inquire if there are any other “just in case” items you should have on hand to protect the dress.
Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. By paying attention to the details, you can take something incredible and make it magnificent.
The vision of you in your dress is something your guests will remember when they think of your big day, and we have no doubt about it: It’s going to be absolutely breathtaking.