Did you know that buying your wedding dress is just the first step in perfecting your bridal look? Odds are, your dress will need at least a little tweaking here and there before it's absolutely perfect for you... This is where wedding dress alterations come in. I know this whole dress process sounds like a lot, but don't worry, here's everything you need to know!
WHAT IS A WEDDING DRESS FITTING?
Let's start with the basics... a wedding dress fitting or alterations appointment is when you try on your wedding dress and talk through any adjustments that need to be made with a seamstress. The seamstress will pin your dress in any areas that will be adjusted. You'll take off the dress and make a second fitting appointment to come back and retry the dress on after the seamstress makes those changes. If there's still some adjustments to be made, another round of fittings will need to be scheduled. As soon as everything looks perfect, you can take your dress home!
WHY DO YOU NEED ALTERATIONS IF YOUR DRESS WAS CUSTOM ORDERED?
With most bridal shops, the designers you are ordering from use a sample size chart. When you purchase your dress, your bridal stylist will take your measurements and order your dress in the closest size that matches the designer's sample size chart. It is very rare that this sample size will be an EXACT fit for you, however it will be very close. Every single body is different, so working with a seamstress will ensure your dress is completely perfect for you!
WHAT ALTERATIONS ARE TYPICALLY NEEDED FOR WEDDING DRESSES?
Alterations will totally vary for each bride, but the most common things that need adjusting for almost every bride are the hem, taking up the straps, and adding a bustle. Hemming your dress is important to do after you have decided what shoes you'll be wearing so your heel height will be taken into account. Taking up the straps will help the dress lay nice and flat against your body in the correct places. Adding a bustle is recommended for all dresses that have a train. A bustle is when clear buttons or hooks are added to the back of the dress, and the train is hooked up onto the dress after your ceremony. The purpose for this is so the train doesn't get in your way or stepped on while you're celebrating the rest of the day.
OTHER POSSIBLE ALTERATIONS YOU MIGHT NEED...
Additional alterations you might need for your wedding dress could include adding or changing out the bra cups, taking in the dress anywhere that it's too loose, and letting out the dress anywhere it's too tight.
OPTIONAL CUSTOMIZATIONS FOR YOUR WEDDING DRESS...
Beyond the standard dress alterations listed above, a seamstress is also able add special customizations to your dress if you desire. Typically, your bridal stylist will be able to customize a few things with the designer when you order your dress such as the color and train length. A seamstress can take things a bit further when it comes to customizations. Some possible customizations you might want could include adding sleeves or straps, changing the neckline, lowering the back of the dress, adding beading and/or lace, adding buttons or a zipper, and removing or adding layers of tulle. Although some things are more difficult to alter with some dresses, the possibilities are practically endless when it comes to customizing details with your seamstress. Customizations are a great way to make your wedding dress even more unique and special to you. These things should be discussed with both your bridal stylist during the ordering process and your seamstress during the alteration process.
HOW LONG DO WEDDING ALTERATIONS TAKE?
The length of your alteration process will vary depending on what all is being done to your dress. Most brides will just need one or two rounds of fittings. This could take anywhere from 1-4 months. Your actual fitting appointment will be around 30 minutes to an hour. We recommend that brides begin their wedding dress alterations 3-4 months before the wedding date if possible. If your deadline is shorter, you will have to look around for a seamstress who will be able to complete your alterations in your time frame. The less alterations you need, the quicker they will be able to finish your wedding dress.
HELPFUL WEDDING DRESS ALTERATION TIPS FOR BRIDES...
customize all that you possibly can with the bridal stylist/designer of your dress (often the customizations with the designer are free!)
talk through with your bridal stylist what all you would need altered/what you want customized when you try on your dress at the bridal shop before taking home
bring a friend to your alterations appointment for moral support and to have a second opinion on what would look the best on you
plan for your wedding weight if you anticipate losing or gaining any weight after the alterations process has begun
bring all of your wedding undergarments/shoes/accessories you will be wearing on your big day to your fitting to ensure everything looks perfect with the alterations
MOST importantly... be honest with your seamstress if you aren’t in love with something so they can fix it. It's the most special day of your life, you don't want any regrets.
HOW MUCH DO ALTERATIONS COST?
The average price of alterations is around $200-$500. This amount could be less than $200 if you are only altering the hem or having minor things customized on your dress, and it can also be more than $500 if you are significantly altering your dress. Discussing all of these alteration details with a seamstress before agreeing to hire them will give you a great idea of the exact cost for your wedding dress alterations.
WHERE TO GET YOUR ALTERATIONS DONE...
It is possible that the bridal shop you purchased your dress from has an in-house seamstress. In this case, it is extremely easy to talk through alterations with the seamstress even during the dress purchasing process. The bridal shop might also have a special offer if you decide to get alterations done in-house or even include the alterations in the price of the dress. If the bridal shop does not have a seamstress who works in-house, there are specific alteration businesses that specialize in wedding dresses and/or formal wear. Whichever route you decide, be sure to talk through all the details you want altered on your dress and make sure the seamstress has plenty of time to complete your dress in time for your wedding before hiring them.
SEAMSTRESSES IN SPRINGFIELD, MO
If you are local to SGF, here's three great seamstress options for your wedding dress alterations!
Like I mentioned at the beginning... I know this process involves a lot, but your wedding dress is the most special outfit you'll ever wear. I promise, the extra time and effort put into making it perfect for your wedding day is 100% worth it.
If you're just beginning this process and ready to start your dress search, book your appointment with us! We can't wait to help you shop and celebrate you and your love :)