What to Expect with your Bridal Alterations

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Congratulations, you found your perfect dress! So what’s next? Let’s talk about bridal alterations…

First of all, good job on making so many big decisions so far in your wedding planning process! You are doing amazing. Finding the dress to walk down the aisle in is a big step, and you want to take every step necessary to ensure it looks perfect on your wedding day! The fit is everything, and your wedding day is likely the only day you’ll be able to show it off, so you want it to be perfect. Something that a lot of people don’t think about when saying yes to the dress, is that there is a process to get the dress to your exact vision–and that is alterations. Since we know many people have never been through this process, we’ve put together a list of things to expect and how to prepare for the alterations process.


girl getting her wedding dress alterations done


What to Expect:

It might seem crazy, but most all brides are going to need some sort of alteration done to their gown, no matter if you special order your gown or buy off-the-rack. Although you use a size guide to order your dress based off of your measurements, it’s just that–a size guide. It’s not likely that all of your measurements are going to put you into the exact same size, although it is possible! When we take measurements and compare them to a size guide, we use the biggest measurement to determine the size of dress we order–leaving the other areas up to adjustments in alterations! That being said, alterations are just a part of the process! All of us are different shapes and sizes and will need some adjustments to create that perfect fit. 

Even if your dress fits perfectly in the top, most brides will still need a hem and bustle. But more times than not, most brides will need some adjustments to the bodice, hem, and a bustle added. It is very rare for a bride to find her dress and for it to need no alterations, so remember to add that into your budget.

Speaking of budget, alterations are most always separate from your gown purchase. There is no real way to add alterations into the cost of your gown, because each bride will need different adjustments, which will vary the price in alterations. So just remember to make room in your budget for both your gown and your alterations.


bring shoes to wedding dress alterations


How to Prepare:

Your wedding is almost here! Now it’s time to create that perfect fit.

First things first, finding a seamstress. The bridal shop that you get your wedding dress from may have a seamstress in-house, or they may have someone that they recommend you to. Either way, you should have a seamstress picked out at least 3 months before the wedding because this is the optimal time to begin alterations! Before you come in for your first fitting, you will need to figure out your undergarments and your shoes. Keep in mind that you will want to pick comfortable shoes that you can wear all night and that your seamstress can’t hem your gown without your shoes (so don’t forget them!). Your shoes should remain the same throughout the process, because if you switch your shoes, you may run the risk of your dress being to long or short on your wedding day.


tips from our seamstress before alterations


Tips from our seamstress:

  • Start your alterations 3 months before your wedding date to insure there is plenty of time for all your alterations to be made and that you are not charged a rush fee.
  • Whatever you plan to wear under your gown on your wedding day, should be worn during your fittings. Changing undergarments will affect the way your gown fits your body.
  • Your gown will be fitted to you during your first fitting, so make sure you are at your ideal weight before your fittings start. If you lose more than 10 lbs after your first fitting your gown will have to be re-altered.
  • Don’t change your shoe height after your gown has been hemmed. Make sure to bring your bridal shoes to each fitting.


Now that you’ve learned all about alterations, and what to expect… Let the fun begin!




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