Bridal Fittings 101: Everything You Need to Know about Wedding Dress Alterations

Most brides require 2-3 fittings, on occasion 4 if there are many customized changes. Here is a list of everything you need to know about wedding dress alterations.

If possible, try on wedding dresses close to your size.

Though you have the option to resize a gown up or down, you may not be able to change the gown by more than 2 sizes depending on the amount of seam allowance in the dress. So try on sizes that will give you a close-to-accurate idea of how the dress will actually fit. In the same vein, a dress that is way too big may need to be restructured and redesigned. The hassle is so not worth it.

It’s easier to take in a wedding dress than it is to let it out.

Buy that size that fits the largest part of your body, and take it in where necessary.

Make sure your bridal consultant records the correct measurements.

Have your measurements taken twice by different people to ensure they are correct. Order your dress 9-12 months before the wedding so that if the bridal salon accidentally orders the wrong size, you will have some time to correct the issue before the wedding. When the dress arrives, have your measurements taken again to determine if your body has changed at all.

Book the reputable seamstress, not the one with the cheapest prices.

This is your wedding dress for goodness sakes! The truth? Alterations can be expensive, but you get what you pay for. Alterations specialists will not quote you a price before seeing you in the actual gown, but they may be able to give you a price range if you ask. There’s nothing worse than buying a fabulous dress and then get hit with a hefty alterations bill you weren’t expecting. So make sure you leave more than enough room in the budget for unexpected costs.

The more detailed the dress, the more money you’ll spend on alterations.

If you opt for a fully beaded gown with gems covering your side seams, you can bet that you’ll pay for the time and effort the seamstress will spend removing and reinstalling those beads. Also, gowns with full lace appliqué hems and no hidden hemline at the knee can cost a bit more to remove the appliqué, trim the gown, and then replace the appliqué.

Is an appointment required?

This is what you’ll want to ask the day you purchase your dress. Find out which days are the less busy, and visit during that time so you won’t feel rushed. If Tuesday evening is the slowest day of the week, that’s they day you want to visit. Trust me! Also, many alterations shops will require at least 6-8 weeks to complete your gown, so make sure you schedule your appointment plenty of time before the wedding day.

Refrain from wearing makeup … or gym sweat to your appointment.

Cleaning a wedding dress is not a simple task. So booking your appointment right after a weekly gym sesh or with a face full of makeup is not the wisest idea.

You must bring your shapewear and wedding shoes.

If you forget these essential items, your alterations specialist may ask you to reschedule. Their job is to achieve the best possible fit, and that is nearly impossible if you come to your appointment wearing flats yet you plan to wear 6-inch heels to your wedding. And if your Spanx holds in the love handles that make your dress feel a little too snug, well then bring those!

Pregnant? Upcoming Boob Job or Tummy Tuck?

Tell someone ASAP. Once the fabric of your wedding dress is cut, there may not always be an option to reverse the work (unless you add panels to the dress openings). Be very honest with your bridal consultant about any body changes so arrangements can be made for you if necessary.

If the alterations specialist says “no” to a particular change, there’s likely a good reason.

It’s okay to ask for a second opinion, but most alterations specialist will know their stuff, so trust their judgement and ask if there is an alternative to fixing your issue.

Have a final fitting about 2 weeks before your wedding.

Our bodies change so much, especially under the stress and anxiety that some brides experience in the days leading up to the wedding. There is a small chance that your dress will need even more work closer to the wedding day. But no worries. Just give yourself 2 weeks to make any last minute changes, and try to maintain a steady weight.

Featured Cover Image Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige{"url":"","count":71})


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