Stitch and Fix: Alterations 101

 

Congratulations! After trying on tons of dresses, you’ve finally found the perfect wedding dress to walk down the aisle! But…what do you do next? FullSizeRender 23Unless you’re really lucky, your wedding dress isn’t going to fit you perfectly right off the rack. Like most brides, you’ll likely need some kind of alterations to your gown to make sure that it fits your beautiful bridal curves like a glove. Here are a few tips and notes to keep in mind:

  1. Order UP! Once you’ve found THE dress, you want to make sure you get the right size. Some brides make plans to get fit leading up to the big day. If you plan on dropping a few pounds between the time you buy your dress and the time you walk down the aisle, you don’t want to order your dress too small. It’s always easier to take make a dress smaller, than to make a dress bigger. Definitely consult with your seamstress on the best course of action for ordering the appropriate size.
  2. Finding a Seamstress. Every bridal salon operates a little differently. Some bridal boutiques have their own in-house alterations departments, while others have recommended seamstresses. If your choice boutique does not have a seamstress in-house, you definitely want to go with a place that they recommend. Wedding dresses are made with a lot of detail and delicate materials and you’ll want to leave your dress in the hands of a place that is experienced with such alterations.
  3. Cost? Average alterations cost can start at around $275 and go up from there. The cost of alterations varies. The more detailed or delicate you dress, the more expensive it’s likely to be. Materials like delicate lace, or beading can make the alterations a little more as well. Another thing that can affect the cost is adding things like buttons, a bustle, bra cups (get them!!!!), straps, sleeves, etc. Make sure you budget accordingly.
  4. When to go? Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither are dress alterations. Expect to have at least two fittings before the wedding. You’ll want to give yourself, and the seamstress time to do the work so that you’ll have your dress on time. Its recommend you schedule your first fitting at least 6 to 8 months prior to the month of your wedding. Your first visit is the first consultation where your dress gets fitted, pinned etc. Depending on how detailed your dress is, it may take a little longer for the initial alterations to be done. Your second fitting will be to try on the dress with the first round of alterations. Your dress may fit perfect at that point, in which case you can take the dress with or leave it at the seamstress for a later pick-up. Otherwise, your seamstress will make minor adjustments, where you’ll have to go back again for another fitting.
  5. What to bring? When you go for your first fitting, it helps to bring the things you’ll actually be wearing on the day. At the very least, bring your shoes. If you haven’t decided on shoes yet, bring a pair that has the same heel height you plan to wear on the big say. This is key for length. If you have a belt, bring that too. If you have a veil at the time of your fitting. definitely bring it along, especially if you plan on having a floor length or cathedral veil. You’ll want to make sure the length of the dress coordinates with the length of the veil. Don’t forget your undergarments! Whatever undies or bras, shape-ware, make sure you have those on hand.
  6. Entourage or nah? For a first fitting you don’t need to bring an entire crew, like you would when you’re dress shopping. One or two people, whose eyes and opinion you trust should suffice.

Whether you found your dress or not, at least you’ll be prepared when you do!

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