Firstly, just to put your mind at rest, unless your dress is made to measure, 99% of wedding dresses will need altering in some way, shape or form. So, you’ve found your dream dress, but it doesn’t quite fit right, now you need the perfect fit… here we take you through the process, what to think about, what to prepare and how to go about it, with our expert advice on wedding dress alterations.
Here at Perfect Fit Bridal Couture we have done thousands of wedding dress alterations over the years, and there’s nothing our dedicated couture trained seamstresses have not seen or done, so don’t be phased and always ask. Your dress may need just the hem altering, tailoring to your shape, or you might want to customise it in some way, here’s how to prepare and what to expect when it comes to wedding dress alterations…
Finding a good seamstress is imperative, your bridal store might offer wedding dress alterations in house, or have a recommended seamstress to use, if they don’t look for recommendations from others, ask family, friends or look for reviews of seamstresses in your area.
Visit your chosen seamstress, or wedding dress alterations service as soon as you have your dress to discuss your alterations with them and this will also give you chance to share any other needs and requirements you have.
Wedding dress alterations are normally carried out around 8 weeks before the wedding date, so you can get booked in and tick another thing off the list! Be prepared to have fittings done through the week, most bridal stores are fully booked with try on appointments at the weekend so make sure you have an ideal available time that you can do mid-week, if possible.
First Alterations Fit
We cannot stress this enough, ALWAYS bring the underwear, shapewear/underskirt and shoes with you… to every appointment. The fit of a dress can be determined by these things and the seamstress may not be able to continue and do your appointment if you do not have them with you.
If you have a backless dress and a bra is not needed, but you feel you need a little bit extra shape in that department your seamstress can help with this, but please remember that added cups do not offer support, and they will not do what your bra does. I you’ve bought a backless dress, but you’re not happy with the way it’s fitting, or thought it would fit when altered due to support it’s giving you, think about an added illusion back panel or lace panel.
Shapewear will help give you a smooth line so if you’re planning on wearing it make sure you have it at your first fit, it will give you a true picture of how you will look on the big day!
Hems, almost every bridal hem will need altering in some way- Why do they make them so ridiculously long, I here you say! Bridal designers and manufacturers have to try and accommodate for all brides, including different heel heights, and you can take up, you can’t add on!
Whether your dress is 1 inch, or 5 inches too long it will still be the same price, as it’s the same alteration. If your dress is only slightly too long, it may be cheaper to change your shoes, or add a hoop, your bridal seamstress should advise on this.
Depending on the alteration, depends on the number of fittings you will have, but generally you will have 2-3 fittings in total before collection of your dress, so bear this in mind on the run up to the wedding day. Plan ahead to avoid any added stress.
After your first fit it is imperative to try and maintain the weight and shape you were when the dress was fitted. If you lose or gain weight quite rapidly during your fittings, this will mean extra alterations, and extra cost for you if anything has to be re-done.
Remember your seamstress is only interested in the fit of the dress, not your weight or shape- they will have seen every single shape and body type going, their focus is making you look and feel fabulous! You need to be open and honest about your body and what are deal breakers for you in terms of dress fit and tell your seamstress about anything that may alter your body shape across the fitting process.
Cost is always a tricky one when it comes to wedding dress alterations. Please remember that seamstresses are highly skilled and altering wedding dresses is not easy, they have tirelessly trained, and experienced many a wedding dress to allow them to get the perfect fit on yours.
Most brides are not experts in the construction of wedding dresses, there will be hidden layers, complicated internal construction and potentially handwork to finish the alterations on your dress, all of which is extremely time consuming. And don’t forget the costs of your alterations also includes your fittings, your beautiful surroundings, excellent customer service you receive, steaming and preparing your dress for the big day, and on occasions lots of reassurance and emotional support! As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
After all is said and done, bridal seamstresses LOVE their job, they must do, at times it can be stressful and emotional, but when they see their brides looking and feeling fabulous, it makes it all worth while!
If you’re looking for advice and help with wedding dress alterations, get in touch! We’d be more than happy to help!