You've found your dream dress, the perfect veil, your shoes and all your accessories - now it's time to get your dress alterations done for the perfect fit! Nearly every wedding dress needs alterations, even if it is just a little bit to ensure the perfect fit. So be sure to budget for these. They can get pricey and you don't want to be sticker shock like I was when my seamstress gave me the price breakdown. Dress alterations can be anywhere from $50-$1000.
Aside from budgeting, my first tip is to get yourself on the calendar for a seamstress you trust. Wherever you bought your wedding dress, they should either have a seamstress that does alterations in store or they can recommend a seamstress to you. As you get ready for your bridal alterations, here are some things you should know!
Different Types of Wedding Dress Alterations
Dress alterations typically start with hemming the length, adjusting the sides and tweaking the dress. Most everyone will need these alterations done to their dress so it is the perfect fit for the big day. A well-fitted dress should be the perfect length, just grazing the floor. It should also support the bust and complement your body shape.
More personalized details of your dress would include adding sleeves, beading, buttons, lace appliqué and a bustle. Most people think a bustle would come on their dress when they buy it but this is not true. A bustle will have to be altered to ensure your train doesn't drag when you are dancing at the reception. All these take more time and cost more money.\
Common Dress Alteration Questions
How many fittings will I need?
The amount of fittings a bride will need will depend on how many alterations needed and how much your body changes during that time. Typically, there are three different appointments.
The first appointment will go over all the different alterations you need. Your seamstress will begin pinning all the areas you need perfected. He/she will then take it and begin to make most of the alterations between now and the second appointment.
At the second appointment, you will try on your dress and begin to have a better idea of how your dress will fit.
At the final fitting, about two weeks before your wedding, you will try on your dress one last time before the big day. Que the happy tears!
How Long Will a Fitting Appointment Take?
Typically your appointments should take no longer than an hour. The first appointment will take the longest and the second two should take up much less time.
What Should I Budget For Alterations?
Wedding dress alterations can add up quickly! $250 to hem the dress, $150 for your seamstress to store it, $200 to add buttons and $300 to add a bustle. Be sure you budget for alterations ahead of time. It is never a bad idea to even give your seamstress a call, show her a picture of your gown and ask if he/she knows about how much alterations will cost.
Wedding Dress Alteration Tips
Stay on Schedule
Buy your wedding dress early (like 12 months before your wedding) and schedule your fittings right away. Many seamstresses book up!
Be Mindful of Your Anticipated Wedding Weight
Never order a dress smaller than what fits you currently. It is always easier to take in a dress than the opposite.
Bring Your Wedding Shoes, Accessories and Undergarments to Every Appointment
You want to make sure you bring all your wedding day essentials in order to ensure your gown fits you just right.
Bring a Friend
Bring someone along with you who is supportive to give you the best experience. They will help cheer you on and get a second set of eyes on your dress to ensure the right fit.
Your wedding dress is so special, be sure to make this experience an unforgettable one. Celebrate with dinner after with your mom, your closest friend, your aunt or anyone else who will be there to cheer you on!