8 Tips for wedding gown alterations

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Congrats! after months of searching high and low you finally found your wedding dress, however, the process is not over yet. Whether you need hemming the length, adjusting the sides of the gown, fine-tuning the fit of the dress, or need a complete resizing because you bought a sample dress or because you want to honor your mother, or grandmother by wearing their wedding gown. We got expert tips for wedding gown alterations that you need to know.

1. Researcher alterations studio beforehand

Most gown needs a little tweaking. You do not necessarily need to use the alterations service from where you purchase your gown for whatever reason you may have (inconvenience or bridal shop does not have an in-house alterations service). However, it's important that you do not cut corners that you might regret. A specialist has eyes for interior and exterior construction of a wedding gown to better determine necessary adjustments. They understand and know how to handle the different types of fabric and material use to make the gown It is highly recommended that you take your gown to a specialist rather than to your average tailor.

2. Set aside an alterations budget

It is very common for brides to have the hems shorten as gown hem are manufacture extra long to fit taller bride. Be mindful when choosing a gown. Lace and beaded gowns are a unique detail that is romantic, timeless and adds a beautiful modern flair. However, when working with lace and beaded gowns each lace and bead has to be carefully hand remove, cut around, and place back on one at a time. All in which will determine the amount of money you will spend on altering your gown. The number of layers is just as important and the cost of hemming can quickly add up. Every layer is made differently using different materials (fashion layer, crinoline, satin/cotton lining, enclose, tulle, organza,) and therefore are treated differently. Depending on the complexity of the gown and what you need done, an average bride can expect to spend between $50 to $1,000.

3. Choose a gown closest to your size

It is a tradition to honor your mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother by wearing their wedding gown? or buying a sample dress that is too big or small on you. Tho it is a great tradition and a steal buying at a discount, keep in mind that making a gown larger is more difficult than making it smaller, importantly the finished product may not look exactly how you imagine it to be. Details on the gown are made at the perfect size to compliment the dress size. For example, a size 18 gown will have a slightly larger lace pattern compare to a size 4 gown. Almost and always the finished product will look like a completely different dress that you have chosen. Again be mindful that an all-around alterations will most likely cost you more than what you initially purchase the gown for.

4. Schedule a fitting​

Most bridal studios recommend three or more fitting. The seamstress will automatically schedule your fitting base on your event date. The appointments will be spread out so that your final and pickup date will be 2 weeks before the event date. This will assure perfect fit and last minutes adjustment needed.

5. Make your preference clear

There is all kind of bride, there are those that are not afraid to voice her dislike, like, satisfaction and unsatisfactory. Then there are those who are afraid, shy, or uncertain to voice their preference fear that she may be asking for the impossible. It is important that you are honest and direct with your seamstress when it comes to how and what you want your gown to look like. No request or concern is too small to express. The seamstress will help determine if the request is or is not possible and will find ways to make that request possible. Speak up if you don't like that way your gown fit or look. As I like to say "make every penny counts."

6. Stay on schedule

Ask yourself, can you move your wedding date? If the answer is no, then be mindful that the seamstress carefully schedules your appointment from the start of the alteration up to the event date. This is to allow enough time to make all adjustments and any last minutes adjustments needed. Canceling or rescheduling will only cause unnecessary stress for all parties.

7. Wear or being all undergarment, shape-wear, and shoes to alterations

Know the kind of undergarment (bra and shape-wear) you plan to wear with your gown and bring it with you to the alterations session makes a big difference in your alterations. For instance, often time bride will come to each session with a different bra. Even though the previous fitting is done correctly a new bra will either make the fitting to big or too small. This can be frustrating for both the bride and seamstress. In term of shoes, don’t try to find the right heels after your gown has been altered this will make a huge different in the length of the hem. Good news is that the hem is usually done at the end so if you are still unsure of the right heels you still have some time to shop around just be sure to make a decision and buy your shoes before having your hem done.

8. Reconsider bring an entourage

Other than the day you pick-up your gown you should reconsider bring an entourage. Having an entourage along will only give you unnecessary stress. As I like to say, "too many people too many opinions." The fitting is about you, what makes you feel good and what you want, having another opinion takes away your opportunity to make your preference clear.

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