4 Tips for Wedding Dress Alterations
Once you’ve found the princess ball gown or sleek and chic dress of your dreams, chances are you’ll have it altered. While this can seem like a lengthy and costly process, there are ways to properly navigate it to reduce stress and ensure that your dress looks exactly how you intended it to!
Explore 4 tips and tricks to help with your wedding dress alterations:
1. Anticipate alterations.
Unless you’re extremely lucky or you have a custom gown, you’re probably going to need them. Budget between $400 and $700, and keep in mind that some fabrics, like charmeuse and chiffon, may be more expensive to tailor, while lace and linen are less so.
"You can splurge on a pricey dress, but if it's not altered properly it won't look any better than a gown that's a tenth of the cost," Terry Hall, former fashion director of New York City's Kleinfeld Bridal, told Brides.com.
2. Get started early.
You don’t want the stress of wedding dress alterations running up right until the week before your big day. Multiple fittings may be necessary, so plan to make a few trips to the tailor throughout the wedding planning process.
"Picking the gown is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to appointing you perfectly," wedding planner Calder Clark told Martha Stewart Weddings. "Leave yourself several weeks' time (if not months!) to get it right."
Bodies are always changing, so don’t worry too much if you gain or lose weight after you’ve ordered your dress.
"If a bride loses weight, the gown will be taken in at each fitting appointment until it fits perfectly,” Nicole Sacco, director of fittings at Kleinfeld Bridal, told Brides.com. “If a bride gains weight, we will try to open the seams and release some extra fabric. If there is not enough fabric to work with, we can order fabric from the designer and a panel can be added to the dress."
HOW TO PLAN A WEDDING: The complete stress-free guide
3. Come prepared.
When you arrive to each fitting (as well as when you shop for the gown), know what undergarments you’ll be wearing with it. Whether that’s Spanx, a strapless bra, or other shapewear, make sure you’re wearing it, because it can make a big difference. And, it’s best to tote along those heels (if you’ll be wearing some on the big day), so that you have an accurate idea of the hemline. If you’re planning to accessorize, bring that, too. It’s a good idea to see what everything will look like, so you can adjust as needed as opposed to scrambling closer to the wedding date.
Unsure what undergarments you should be wearing on your big day? Ask a professional! Or check out this shapewear guide from David’s Bridal for some quick advice.
4. Leave the gang at home.
Save this occasion for a date with mom or a close friend or relative. It’s hard to make a decision with many opinions, so make a date with your girls to fill them in on all the lacey details after you’ve picked the dress. If you have a maid (or matron) of honor, have her come along to the last fitting so she can learn how to do the bustle.
UP NEXT: Check out these unique and creative ideas for what to do with your wedding dress after the big day.