In a perfect world, we’d just slip on a wedding dress and it would fit exactly right. Unfortunately that’s never the case. Every wedding dress needs alterations.
The reality of it is that each wedding dress --yes, even when they are ordered in your exact right size-- will need adjustments. A hem will need to be added, cups adjusted, the bust should be taken in, add a bustle, fix the straps, and any other customizations you want to make to the gown. The reason for this is because every dress is made to be a generic size, but designers also make it easy for seamstresses to be able to alter wedding dresses.
But, before you buy, we want to answer any questions you may have about alterations:
“Is the price of alterations included in the dress?”
One thing to take into consideration is that, at most bridal shops, alterations are not included in the price of the dress. For standard alterations, we tell brides to expect around $300-$500 for alterations on top of the price of the dress. Now, we’ve anticipated your next question:
“What are “standard” alterations?”
Standard alterations are the things that most likely need to be done to every dress for everybody. The alterations that make your dream dress fit just right for your big day. So adjusting the straps (if there are any), swapping out the cups, taking in or letting out any seams, taking up a hem, and putting in a bustle so your train doesn’t sweep your guests off of the dance floor!
“What should I bring to my first dress fitting?”
The first thing we suggest you bring is the shoes that you are planning to wear! The goal of alterations is that everything fits just right, and the shoes are a big part of that. The hem of your dress should just grace the tip of your toes so that it doesn’t get caught up under your feet and make you trip. Also bring any under garments and accessories that you are planning to wear the day of.
“What type of bra should I wear with my dress?”
We are definitely team no bra! In alterations, your seamstress will swap out the cups and tighten the bust so that you won’t need one! Your seamstress will even ask you how you want the girls and add padding accordingly.
“How long do alterations take?”
Alterations typically take 2-3 months. If you have a shorter timeline for your wedding, talk to your stylist and they can find you the perfect dress in the closest fit possible so your seamstress will have less work to do. Seamstresses typically charge rush fees if your wedding is sooner than the typical alterations timeline, but talk to a few and see who can get it done!
If you're nervous about any alterations that your dress may need, talk to your stylist! We’re here to help and can answer most, if not all, of your questions. We can clip the dress so that you can see what it would look like after alterations, walk you through the process, and even show you any customizations that you may want!