Altering Your Wedding Gown

by emily peterson

Ah, alterations, the most mysterious part of the wedding gown process! I don’t know about you, but I can barely sew on a button, so the idea of tailoring a wedding gown blows my mind!  I asked our former Alterations Manager, Renée, about the process so we can make it a little less mysterious and daunting for you!

For starters, she said, take a deep breath. If you’re in good hands (one of our recommended seamstresses), you can relax and trust her. She’ll do a great job (that’s why we recommend her)! If you’re not using someone from our recommended list, just make sure that they are experienced in altering bridal gowns and formal wear. It’s totally different from regular clothes tailoring.
Second, give yourself plenty of time. Most bridal seamstresses want 2-3 months to alter a wedding gown. But don’t wait until it’s time to start your fittings to make your appointments. Any half-way decent bridal seamstress will be VERY busy, so book 2 or 3 more months in advance!
Third, make sure you have your undergarments and shoes. Without both of these, there’s not a lot of point to going to a fitting. It will be a waste of yours and the seamstress’ time. Instead, put those items at the TOP of your shopping list as soon as you’ve found the gown. Get it done early and you won’t have to stress.
Finally, don’t forget to factor alterations into your budget. Even simple bridal gowns require hours and hours of work on the seamstress’ part, and those with beading or lace require even more time and effort. Budget between $300 and $600 for the basics (bodice tailoring, hem, bustle) and another couple hundred for custom work (adding straps, altering the neckline/back, etc.) to be safe.

Take a deep breath! If alterations are stressing you out, call us and we’ll talk you off the ledge! You can speak to your bridal stylist or our former Alterations Manager. We’ll help you through it!