Brides-to-be: Let’s be honest, saying ‘YES!’ to the dress is difficult enough – but, then you have to think about bridal alterations too? How much are alterations going to cost? How far in advance do you have to begin your wedding dress alterations? What if you’re losing weight before your wedding? What if your dress is difficult to get into? We know you’re busy (uhh, you’re planning a wedding!) and that alterations are definitely not at the top of your to-do list. So, that’s why we’ve boiled down the 5 most important things to know about wedding dress alterations for every bride-to-be. Check out our guide below and cross one more item off your wedding to-do list!
1. Schedule A Private Fitting
Wedding dress alterations are usually more complicated and time-consuming than the average clothing alteration. So, make sure to schedule a private fitting with the seamstress that will be performing your alterations. This will allow the seamstress(s) to spend as much time with you as necessary to ensure that your gown fits perfectly. Bridal fittings usually last 60 to 90 minutes. Also, it’s important to note that some alteration shops that perform bridal gown alterations adhere to a longer alteration timeline than others (some are known to begin alterations 6 to 9 months before the wedding). We recommend scheduling your first bridal fitting 6-7 weeks before your wedding day.
2. How Many Fittings are Required?
Most bridal alterations are completed within 3 to 4 fittings. However, depending on the complexity of the alterations, it could be more. A seamstress should be able to evaluate how many fittings will be required for your wedding dress alterations during your first fitting. Your first appointment should consist of an evaluation of the work that needs to be completed on your gown. For your next appointment, you can expect to try on the gown so that the seamstress(s) can evaluate if your gown needs any other alterations. Also, make sure to have your gown steam or pressed before your alterations are completed so that it’s perfect for your wedding day!
3. What to Bring
Make sure to bring your wedding shoes and the undergarments that you’ll be wearing with your gown to all of your bridal fittings. These items are essential to bring with you so the seamstress(s) can make the alterations as precise as possible. Additionally, if you would like to get a full picture of how you’ll look on your special day, feel free to bring your veil as well. Hint: Fittings can also be a great time to practice getting into and out of your gown!
4. Bridal Alteration Costs
All wedding dresses are different, as are all brides. Therefore, most alteration shops cannot provide cost estimates until seamstresses have the opportunity to evaluate your gown and the necessary alterations in person. However, on average, brides could spend anywhere from $200 to $500 on wedding dress alterations (depending on the amount of work needed). Some bridal shops can provide alterations too. It is not uncommon for a bridal shop to provide brides with an ‘Alteration Package’, which is a flat fee that brides pay, in addition to the cost of their gown, for any necessary alterations. For some brides, this might be more cost-effective; however, most will actually end up paying more using this pricing model as opposed to visiting an independent alteration shop or local tailor for their wedding dress alterations.
5. Who to Bring
We recommend bringing someone with you to all of your fittings. This person should be accessible to you on your wedding day, both before and during the ceremony and reception. Ideally, this person should take the time during your fittings to learn how to help you get into and out of your dress and connect bustles or corsets. Fittings are a great time for you and your bridal fitting buddy to practice for the big day!
Follow these guides and getting your wedding dress altered will be a breeze! Visit our bridal page to learn how to schedule your bridal fitting at Alterations Express.