Wedding Dress Alterations 101

Shopping for a wedding dress can be one of the most fun parts of wedding planning (if you don’t try on 100 dresses, that is), but the alteration process is a little more in-depth than you may expect. For example, did you know wedding dresses can take several months (6-9 months on average) to come in after you find “the one” and place your order? Did you know alterations require multiple fittings? And since you can’t do fittings without your dress, but you also need to schedule your fittings in advance, it can get complicated. Don’t worry though, we have the details of what to expect with wedding dress alterations.

Let’s start with how many fittings to expect and when. Most dress stores or seamstresses will do a few fittings (three is a good number, and you really shouldn’t need more than five) and usually all of the fittings will be closer to your wedding date. The first fitting should take place roughly two to three months before the big day, the second fitting a month to six weeks before and the final fitting two weeks out (FYI you’ll take your dress with you at the final fitting). Whether you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, doing all your fittings closer to your wedding date will make the alteration process more accurate.

Now let’s discuss what to bring to your fittings. It’s strongly recommended to wear any undergarments and shoes you plan to wear on the wedding day. That way you know what it will look like and feel like comfort-wise. If you don’t have those items picked out just yet, it’s generally safe to bring a nude, strapless bra and underwear as well as a pair of shoes or heels similar to what you think you’ll wear on the wedding day.

Let’s not forget about bringing company to your fittings. It may sound like a fun idea to bring an entourage of your wedding party members, family or friends, or on the flip side, you may not want to bring anyone to your fittings, but the reality is you should bring one or two guests to attend your alterations. The reason for this is if you have a complicated dress and/or bustle, it’s strongly recommended to bring the person(s) who will help you get dressed and bustle you on the wedding day to the final fitting (or others), so they can learn/practice how to help you put it on for the wedding day.

Lastly, let’s talk about the topic that’s always in the back of our minds when it comes to weddings: cost. There’s no way around it, wedding dress alterations are expensive. $300 is the minimum to expect for simple jobs, but anywhere from $500-1,000+ isn’t uncommon for more extensive alterations. The final price will be dependent on a variety of details including customizations (what exactly needs to be altered and what needs to be added), the turnaround time for when you need the dress back and your location. When you make a budget for your wedding dress, don’t forget to include alterations!

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

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