Things To Remember About Bridal Dress Alterations

Bridal Dress Alterations Photo by Corey Ann Photography

CC image by Corey Ann at Flickr

For a great fit, bridal dress alterations are everything.

Every bridal dress is different, and every woman’s body is different, too. The same dress will not fit exactly the same on another woman’s body. To achieve a perfect-fitting dress that flatters your figure, you will need some sort of alterations to your bridal dress. Done well, the bridal alterations should make you look not only beautiful, but also feel confident and comfortable in your dress.

Here’s what to keep in mind when you’re selecting your dress and considering bridal alterations.


 1. Order a dress that is true to your size.

A bridal dress is usually made of material that doesn’t have any give, that is, they cannot conform to your body like clothes with spandex. There’s usually a few layers involved. Don’t order a bridal gown that is a couple of sizes too small with the hope of losing a few kilos. It is always easier to take in a bridal dress than it is to let it out because its construction is more complicated than a normal dress. You are looking at three to six layers of fabric, often with beading, lace and patterns. It’s not just a matter of cutting the material; we have to try and match the patterns and layers when we sew it back.

2. Consider your body type and height when choosing your bridal dress

Pick a dress that flatters your body shape. The bridal shop should be able to help you with that. Once you have a dress that compliments your figure, then alterations is just a matter of making it custom-fitted so you can feel your best in it. Also, most bridal dresses will need their hemlines raised. Some of it is straightforward but as an example, if you choose a dress with special detail like lace scallops at the hem, I will have to unpick the scallops, cut the hem, then reattach the scallops back. This is time consuming and labour intensive and will increase your alterations costs.

3. You will need a bustle or three

Every bride wants her train to trail gracefully behind as she walks down the aisle ala Princess Diana, but you don’t want to be holding up your train while trying to dance or while mingling with your guests. The style of your bridal dress will determine what bustles you choose, and your dressmaker should be able to advise you on that.

4. Buy your wedding shoes before your first fitting

So that I can hem your dress to the perfect length, you need to be wearing the shoes you will wear on your wedding day when you come for your first fitting. The same goes for your lingerie – if there’s any special underwear you would like to wear with your dress, bring it along so I can see how your dress looks with it.

5. If your weight is changing, then make your appointment as close to your wedding date as possible

Most brides plan to lose a few kilos before their wedding. There are a few who even want to gain weight. Some are breastfeeding, and so their bust sizes will be different compared to when they buy the wedding dress. If your weight is not going to be constant, I recommend making your first fitting about four to five weeks before your wedding.

6. Keep calm and marry on

Even though you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of alterations needed to your bridal dress, remember that almost anything can be done to achieve the look you want as long as you choose a reliable and experienced bridal dressmaker.

But do remember, the more complicated and time-consuming the alterations, the more costly it will be.

With good communications between you and your dressmaker, the bridal alterations process doesn’t have to be stressful.


CC image by Corey Ann at Flickr

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