So you’ve found “your” wedding dress? Sorry to tell you but your dress hunting story doesn’t end here. There’s still a lot of work to do – like ensuring that wedding dress fits you perfectly when the big day comes.
Fit is key to perfection. Whether you choose to splurge on an expensive couture wedding dress or settle for a simpler, cheaper RTW dress, neither will look any better if your dress isn’t tailored to fit you in all the right places. With this, you should devote a huge chunk of your time, efforts, and money to gown alterations.
To begin with, here are some dress alteration tips to keep in mind before you decide to tweak your dress.
Get your timeline right
If you get your dress altered too late, you don’t just stress your tailors out – you also run the risk of not having enough time to have your gown tailored to perfection. If it’s altered too early, however, you may also not end up with the perfect fit since you can’t predict your weight change.
So get your timeline right. Most experts recommend allowing 2-3 months from your first fitting to your last one for all the alterations. The frequency of your fittings will also depend on how much work you want to get done. Most brides, on average, need three to four fittings before their big day.
Set a realistic weight goal
One of the biggest mistakes brides make is buying a smaller dress and using it as a motivation to lose weight before their wedding day comes. The truth is you can’t predict how much you’ll gain or shrink. A rule of thumb: it’s easier for tailors to take a bigger dress in than let a smaller dress out.
But don’t buy a wedding dress more than one size larger either. Larger gowns are cut proportionally larger all over, and every component will still be over sized after the side seams are taken in. It’s always ideal to stay as close as possible to your actual size. If you’re worried about sudden weight change, you may opt for a gown that is designed to fit all sizes, like the ones with built-in corsets which can be tightened and loosened easily.
Choose the best seamstress in town
You should never settle for second best when it comes to wedding gown alterations.
If you bought your wedding gown at a bridal salon, you can likely get the work done there. But if the salon does not offer alteration services, you can always run to a professional tailor. But not just any dressmaker. You should hire someone who specializes in bridal gowns. Or perhaps a professional who understands the complex components of formal evening gowns, from boning to hems and bustles.
Bring your overall bridal look
Your wedding dress essentials, including your undergarments, veil, pieces of jewelry, and shoes, shouldn’t come as an afterthought. You should bring them to your fittings along with your wedding gown. Putting every detail in place won’t just help you envision your overall bridal look. Wearing these dress essentials, especially the undergarments and shoes, will also ensure the proper fit and length of your gown.
You should shop for shoes prior to making alterations. But if you can’t bring your shoes, at least bring a pair that is similar in height. Constantly stepping at the edge of your skirt because the length of your gown doesn’t match your heels can be a major concern.
Ready your wallets
Needless to say, your wedding dress budget should include the costs of alterations. Also, keep in mind that the costs can add up. The price depends on the amount of labor and materials to be put in.
Aside from basic adjustments like tightening the bodice or shortening your gown, you may want to throw a few hundred dollars for some advanced finishing touches. You may consider adding some lace or beading, changing the fabric, or reshaping the silhouette to transform an off-the-rack dress into the wedding gown of your dreams.
Carmina Natividad is one of the enthusiastic writers for Jennifer Regan, a shop in Sydney that caters to women who are looking for the perfect bridal dress to wear as they walk down the aisle. Her articles mainly focus on fashion and beauty, which help soon-to-be-brides prepare for their wedding day.