5 Must-Have Rules for Bridal Gown Alterations

Make sure your wedding dress looks as good as can be!

Finding the right wedding dress is important, but making sure it fits perfectly matters even more. No matter how beautiful a gown might be, it won’t flatter a bride if it’s not properly fitted to her body. Or perhaps your dream dress doesn’t actually exist, but there is one that comes close and adding a couple of extra details in alterations will help make it perfect. No matter the situation, alterations are a key factor in your wedding-day look. An excellent seamstress can make an inexpensive dress look high-end, while a subpar seamstress can ruin a designer gown. 

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Photo by SYPhotography; Bridal Salon: Dmitra's Bridal Couture 

Here are tips to follow to ensure you get your wedding dress altered to your liking:

- Do your research. Finding the right seamstress or tailor will make all of the difference. Whether looking online or getting recommendations from friends, look to those who had similar gowns, as different styles and fabrics may be an expertise of the professional. Your bridal salon may even be able to recommend someone based on the designer you chose, if they do not have in-house alterations services. 

- Allow enough time. It can take two months to get alterations complete, and ideally you should have your gown ready two weeks before the big day. If you’re planning on major design changes, you’ll want to order your dress even earlier to give ample time for your seamstress.

- Consider potential weight changes. Those who tend to always weigh about the same amount won’t have to worry about this, but if you tend to fluctuate you don’t want to have to keep letting out or taking in the gown multiple times. If possible, a corset back can be incredibly helpful. At your alterations appointments, be honest about any concerns and the seamstress may have ideas. 

- Get a second opinion. This doesn’t mean you need to bring your dress to another seamstress or tailor – though it is an option if you’re really unhappy with the work that has been done. Instead, bring a friend or family member who you know will be honest about how the gown looks. It’s always helpful to have a second set of eyes that can see you from another angle. 

- Bring shoes and undergarments. Make sure the hemline is right and that there are no issues with the line of your gown by bringing both the shoes and the undergarments you intend to wear on the big day. In regards to the undergarments, you may even find you need to get something else. Better to know at the alterations appointment than the morning of your wedding!

For more ideas, read rules for wedding dress shopping and find out how brides make finding the right gown too difficult

Authored by: Emily Lasnier