The perfect wedding gown is not perfect until it is altered to fit like a glove. Many brides have questions about bridal gown alterations, such as what to expect, what is possible (more than you might think!), And what changes are beyond the scope of even the most talented seamstress. Before you start shopping for your bridal gown, take the time to read these wedding gown alterations FAQs.
Is It Easier to Take a Gown In or Let One Out? It is almost always easier for a seamstress to take in a bridal gown which is too large, rather than trying to let out one which is too tight. This is particularly true for any bridal gown which has embroidery on the bodice, because if the side seams are let out, you might be exposing a section of interior fabric which was not embroidered. This is why bridal salons always recommend ordering your gown in a size which is fits your largest measurement, even if it may come in a bit large.
Can a Gown With Straps Be Converted to Strapless? Sometimes. If you are thinking about ordering a gown which has straps with the idea that you will have it altered to become strapless, always consult with the store's head of alterations first. Gowns which already have a lot of structure and boning often can be made strapless, but very soft gowns made from flowing fabrics may not lend themselves to the conversion. It may also be necessary to make a pattern change to a bridal gown at the time of ordering to allow it to have the straps removed. Many spaghetti strap gowns, for instance, have necklines which dip lower in the front, but without the support of straps, the neckline might need to be raised to give the gown more structure.
Do I Need to Bring Someone to My Gown Fittings? Yes! Definitely plan on having your mother or maid of honor present for at least your final fitting. If you can bring them to all your fittings, so much the better. The person at your final fitting serves two purposes. The first is to look over your bridal ensemble from all angles, at the wedding gown, the veil, the bridal jewelry and other accessories to make sure that everything looks fantastic together. The second reason to bring a friend or your mom to your final fitting is so that she can get a lesson in how to dress you on the morning of the wedding and how to do your bustle after the ceremony. There may be special instructions on how to get a bride into a full gown, do her buttons, arrange her petticoats, fasten her bridal jewelry clasps, and position her veil.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay for Bridal Gown Alterations? This depends considerably. The factors are where you are having them done, how much the gown needs to be changed, how full the skirt is, and any special considerations like a lace hem or a beaded bodice (they are more time consuming to alter). In general, the alterations department at the bridal salon may be more costly than a home seamstress, but they are also the experts, and most brides consider it worth the peace of mind to use them. If your wedding gown arrives fitting like a glove (which is rare), you might spend $ 200 having the gown hemmed and bustled, whereas if you need extensive alterations the final bill could run $ 750 or more. The bridal salon should be able to give you a general idea of their alterations price range when you purchase your wedding gown. Keep in mind that any bridal salon which claims to offer "free" alterations has probably increased the purchase price of their wedding dresses to cover the expense of alterations.