Wedding dress alterations are the most critical part of the wedding gown process.
When you are sized for your gown, your measurements are taken and you are sized according to the specific manufacturer’s size chart. You will not be receiving a custom-made gown, you will be receiving a custom fit at alteration time!
If your bust is the largest measurement, you will be ordered the size which best corresponds to that measurement, so if your waist measurement places you in a smaller size, you will have to have the waist taken in. For example, if you are on the cusp of 2 sizes or if you have gained weight, the gown may need to be let out in certain areas. The gown will always need to be taken in or let out.
In addition, bust darts and shoulder lifts may be necessary, and fitted hips and booty curves are commonly requested, and you will need to have the gown bustled and possibly need the gown hemmed.
Typically, you will need 3 fittings ranging from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. Be sure to bring someone to your 2nd and/or final fitting, to learn how to bustle the gown. Videotaping the procedure may be very helpful. Charges are determined by the seamstress for the amount of work entailed.
“I don’t want to wear a bra, I’ll just use bust cups.”
WRONG! Bust cups are fillers designed to enhance or enlarge the bust area, however, they do not offer support. All gowns have bust darts where the bust curves and some breasts may need to be lifted to fill that area with the proper bra so that the bust may be fitted correctly. If your gown has sheer sides, plunging neckline, low back, there are plenty of options available online and in retail stores that can provide the proper bra, bare, yet offering support. Specialty bra stores are an exceptional resource for special needs such as DD plus cup sizes, abdominal/tummy control, and hard-to-order sizes. Providing pictures of your gown to the retailer has proven quite helpful to their highly trained consultants!
“I plan to wear high heels for the ceremony, but will be switching to flats for the party/reception.”
WRONG! If you change to a lower heel height, your gown will drag on the ground, subject to tearing the fabric or even tripping on the hem. Buy a pair of open-toed shoes with chunky heels, good for both indoor and outdoor weddings. Open-toed shoes eliminate the risk of cramped toes and swollen feet, and there is a great selection of this shoe style online. NO NEED TO CHANGE SHOES!
These are common issues that are constantly addressed during alteration appointments.
1. Avoid rubber soles, especially tennis shoes, as you could stub your toe and end up falling forward.
2. Avoid shoes with sharp rhinestones on the toes, as the stones could easily snag or tear the hem, especially on crepe, tulle, and even some satin gowns with plain hems.
3. Bring a needle, thread, scissors, and safety pins to the wedding so you are prepared for potential mishaps. People step on bustles, spaghetti straps could break, and tuxedo shirts and coats may lose buttons, but by being proactive, you will have the necessary items for repairs.