20/03/2023 in Wedding Dresses

The Bridal Alteration Guide Your Need For Wedding Planning

Essential information to factor into your wedding planning.

Wedding and bridesmaid dress alterations are an integral part of your wedding day preparation. You should to be comfortable and look amazing from the moment you walk down the aisle until the very last dance.

Wedding dresses are made to measure NOT made to order and therefore follow a designers size chart however, these will vary between designers. When we measured brides and bridesmaids in our boutique, we would say “each body is unique and it is very rare a dress fits perfectly straight from the hanger”. We would take measurements for bust, waist and hip, remember the dress needs to fit the biggest part of you and it will then be tailored to fit your figure.

Did you know?

Most wedding dresses have an allowance within the seams that allows it to be let out by an inch either side. If that isn’t quite enough for your dream dress to fit comfortably you may consider adding a corset back.

Alterations may also involve adding features to make the dress unique to you. You could add a glamorous belt, delicate sleeves, a modesty panel or train loop.

How much will alterations cost?

You should expect your alterations to cost an average of £200 – £300. This would cover a basic hem and seam alterations but if your dress is lace, heavily embroidered or beaded this could cost more. Bridesmaid alterations tend to average £100 per dress for hem, seam and shoulder alterations. This is just a rough guide. You’ll need to discuss your exact requirements with your seamstress.

If you are buying your dress from a high street boutique, they will probably have an in house service. This is a great option because they know the dresses and will have seen and studied the materials. If this option is not available look for a seamstress recommendation who specialises is wedding dress alterations. Don’t be afraid to ask to speak to pervious customers or see examples of their work.

How far in advance should you think about alterations?

We would suggest allowing 3 months and expect the appointment to last from 30 minutes to an hour. The first fitting should adjust the bodice because if this needs taking in or letting out it can alter the hem in length and shape. This appointment will probably take the most time and will involve a lot of pins!  At the second appointment it’s time to look at the hem and any accessories or additions will be tacked or pinned in place. The final appointment will be 2 weeks before the wedding day. Everything will be brought together and any little tweaks will be dealt with.

Bridalise TOP 10 Fitting Guide

Print this out and stick it in your planner

  1. Make adequate provision in your budget for alterations. Any money you save is a bonus!
  2. Wear your Wedding Shoes to ALL alteration appointments and bring a selection of wedding day underwear.
  3. DO NOT wear a lot of make-up, we don’t want any foundation or fake tan on your dress before you’ve had chance to wear it for real.
  4. Keep VERY STILL whilst being pinned. When the pinning is done try walking and sitting so you know you can move freely.
  5. Anticipate your wedding day weight, BUT be realistic with your goal.
  6. Ask family and/or friends to come along. They need to know how to lace you up or how to work a train loop on the big day.
  7. Don’t worry about being undressed in front of bridal consultants and/or seamstresses; we have seen every shape and size of body and we think you are all beautiful.
  8. Listen to advice from the seamstress, she is the expert. Trust in their experience and knowledge, if they suggest a particular alteration its probably for a very good reason.
  9. Ask if you leave your dress to be steamed or if you take your dress home from the final fitting and if so, ask for guidance on how to store and prepare it for the big day.
  10. “Make the dress work for you, not you work out for the dress” – Kate Halfpenny.

We hope that this has been an informative and useful blog. As always if you have any specific questions, please feel free to drop us a line we are always here and ready to assist in any way possible.

“A dress made right should allow one to walk, to dance, even to ride horseback.” – Coco Chanel