All About Alterations: What You Need To Know (and Bring!)
You put in the work. You scrolled through Pinterest looking at wedding dress inspo until your fingers hurt and scoured the internet for the designer who could bring your vision to life (hint hint, that’s us!). You were clipped into a dozen dresses and learned more about fabric than you ever thought you would in your entire life, but you did it. You found the dress. Your wedding dress. Now it’s time for us to do the work.
Crafting your wedding dress is only half of the process. After your dress is constructed, we still have plenty to do to make sure you look drop-dead gorgeous walking down the aisle.
I’m talking about alterations.
What are they? How do we do them? What do you need to bring to your alterations appointment?
Don’t worry, we got you.
What are alterations?
At a typical bridal shop, your dress is ordered in a standard size according to a size chart provided by the designer or company. Then, the machines do their thing, cut and make the dress based on a pattern in that standard size. They ship it to the shop where usually (for a steep fee) an in-house seamstress will do alterations to turn that standard size into something that fits you. Alterations could be things like changing the hemline, taking in the bodice to make it tighter, letting it out to make it looser, or any other changes that need to be made because well, humans aren’t necessarily “standard size.”
Since you’re limited to these sizes when ordering your dress, sometimes the alterations needed are so drastic that they may distort the dress or not be able to be done at all. The worst part: you paid thousands of dollars for a dress that you don’t look and feel like an absolute goddess in.
How do we do alterations?
The way that we handcraft each wedding dress allows us to do our alterations process differently. If you choose to work with us directly at our Bethlehem atelier, we include alterations in the price of every gown and do as many fittings as we need until your dress is perfect.
The process starts at the beginning by taking measurement information and adjusting our pattern before any fabric is cut. We craft each gown on dress forms that are sculpted to your measurements with special pads. See what we mean when we say your gown is specially made just for you? By doing this, your dress is closer to a perfect fit before any alterations!
We typically schedule the first fitting very early on in construction. Your dress will look nothing like it will when it is finished, but instead a very basic version of it. We check to make sure everything fits as it should, pin some things if need be, make changes if something isn’t working, and overall make sure you feel good about everything.
If everything is great, you will probably only need one more fitting when the dress is finished. This is when you try it on, see how amazing you look, and get to take it home.
It may look a little silly...but it works!
What do you need to bring to your alterations appointment?
It’s really important to have the exact shoes that you will be wearing on your wedding day by your first fitting. Or, if you haven’t found your shoes yet we ask that you know the height of the heels you’ll be wearing and bring a pair that is the same height. We want to make sure the hemline is the right length. If you say you’re going to be wearing a five-inch heel, but then later find the cutest kitten heels, you might look like you’re wearing your big sister’s wedding dress while tripping on it down the aisle.
Some brides opt for shapewear or special bras. Others prefer plain old nude underwear or going commando (bye-bye panty lines!). Whatever you choose, we don’t judge. It’s all about what you feel most comfortable wearing or not wearing. However, undergarments, especially shapewear, can change the fit of the dress and we want the dress to fit perfectly. So pack them in your bag before your fitting.
What is most important to you when it comes to your wedding dress. Is it more about comfort or the look? I personally love a sleek fitted look, but remember Kim Kardashian trying to make it up the steps of the Met Gala this year? YIKES. You are going to be wearing your dress pretty much your entire wedding day, so if you’re uncomfortable wearing it for the fitting, you’re definitely not going to feel great wearing it for 12 hours. Maybe a more comfortable reception dress to change into would be the perfect solution! If the look is more important to you, that’s great! However, just remember that you may have to sacrifice a bit of comfort.
If you have any questions about fittings, alterations, or anything else about the process of creating your dream wedding dress, please reach out! We’re always here to help! :)