Guide to Wedding Dress Alterations: How to Prepare, Budget & More

November 11th, 2020 Wedding Ideas, Tips and Inspiration

Photo Courtesy of Riley Morgan Young


Finding the perfect wedding dress is just the first step to your dream gown. Even if you’ve found “the one,” your dress isn’t complete until you give your gown some TLC to get your most desired fit with just the right alterations. Depending on where you purchased your gown and what details you need adjusted, it could take some time and expertise to make your dress fit just right. After all, you’ll want to show off your gorgeous figure and gown that fits just your body.

We’ve gathered all the tips and tricks you’ll need to know when getting your dress alteration! 

To get familiar with knowing how to prepare for these alterations, it’s important to know first, what exactly is a wedding dress fitting. According to Brides, “A wedding dress fitting is an appointment with a seamstress or fitter to have the dress altered to fit correctly and sculpt the gown to the body. Brides typically need three fittings before the dress is ready to be worn.” 

So although you may have said yes to the dress, you’ll need to take some extra steps after purchasing your gown to get your gown fitting just right. 

When To Get Your Wedding Dress Altered

Timing is everything, and that couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to your wedding dress. We always recommend our brides to bring in their gowns to their seamstress two or three months before the wedding date just to give themselves enough room and time on how much they will need their dress to be altered. Bringing it in too early could be a risk as you could lose or gain weight from the original date of trying on your gown. Waiting until a couple weeks before your wedding will put you in a time crunch. Typically it takes about three to four fittings before you can take your gown home, so be sure to keep that in mind when purchasing your gown. Be sure to consult with your seamstress as to how many fittings you will need to get your desired look and fit and you can schedule your timeline accordingly.

Where To Get Your Wedding Dress Altered

If you purchased your gown at your local bridal salon, it’s more than likely that the bridal store also offers an in-house seamstress who can do your alterations. If that isn’t the case, we suggest heading to a seamstress who specializes in bridal gown alterations. Because our gowns are so meticulously crafted and your gown may include details such as hand-sewn jewels or delicate lace appliques, this is not a simple job for someone who isn’t experienced. With a bridal gown comes a lot of details, boning, hem, bustles, and more so getting an expert that is familiar with these details is important. Especially with different types of wedding dress trains that need extra attention if you want to include a bustle, you’ll want a specialist with familiar hands that knows what they’re doing. If the salon that you purchased your gown from doesn’t have an in house seamstress they more than likely have a list of experienced referrals they can recommend. 

What To Bring To Your Wedding Dress Fitting 

It’s important that when heading to your first fitting you know what to bring to your wedding dress fitting - comfortable nude garments like a strapless bra, panties that fit comfortably and shoes you plan on wearing.

Garments Bringing just the right pair of undergarments is a must! If you already purchased your garments that you plan on wearing on your wedding day, be sure to bring those with you. Wearing them at your fitting will give you a more accurate fit as to how you’ll feel on your wedding day and the seamstress will be able to take in extra alterations with them on. 

Shoes- Shoes will help with measuring the right length of your gown and how much to take in depending on the height of the heel. And if you’re still choosing the perfect pair of wedding shoes to go with your gown, bring in a pair of shoes that have a similar height to the ones you’ve been eyeing. The seamstress will still be able to measure the length you’ll need your gown hemmed to. 

AccessoriesBring in any accessories you plan on wearing on your big day. These might include hair pieces, a veil or any jewelry. It will give you the opportunity to see if you want to add or take away from your wedding dress. Jewelry will help with balancing your look while the hair pieces will be a closer step to see how you’ll look on your special day. 

Who To Take With You To Your Wedding Dress Alterations 

We know that when it comes to your wedding dress, there should be no stress, and that includes the people you bring to your fittings. If you have a long list of bridesmaids, we suggest bringing one or two of your bridesmaids to your fittings, or maybe just your mom or maid of honor. After all, they’ll need to learn how to unzip or handle the bustle on your wedding day so who better to bring to your fitting then? Bringing them along gives them the opportunity to learn from professionals, ensuring there are no wardrobe malfunctions on your big day. 

Additional Wedding Alterations and Pricing 

When setting your wedding dress budget, it’s important to consider that the perfect fit can cost you some extra budgeting in addition to just your wedding dress. Alteration pricing can vary depending on where you purchased your gown, the seamstress, what style gown you have and what adjustments you need fixed. Prices can range from $50-$1000 on alterations depending on the complexity of the alteration (adding a sleeve, taking in sizing, etc.)  and if you’re working with a reputable bridal seamstress, the cost might be a little higher with their high expertise skills. Gowns that fall under the category of couture and beaded wedding dresses or lace and vintage bridal gowns may also be at a higher alteration cost with all their intricate detailing. No need to worry, we also have a wide range of affordable lace wedding dresses that you’re sure to love and will keep you within budget! 

Next Steps

No matter what alterations you choose to take away or add, it’s important to remember how your gown should make you feel- beautiful, flawless and one of a kind. Check to see where your local authorized Val Stefani retailer is and call to ask about any alterations they offer in house or referrals they can recommend. 

Guide to Wedding Dress Alterations: How to Prepare, Budget & More
Guide to Wedding Dress Alterations: How to Prepare, Budget & More
Guide to Wedding Dress Alterations: How to Prepare, Budget & More


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