I am looking at a gown that is a size(s) too big, and am in love with it. Can it be altered to fit?
Absolutely! Don't limit yourself in choice by just looking at gowns in your size. Also, make sure to never go by the gown’s size tag, since bridal gowns usually run at least 1-2 sizes smaller than daywear sizes. Always compare your exact measurements to the measurements listed for each gown. Most gowns can be taken in one to two sizes to fit, occasionally three sizes. In addition, most gowns can be let out up to one size, depending on seam allowances in the gown. Do keep in mind that the original stitching lines may still show on some fabrics (especially satins) when seams are let out. Consult a professional bridal seamstress for custom results.
Where can I find a professional bridal seamstress?
Ask other current or recent brides for their recommendations. Also, contact local bridal shops and fabric shops specializing in bridal and formal fabrics. These shops often know of bridal seamstresses in the area that specialize in custom bridal work. Another great place to find an experienced bridal seamstress is to join a blog group on the major wedding websites, such as Marthastewartweddings.com, theknot.com or the weddingchannel.com. This is a fantastic place to receive honest feedback from brides that have already used a bridal seamstress in your area.
When should I expect to have my first fitting and how many fittings will be required?
Most seamstresses will want to have your first fitting four to six months before the wedding. Of course, it will not take four months to alter your gown, but there are many gowns that need to be altered in that time frame, and you need to get your gown fitted and in line to be ready for your next fitting. Most of the time, only a first fitting and final fitting are required.
Occasionally, a third fitting will be needed for major changes.
What alterations are common and how much should I expect to pay?
Most brides will need a hem, and a custom bustle for the train. The next very common alteration is to take in of the bodice at the bust and/or waistline for the best fit. Charges will vary greatly depending on how difficult the alterations are (beads and lace involved, boning in the bodice, layers of skirt and crinoline to hem, etc.) and depending on you geographic location. Expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $500 for your basic alterations and possibly more if you have requested any special style changes to the original style of the gown.
How far in advance of the wedding day should I have my final fitting?
Three to four weeks is a good time frame. This gives the seamstress a few weeks to do any final adjustments, if necessary. After your final fitting, be sure and maintain your weight within 3 or 4 pounds to assure the gown still fits you perfectly on you special day.
How do I get the wrinkles out of my gown before I walk down the aisle?
Your gown will need to be steamed or pressed or a combination of both and most seamstresses will offer this service. Also, many cleaners can do this for you, however, just be sure to take it to a professional cleaner specializing in bridal gown cleaning and preservation.
Please know that we are always happy to answer any questions that you may have about your gown. Please feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 717-506-0343 and we will be glad to help.