So you found your perfect wedding dress, now what?? Chances are your dress doesn’t fit you like a glove or isn’t at the desired length for your height. This is where alterations come into play!

The thought of giving your most important piece of clothing over to a stranger can be terrifying, but we’re here today to educate you on all things alterations so you’re at ease for the big day! 

We sat down with Jenifer Amato, the owner and bridal consultant, at All About the Bride.

When should brides get their wedding dress altered?

 Ideally, brides should start the alterations process at least two months before their wedding date. This is a process that should not be rushed! 

What should brides wear to a wedding dress fitting?

It’s very important for brides to bring the shoes they plan to wear on their wedding day or at least something that is the same height and style. It’s also important to bring whatever type of undergarment or shapewear they plan to wear on their wedding day! 

A beautiful dress from All About the Bride hanging in one of the archways of the TN River Place.

What happens at the first wedding dress fitting?

During the first fitting the seamstress typically focuses on the straps and the bodice of the gown. They may pin the hemline as well but will not start on it until the top portion of your gown is perfected. 

How much should wedding dress alterations cost?

The cost of alterations truly depends on the style of dress and how much work is needed. This is a great question to ask your bridal consultant after you’ve decided on your gown. 

An up close shot that shows the bridal bouquet, engagement ring and lace detail on a wedding dress from All About the Bride.

How many fittings are needed?

Brides should expect to make at least three visits to the alterations place before picking up their gown. There are different stages to the alterations process and some steps need to be completed first. Also, try not to be startled if the seamstress must temporarily remove some lace or details during the alteration process. Some gowns require it to perfect the fit without losing any details. The amount of alterations visits will also vary on the style of gown and how much work needs to be done to make sure the dress is the perfect fit! 

What can be done if a bride loses or gains weight after the dress is already purchased?

Wedding gowns can be easily taken in during alterations. It’s best to find a gown that you love the way you are in that moment. Then you don’t have to stress about hitting your weight loss goals while having peace of mind knowing that it’s possible to have the gown taken in if needed. 

On the other hand, it gets a little tricky when letting a wedding gown out. Gowns do have some seam allowances for this reason which varies from gown to gown. There are other options that could work as well if you are in need of a bigger size such as switching from a zipper back to a corset back! 

The back of a wedding dress with the bride wearing a flower crown and holding her bouquet down at her side.

Is it worth buying a dress in the wrong size, if it is a sale piece, or will too many alterations change the original style of the dress?

It sounds like a broken record, but this is another one that truly depends on the style of the gown you choose!! Alteration costs are very important to consider when purchasing a gown from a boutique collection. Five sizes too big is the largest size you should want to size down to fit. 

What questions should every bride ask before having alterations done? 

Ask your bridal consultant all the questions above! Make sure you have a good idea of what to expect and how to prepare. When deciding which alterations place to use make sure to ask them their turnaround times. The goal of starting two months before the wedding day is so you don’t have to rush. 

Wow, that was some good info! We always enjoy our time with Jenifer. We learned so much from her and we hope you did as well!

Want to learn more about All About The Bride?
Check out their website HERE

You may also be interested in one of our previous articles:
7 things to consider when choosing your perfect dress

All photos are from Clara & Andrew’s wedding at the Tennessee Riverplace and are provided by Mandy Rhoden Photography.