Alter to Fit the Altar

Getting fitted for a wedding dress

More often than not, your dream gown is going to need some sort of alteration. It is rare to find a gown that fits like a glove and has every bead or pearl intact. But have no fear, there are great seamstresses that will get your gown in tip-top shape before your big day! Though you know your gown may not fit just right, you may be wondering exactly what should be done to make you look like a princess on your wedding day. It is sometimes hard to know what you want altered for the altar! Highlighted below are some useful alterations that will improve your look!

Have your gown taken in

If your gown is not fitting how you want and there is excess material, you should have it taken in to show off your figure. All eyes will be on you, and you want to look flawless! The right seamstress can usually take a gown in, so you shouldn’t worry if it is a bit big on you at first. If you love it, buy it! On the other hand, if you are planning on losing weight, you should not get a gown that is too small, because it is much harder to release seams on a gown than to take them in. When in doubt, get a larger size! If you do get a smaller size, though, make sure the seams can be released before purchasing the gown! The last thing you need is a gown that doesn’t fit — talk about a wedding disaster!

Shorten the hemline

Getting fitted for a wedding dress

Generally, your gown will be too long and you will need to have it hemmed. Make sure you bring your shoes before heading to the seamstress for your appointment. She will need to do measurements based on whether or not you are wearing flats or heels, and she will need you to stand in them so she can see just where the dress should fall. Sometimes hemming a gown can be difficult if there is beading or lace on it. However, the seamstress can usually remove the design and place it back when the correct gown length is achieved. For those cases where the design can be really difficult to remove, make sure you are clear with the seamstress before the alteration is performed. Perhaps talk to her about alternative options so you can have the correct hem without sacrificing the beautiful embellishments on your gown. You do not want any surprises when you pick up your gown after it is altered.

Bustle your gown

Your gown will have a beautiful train for your walk down the aisle and your ceremony. However, are you going to want that train behind you when you are on the dance floor? Probably not! Bustling your gown is when you pin your train up so you can move around freely! There are various ways to do so. One of the most common bustles is the French bustle, where the train is pinned up from the bottom with ribbons. The Austrian bustle is less common but still a beautiful option. Essentially, the fabric is gathered by a string and can form several layers on the back of the gown. There are several other bustles, but your seamstress will advise you of the smartest choice based on the fabric and style of your dress! So don’t stress if you are not sure which one you should do!

Bustling a Wedding Dress

Whether you are getting one or all of these alterations done on your gown, planning and timing is key. Make sure you book an appointment with your seamstress far enough in advance (three to five months from your wedding day) to ensure a successful alteration process. Sometimes the seamstress may deliver unexpected news, and you want to have enough time to recover. Also make sure you are clear with your seamstress about your expectations of the gown fit and look. This way you can avoid unnecessary confusion and panic! Often, the bridal store that you buy your gown from will refer you to a seamstress. It’s important to make sure that you go to a seamstress that specializes in bridal wear. Gowns are made of a different fabric and are far more complex than a shirt or pair of pants. Once you find your dream gown, you do not want just anyone to work on it; so, please, do your research before making your decision!