When it comes to your bridal gown fittings, what should you expect? To many of you, this is the first time you’ve ever had anything altered, let alone a wedding gown! The following is a summary of things to expect when having alterations done to your bridal gown. Even if you do not choose to have your alterations done with us, this information will be useful to you, as most every gown needs some alterations.
When Do I Start My Alterations?
We recommend beginning the alterations process about 8-12 weeks before your wedding. Often if you are losing weight, alterations can be started closer to the date. To ensure a perfect fit, we like to see our brides at least three times prior to the big day. This time frame allows time for extra changes if needed, especially any last-minute change due to weight fluctuation. Mother’s, bridesmaids and formal wear dresses can be started closer to the wear date.
Appointments Are Necessary For All Fittings!
We generally schedule your first fitting 8-12 weeks before the wedding and each subsequent fitting two to three weeks after that. This means your final fitting should take place two to three weeks prior to your wedding.
First fitting appointments take one hour for a wedding gown and a half hour for a bridesmaid or special occasion dress. In-store gown fittings take place on weekdays only. You should expect a minimum of four visits, three fittings as well as a final appointment to pick up your gown. For extenuating circumstances where you cannot come to the boutique during the week for fittings, one of our seamstresses may be able to make exceptions to work with brides on the weekend.
What To Bring
Firstly, for safety purposes, we ask that you do NOT bring children to your fittings.
Our bridal gowns are high-quality, many of them have built-in bras and slips. Many of our brides choose not to wear a bra under their wedding gown and some opt to have bra cup sewn in. (We sell fabulous bustiers in the salon that many of our brides end up wearing!) We also sell great bra cups. Our seamstresses will help you decided which option is best for you.
When you’re ready for alterations, bring your gown, shaping undergarments (slips, spanx, bustier, corset, etc.) especially your shoes, and accessories that you will be wearing on your wedding day. With all the pieces in place, it will be easier to envision your overall wedding day look. You should have your shaping undergarments and shoes on hand to obtain the proper fit and length of your gown. And, your hair accessories or veil will help ensure you have the right balance.
NOTE:The exact shoes must be worn to each and every fitting. In addition, changing your undergarments and/or shoes changes the fit of the gown drastically! If you change anything, such as your bra from fitting to fitting, it will cause the gown to be fitted incorrectly.
We kindly ask that you limit your guests at fittings to no more than 2 people, and please no children.
The first meeting with our seamstress is considered a consultation to discuss what changes can and will be made to your gown so that your gown fits your body as close to perfect as possible. The dress will be fitted and pinned to show you the best alterations for an ideal fit. During the appointment, the fees for recommended alterations will be discussed so you can agree upon the look that best suits your needs and budget. You will receive a copy of the alterations ticket, pay for the alterations, and schedule your next fitting.
The most common alterations include: taking in or letting out the side seams, shortening the hem, adding a bustle and adding bra cups. Additional alterations often include: shortening/removing the train, slimming the skirt, changing the neckline, adding a modesty panel, adding sleeves, lowering the back, adding/taking away buttons and the list goes on.
The second fitting is an interim fitting to both check the work that has already been done and complete any work that has not yet begun. We will first check the new fit based on the changes we made during the first fitting. If the fit is not perfect, do not panic! We will make additional adjustments to the fit at that time. At this appointment, we will also address the hem length and bustle if they were not adjusted during the first fitting.
It is very important to note that at this fitting, if any important details have been removed from the gown to achieve the correct fit, they will not be put back onto the gown until after this appointment when we have had the ability to determine that this is the correct fit. For example, if we must remove any lace from the gown in order to fit your gown perfectly, it will be added back to the gown after the second fitting. Don’t let this surprise you!!
This is usually the final fitting for most brides. At this appointment, any details removed from the gown will be replaced, and we will do one last review of the overall fit, length of the hem, and bustle in case any small tweaks need to be made. Sometimes a fourth fitting is necessary. At this appointment, we suggest bringing your most reliable member of your wedding party to learn how to bustle the gown. Bustling a gown is not difficult when you know what you are doing, but it requires practice.
After alterations on your gown are complete, we steam, press and place your gown in a long garment bag .
We request that you give us a few days after your final fitting to press and package your gown. Because there are anywhere from several days until more than a week between when you pick up your gown and the wedding, this is not a step in the process that we want to rush. However, if for some reason you must take your gown with you on the day of your final fitting, please let us know in advance so that we can make sure to schedule enough time on that day to press and package your gown.
Your bridal gown alterations are now complete. What now? Our wish for you is that the moment you step into your wedding
A Few Notes:
Your gown will have been professionally
pressed and will be in a long bag especially made to accommodate bridal gowns. This is a Large item, we ask that you plan which vehicle you bring to your pick up accordingly! Example: too many people
in the car or if there is not enough room to lay the gown flat may result in wrinkling! Our associates will assist you with your gown to your car. Lastly, Avoid leaving your dress in the car for too
long if possible, and hang on the highest place (like a door) when you arrive at your destination.
Our seamstresses are extremely talented and highly skilled professionals who are experts in their craft.
Prices vary based on degree of difficulty in altering the gown: it is based on the work that needs to be done, the intricacy and inner construction of the gown.
A wedding gown does Not stretch like our everyday clothing does. Every pound counts! Women’s weight fluctuates! For one, we fluctuate based on our hormones, and if your fittings occur before or during your menstrual cycle the fit may change. Your body may even change from one meal with much sodium! All these factors actually can and do change the fit of a wedding gown. Please take care to maintain weight once alterations have started. Beyond The Veil Bridal is not responsible for additional charges for alterations needed due to changes in waist or other areas due to fluctuation of weight.
The alteration of couture garments (such as wedding gowns) is a slow, delicate process and we do NOT cut fabric right away. In addition, sometimes we must complete one part of the alterations before we can begin on the next step. So please be patience, and “Trust the process”.
A $100 pinning/consulting fee will be charged if you decide after your first fitting that you no longer wish to do the alterations with us. If we have started to work on the gown, there are no refunds.
Losing weight/gaining muscle:
Remember muscle weighs more than fat! You may not think you have lost weight as scale does not reflect it, but you have lost inches. Alternately, be careful working out to not gain too much muscle- do more high reps, low weights – otherwise your dress might be too small