Are Alterations Worth It?

“You can splurge on a pricey dress, but if it’s not altered properly it won’t look any better than a gown that’s a tenth of the cost,” says Terry Hall, fashion director of New York City’s Kleinfeld Bridal.

No matter what style gown you choose for your wedding day, the most IMPORTANT part of this, is the fit. Your wedding gown should fit perfectly. Not only should you look amazing, but you should also feel amazing in your wedding gown, ensuring for comfort throughout your entire wedding day.

Here at TDR we have 3 skilled seamstresses who, between them, have over 60 years’ experience working within the bridal industry. We thought it would be useful for our brides to learn more about exactly why alterations are important for the final fit of their wedding gown.

Although we are bursting with knowledge about our wedding gowns, top tips for wedding dress shopping and how to know you have found the one, we needed a little help from our talented seamstresses for this blog. We have put together a few questions that our seamstresses: Lisa, Sati and Annie have kindly answered, that we know you will find helpful!


 Why is it important to have a specialist seamstress?

Bridal alterations are like no other, wedding dresses are delicate and complex, so an experienced seamstress is essential, they must have a high level of skill and knowledge. Having your wedding gown altered comes with many complexities and is extremely labor-intensive, from hand sewn beadwork to hand picking the lace from your hem (without any detailing being lost). You as a bride must not worry about your alterations, this is the time for you to communicate effectively with the seamstress to achieve your desired look, but ultimately, put your trust in your seamstress.


 What is the difference between alterations and bridal alterations?

The alterations will ensure for perfect fit meeting your specifications and most importantly, make you feel amazing. A well altered gown should support your bust, accentuate and compliment your body shape and be the perfect length, covering your shoes without you tripping over. A skilled, experienced, bridal seamstress will be able to dramatically change the complete look of a dress if required. Bridal seamstresses will be trained in how to make more extensive changes such as customisations like adding sleeves, extending or shortening the train, beadwork, changing buttons, adding a bustle and many many more!


When should I start my alterations?

Alterations should ideally begin 6 weeks before your wedding date, however, seamstresses can alter your dress in less time, if necessary. Your final fit will be a week to 2 weeks before your wedding, which will ensure your dress fits you perfectly on your wedding day.


How many fittings will I need?

You will generally need minimum 2 fittings, one to be measured and pinned, the second to try your dress on for any adjustments. Depending on how many alterations your seamstress has had to make, will determine how many seamstress appointments you will need.


 When should I stop losing weight?

In terms of alterations, once you have been fitted you must try and maintain your weight, otherwise, you will need further alterations which ultimately, will cost you more.

Please read our ‘Why Not to Loose Weight When Ordering Your Wedding Dress’ for more information about why you DO NOT NEED to loose weight for your wedding day!!!!


 What do I need to bring to my alteration’s appointment?

Your bridal shoes

Your wedding underwear (seamless and nude to avoid showing through the fabric)

Bra cups (if you do not have these your seamstresses will have these for you)


Who should I bring to my fittings?

Bringing limited people to your fittings is advised, only bring those with you that you know will help you achieve the best fit. Also bring with you someone you trust to give their honest opinion and someone that will be there on your wedding morning to dress you – please make sure they watch and learn from the seamstress exactly how to fit the dress perfectly e.g. Buttons, corsets or bustles. 


Our Alterations Top Tips

  • If you want to completely change the style of your dress, this isn’t your dress. Talk to your stylists, take your time and don’t rush, you will find your perfect gown. The worst thing to do is rush into a decision and hope your seamstress can magically create your perfect gown, they are amazing, but there is only so much they can do!
  • Allow room in your budget for your alterations, they will cost extra on top of the price of your gown, but your seamstress will only charge for the alterations she completes, she does not charge a ‘set price’ for every bride.
  • You dress will always need altering, these dresses are not made to measure and therefore, alterations are important for the dress to fit perfectly.
  • Trust your seamstress, they have been doing this for YEARS, they are skilled, experienced and we trust them implicitly, so, you should too!

We hope this blog has helped. You are going to look beautiful!

Lots of love

The TDR Girls Xxx

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