A quick guide to wedding dress alterations

Once you’ve settled on your wedding dress that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing else left for you to do when it comes to the dress of your dreams. Unless you’re having a custom wedding dress made just for your particular body, count on having to go the alterations route. You might need very little changing, such as the straps being raised, or maybe adding some extra sparkle if the dress is too plain for your taste. Whatever it is, alterations are simply part and parcel of buying a wedding dress, but that doesn’t mean that alterations will be included in the price you pay.

Our first piece of advice is to make sure that you check for any hidden costs when you buy your dress. The last thing you want to find out is that whilst your dress might be extremely reasonably priced, the alteration cost is through the roof! For a small job you can look at paying as little as £60 but for larger jobs like changing hemlines and bodices, the price might be around £200.

The next thing we recommend is that you when you go to fittings you wear the underwear, or similar to it at least, that you plan on wearing come the Big Day, particularly if you’re planning on wearing any support garments. We also suggest that you wear the shoes you intend to wear, or at least shoes with the same heel height, as this makes a huge impact on the hemline of your dress, which has wider effects on the overall look of your gown.

It’s also important to know that you don’t just need one or two alterations/fitting appointments. Three is the ideal number of dress fittings, particularly if you’re embarking on some kind of bridal bootcamp challenge before you tie the knot. Book your first appointment for at least 2 to 3 months before your wedding day, the second one for a month before the wedding and the last one for the final week or two before your wedding day to make sure that it fits like a glove by the time the Big Day arrives.

A wedding fitting usually lasts about an hour, during which time the assistant will do the following:

  • In your first fitting they will pin and tailor the dress
  • In the second fitting they will make any further changes
  • In the final fitting it’s your last opportunity to get anything that might be worrying you changed. It’s really just to check that the alterations that have been made have been completed to a perfect standard.

And if on reading all this you’re now ‘Wondering how to sell your wedding dress?’, then @hitchedcouk can reassure you that having alterations done to your dress doesn’t mean that you can’t sell it after your Big Day is over – if you can bear to be parted from it, that is!

If you decide to keep it, then you’ll want to preserve your wedding dress perfectly. Once it’s been cleaned and any stains like wine or dirt have been removed, find a preservation service you can trust to send your dress too, so that you can keep it looking immaculate for years to come. Who knows, maybe in another thirty or so years your daughter or even granddaughter might decide to wear your wedding dress as a nod to their family history?

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