How Long Do Wedding Dress Alterations Take and Some Other Tips!

Congratulations! You said yes to the dress and you’ve waited the four to eight months to see your wedding dress and it has finally arrived! HAPPY DANCE!

Probably the most anticipated moment while planning your wedding, besides your wedding day, is seeing your dress for the first time since you ordered it. You have your try-on scheduled during the week and your mom happens to be in town to go with you. But what is the next step after seeing your gown? We have created a list of answers to the most commonly asked questions about alterations here at La Soie Bridal!

What is the difference between a try-on fitting and an alterations fitting?

Your try-on fitting is for you to initially see the dress before alterations and get a better idea of what needs to be done and to ask your consultant any questions about the process of alterations. However, you won’t be quoted an exact price, but each store knows and should be able to tell you an average price for alterations based on what needs to be done.

Why do I need alterations?

The biggest question, is why do you need alterations? Shouldn’t the dress fit perfectly when it comes in? Yes, and no. When you ordered the dress, it might have been ordered to your largest measurement depending on your body shape and style of the gown. You’ll notice when trying it on for the first time that your dress will not be perfectly fitted to your body. That’s the point of the try-on appointment, so you know what alterations will be needed to get the fine tunings right and have it fit to your body perfectly (if only we could do that with our daily outfits am I right?)

How long do alterations take?

Here at La Soie Bridal, we recommend our brides start alterations three months before the wedding date, hence, why you should buy the dress at least a year in advance or off-the-rack if you’re having a quick engagement. Your seamstress needs at least one months time to alter your dress, anything less than that and you’ll be charged a rush fee for alterations, especially during the busier bridal season! Your last alterations will take place at least two weeks before the wedding day and will be the last time you try on the dress before the wedding! The week of the wedding (or sooner if your leaving the country) you should pick the gown up after it has been steamed and pressed for you.

How many alterations appointments will I have?

Ideally two, but on average three to five.

What days are alterations?

It depends on where you go. Every salon is different, from our Sacramento boutique  to our Pasadena boutique, we all have alterations on different days. Most alteration days take place during the week and can be all day or only in the mornings or afternoon. You will need an appointment, so make sure to call and set that up!

How long is each fitting booked for?

Your first fitting is booked out for an hour, it may take less time than that but plan to be there for an hour depending on how your gown fits initially. Every appointment after that will only be scheduled for thirty minutes unless you you are adding a customization to your dress.

What if I’m doing a customization?

Fantastic! We love seeing how brides change up a gown and make it special for their wedding and your seamstress will have fun working with you. However, that means you will be spending a little bit more time in your alterations and have more fittings, but don’t worry it’s to ensure that you’ll be happy with everything you are telling us you want. The most popular customization is adding lace sleeves, and this can take time in your fittings for the seamstress to figure out exactly what type of sleeve you want and how you want them to look.

What happens if I lose weight?

If you happen to lose a little bit of weight, your gown will be taken in until it fits perfectly. Our recommendation is to lose any weight or tone up by the second fitting, most places won’t charge you twice for taking in, unless you keep losing weight and require what they deem necessary. Also be aware that if you plan to drop weight after the second fitting, you might be required to to set up a fourth fitting, instead of ending in three fittings, to double check everything fits correctly.

What should I wear to the fitting?

Brides need to bring their shoes and any undergarments they will be wearing on the day of the wedding to ensure the perfect fit. You don’t have the shoe yet? Bring a shoe with a similar heel height to ensure your hem will be perfect or at least have your wedding shoes by the second fitting to ensure the seamstress has enough time to do your hem.

How much do alterations cost?

Alterations are an additional cost. Basic alterations (contour, hem and bustle) on average range from $400-$800, with most being on the higher end towards $800. Customization can also drastically change this price depending on how you are customizing the gown. Most customization prices can only be quoted by the seamstress, since they are experts in all things alterations.

As the wedding day fast approaches and with each alteration, fitting your dream will slowly become everything you imagined it to be and more! Our final tip to you? Always be honest and let your stylist and seamstress know how you are feeling and don’t hesitate to ask any questions.