7 tips to Ensure Wedding Dress Alteration Success!

So you’ve found the gown of your dreams…now it’s time to make it your own!


Kathy, our expert seamstress, hard at work!

Equally important to finding the perfect bridal gown is having an expert seamstress fit the gown to you. It is true that your bridal gown is ordered to your measurements, but the gown is ordered to a set of standard measurements, and of course, we are all unique so every bridal gown still needs some type of alteration to make the gown a beautiful custom fit. This is nothing to be nervous about, in fact, this is the best part of wearing a wedding gown-it will be custom fit to your figure!


Alterations are a topic that a lot of brides ask about as it is likely their first time having a dress (any dress) altered. I have learned over the years that the whole process can be uncomfortable for brides mainly because it is an “unknown”. And actually, it is one of my favorite parts of the bridal gown process because it is a time to really make the gown your own. I love to see the transformation of a beautiful gown into a beautiful bridal gown that looks like it was made for the bride. It is an amazing and systematic process that happens over time and over multiple fittings. And it is a collaboration between a skilled seamstress and a beautiful bride with a vision.


Once you have ordered your gown and you are waiting for it to arrive, here are some things to start thinking about:


Tip 1: Bring the undergarments you are planning to wear the day of your wedding to the first fitting.

Your undergarments affect the fit of the gown (if you are unsure of what you will want to wear, bring the options and you can compare the look and discuss with your seamstress at your first fitting). A good seamstress will give you honest advice about which articles help the overall look of the gown and which are unnecessary. On average, you can expect 3-4 fittings and I recommend starting the fittings 2-3 months before your wedding-this will leave you enough time to enjoy the process, as well as allow the seamstress time to do the work between each fitting.


Tip 2: Purchase your shoes and bring to the first fitting.

The height of the heel affect the hemline of your dress. Your seamstress may not work on the hem at the first fitting, but it is best to bring them in case she can start working on the hem.


Tip 3: Bring 1 genuine friend or family member with you to your fittings.

The reason for this is that it can serve as a comfort to you to have someone who really knows you and supports you. Do not bring more people to your fittings as it has the potential to create confusion and distract from your moment. This is about YOU, and having your bridal store support team, a skilled seamstress, and your one good friend or family member with you is a strong team of people, all working towards the one beautiful goal of making you happy.


Tip 4: Maintain your weight once you start your fittings.

The reason for this is that it will cost you extra money if you change sizes and it will take extra time to make additional alterations.


Tip 5: Avoid taking pictures at your fittings.

I say this because, until the gown is complete, there will be things that are not perfect, and some things will not even be addressed yet, on your bridal gown. This is a natural part of the process. Your bridal gown is not going to look like a finished product until it is…finished. If you are the type of bride that will go home after the first fitting and go over the pictures with a fine-tooth comb, my advice is to leave the camera at home! The seamstress may only work on the bust at one fitting, the hem and bustle at another etc. Trust the process.


Tip 6: If there is a feature you’d like to add to your wedding gown, don’t be afraid to ask!

At Chamonix Bride, we do a lot of custom alterations, which is another way that a bride can add her unique mark to the overall look and feel of her bridal gown. An expert seamstress will be able to tell you what can and can’t be done depending on the construction and fabric of the gown. Pictures always help to convey accurately what you are looking for. All of this is part of the process, and it is a place where the bride can add her own personal flavor to create the custom look she wants.


Tip 7: Trust the process but don’t be afraid to speak up.

It is completely understandable that many brides don’t know what to expect-it is not everyday that we get married!  Once you find a reputable salon, my main piece advice would be to trust in the process, and to trust in your team. Remember that you are working with experts in their field and your bridal team is there to support you all along the way. Bridal gown fittings are a collaboration where you bring your personal style and combine it with the seamstress’ technical ability to end up with something that you look and feel amazing in. Alterations are an important part of bringing out the best in a bridal gown, and more importantly, for allowing your true self to shine through.