Let’s face it: every bride wants to look her absolute best on her wedding day, and even the most perfect bridal gown usually requires some alterations to achieve a custom fit.
Selecting your ideal wedding gown is only the first step; buying the correct bridal undergarments are also very important. If ordering your wedding gown, it is usually best to purchase your bridal shoes, bridal bustier (bridal bra) and bridal gown slip as soon as your gown is delivered to the shop, which is typically from 4-16 weeks after your order is placed.
If purchasing from store stock, you can try on bridal undergarments at the time of your gown purchase. If you meet your seamstress at the bridal shop, she can usually help you choose your bridal bustier and advise you on the correct bridal slip for your gown.
Your bridal bustier will lift your bust and also act as a corset, providing a smooth and shapely line and preventing unsightly bulges under your gown. They pull you in at the waist, optimizing your feminine shape.
Many bridal bustiers are available with a very low cut for bridal gowns with a low back. There are bustiers with convertible straps and strapless
styles as well. Bridal undergarments are not usually returnable, so make sure to try them on with your gown before purchasing them or, if ordering online, be sure you have someone accurately measure your bustline, waist and torso. If the cups don’t quite fit, you can always use bra inserts to fill them out correctly.
Avoid a bra cup size that is too small for you, as your wedding day is not the time to be spilling out of your bra or risking an embarrassing malfunction. It’s better to choose a bustier that is a bit too large than one that is too small. Most brides don’t realize this, but your bridal bustier can be altered a bit in circumference for a custom fit.
The correct bridal slip can affect the length of your dress,and may even eliminate the need for hemming, saving you quite a bit of money. Buying your wedding shoes before the dress can also save you time and money in gown alterations. The size heel you wear or style you choose can affect the hemline on your gown. If you want to wait to buy your bridal shoes until after you find the perfect wedding dress, make sure you have an idea of what you want and bring a pair in similar heel height with you when altering your gown.
It is likely that you can rely upon your newly married friends to give you recommendations for the best bridal alternation shops. Word of mouth really
helps. Alterating a wedding gown requires detailed and precise sewing. It is advisable to take your wedding gown to somebody who has many years of experience in restyling and bridal dress alterations.
Usually professional bridal alteration shops are the best option since they have the expertise and the experience necessary to work on such a large and important garment.
There are mainly three types of alterations done.
Hemming to correct the length, bodice alterations and work on the sleeves if you have them. Most bridal gowns cannot be made longer, so if you are on the tall side, you will be ordering a gown with extra length and the manufacturers usually do not do a custom length. They simply add 3″-6″ to the bottom of the gown and you will need to have your seamstress hem your gown with your wedding shoes on.
Most alterations for wedding dresses require two to three fittings. Along with your undergarments, you will need your wedding shoes at the time of your first fitting so make sure you purchase them well before the day of your first appointment. It is also wise to bring your veil and headpiece, as the complete outfit will allow your seamstress to see the complete ensemble. Bridal veils are frequently altered as well. It’s a wonderful feeling to try on everything in advance of the wedding and know exactly how you will look on your big day. Consider taking your bridal jewelry to your final fitting for this reason.
The cost of altering your bridal gown depends upon the style of the dress and the complexity of work. We advise our brides to get an estimate of
the total cost of alteration from a minimum of two seamstresses. Rush services are usually double, so the quicker you schedule your alterations, the better chance you have of keeping the cost as low as possible. You should start your wedding gown alterations at least 6-8 weeks before your wedding to give your seamstress enough time to complete the job without rushing through it. We know of brides who tell the seamstress that the wedding is a couple of weeks prior to the actual date, just to be safe. Not a bad idea!
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