The question has been popped, the answer is yes, and the time has come for you to buy your wedding dress! As you plan and prepare for your purchase, there is one aspect of the wedding dress shopping experience that you cannot overlook: alterations.
Wedding dresses are shipped to bridal shops in generic sizes, but you are not a generic bride. You are unique and that is why your dress will need to be fitted to you. Even if your measurements happen to align with an exact size from the designer of your wedding dress, the length will likely be an issue.
The reality is, every wedding dress will need alterations. Wedding dresses are not ready to wear clothing items; meaning, they can’t be worn straight off the rack. They are intended to fit like a glove, and in order to do that they need to be altered! You may be tempted to save yourself a few hundred dollars in alterations, but don’t fall into that trap. Your wedding dress will likely be the most expensive piece of clothing you’ll ever wear, but without alterations it will not look like it. It would be a shame to spend a decent amount of money on your wedding dress that doesn’t end up flattering you because it does not fit your body.
So, what types of alterations might you need on your wedding dress?
- Length. As mentioned above, you will most likely need to shorten the length. Wedding dresses come in very long, because brides of all heights need to be able to wear them. Sometimes you can escape this by ordering a shorter than standard length wedding dress from your designer, if they offer it. You also can play around with your heel height to avoid having to adjust the length of your wedding dress. But most of the time the most practical approach is to have your dress shortened by a professional wedding dress seamstress.
- Bodice. Adjusting your bodice to fit properly is what keeps a strapless wedding dress from falling down. It keeps your wedding dress from shifting throughout the night. It also makes sure the dress isn’t riding up because it is too tight on your hips. In order to escape this alteration, your bust, waist AND hip measurements would all have to align perfectly with the designer’s measurements. That is highly unlikely! Rather than making due with a dress that is too loose through your bust or too tight on your hips, let your seamstress make the proper alterations to make it fit you perfectly!
- Shoulders. Along with the length alterations, if your dress has straps or sleeves, it’s likely you’ll need your dress adjusted around your shoulders. A simple alteration that will make all the difference in your dress not gapping and looking ill fitted.
- Customizations. This is where alterations can be fun! Do you love everything about your wedding dress but wish it could have long sleeves instead of short, it may be possible with alterations! What about wanting the neckline to be a bit different shape? Also a potential possibility with alterations! You can discuss with your bridal consultant what realistic possibilities are for your dress. These types of alterations are totally optional, but can make your dress exactly perfect for you.
Ultimately, the biggest thing to remember when considering wedding dresses, is that they are NOT one size fits all! All brides are unique and need their dress to be uniquely fitted to them. So don’t be scared of needed alterations, but rather embrace it. Alterations will leave you with a beautifully fitted gown for your big day!