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Guide: Wedding Dress Alterations (What to Do & When)

There is a lot to stay on top of as your wedding day draws ever-closer. If you've got your dress, chances are that you'll need alterations to get that perfect fit. This guide will ensure you're on top of the process and timing, helping you plan your fit and reduce dress-stress!

Wedding dress from Oscar de la Renta's first bridal collection in 2006

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9 Months Out: Order Your Dress

Unless you buy your dress off the rack, your gown will most likely take up to 6 months to arrive

Who to Choose for Alterations

Wedding dresses use special techniques, so you’ll want to work with a sewist who specializes in gowns. If your bridal salon does not offer alterations, they can most likely recommend someone. Be sure to check Google and Yelp reviews before committing to a sewist.

4 month out dress alterations

4 Months Out: Fitting Number 1

At your first appointment, you will talk with your seamstress and tell them about the additions and changes you would like. They will let you know what’s possible and give you a quote.

Bring:

  • Your wedding dress
  • A list of the changes or revisions you would like
  • Your wedding shoes
  • The undergarments you plan on wearing

Be Prepared To:

  • Spend an hour at your appointment
  • Try everything on together
  • Be specific about the changes you want
2 month out dress alterations

2 Months Out: Fitting Number 2

Your second appointment will be like a check-in to ensure the alterations look and feel right so far. You’ll want to move around a little bit to ensure you feel comfortable in your gown.

Bring:

  • Your wedding shoes
  • The undergarments you plan on wearing
  • The jewelry and accessories you plan on wearing

Be Prepared To:

  • Try everything on together
  • Walk, dance, and move a little bit
  • Be honest if something feels uncomfortable
3 weeks out dress alterations

3 Weeks Out: Final Fitting

The final fitting is your chance to make sure everything is just right before you bring your dress home.

Bring

  • Final payment for the seamstress
  • Your wedding shoes
  • The undergarments you plan on wearing
  • The jewelry and accessories you plan on wearing
  • Hair ties or pins to replicate your wedding hairstyle

Be Prepared To:

  • Ask for tips on putting on and taking off the dress
  • Learn how your bustle works
  • Bring your dress home
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