alterations

When it comes to your bridal gown fittings, what should you expect? To many of you, this is the first time you’ve ever had anything altered, let alone a wedding gown! The following is a summary of things to expect when having alterations done to your bridal gown. Even if you do not choose to have your alterations done with us, this information will be useful to you, as every gown needs some kind of alterations.

When do I start my alterations?

The process should be started 2 months – 6 weeks before your wedding. Often if you are losing weight, alterations can started closer to the date. Mother’s and bridesmaids dresses can be started closer to the wear date.  

APPOINTMENTS are necessary for all fittings! 

A note on our hours: Our alterations department hours are Tuesday – Friday ( no weekends) by appointment ONLY.

What do alterations on my wedding gown cost?

Our wedding gown alterations start at approximately $350 and up.

What Should I Bring?

Firstly, for purposes of safety, we ask that you do NOT bring children to your fittings

You should have any and all undergarments that you wish to try with your gown. Most brides use a long line bra/bustier ( We sell fabulous bustiers here in the salon that 95% of our brides end up wearing!) We also sell great bracups. Bring with you your spanx or similar shapewear, and especially your shoes!

NOTE: The exact shoes must be worn to each and every fitting. The seamstress will have to reschedule your fitting if you do not have your shoes!

In addition, changing your undergarments and/or shoes changes the fit of the gown drastically! If you change anything, such as your bra from fitting to fitting, it will cause the gown to be fitted incorrectly.

Fittings

We kindly ask that you limit your guests at fittings to no more than 2 people, and please no children.
You will have an average of three fittings, sometimes less, sometimes more; it all depends on the work that needs to be done.

What happens at the First Fitting?

You and our seamstress will talk about how you want the gown to look and our seamstress evaluates the work that needs to be done. She pins the gown and makes notes. You will be fitted from the top down, starting at the shoulders and ending at the hem/bustle. Please address any concerns at this time.

There is only one charge for alterations, based on the work needed, and the intricacy of the gown. The only time you would be charged extra is in the following cases:

-You need or request work at subsequent fittings that was not in the initial quote

-The dress is finished and your weight changes resulting in additional work

Payment for the balance of the gown (if applicable) and all alterations are due at the first fitting.

Second Fitting?

The work has been done according to what was discussed with the seamstress at the previous fitting. She will be using basting stitches, a temporary hand stitch that can be easily removed. There may also be pins in your dress; this is simply to verify fit and position before making any permanent changes.

If the dress is small or large at the second fitting do not panic! Everything is temporary allowing us to make changes right up to the end.

This sometimes may be your final fitting before final pick up and try-on, but most times you will have a third fitting. 

Third Fitting:

Everything is checked one final time before cutting fabric from the gown, more adjustments will and can be made. Sometimes a fourth fitting is necessary.

Pressing

Wedding dresses usually need some form of alteration, and they are always pressed after that laborious process. During alterations the gowns are squashed in a bag and run through the sewing machines, etc. After all alterations are finished, every layer of the dress (some dresses have up to 6 or more layers!) has to be professionally pressed, put on a form and then placed in a special bag. The proper pressing of wedding gowns is a highly specialized field and therefore requires us to charge a fee.

Pick-up

We request that you try on your gown one last time; if any adjustments are needed they can be done on the spot before you take the dress with you.

The gown will have been professionally pressed by our presser. It will be in a long bag especially made to accommodate pressed bridal gowns without squishing them. This is a LARGE item, we ask that you plan which vehicle you bring to your pick up accordingly! Example: too many people in the car or if there is not enough room to lay the gown flat may result in wrinkling! Our associates will assist you with your gown to your car. Lastly, Avoid leaving your dress in the car for too long if possible, and hang on the highest place (like a door) when you arrive at your destination.

a few notes

Our seamstresses are extremely talented and highly skilled professionals who are experts in their craft.

Prices vary based on degree of difficulty in altering the gown: it is based on the work that needs to be done, the intricacy and inner construction of the gown.

A wedding gown does not stretch like our everyday clothing does. Every pound counts! Women’s weight fluctuates! For one, we fluctuate based on our hormones, and if your fittings occur before or during your period the fit may change. Your body may even change from one meal with much sodium! All these factors actually can and do change the fit of a wedding gown. Please take care to maintain weight once alterations have started.

The alteration of couture garments (such as wedding gowns) is a slow, delicate process and we do NOT cut fabric right away. In addition, sometimes we must complete one part of the alterations before we can begin on the next step. So please be patient, and “Trust the process”.

A $50 pinning/consulting fee will be charged if you decide after your first fitting that you no longer wish us to do the alterations with us.

If we have started to work on the gown, there are no refunds.

Losing weight/gaining muscle: Remember muscle weighs more than fat! You may not think you have lost weight as scale does not reflect it, but you have lost inches. Alternatively, be careful working out to not gain too much muscle- do more high reps, low weights—otherwise your dress might be too small!!

Request an Appointment at Lili Bridals