08 Apr Bridal Alterations- The Lowdown!
So many brides enjoy their wedding dress shopping so much that they forget about what comes after! The bridal alterations process is an unknown entity until you go through it yourself. So we sat down with our seamstress, Jane, for the insider information you need to know!
Jane has been working in bridal for over 30 years. That translates to decades of bridal trends, fabrics and every scenario you can dream of! So, it is safe to say your dress is in very capable hands when it comes to the alterations we offer in the boutique.
Hi Jane, can you tell us what the most typical alterations are for bridal gowns?
Most brides need their hem taking up and with open or illusion backs on trend, a lot have breast cups added too. If your gown is made to order, I would expect the side seam or straps may need tweaking, but sometimes the fit is perfect!
How many times would a bride need to see a seamstress during the alterations process and how far ahead of the wedding is best to start?
For 90% of brides, you would have your first fitting about 10-12 weeks before the wedding. You will need your wedding shoes for this appointment- it’s extremely important, otherwise I can not measure the hem! During this appointment we would discuss the alterations required and then return for a second/final fitting 2-3 weeks before the big day.
Occasionally we may need to add an extra appointment depending on the work needed or if there is any weight fluctuation. It is also possible to rush alterations for a surcharge is it is a quick engagement! If you are looking to make design changes, probably best to aim for your first fitting 15-16 weeks before.
Can a bride still lose weight after the first fitting?
You can, but it may incur extra charges if the alteration work needs to be done again. If you are planning on losing weight, it’s probably best to discuss this at the first fitting and ask the Seamstress to leave any work affected by weight loss until nearer the time of the wedding.
It is possible to add sleeves and straps to most dresses. But just make sure you allow plenty of time if we need to purchase extra fabric/lace etc. Most boutiques will offer pre-made straps which will save time and an alternative to sleeves is a detachable bolero. Again, most boutiques will be able to show you options.
Occasionally, brides love 90% of their dress’s design but would like to tweak a part of it to make it perfect. This could be adding beading or a belt. Maybe adding straps. Maybe changing the neckline or even adding more layers to the skirt. We call this a design change.
What are the most common design changes you make to wedding dresses?
Necklines and bust shaping are the most common. Occasionally, brides like to remove illusion necklines or create a sweetheart neckline out of a curve.
Sometimes, if the gown is too big due to weight loss, the bust will need reshaping to get the perfect fit.
How long have you been working as a seamstress and how has the bridal trends changed in that time?
I made my first wedding dress 33 years ago and over the next few years made several wedding and bridesmaids dresses, mainly for friends and family. I have been working full time as a bridal seamstress for 15 years.
Bridal trends have changed hugely. You can spot a bridal gown from the 80/90’s a mile off because of the OTT designs. But nowadays, the styles and fabrics are so varied that brides are spoilt for choice!
What is your favourite celebrity/ royal wedding dress of all time?
Probably Kate Middleton’s, the lace was exquisite. I’m not sure the general public really got to appreciate how detailed it was. But I also loved Princess Diana’s, I have to say a train makes a wedding dress for me.
Any additional advice for brides?
Enjoy the preparation and planning of your big day, it should be enjoyable, and you will probably never get to do anything like it again. It doesn’t need to be stressful and do ask friends and family for help if you need it. Don’t stress about the small things- it will all come together on the day.
Bridal alterations are designed to get your gown perfect for your wedding day. It is the essential conclusion to your wedding dress shopping but sometimes brides feel overwhelmed by the process. This is usually because they are feeling the pressure of their upcoming wedding and not actually dress related. Or maybe they aren’t fully prepared for what the process entails. We are here for our brides and want every visit to be magical. Our advice is to ask questions, both at point of order and during the fittings. Jane is a fountain of knowledge and will understand the craftmanship of your gown.
A poorly fitting dress can be uncomfortable, so budget for alterations to be completed by a bridal seamstress and plan for the time needed to get your gown perfect.
If you are one of our #vebride’s and have queries regarding your alterations, please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
To begin your bridal journey with us and book an appointment, follow this link! https://www.victoriaelainebridal.co.uk/contact/
Our Pinterest page shows a selection of our bridal gowns with styling tips- it’s seriously not to be missed! https://www.pinterest.com/victoriaelainebridal