Advice from Isabella Margianu
Many gowns need at least some sort of alteration, but keep in mind that your alteration issues can vary greatly, depending on where you purchased your gown and how many changes need to be made; however, if you enlist the help of the right seamstress or tailor, you should be ready for your wedding day with a gown that fits flawlessly.
Timing Is Everything
It’s important to time your alterations right. Bring your gown in too early, and you might not end up with a proper fit. (You may lose or gain weight after your gown is altered, which could affect overall look and fit of the dress.) Bring your gown in too late, and you run the risk of not allowing enough time to have all the changes made. Isabella Margianu recommends allowing two to three months from the time of your first fitting to your last, as an ideal timeline to make all the alterations. Also keep in mind that the amount of times you need to go for fittings depends on how much you’re getting done to the gown – on average, most brides go for two to three fittings.
Who to Go to?
Most reputable wedding gown shops usually have an alteration department on site, if they don’t, Isabella advises going to someone who specializes in bridal gowns – in other words, your local dry-cleaner might not know the intricacies of formal/eveningwear. Wedding gowns have so many complex details – from boning to hems and bustles- it’s best to find a professional familiar with such details, somebody who has worked on such gown components in the past.
What to Bring?
When you’re ready for alterations, don’t just bring your gown, also take your undergarments, shoes, and accessories to your fittings, as well. With all of the pieces in place, it’ll be easier to envision your overall wedding day look- you should have your undergarments and shoes on hand in order to obtain the proper fit and length of your gown, and your hair accessories or veil will help ensure you’ve got the right balance. If you don’t have the exact shoe you’ll be wearing, bring something similar in height so you don’t wind up tripping over your dress on your wedding day!
Who to Bring?
While you might have legions of bridesmaids, it’s not a good idea to bring them all to your fittings. You might want to have your mom, another trusted relative, or friend accompany you to your fittings, just for another set of eyes and another reliable opinion. And because your maid of honor will need to know how to create the bustle, it’s a good idea to bring her to your last fitting so she can learn how your gown works.
Whether you found your gown at a couture salon or a bridal sample sale, the options for alterations are nearly endless. Isabella Margianu who has worked on bridal gowns is used to reworking fabrics, opening up hems, and can practically redesign any dress. This is particularly common when a bride wants to modernize her mother’s gown, Isabella can use the same fabric but create an updated, more modern style for the gown.
“In many cases, it depends on the fabric and construction of the gown to determine how difficult an alteration will be. For example, a silk satin finish on a gown can be difficult to let out, as holes might show. When she’s altering a lace gown, she can work with applique to cover up alterations, making it sometimes easier to alter this fabric than others. It’s always better to buy a gown bigger than smaller, when it comes to all fabrics, because this gives the tailor/seamstress the most alteration options.”
Keep in mind that the more labor-intensive the request, the more time and money you should allow for the process of creating your dream dress.
Whether you require several fittings or a simple alteration, give the seamstress a clear deadline. To avoid last minute stress, it is a good idea to tell her or him that you need the dress about four weeks before your wedding. This will give you time to request any last minute changes, especially if you happen to lose weight right before the wedding.
Now that your wedding dress fits you to perfection, you can relax. You’re going to be a beautiful bride!