Wedding Gown Alterations
For a wedding gown to stand out, it is crucial that it fits perfectly. That is why choosing the bridal gown entails about three or four fittings before the actual wedding day. These additional fittings after you’ve settled on your dress choice are primarily due to alterations.
There are two kinds of wedding gown alterations: minor adjustments and major adjustments. For minor adjustments, the alterations are minimal and are usually based on increasing or decreasing the bust size, lengthening or shortening the gown, adding or removing embellishments, adding or removing sleeves or straps, or taking in the gown at the sides for a more fitted look or loosening the sides for comfort and mobility.
Major adjustments can easily cross the boundary into custom-made gowns since the changes the gown will undergo will be on a larger scale. Please see our previous post on custom ordered gowns here for comparison and additional information. Major adjustments may feature a change of the neckline e.g. changing a sweetheart into a bateaux neckline. Another adjustment may be changing the bottom half of the dress e.g. an A-line silhouette to a mermaid silhouette. Other adjustments might be adding a longer wedding train and moving the waistline to a higher or lower position.
Whatever adjustments you decide on, here are a few things that are vital to take note of:
- The material: Some materials like silk and lace are extremely delicate thus making them quite expensive. A bride needs to be careful about the amount of alterations she would like to do with delicate materials because it can be costly, it can damage the dress and finding extra matching lace material can be very difficult.
- The tailor: At Ellens Bridal, we work with expert tailors who have years of experience in working with bridal gowns. It is important to use a tailor who understands your vision and needs, who is experienced with certain materials, and can work well under the pressure and time constraint of bridal fittings.
- Time: Some adjustments can be done in a couple of minutes or within a day. Others may take days or even weeks. It is important to factor in time when thinking of adjusting your gown to give the tailor enough time to work on the gown and for you, as the bride, to comment and decide on the changes before the wedding. As a rule, at Ellens bridal, we start with the major adjustments first, then finish with the minor ones.
- Cost: Before buying a gown, consider the flexibility of your bridal gown budget and don’t forget to add in the cost of the major adjustments. The more the adjustments, the more expensive the dress will be.
- Comfort: Some adjustments may limit a bride in terms of mobility and comfort. If you would like a tighter fit, especially for corsets and mermaid gowns; this might bring some discomfort as the day progresses and it may also limit your mobility to sit or dance. Longer and fuller skirts or longer trains can be heavy, drag on the ground and accumulate dirt, and prevent your hands from being free to hold your partner’s hand or your flower bouquet.