Wedding dress alterations ” What to expect from bridal gown fitting”
When to schedule for fitting
Once you’ve hired your seamstress, book your first fitting as soon as possible—ideally three months or more before your wedding day. The appointment will last about 30 minutes. We recommend scheduling it for a day when you won’t be rushed, whether that means going on a weekend or taking an afternoon off from work.
What to bring with you
You already know it’s important to come prepared when shopping for your wedding dress, and your alterations appointments are no different. There are a few specific items you should have ready to go to ensure the best experience.
For the initial fitting appointment to be productive, we recommend bringing the shoes that you have chosen for your big day. If not, comparable heel height as well as any undergarments (bra, shapewear, etc.) that you plan on wearing. Please expect your gown will not fit absolutely perfectly at the first fitting, and maybe even the second that’s what this process is for.
Who to bring with you
While it can be fun to have your entire crew of bridesmaids and family members with you the first time you try on wedding dresses, your alterations appointments are different. Limit yourself to one or two VIPs who genuinely need to be there, like your mom and maid of honor. This gives you the opportunity to have a second opinion without overwhelming the appointment (or taking up space in a seamstress shop, which may not be designed to accommodate large groups).
It’s especially important to have at least one person with you for your final fitting, particularly if you’ll need help getting dressed or bustling your gown on your wedding day. The seamstress can show your sidekick how to handle any tricky fastenings on the dress, such as hidden corsets, hooks, or a tiny row of buttons down the back.
Wedding Dress Alterations Timeline
8-10 Months Before Your Wedding: Purchase Your Dress
The rule of thumb is that you should start shopping for your wedding dress about a year in advance or shortly after you’ve finalized your date and wedding location, whichever comes first. You might have to shop around a bit to find your perfect dress, but as long as you purchase it about eight months before your wedding day, you’ll have plenty of time leftover for alterations.
4 Months Before Your Wedding: Your Dress Arrives
Once you’ve purchased your wedding dress, it can take anywhere from four to six months for it to actually arrive (made-to-order process). Spend that time researching local seamstresses, shopping for wedding day undergarments, and finalizing your accessories so they’re purchased/delivered and ready to go for your first fitting.
3 Months Before Your Wedding: First Fitting
Aim to have your first alterations appointment on the books at least three months before your big day. This will be the lengthiest appointment since it’s when most of the work will be done on your dress. Your seamstress will add pins to the hemline, straps, waist, and any other areas that need adjusting, so don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t look like your dream wedding dress right off the bat. This is also when you should speak up if you want to make any major changes to the style.
1 Month Before Your Wedding: Second Fitting
Traditionally, your second alterations fitting will take place about a month or two after the first appointment. If your dress didn’t need much altering in the first place, you might be able to get away with this being your final fitting. Otherwise, it’s a chance for you to see how the dress fits after the first round of alterations and for the seamstress to make any additional adjustments.
2 Weeks Before Your Wedding: Final Fitting
The final fitting should be scheduled around two weeks before your wedding day. At this point, your body and weight are generally the same as they will be on your wedding day, so this appointment will give you the most accurate fit. It’s a big moment—this is when you’ll see the dress exactly as it will look when it’s time to get married.
If everything is good to go, you’ll be able to take your dress home with you on the same day as your final fitting. The dress should already have a garment bag from the designer, but be sure to ask your seamstress for tips on how to store your wedding dress. Generally, you should keep it safely hanging up and out of direct sunlight to prevent wrinkles and discoloration. Finally, double-check that the dress has been professionally steamed, and ask your seamstress what to do about any last-minute wrinkles. They’ll be able to tell you the best way to refresh the gown without accidentally damaging the fabric.