Dressed to Thrill
The importance of wedding dress alterations, plus pro-tips
Since Queen Victoria stepped out in a white dress for her nuptials to Prince Albert in 1840, a wedding, for the most part, has been about two things: The couple and The Dress. The dress is a key element and one of the first things a wedding guest looks for during the ceremony.
(Kelly here: or, if you’re me, you look at whoever is at the end of the aisle. If I don’t get at least a tear or two out of the spouse-to-be, I’ve got questions. Luckily, all my friends that have been married in the last few years sparked more than a few tears from their significant other, even the most reserved and stoic can’t help it when their betrothed looks as gorgeous as they do on that day.)
One half of team “Let Them Eat Cake” began to think a little more technically about the wedding dress while at a fitting with a friend. We talk a lot about upcoming trunk shows and making sure you pick the perfect dress for your style and personality, but we haven’t talked in depth about what happens after you’ve found “the one” – the dress, that is. What comes next and what does the wearer need to know before making sure the perfect dress fits just perfectly for the Big Day?
We asked The Alteration Shoppe to share with us how to fit flawlessly into your gown.
How long before bridal portraits or the wedding day should a dress be brought in for alterations?
The Alteration Shoppe requires 12 or more weeks from the wedding date or pictures – whichever comes first. Anything scheduled under 12 weeks would incur a rush fee.
What should a client bring to the alteration appointment (besides the dress, of course)?
The [client] should bring [the dress, shoes, any undergarments]. Also, [for] custom work like [adding sleeves, overskirt, and so forth]. [They] would have to provide material.
How long does it typically take to alter a wedding dress?
The alteration process usually takes around three or more fittings during the 12-week process. Depending on what the [client] would like to have done to [the] dress can dictate how many fittings [to] expect.
Should a client bring in their dress to be looked at by an alteration shop, even if it seems to fit, just to make sure?
It wouldn’t hurt to have [the] dress looked at before the wedding day, even if it fits.
Is there a price range or cost estimate for dress alterations?
An average alteration for a wedding dress is around $500 plus tax. But, depending on what the [client] wants to have done to the dress, custom work will end up adding more to the total cost.
The Alteration Shoppe also shared with us that they require a 60 percent deposit of the initial alteration work at the first fitting and any additional charges would be added after. This extra tidbit is good to know, to be financially prepared when walking into a dress fitting and not surprised by The Alteration Shoppe or other companies that may ask for a similar deposit.
Additionally, what we took away from this all to make sure you have enough time and budget – even if you believes the dress fits like a glove – to ensure you look your absolute best when the Big Day arrives.