Hello to all the new brides out there. Congratulations to you on your engagement!I hope one of the best parts of preparing for your wedding is shopping for your wedding gown.  I would like to educate you a bit before you go shopping for your gown. Finding your alterations specialist before you shop is vital.  Let’s go through some common myths together.

1.When it comes to alteration costs for bridal gowns, the higher the cost, the better the quality….


Some of the worst repairs of bad alterations I have ever fixed have come from outrageously expensive seamstresses.  Some of the best work comes from modestly priced alteration specialists.  High price, low price, makes no difference. It’s all over the place when it comes to prices.

How do you find a good seamstress?  Word of mouth. Ask around.  You may hear about a store that has wonderful seamstresses. Shop there first. You may get rave reviews for an independent seamstress, in which case, you will want to decline in-house alterations and take the dress with you to the seamster. This is important to know before you shop. Ask around till you have found someone that people will vouch for.

2. If you try on a sample dress in a store and order the same size of dress, when your own dress comes in, it will fit exactly like the sample dress did…..


Sample dresses have a hard life.  They have a variety of sized brides try them on, rarely is the fit perfect. Too tight and it gets stretched out.  Too big and the salespeople clamp the bride into the dress so they can see how it would fit if it was their size. The dress gets stretched out over time and is

usually, a bit bigger than the dress you will have ordered in.  If your own dress fits just a bit snug when you try it on, try wearing it for 3 days, 30 minutes.  Your body heat will warm the fibers of the dress and they will relax and conform to your body giving you a custom fit.

3. Ordering a bridal gown with custom measurements means your dress will fit perfectly when it comes in. No alterations will be needed…..


I can have 5 brides with the exact same measurements.  They will all fit the custom measured dress differently.  A bust measurement on the dress may be for a bride with a C cup bra and narrow shoulders. Another bride may have a broad back and A cup bra but have the same measurement. Every person has a unique body shape and custom measurements should be saved for someone with extreme body issues.  Find the size that comes closest to your measurements and order that size.  Assume that there will be some alterations to settle the dress onto your unique body. Custom measurements can bring disappointment and unrealistic expectations for the fit of a bridal gown.

4. Alterations on a wedding dress can be done the same day, as you wait…..


6 weeks to 3 months is normal or expect a very hefty rush fee for under 2 weeks. We are all overworked and often booked out for months.  No one is waiting around for more work. There is a shortage of qualified seamstresses that alter bridal gowns.  It’s a dying art and highly technical work. Frankly, there’s just not enough of us to go around.

5. If my Wedding dress is inexpensive, my alterations will also be inexpensive….


The price of your alterations has nothing to do with the price of your dress. It’s the same amount of labor, time, and skill for a cheap dress as it is for a $10,000 dress. Also, that $99 sample sale dress that is nowhere close to

fitting you may end up costing between $500 to $1000 to reconstruct to your size. Even a free borrowed dress can be extremely expensive to alter if you are nowhere close to the right size. I see this a lot. It’s not a smart choice to borrow a free dress that doesn’t fit if the alterations are going to cost more than it would cost to just go out and buy a dress that fits. Please think this through carefully.

Change outs can also really add up.  If you like a dress, except you need this that and the other changed out to make it perfect, then you probably haven’t really found the right dress and should keep shopping. Except for sleeves. Changing out sleeves makes good sense. Find the dress you love that has a good fit and order from the store laces and fabrics for the sleeves you dream of.  You limit your choices way too much if you are trying to find a dress with a specific sleeve. That’s my one exception to the rule.

There you have it. I hope this prepares you for a great shopping experience. Remember, find your seamstress first, and make sure she is available, then you are ready to find your dream dress.