All About Bridal Alterations

by | Jun 17, 2024 | Bridal

One of the biggest misconceptions brides have is that when you say YES to Your Dress, the gown should fit you perfectly. Beauty most certainly comes in all shapes and sizes, but the “perfect fit” takes the work of a professional seamstress. When you select your wedding dress and the stylist takes your measurements to order your gown, it is only to find out where you fit within the designer’s sizing chart. The dress is not made to your exact personal measurements, instead it is custom ordered based on where you fall within the manufacturer’s size chart. 

 According to Hubert de Givenchy: “The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.” No two bodies are the same. Although you may fit into a gown size quite comfortably, there are always some slight modifications that can be made to have the dress align with your shape, height and curves. Many couture designers do offer slight customizations to gowns, but they do not include a bustle or the slight tucks and adjustments necessary to make it flatter your unique body. Also, sizing can vary significantly by designer. 

So what does this mean to the excited bride who is ordering her wedding gown? “It begins with knowing what you want and having a clear understanding with both an experienced seamstress and expertly trained stylist. Ideally, this team should work with you from the point of selection to ensure the best fit possible and confirm that all alterations can be done within your budget and timeframe. If any additional fabric, lace, buttons or beading is needed for the final look, these pieces must be ordered at the same time your dress is ordered to ensure they match the dress exactly,” shares Kathryn Trocki, owner of Kathryn’s Bridal. 

Brides who decide to purchase a gown off the rack need to be mindful that a dress can typically be altered down one size to retain the integrity of design. Conversely, it can make sense to pass on a dress that a seamstress determines will be cost prohibitive to modify. Most importantly, you should never alter your body to fit into the dress. Never attempt to diet and lose weight to fit into a gown. According to our seamstress extraordinaire, Laura, “The bride should be within 7 pounds of her ideal weight at the time she orders her gown. Your partner proposed to you exactly as you are, loving your curves and all of you unconditionally. Do not allow body issues and unhealthy weight loss goals to ruin your love story.”  

“Anyone can sell you a wedding gown. So, brides need to look for more than just a dress. A bride needs to find a team that will truly take care of her. Nearly every wedding dress needs alterations, so make certain you put your trust in the hands of professionals. Our skilled alterations staff ensures every bride is aisle ready, in a gorgeous dress for the most important day of their life,” adds Kathryn. “The true magic of Kathryn’s Bridal is that we have in-house seamstresses who work day and night to make each bride look and feel beautiful! Custom fitting your gown is our area of expertise.” 

One of our recent brides found a dress that was perfect, but she loved the 3-D flowers from another gown. To accomplish this customization request, our seamstress became involved at the point of ordering and with Kathryn’s help, found the designer offered matching 3-D hand cut flowers in a variety of sizes. Together with the bride, it was determined approximately 200 flowers would be strategically placed and hand sewn on the gown. “Our in-house seamstress chose to attach a quantity of 207, because 7 is her “lucky” number,” smiles Kathryn. “When I saw the finished gown, I decided to personally add 2 more flowers to bring the total to 209, which is my family’s lucky number.” 

“The bride was Kathryn’s soon to be daughter in law,” shares Laura. 

This personal investment a seamstress makes in every bride’s dream dress is what sets a boutique apart from a retailer. Your wedding gown shopping should be easy and stress free.  Your dress should only need slight changes to make it fit like a glove and only an expertly trained alterations specialist can make that happen.