Alterations are usually uncharted waters for most brides. Most of us have never had anything professionally altered. (letting your roommate cut your pants into shorts in college does NOT count…) Do not be afraid, it is not intended to be a scary experience, and you DO have a choice on where you go. Many bridal shops will have in house alterations, or a preferred list of seamstresses that they trust to alter your gown. It is up to YOU on who you let touch your beautiful gown. I know that sounds like a big deal, and it is. The fit of your gown is how you will present yourself on the day of your wedding to your new companion and your loved ones. It is an important garment that should work WITH you, not against you during your event.

To pick your seamstress go online and browse reviews from other brides, they are your best resource for understanding the quality and customer service of each seamstress. Not all seamstresses are the same…. some work from home on the side to earn extra income for their families, while some run their own shops. Some employ others to work on gowns, while some are solo workers. Some have been professionally trained in pattern making and fit, while others were trained by family. You want to find someone who can fit your needs as a bride. For example…if you want to customize your strapless gown with by adding sleeves and changing design aspects of the gown, you may want to go with a seamstress that has professional training with patterns for the best experience. While, if you have a simple gown that just needs a hem, you don’t have to be quite as selective.

For the best experience possible with your seamstress during your alterations process, here are some Do’s….and Don’ts.

DO: – Book your alterations with enough time. Contact your selected seamstress as soon as you have purchased your gown. Most seamstresses are fine booking in advance and appreciate your excellent planning. They will give you a plan according to their schedule on when is the best time to come in for your first appointment.

– Book a consultation in person or over the phone with your seamstress to discuss your alterations if you feel they may be more extensive, or if you are worried about cost. This can help you get an estimate on price as well as give your seamstress advanced planning to accommodate your gown and your needs.

– Make sure you bring your shoes to every single appointment you go to with your seamstress, as consistency is key. Another necessity is knowing what undergarments you want to wear. Underwear, shapewear, corsets…. each change our body in ways that your seamstress needs to maintain consistency for a perfectly fitting gown.

– Ask your seamstress what they require as far as payment, plan accordingly. Many times, this is their livelihood and how they feed their families, so please be responsible and prompt with your payments.

– Ask questions! Seamstresses answer so many questions a day, they don’t expect you to know everything. For many of their clients, this is the first time they have had a wedding gown altered, if anything!

DON’TS – Don’t bring children to your appointment. Seamstresses work with sharp objects constantly and will be pinning your gown. Holding, chasing, or entertaining a child is not something you want to do with pins in your gown. It is also not the responsibility of the seamstress or their possible staff to babysit for you during your appointment. Please go to your appointment distraction free and ready to focus on you and the fit of your gown.

– Don’t bring overly critical friends or family to your alteration’s appointments. Alterations is a “fine tune” appointment and can often get very personal about our bodies and our likes/dislikes about them. Having critical people with you can turn your alterations appointment into a self esteem destroyer very quickly.

– Don’t decide after your alterations appointment to begin body enhancement or weight loss regime. If your body changes after the seamstress has pinned and measured at your appointment, you will likely end up with more appointments, and more cost to further alter your garment. If you are planning weight loss or enhancement, please let your seamstress know ASAP so they can work with you on your timeline accordingly.

– Don’t be flakey or rude. Please treat your seamstress and other vendors with respect. They are here to help you with your wedding journey and contrary to many beliefs, can fire you as a client. Most of us do this because we love to help and guide you through this important event in your life!

– Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. If something looks off, mention it (respectfully) to your seamstress. We want you to feel beautiful and comfortable in your gown. Don’t panic, often there is a solution to problems. Often things can pop up that we didn’t expect and may require more work. This is why you contacted us early so that there is time to fix these things if they happen!