(Photo courtesy Tang's Bridal and Alterations)

Wedding Gown Alterations: Some Helpful Tips

By Lisa Beth Miller

When selecting a wedding gown, it is important to accept the fact that in most cases, alterations will be an absolute requirement!

Many brides become frustrated because they believe that because they are measured for a gown, it will be cut to their exact body proportions. This is not the case at all. A bridal consultant is simply gathering data (bust measurement, waist measurement, hip measurement, height) to determine which standard size will fit the bride best.

An experienced consultant will explain this process and will point out in advance where adjustments will be needed. For example, perhaps a bride’s hip measurement requires her to order a size 8 in her wedding gown, but her bust measurement falls into the size 6 range, the consultant should mention to the bride that side/bust alterations will be required if the size 8 is ordered.

Note that in most cases, it is wise to select the size which corresponds to your largest measurement.

Some of the most common alterations include:

Bustle-adding hooks so that a long train may be bustled at the reception for ease of movement.

Sides/bust-taking in the sides of the dress so that it fits closer to the body; this fit is important in strapless dresses!

Hem-most brides need a bit of an adjustment in length.

Straps-many times, these are cut a bit large and need to be tailored so they stay in place.

It is critical that both brides and bridesmaids factor alterations into their budgets if they wish to look their best in their dresses!

Oh, and one more tip- it is WAY less expensive to have alterations to adjust a dress to a smaller size than to a larger one. Don’t let your ego convince you to order a smaller size than the bridal consultant recommends…it could be a costly mistake!


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