Finding the perfect wedding gown is critical, but making sure the alterations are done well is almost as essential. When buying a dress, you want to make sure that you buy too big rather than too small. It is always easier (and less expensive) to take a dress in than to let it out. It's rare for a bride to need no alterations at all, so when it's time, you want to know what to do. Here are five important things you should know before getting your gown alterations.
As anxious as you are to get it done, you want to make sure that your dress isn't altered too early. Your body will be changing in the time between getting engaged and getting married. Especially if you are planning some weight loss, ensure that you book your alterations closer to a leveling-out period so that you won't have to have alterations re-done.
On the other hand, you do not want to cut it too close either. You will need at least a first fitting and a final fitting, but frequently brides will need some additional fittings in between. It's best to book your first fitting 3-6 months before wedding the date.
Always book early. Alterations shops fill up their appointments quickly, especially on weekends. Make sure you call and reserve your appointment asap, even if it's a few months away.
While you may want to go cheaper for alterations, make sure you look at the reviews! You want to make sure that the shop you are going to does a great job and accommodates your needs. Sometimes cheaper isn't always better.
Bring the shoes and the undergarments you will be wearing to ensure a proper fit for the wedding day. This way, everything will fit comfortably and the hem will be the correct length. If you are changing your shoes for dancing, bring both pairs to find a perfect middle-ground.
Consider the pros and cons of a bustle and think about if it is right for you. If you're taking your shoes off to dance later in the evening, a bustle may make sense so your dress isn't dragging and it doesn't get too dirty. There are many different styles as well, so you can find one that is perfect for you.
Once at the final fitting, go through the movements of your wedding day to make sure everything fits just right before taking the dress home for good. Practice walking around the shop, dance to be sure everything stays in place, and move your arms around. You will likely be hugging many wedding guests, so you want your arms have room to move around and be flexible. Once you're sure, you can take the dress home and prepare to wear it for the big day!
I wish I could rate Julia 6 stars! I ended up at Julia's Alterations after a nightmare situation with another seamstress (Bridal Alterations by Anahit in Watertown). Anahit hemmed too much off the bottom of my dress (see attached photos). I was in desperate need of serious alterations work and only had one month before my wedding. Julia and her daughter welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home. They comforted me and told me they would have no problems fixing my dress. They magically added two inches of material to my dress to get it looking back to normal. I was so worried there would be seams and I was not sure how lace material could be added to look like it was always there. Julia did a phenomenal job - her work was truly remarkable and the photos speak for themselves.
Julia also corrected many other areas of my dress so it fit like a glove. The first seamstress was completely done with alterations yet so much additional work was needed to bring in the bust area, fix the shoulder straps, take in the back, etc. Julia truly loves what she does and is passionate about her work. She has a true eye for detail and treats every bride as if they were her daughter. She was so wonderful to work with and I would highly recommend Julia to anyone in need of bridal alterations. She went above and beyond even adding a zipper to the inner layer of my dress so I could step into it rather than having to pull the dress over my head and risk ruining my hair the day of the wedding (completely Julia's idea). Julia's store itself is impeccably clean and well kept. I will miss getting to see Julia and her daughter regularly!