Wedding Gown Alterations

Every wedding ceremony dress will require some shape of alteration. As a highly skilled bridal seamstress, Jackie Hill can help you isolate any areas you aren’t happy with and suggest you on anything which can need adjusting, reshaping or adding.

Wedding dresses aren’t made-to-measure so almost every bride will need some wedding dress alterations to make hers fit perfectly.

Whether that’s raising the hem, adding a bustle or taking it in a whole dress size, the fittings and alterations process is essential to making sure you have the perfect wedding dress on your big day.

However, if you’ve never had a fitting before then you’re probably unsure of what to expect, how much wedding dress alterations cost, and even where to find wedding dress alterations near you.

From your wedding dress fitting timeline to what to wear to one, here’s everything you need to know about wedding dress alterations.

Most brides will need approximately three fittings to get their dress perfect. The minimum you’ll need is two – one to be measured and see what changes need to be made, and one to check the final fitting and take the dress home – but some brides can need even more.

“It’s usual to start fittings around six to eight weeks prior to the weddings,” However, if you know you want some major alterations done, such as sleeves or straps added or taking it the dress in extensively, think about booking in around two to three months ahead of the wedding to give time for a possible extra fitting.

What Should I Wear To My Wedding Dress Fitting?

It is essential that the bride has her wedding shoes at the fitting.  This will determine how much her dress is taken up and how safe and comfortable she feels when walking. We always get the bride to walk around the room once her dress has been pinned up. Some even dance at this stage!” If you’re wearing flats, you’ll need to bring them.

You should also wear comfortable but supportive underwear and it should be exactly the same as she intends to wear on the wedding day.  If you do plan on wearing a specific bra (and most dresses can have cups added in so you don’t always need to), bring it with you. Ditto for shapewear which really will have an effect on how the dress hangs on your body.

First Fitting

When: Six to eight weeks before your wedding

What to expect: You’ll have ordered your dress months before so in your first appointment you’ll try it on again and the seamstress will see where it needs adjusting. It’ll probably take an hour and will be the longest appointment: you’re not only getting pinned, but meeting the dressmaker and discussing your requirements.

The fitting will be done in private, with only the seamstress and the bride in the room, you may have guests on request.

The first fitting is to see the natural fit of the dress. The seamstress will ask lots of questions about the fit like, how tight would you like it? Is that comfortable? How is the hemline? Would you like it bustled in the evening? Are the beads rubbing? All of these are very personal: for example some brides like the hemline going across the toes, others like it touching the floor. It is important to be honest at this point as it makes alterations easier than having to change them later.

Second Fitting

When:  Approximately three weeks before your wedding

What to expect: “In the second appointment we’ll normally add tacking (temporary) stitches so we can check the fit and do any more tweaks before the final stitches or cuts are made.

Third Fitting

When: Approximately one to two weeks before the wedding

What to expect: “The final fitting is a lovely appointment where you get to see yourself in the dress as it’ll be on the day.

We advise brides to bring along whoever who will be putting you in the dress on the day. There can be a technique to getting the dress sitting correctly, layers laying perfectly and for doing the bustle in the evening that they’ll need to be shown.

You’ll take your dress home with you at this third and final fitting.

Are you ready to book your first appointment?

Choose from Bridal Party fittings, Bridesmaids, Mother of Bride / Groom, Formal, Communion or Conformation.