As a follow-up to our first blog from the seamstress perspective, we would like to tell you what to expect at your first wedding dress alterations appointment.
If you have not yet read the first blog of this series, Alterations Manager Abby recommends brides break in their shoes a bit by vacuuming around the house before coming to that first appointment. At this first fitting, you will be standing up straight in your dress for up to an hour and a half. You want to make sure you’ll be comfortable just standing in those shoes for that long. The hem you and your seamstress decide on is entirely dependant on the height of your shoes, so bring the exact shoes and undergarments you plan to wear for the big day! Again, keep in mind that “comfort is key”! You will be wearing these items for up to 12 hours, so they have to work for YOU.
Please make sure you are hydrated and have eaten at least a snack that day so you do not get dizzy while standing in your dress that long. At this point in the process, most brides have fallen into the weight that they will be on their wedding day. Abby says, “Achieve the weight you want to be for the wedding day before the alterations process begins… And don’t keep trying to lose once the alterations have begun.”
More often than not, dresses arrive in a standard size which is to be altered down to fit YOUR body. That said, keep calm and expect the gown to be tight or loose in certain areas! Your seamstress will ensure that you and your dress look the absolute best! So if it is too big or too small, trust your seamstress. Don’t put yourself through the struggle of continuing to lose weight! Keep yourself eating healthy and expect the dress to only get better and better.
The primary purpose of this first appointment is to pin what needs to be taken in or let out and, above all, to pin the hemline. The goal is to have your hem graze the ground, or “kiss the tile” as our own Alterations Manager, Abby, puts it. Some brides opt for a longer hemline so their feet don’t show. We have seen, however, that a longer hemline can cause tripping or even catching on the shoes. Be intentional about the shoes you bring and the hemline you prefer because once the fabric is cut, that’s where the hem will be. Brides often think they can change from heels to flats but Abby recommends against that based entirely on the length of the hem. A perfect length for heels will be too long for flats. Also, keep in mind, that during your alterations appointment, your dress has not been steamed or pressed yet. The fabric will fall a little more straight once the hem has been completed and the dress is steamed. So, again, keep calm if the seamstress seems to be pinning the hem higher than you would like. It will come down a little lower!
This first appointment is mostly about getting down to business and making sure everything is taken care of so the work on the dress can begin! Be sure to ask absolutely every questions you may have. There is no “dumb” question. You may also play around with accessories if you haven’t already decided on what you’ll be wearing.