How To Prepare For Your Wedding Dress Alteration Appointment

Bride at the clothes shop for wedding dresses

Yea, you found your perfect wedding dress. It will arrive in about 5 months. Then you need to make an appointment to alter your dress to fit you perfectly for your big day. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for that appointment.

1. Alterations cannot start without your wedding shoes.

In order to get the right hem length and fit, you’ll need to bring along the shoes you plan to wear on your wedding day. Believe it or not, your choice of shoes affects the length of your dress and your posture. If you change your shoes during the fitting process, this will create more work for your seamstress and more fittings for you.  If you arrive to your fitting in flats, your fitter will have a challenge hemming. They may need to start the hemming process over again with your correct shoes—creating more work for your fitter, and costing you an extra fitting to accommodate the time lost.

Plus, wearing (or not wearing) heels can change your posture, effecting how your dress will be fitted as well. With that, heel height is everything! Think about how you plan to spend your wedding day and what shoes would work best for you; if your reception will be on grass, it may be best to forgo the stilettos and opt for a mid-height wedge or a cute platform sneaker instead. The more prepared you are before your first fitting, the easier and more efficient the alterations process will be!

2. Make sure to bring along any shape wear you’d like to wear on your wedding day.

If you’re planning on wearing shape wear under your wedding dress, make sure to bring it to your fitting appointments! And don’t forget a supportive bra. Not wearing these will change the fit of the dress and cause further alterations later.

3. Fittings last an hour.

Be prepared to stand in your dress (in your wedding shoes) for at least one hour while your fitter expertly pins and adjusts your dress to your specifications. You’ll also want to eat lightly and hydrate before your appointment—we don’t want any fainting brides!

4. Your dress will arrive larger than expected.

When you said “yes!” to your wedding dress, a bridal person took three measurements—your bust, waist, and hip—and ordered your dress to your largest measurement. As you can imagine, this will make your dress large in a few places upon stepping in it for the first time! No need to worry, this is completely normal. Over the course of your fittings, your alterations person will work to pin, sew, and fit your dress to your exact specifications.

5. Pick out accessories

Decide which jewels and headpiece/veils you’ll wear before the first fitting, if possible. That way, you can see your complete bridal look and have time to make adjustments if it doesn’t come together quite the way you imagined.

6. Bring along a dedicated bustle helper.

At your fitting, your fitter will discuss the bustle for your wedding dress. You’ll want to make sure to bring along a trusted friend or family member (think: your maid of honor, bestie, or your mom) to learn how to bustle your wedding dress for you after your ceremony.