how long do wedding dress alterations take

How Long Do Wedding Dress Alterations Take?

Most brides want to look their best on their special day. That’s why it’s essential to ensure your wedding dress fits your body perfectly before walking down the aisle. Although most brides take their wedding dress to a seamstress to make alterations before their wedding, few know how long the process takes.

So, how long do wedding dress alterations take? Fortunately, Martinizing Dry Cleaning is here to teach you everything you need to know about wedding dress alterations.

Martinizing Dry Cleaning is one of East Bay’s most trusted dry cleaners. Our team can handle all your wedding dress alteration needs so you can look your best when walking down the aisle. We’ve been helping brides dry clean and tailor their wedding dresses for over 30 years, qualifying us for all your alteration and dry-cleaning needs.

What To Expect During the Alteration Process

Before you ask yourself, “How long do wedding dress alterations take?” you must understand the process. Nearly every wedding dress receives alterations. In fact, most undergo numerous alterations before the bride walks down the aisle.

Most alterations occur during the fitting process. Seamstresses, also called fitters, shape the dress to match the bride’s body shape and prevent wardrobe malfunctions during the ceremony. Most brides need three or more fittings before the wedding dress perfectly complements their proportions.

Bridal boutiques usually have in-house seamstresses that perform bridal fittings. If your boutique doesn’t have an in-house fitter, its team can recommend an experienced tailor to handle the alterations.

Fitting costs typically fluctuate from $50 to $1000 per appointment. It’s an essential part of the wedding preparation process, so ensure to incorporate the prices into your budget early on.

However, the question remains, “How long do bridal alterations take?”

How Long Does It Take To Alter a Wedding Dress?

Wedding dress alteration times often fluctuate depending on the extent of the modifications, the dress’s complexity, and the appointment number. The first session usually lasts around an hour, while the follow-up appointments demand less time. However, complex and custom wedding dresses often take longer to alter due to their intricate designs.

Custom and complex bridal gowns undergo numerous fittings before the wedding and require more time to alter. Modifying older dresses like your mother’s wedding gown also elongates the alteration process, making it vital to schedule accordingly. It’s best to plan at least six months ahead to ensure the seamstress has enough time to work their magic.

Types of Wedding Gown Alterations

Although seamstresses make numerous alterations to wedding dresses, most fall into two categories:

  • Basic Hemming
  • Custom Alterations

Basic Hemming

Most simplistic alterations fall under basic hemming. Length modifications, gown side adjustments, and other rudimentary alterations occur during the basic hemming process. It’s the most important aspect of wedding dress alteration and ensures everything fits the bride perfectly.

Custom Alterations

Custom alterations are more extensive wedding dress modifications that require more time and money. Most intricate details like dress sleeves, off-the-shoulder straps, bustles, and beading fall under custom alterations. Although these modifications aren’t required, they can significantly improve the wedding dress and make it feel unique.

A Wedding Dress Alterations Timeline

Planning wedding dress alterations is crucial to ensure optimal results before the big day. Scheduling the modifications too early could cause the wedding dress to fit less adequately during the wedding ceremony. Conversely, waiting too long puts immense stress on the fitter and can cause them to rush through the process, resulting in a less-than-stellar fit.

However, following the wedding dress alteration timeline below will give you enough time to make all the necessary modifications before the ceremony.

Three Months Before the Ceremony

Always schedule your first fitting three to four months before the wedding. During your first fitting, tell your seamstress if you want to customize the dress or remove specific features. After the fitter understands your wants and expectations, they will take measurements and hem the dress according to your body structure.

The seamstress may also determine the bustle placement during the first fitting.

Again, the first alteration appointed usually takes the most time and often requires an hour to complete.

Six Weeks Before the Ceremony

Most brides schedule their second alteration appointment six weeks before their big day. During the second appointment, you’ll ensure the dress is the appropriate length and perfectly fits your body. You’ll also review the custom alterations requested during the first session.

If you plan on wearing jewelry or a veil during the ceremony, bring them to the second fitting session. This ensures everything matches your expectations and allows the seamstress to modify the dress according to your accessories if necessary.

Two Weeks Before the Ceremony

The final alteration appointment usually occurs two weeks before the wedding. You’ll assess the final product and ensure everything fits your body perfectly. If the dress needs last-minute adjustments, the seamstress will make the necessary alterations to ensure everything is up to your standards.

It’s important to bring a bridesmaid or your maid of honor to the final fitting if your dress features a bustle. The bridesmaid or maid of honor is responsible for the bustle during the wedding and receives training during the last alteration appointment. They’ll learn proper bustling techniques to ensure everything operates flawlessly while you walk down the aisle.

What To Bring To Wedding Dress Alteration Appointments

Brides must bring a few items and accessories to their wedding dress alteration appointments to ensure optimal results. Failing to take these items can hinder the process and cause the dress to fit differently during the wedding. Below are a few essential items to bring to your alteration sessions.

Wedding Shoes

Always bring your wedding shoes to each alteration appointment. Wearing your wedding shoes while the seamstress takes measurements makes it easier for them to alter the dress’s length.

The Wedding Dress Undergarments

Wearing your wedding dress undergarments ensures the dress fits appropriately during the wedding. Failing to wear them to your alteration session could lead to an oversized dress that doesn’t compliment your body. Always wear your wedding dress undergarments to ensure optimal fitting.

Jewelry and Wedding Veil

You want to ensure your jewelry and veil match your wedding dress before the big day. Wearing them to your alteration sessions allows you to preview your look before the wedding. If you don’t believe the jewelry or veil compliments your wedding dress, you can swap them out until you find the perfect match.

Your Maid of Honor or Bridesmaid

Again, it’s best to bring your maid of honor or bridesmaid to your final alteration sessions to ensure they understand how to bustle the dress. The seamstress will teach the maid of honor or bridesmaid proper bustling techniques that will make you look your best during the wedding.

Wedding Dress Alteration Tips

Purchase Your Dress Ten Months Before the Wedding

Staying on schedule is crucial when altering your wedding dress. Ordering your dress ten months before the wedding day will give you enough time to make the necessary adjustments without putting unnecessary stress on you or your seamstress. Sometimes wedding dresses take five months to arrive, so ordering the gown early is a surefire way to stay on schedule.

Keep Your Wedding Day Weight in Mind

Most brides diet before their wedding to ensure they look their best. However, you shouldn’t purchase a small dress to motivate your weight loss. It’s easier to alter bigger dresses after you lose weight than expand small dresses if you don’t meet your weight loss goal.

Contact Martinizing Dry Cleaners for Professional Wedding Dress Alterations in the East Bay, CA

If you find yourself asking, “How long do wedding dress alterations take?” visit Martinizing Dry Cleaners. Our team will handle all your wedding dress alteration needs at a price that won’t break the bank. We’ve helped thousands of East Bay residents improve their wedding dresses, and we can do the same for you at a price you can afford.

Don’t trust inexperienced tailors with your wedding dress. Give Martinizing Dry Cleaners a call at (925) 528-4688 or (510) 694-8773, and become one step closer to your dream wedding dress today!