“Perfect” Alterations in an Imperfect World

Wedding-Dress-AlterationI am crooked. It’s true. I learned this fact in grade school when my health teacher explained that our dominant side is decided by which hand we use most often. I am right-handed so my right side is slightly larger than my left. For the most part, I don’t really notice it, but sometimes I try on a shirt that makes it obvious that my right breast is larger than the left. I’ve also tried on shoes at the store and the right shoe is too tight, but the left fits fine and vice versa.

Like most women, I am also very critical of my body. My hips are wide and in the shape of a triangle, I have a rather large tush compared to my smaller waist, and I have a pouch regardless of the number of crunches I do. I try my best to hide my flaws in the clothing I wear which tend to be dresses because they accomplish this goal the best.

When helping a bride find her dream dress, I do my very best to find a gown that accents her best features and disguises the rest. I listen to her comments and pull gowns accordingly. Brides come in all shapes and sizes and I do not discriminate or judge. It is my job to find a dress that will make my bride love her body and feel amazing.

Once we find the dress, I have two incredible seamstresses who know their craft well. They pin, they tuck, they hem and bustle each gown to fit our bride the very best it can.

This is where my original statement comes into play: “I am crooked.” I am not alone in this. We are all crooked. During the alterations, a bride should realize if the bust is not exactly the same on both sides, it is not because the seamstress has not done her job correctly. The same goes if the waist sits higher on one side than the other. Please do not misunderstand, both seamstresses will do everything possible to make it look the same, but there is no perfection in an imperfect world.

Wedding Gown Alterations: The Secret To Looking Amazing

When selecting a wedding gown, it is important to accept the fact that in most cases, alterations will be an absolute requirement!

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Many brides become frustrated because they believe that because they are measured for a gown, it will be cut to their exact body proportions. This is not the case at all. A bridal consultant is simply gathering data (bust measurement, waist measurement, hip measurement, height) to determine which standard size will fit the bride best.

An experienced consultant will explain this process and will point out in advance where adjustments will be needed. For example, perhaps a bride’s hip measurement requires her to order a size 8 in her wedding gown, but her bust measurement falls into the size 6 range, the consultant should mention to the bride that side/bust alterations will be required if the size 8 is ordered.

Note that in most cases, it is wise to select the size which corresponds to your largest measurement.

Some of the most common alterations include:

Bustle-adding hooks so that a long train may be bustled at the reception for ease of movement.

Sides/bust-taking in the sides of the dress so that it fits closer to the body; this fit is important in strapless dresses!

Hem-most brides need a bit of an adjustment in length.

Straps-many times, these are cut a bit large and need to be tailored so they stay in place.

It is critical that both brides and bridesmaids factor alterations into their budgets if they wish to look their best in their dresses!

Oh, and one more tip- it is WAY less expensive to have alterations to adjust a dress to a smaller size than to a larger one. Don’t let your ego convince you to order a smaller size than the bridal consultant recommends…it could be a costly mistake!