6 Tips To Prepare You For Your 1st Bridal Alterations Fitting | The Marilyn Johnson Sewing Design Studio, LLC


This client’s dress needed a hem and 7 bustle points. All alterations were performed at the Marilyn Johnson Studio.
Rudy Leyvas Photography

So, you’ve found your dream wedding gown, but it needs a few final touches to fit perfectly. Whether it be something major like bustling the train, or something as simple as adding snaps, wedding gowns almost always need alterations.

Here are 6 tips to help you prepare for your wedding gown alterations:


1. Make your appointment as early as possible.

There’s nothing worse than running out of time to make alterations. To avoid stress for you and your seamstress, bring your gown in for alterations as early as possible. Here at the studio, we’ve had brides bring their dresses in as far as a year in advance. We also have brides wait until a few weeks before their wedding. Can you guess which bridal fittings are the most hectic.

2. Prep your budget for alteration costs.

Bridal alterations can range anywhere from $50 to $2000. It’s a rare occasion to get a price quote for alterations before the 1st fitting, but you should have a budget number in your head to work with. Often you’ll find that your seamstress is willing to work with your budget, however, do not expect to get significant alterations done for cheap. It takes a lot of time and skill to perfect wedding gowns and you want a great job done the 1st time; so remember this when selecting the place you’ll have your alterations done.

3. If you are planning to lose weight, settle on a goal weight and let your seamstress know

Weight fluctuation is a common thing, however, drastic weight loss or gain can severely affect your bridal fittings. Usually at the first fitting, bust, waist and hip measurements are taken to insure that the gown alterations will be down to fit the bride exactly. Keep your seamstress in the loop on your weight-loss plans. Going up or down a few pounds won’t hurt, but it’s important to have a steady weight until after the alterations are complete and the wedding is over.


4. Have your undergarments and heel height decided on before your 1st fitting.

Many brides do not understand how much the undergarments matter when it comes to altering a wedding gown. Bridal bras and corsets can take away or add inches to the bust and/or waist, which could change the way your dress snugs your body. If you haven’t yet decided on your exact shoe, bring along a shoe with a similar heel height for reference.

5. Write a list of your concerns about the gown before your first fitting.

Is the dress too long you’re afraid you’ll trip? Is it too loose around your waist? Do you need to add a petticoat for extra flare? Write these things down and bring the list to your fitting! Your seamstress will be able to see the obvious flaws in the fit of the gown, but you are the only one who knows how you want to look on your special day. If there are things you want to hide or areas you want to accentuate, don’t be afraid to voice that.


6. Make sure you love your wedding gown before seeking alterations.

It’s perfectly fine to have 2nd thoughts about your gown, but once alterations have been made, there’s no going back. If you are having doubts about the dress it might be best to hold on the alterations until you are absolutely sure this is the gown for you.


If you need more help prepping for your bridal alteration fitting, email us at info@sewingdesignstudio.com or call at 301-604-4139 and we’ll make sure you’re prepped and ready!