You may have had a read of my previous blog post about the bespoke process. If you haven’t, you can find out more here. But because Georgina Louise offers bespoke bridal wear AND bridal alterations, I thought it would be only right to write a post about bridal alteration appointments as there are a few changes to the process. It’s also a handy guide if you have booked an appointment or about to.
I’ve found the best way to tell you the ins and outs of bridal alteration appointments and what goes on in between your fittings is to group them together. It’s a fairly detailed post as I wanted to give as much information as I could, so grab a tea or coffee and have a read.
Booking your appointment
With bridal alterations the timescale to get booked in is shorter than bespoke, but not too short! Roughly 12 weeks before your wedding date is ideal, as this gives enough time for the seamstress to get you a slot in their diary and schedule time out to have necessary fittings and do the work.
However, you will have an idea on what you will want doing and will be advised from the boutique you purchased your gown from. For example, if you know you want a complete re-design of your neckline, hem taking up and sleeves added, it isn’t too early to enquire if your wedding isn’t for another 12 months let’s say, as it allows you an allocated time slot in the diary.
So after booking, this is when you will receive the required information. This includes how to pay, what to bring, address. Usually 60-90 minutes for a first fitting but of course if you have a dress to re design this could take a good couple of hours as it will require a consultation.
I like to keep the fittings relaxed and enjoyable and if you have any questions or need to have a chat beforehand, I’m more than happy to have a talk over the phone or at my studio- it’s very important to get on with your seamstress as they will be there very close up to your wedding day!
The first fitting is where I’ll meet you, see your dress and pin all the necessary alterations. As with all my bespoke and alteration appointments, I will write a clear consultation form with a breakdown of the work. You will read through this at the end of your fitting and sign to say you agree and all happy to go ahead!
If fittings are booked within a space of 12 weeks before your wedding date, I’ll leave the work on hold for 14 days in case of any changes of mind, but after this work ay have begun so I can’t guarantee if you have a change of thought, for example, you have second thoughts about adding more lace. Fittings also require a 50% deposit, which is half of your quote total, to secure your place and cover labour, extra materials etc.
If you have a more simple alteration, such as a bustle and a slight hem lift, I’ll still book you in for a final fitting but this should just be to double check you are satisfied. With a more complex alteration, such as taking in on the bodice, shortening the hem and strap lift, you will require a midway fitting then a final fitting. And with a re-style or to personalise your dress, this will require approximately 2-4 fittings to get perfect.
What do I need to bring?!
You will definitely need shoes, the underwear you intend to wear on your wedding day, and if you are having an underskirt please bring this too! These three items will massively alter the shape of your dress, and without these I can’t go ahead with the fitting. If you don’t have your wedding shoes, you need the exact heel height of the ones you intend to buy.
With your underwear, you may already know what you are wearing, but with some dresses, it may be more difficult in deciding what is best. I am more than happy to talk about this beforehand and give you some advice to come prepared to your fitting.
Behind the scenes: what goes on inbetween my fittings
So after your first fitting, is where I’ll be sewing away in my workroom getting all of the required work done for your next fitting. One tip to point out and to hopefully reassure any of you that will need lace bodices taking in or letting out, is occasionally in fittings the lace may be either pinned back on or left unstitched if the alteration on your bodice is a fairly big adjustment as it may need further tweaks and is a time consuming job- therefore only stitching back on when the fit is perfect! It might be a weird sight, seeing your wedding dress with the lace/beads not stitched on but please be completely reassured this is just part of the process and just allows an absolutely perfect fit as it gives us room to adjust further in your fitting if needed.
Collecting your dress
I book the final fitting on your dress 10-14 days before your wedding date, as this will ensure accurate fit with weight loss or gain taken into account. You can then either collect your dress, if it is all ready now or on the Thursday before your wedding date!
As a dress designer, this is a big benefit for bridal alterations, as I know the dresses inside and out because of making from scratch. This is helpful if you have found ‘the one’ in store and 90% of the dress is perfect to you, apart from the lace or sleeves/straps for example. If you have a strapless lace dress, but imagined yourself having cap sleeves. Or if you have a massive train and this isn’t you, then it’s these adjustments that allow you to have your perfect dress. There are many ways you can also customise and this is where the fun starts, and what I love doing.
With all fittings, I give you a full information package with a breakdown of the work, the alteration process and essential terms and conditions. Gina x Photo credit: Dawn J