Since we alter only wedding gowns and formal wear, we are specialists. In other words, your local dry cleaner, friend or part time seamstress might not know the intricacies of formal wear. Wedding gowns have so many complex details. From boning to hems and bustles, it is best to use a professional who has seen and worked on such gown components in the past. Chiemi (Amy) is our full-time alterations expert and has over 15 years of formal wear experience. She is a joy to work with and a perfectionist in her work as well.
WHAT TO BRING
When you’re ready for alterations, bring your gown, shaping undergarments (slips, bustier, etc), shoes, and accessories. With all of the pieces in place, it will be easier to envision your overall wedding day look. You should have your shaping undergarments and shoes on hand in order to obtain the proper fit and length of your gown. And, your hair accessories or veil will help ensure you have the right balance.
Many gowns need at least some sort of alteration, but keep in mind your alteration can vary greatly, depending on how many changes need to be made. But if your expectations are in order you should be ready for your wedding day with a gown that fits flawlessly. Susie, with her 35 years experience is used to reworking fabrics, opening up seams, and can practically redesign a dress.
COST OF ALTERATIONS
Please note, quotes for alterations will only be performed in-house and we will be happy to give you an idea of the cost after your consultation with our seamstress. Also, appointments are required to avoid unnecessary waiting. All alterations fees are due and payable at the time that you pick up your gown after the work has been completed. To schedule your appointment, call us at 205.403.7977 or use our appointment form.
Fittings And Alterations
DO YOU ALTER GOWNS PURCHASED ELSEWHERE?
Most of the time, our seamstresses are so busy with our own brides that we do not take outside alterations. It is best to call and ask before scheduling an alterations appointment. If their schedule allows, they will be happy to accommodate outside wedding gowns.
WHEN SHOULD I SCHEDULE MY FIRST FITTING?
It’s generally recommended to schedule your first fitting about 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding. Any earlier, and you run the risk of having to alter the dress more than once, and any later could put you in a time crunch. However, no one knows better than we do the unpredictability of weddings, so if you wish to schedule earlier, or are already in a time crunch, we will still be accommodating.
WHAT IS THE COST OF ALTERATIONS AND WHEN IS PAYMENT DUE?
The price of alterations varies depending on what needs done and the complexity of the job. Altering a plain gown is less intensive than altering a beaded gown and releasing a gown if it is too small is often more expensive than taking a gown in. Remember, though, whether you take in ¼” or 3” it both costs the same, so you’ll want to schedule accordingly. Alterations are paid in full when alterations are completed and you pick your dress up.
HOW MANY FITTINGS WILL THERE BE?
It depends on what you want done, but three fittings tends to be the average. We might be able to get it done in two, but complex jobs, such as building up and creating jackets may require three fittings or more. In order to make the process as seamless (pun) as possible, it’s best to do your first fitting at the size you will most likely be on your wedding day. This helps to avoid unnecessary fittings, and means you can focus on how stunning you look in your gown, instead of wondering if it will be ready in time.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY FIRST FITTING?
You should bring the shoes and undergarments (bra/corset) that you will be wearing on your wedding day. Many of our brides choose not to wear a bra under their wedding gown and some opt to have cups sewn in. We have the cups available and will decide at your first fitting.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT THE FIRST FITTING?
Typically, the first fitting takes about one hour. Our seamstress will pin you where needed so you can get an idea of the finished product. We’ll discuss options with you such as how you want to bustle your train, how poofy you want your dress and whether or not you want built in cups.
WHEN IS THE 2ND FITTING?
The second fitting is generally 2-3 weeks after your first appointment.
WILL MY DRESS BE STEAMED/PRESSED?
Of course! When you purchase your gown at Bella’s our seamstresses will press the dress before you pick it up at no charge, though there is a charge for gowns not purchased at Bella’s Bridal & Formal.
WHAT DO I DO WITH MY WEDDING GOWN AFTER THE WEDDING?
We offer an excellent cleaning and preservation service. If you purchased your dress at Bella’s, you will receive a discount for this service.