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Saying yes to the dress is one thing – making sure it fits like a glove is another! Wedding gown alterations are a virtually inevitable part of being a bride and usually include tailoring your dress to your exact measurements and going over every detail of the gown’s construction to ensure perfection. How exactly do wedding gown alterations work? What should you know beforehand? Read on for our answers to your top FAQs!

wedding gown alterations

Gown: Ellis Bridal // Photo: Susan Alyse Photography

Wedding Gown Alterations FAQs

Are alterations always done in-house at the boutique where I buy the gown?

Usually, but not always! Most bridal salons offer in-house alterations, but in certain cases, using an outside tailor may be necessary. If you do decide to use a tailor not affiliated with the bridal salon, make sure they have extensive experience with wedding gowns in particular. The fabrics and construction details are unlike any other type of garment!

What kinds of adjustments can be made to my gown via alterations?

The sky is the limit! Almost, anyway. An experienced tailor can transform your gown not just fit-wise, making sure it hugs your curves in all the right places and accentuates your features beautifully, but can also do things like add lace or tulle sleeves to a sleeveless gown, add built-in bra cups, add or adjust a bustle, remove potentially unflattering or uncomfortable pieces, add extra fabric or underwire to help add support or coverage in certain places – the possibilities are nearly endless! Of course, if you love your gown the way it is and just want to take it in, let it out or adjust the height/hem, these are basic alterations any wedding tailor should be able to do.

At your first appointment with the tailor, make sure you speak up about any aspects of your dress you don’t like or want to change. Articulate your vision: even if it can’t be done because of budget constraints or how the dress is made, it’s important for your tailor to have a complete picture of what you’re wanting to achieve.

How much can I expect to spend on alterations?

In this region, anywhere from $300 to $1500 is a common investment for wedding gown alterations, depending on your needs. If you’re making major changes like adding sleeves, rather than basic fit adjustments, you can expect that number to be on the higher end.

How much time should I allow for the alterations process?

Use the rule of threes as a *starting point* when considering time constraints for wedding gown alterations: three months, three fittings (at least!). At your first fitting, the tailor will mark and pin the dress where adjustments need to be made. At the second fitting, you’ll try on the dress again, evaluate the changes made and see what adjustments still need to be made. And repeat until it’s perfect! Because of the time needed to make the changes, most alterations processes average three to four months from start to finish.

If you have a long engagement, you don’t want to start the process too soon as your weight may fluctuate slightly during the wedding planning process, but you do want to give yourself a cushion of at least two months for final alterations before the big day.

What should I wear and bring with me for my wedding dress fitting?

Bring your wedding shoes and any undergarments or bridal shapewear you’re considering wearing to your fittings when possible. This will help the tailor adjust measurements accordingly. Alternatively, your tailor should be able to make recommendations for shapewear that will be most flattering, if needed, so don’t worry if you haven’t already purchased those pieces.


We hope we could help answer some of the biggest questions about wedding gown alterations! Haven’t found the dress of your dreams yet? Schedule an appointment with one of these Oklahoma bridal boutiques!

Other Local Vendors:
Anthousai