If memory serves me correctly, the biggest right of passage for any newly-engaged bride-to-be is the day she goes shopping for the perfect wedding dress.
The wedding dress is such a personal expression of your style and vision that it’s no wonder why many brides get a little stressed over getting the perfect fit. After accepting the fact that someone may need to cut into your masterpiece gown to tailor it for your body, you then have to accept that you need to relinquish control. Never fear, though. I chatted recently with Emily Goodin of premier Chattanooga bridal shop Boutique Couture, and she was kind enough to let me in on a few need-to-know details when it comes to getting the perfect fit with your bridal gown. Read on to learn more about the order, when to have it tailored, and how to make sure it’s the perfect fit for you!
1. Before you finalize your wedding gown budget, always include room for alterations within the final expected cost!
Emily details that many brides seem blind-sighted by alteration costs, but they should really enter into the gown-purchasing process with alterations as part of their budget.
“Brides must remember to budget for alterations within their expected gown cost,” Emily details. “Alterations take hours to complete and are a very involved process for any professional, even when it seems like a ‘small’ adjustment to you. Costs are based on how much needs to be done to the dress, what materials the seamstress will be working with and how many layers the gown has, and then how much time it takes to complete the order.” How much should you have in your alterations budget, you may wonder? While Emily details that it varies from dress to dress, you should expect to spend at least $200 on alterations for your wedding gown.
2. When you find your dream wedding dress, you first need to let the professionals at the bridal shop measure you for the closest fit when they order.
“Ordering the appropriate size is everything,” Emily details. Keep in mind that wedding gowns are ordered based on your biggest measurement – not your smallest. This is because it is far, far easier to take a dress in than it is to let one out! It also ensures that the overall design integrity of the gown is in tact after alterations. Simply trust your professional at that point, and don’t freak out if she or he orders you a size 8 when you’re normally a size 4! They know what they’re doing. “After your gown comes in,” Emily goes on, “we will tailor it down to fit you like a glove in all the right places.”
3. Minimize your undergarments!
“Don’t add bulk to your wedding gown,” Emily states. “There’s no need for it with gowns that have the structure already built in!” Another perk to this is that foregoing expensive bridal undergarments can save you some serious cash, so chat with your bridal consultant on whether or not you’ll need them prior to purchasing.
4. Always wear your heels to fittings, or consider a custom hem if you’re petite!
Many wedding gowns today boast gorgeous embellishments at the bottom of the hem, making hemming a dress impossible or much more expensive without losing some of that embellishment if you’re a petite bride-to-be.
“If you’re 5’6” or taller,” Emily explains, “you won’t need to worry with [a custom hem], but definitely discuss it with your bridal shop if you’re a petite girl purchasing a gown with a lot of detail on the bottom. A custom hem can help minimize alteration costs.”
Also, when it comes to having your gown hemmed, always have it hemmed to the tallest heels you’ll be wearing on wedding day, regardless of whether or not you’re wearing multiple shoes throughout the evening.
5. Understand that addressing problem areas with a professional seamstress will take a number of fittings to get that perfect look and feel.
“Once we have your need-by date, we can schedule out times for you to have your fittings,” details Emily. Of course, she’s referring to the wedding date as your need-by date. She went on to state that most brides have three fittings. The first is an initial consultation with the seamstress after the dress comes in. The seamstress pins the gown as you chat with her about problem areas and what you’d like to see. The second fitting includes details about the bodice, hem, and bustle, and the final fitting is when you’ll step into your gown once more before photos or the wedding to see if it’s perfect or not.
At Boutique Couture, the final fitting is when you’ll finalize your pick-up date and steaming instructions as well. All alterations are done in-house, and they even hold your dress for you before the big day. They can also deliver if you’re worried about messing the gown up before the wedding!
Chattanooga bridal shop Boutique Couture was founded by Emily Goodin in 2006 and is the modern bride’s preferred choice for amazing gowns within designer boutique lines. They can outfit your entire bridal party, from the flower girl to contemporary mothers of the bride and groom and even the men! As a supplier for tuxedos, they offer rental in-house and even provide a discount to brides who’ve purchased their gown at Boutique Couture.
To contact Boutique Couture, give them a call today at (423) 648-5246 and drop by in person at 1269 Market Street. Be sure to visit them on the web too via their website, Facebook, and Pinterest to learn more. Tell Emily that The Pink Bride sent you!
Images courtesy of the Boutique Couture Facebook page and website.
Second gown featured by Justin Alexander.
Third gown featured by Allure.
Heels by Benjamin Adams.