Post # 1
I bought my wedding dress in Tampa, Florida, where I will be getting married. It was a nice outing with my mom and my Maid/Matron of Honor, as they both live there (or near by). I, however, live in NYC, and and am unsure what to do about dress alterations.
I have heard that dress shoppes can charge a lot for alterations. Do they charge a lot more that it outweighs the convience factor? And if I do take it elsewhere to get altered, should I find some one in Tampa, or bring it back it to New York? Traveling with the dress could be a pain, but at least I could get the final fitting the week or so before–rather than days before, as it would be if I got it fitted in Tampa (right now I have plans to visit for Christmas, when I can pick up the dress, but not again until a few days before the wedding).
Thanks, Bees, for any insight you can give me!
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
I think a lot of people trust the store that they bought their dress from because the store has more "ownership" of the dress and therefore could possibly "care" more about the dress than other seamstresses. I don’t think this is necessarily true but it’s one of those assumptions (to be honest, I got my dress altered at the shop I bought it at for that reason alone… I didn’t even ask around for other recommendations). HOWEVER, if you ask girls in your area that have gotten married for good recommendations, I don’t think you can go wrong.
I personally would get my dress altered in Tampa if that is where it is now and that is where you are getting married. No need to worry about traveling with it and possibly losing/ruining it!
Check the Florida boards here and see if anyone has any good recommendations for seamstresses! In the end, to be perfectly honest, I’d feel most comfortable getting my dress altered where I bought it, just because you know it will be in good hands.
You can also check Yelp.com for seamstresses in your area (or read up on experiences at the bridal shop where you bought your dress as well).
Post # 4
I had my dress altered by the seamstress who contracts with the salon. I was surprised by how reasonable the cost was. I asked around, and her rates were similar to that of other seamstresses in the area. She wasn’t technically an "in-house" seamstress, but someone that the salon recommended and who would meet me in the salon. I paid her individually and not through the salon. Maybe that makes a difference. It might be different in your area, but from my experience I wouldn’t inherently be skeptical. It was convenient to not have to move my dress around (they aren’t exactly easy to carry!), but I would have done it if the cost would have been substantially different.
Post # 5
I’m doing my alterations through the bridal salon where I got my dress. They’re smaller than chain stores, like Davids Bridal, and they seemed to really care about me and my dress the day I went in to shop. I have confidnece that they will take the same care when it comes time to alter my dress.
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2005 - Westside Loft, New York
If I were you, I’d be a little worried getting a fitting that close to the wedding. Will you only be getting one fitting? Because you could gain/lose weight in between your first and last fitting (I did, and at my third fitting, my seamstress told me not to lose/gain any more weight). Something to consider — although fittings are probably more expensive in NYC than Tampa.
Post # 7
Thanks, bees! This was really helpful!
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2021 - Auberge du Soleil
I bought my dress in MN and then brought it back to NYC for alterations. I wasn’t going to be going home often enough to have the alterations done there. I’m glad I brought it to NYC. If you are looking for a seamstress in NYC I recommend Bevin Dillon on the upper west side. She charged me a flat rate, I had four appiontments including one 2 weeks before the wedding to make sure that it still fit perfetly, and she was super nice and professional! http://www.bevindillon.com/
Post # 9
I think the biggest benefit to having it altered where you bought it, is that it is in the town where you are getting married. So, you can pick it up the day before the wedding steamed/pressed, all ready to go. My biggest concern, after the alteration are finished, would be taking it to a cleaner to re-steam it once you get it back to Florida.
Post # 10
My bridal salon was very reasonable for alterations; I don’t think I could have gotten them significantly cheaper anywhere else. So for me it wasn’t worth the trouble to haul my dress around. And it was great to have them store it for me until the day before the wedding – no worrying about where or how to hang it.
Also, I had one fitting – when the dress came in, about two months before the wedding – and a final check 5 days before the wedding. Whether you really need a series of fittings is going to be completely dependent on you, the dress, and how good a job the salon did in ordering the dress. If your dress is really custom made (as opposed to just ordered in a standard size that might approximate your measurements or might not) it shouldn’t need any but minor alterations. My dress fit perfectly, even to the length, so all we did was the bustle. (The dress design helps – mine was a corset style, which is always going to give you more control over how it fits than a zipper.) And, as is typical for me, the stress of getting ready for the wedding cause me to lose about 5 lbs – which was easily accounted for by tightening the lacings a bit. Of course, I’m lucky (or not, depending on how you look at it) in that my weight really doesn’t fluctuate much. I’ve weighed essentially the same since graduating from college.
If your dress really isn’t ordered to your measurements or if your body measurements don’t match the standard for the sizing of your dress; if it’s not a corset-style; or if you know that your weight tends to fluctuate – then your dress fittings may be a big deal. If not, then you probably won’t need much work done, and there wouldn’t be any benefit to taking the dress home with you. Just do make sure that the salon understands the time period between your scheduled final fitting and the wedding, so that they are prepared to do any work necessary (say, for instance, they get the bustle not quite right) in a couple of days.
Post # 11
I was actually extremely surprised when I got my dress. It fit my perfectly, and the dress just falls to my feet. I plan on wearing no hiring than a 1.5" heel so it should fall just at the right distance from the floor. I just hope I don’t lose too much weight before the wedding (I actually don’t plan on using any weight, but it’s probably inevitable).
I think you should take it home with you so in case you have to get more than one alteration you don’t have to stress about it not getting done in time. Good luck!
Post # 12
i’m planning on getting my dress altered at the store where i bought it. i’m doing this for a couple reasons: i think they require the alterations to be done by them and it’s more convenient than trying to find a reputable seamstress that does great work.