Hello Beautiful Brides!
We get lots of questions about alterations and today we are going to highlight a gorgeous gown transformation done by one of our Bel Fiore Seamstresses and share a few FAQs we get at the store. Finding your perfect gown is a process, and one of the often overlooked parts of the journey is alterations and customization. There are SO many options when it comes to altering or customizing your gown to get the perfect fit, and the alterations process is very important for ensuring the gown of your dreams is everything you wanted it to be on your big day.
How long do alterations take? How many fittings are there and where do I go?
- Alt times vary depending on what is needed to be done and the silhouette, fabric, and other factors of the gown. We like to tell brides to start their first alterations appointment 3 months before the wedding. Alt times take about 6 weeks at least, and we encourage brides to be done with alterations a month before the big day to alleviate some stress. All seamstresses have a different process and ours like to have at least 2 weeks between fitting appointments, often the hem needs to be done and checked it fits correctly before the bustle is put into place, or side seams taken in because it will affect the fit in other areas of the gown. These are things we do not think of, but our experts know all too well! If you are not doing any custom work then expect 3 fitting appointments. When custom veils, sleeves, boleros, or anything else dramatically altering the gown brides can expect at least 5 fitting appointments. You meet the seamstresses here at Bel Fiore if doing alterations with us. This is why we tell brides to start early and maintain our relationships with them, you get to see us quite often!
I only have a few weeks before my wedding, is it too late for alterations?
- Every situation is different but for basic alterations we will work with any bride on a time crunch! It is always better to start early but in extreme situations we have been able to accommodate brides in all sorts of short time frames depending on our seamstresses schedule. It can be hard to accommodate custom work like adding on appliques, fabric, sleeves, or trim if on a short timeline, especially if fabric has to be ordered from our gown designers which can take as long as a gown to arrive.
How much do alterations cost?
- Alterations from a bridal seamstress can be costly, the work and construction on these gowns is quite different than the average dress! Gowns with beading or intricate lace/embroidery that has to be moved to take in seams or intricate train and hem details that have to be moved up cost more than a gown with a cut edge or simple structure due to the many hours of work and skill it takes to do it so seamlessly. Most brides will need at least a hem and a bustle, and often times straps need adjusting or seams taken in. With just the basic alterations expect between $600-$800, and if adding on custom work like sleeves or appliques, etc. it often falls between $900-$1200. Our seamstresses are independent contractors who set their prices depending on the intricacy of the gown and the time and skill it will take to do so, a price quote will be given to you at the initial fitting as to what to expect.
Do I have to do alterations with you if I get my gown at Bel Fiore? Can I avoid alterations at all?
- You do not have to do alterations with us here once you find your gown, but we do encourage brides to work with our seamstresses for many reasons. Most importantly, they know the gowns and the construction of each designer. After years of experience not only working on bridal gowns but with Bel Fiore gowns specifically, these ladies can take on almost anything a bride envisions to complete her gown and make it perfect! It is hard to avoid alterations entirely but there are many ways to cut down on costs for brides on a budget. Fitted gowns with more seams often require more alts, for example, so a-line silhouettes will often be easier to alter to size without hip seams being let in or out. If you are worried about alterations or how something look/what it will cost, our consultants are experts at answering all your questions!
What other questions do you have about alterations and custom work? Let us know!
Here is a bridal gown transformation with custom sleeves and neckline done by our bridal seamstress, Margarita! Here is a before of the gown from the stock photo and after on bride Alli at her October wedding from 2018. What a gorgeous look and way to take the gown to the next level:
Here are some more pictures from Allison's big day highlighting her awesome local vendors:
Photographer: Mike Moon Studio
Venue: Four Oaks Manor
Makeup: Miss Brie the Makeup Artist
Hair: Vicky Brooks at Innovations Hair & Nail Salon
Florist: Christy Jones Jackson
Accessories and Gown: Bel Fiore Bridal (gown style Gardenia, discontinued)
Bridesmaids Gowns: Bel Fiore Bridal