You’ve found your dress (Congratulations!) but your ensemble is not ready to head down the aisle just yet. Most dresses need a little, or a lot, of nipping and tucking before the wedding day. Whether your dress is practically a perfect fit, just a hem and a bustle and you’re ready to go, or you are totally re-working a dress you found at a sample sale, most brides will need a seamstress or tailor before the big day. Don’t underestimate the importance of a skilled atelier, the fitting of your dress can make or break how you look and feel on your wedding day. Here are a few tips to get you through the fitting process.
Make sure you are seeing an expert!
At Gigi, we pride ourselves on our experienced alteration staff. Our seamstresses are trained to work specifically with couture and designer pieces and have individually honed their craft for decades. This isn’t the time to go to your local dry cleaner or department store tailor. Bridal gowns and evening wear have very intricate and delicate details and fabrics that require a skilled hand and understanding of what can and can’t be accomplished when altering your dress. A good tailor or seamstress will give you an honest opinion and additional options and advice to look your best. Our seamstresses use specific hand sewing, machine sewing, and pressing techniques to create your individually tailored look and ensure your dress fits like a dream giving you the look and feel of a custom-made garment!
Scheduling your appointments
We suggest starting your alterations 8 weeks before the date of your wedding. You can start a bit earlier or later depending on your schedule but the most important thing is to try to maintain the build of your body from first fitting to wedding day. Most brides meet with a seamstress/tailor 3 or 4 times before the wedding depending on what type of alterations are being done. At Gigi, when alterations are complete we press your gown, place it on a bust form and hang it from a special garment rack until you pick it up. At pick up, your gown is placed in a garment bag and carried out to your car. From purchase to pick up, your dress NEVER leaves our store.
What to bring
You must bring the shoes and undergarments you plan on wearing on your wedding day with you to all of your fittings. At Gigi, we are happy to keep your undergarments with your dress so you have less to haul. If you haven’t quite made the final decision on your shoe, then pick a heel height to bring to your fittings and make sure the shoe you wear on your wedding day is the same height. We carry a beautiful line of shoes from Angela Nuran that ensures you can walk down the aisle and dance the night away in the same shoe and avoid having your dress drag on the ground because you have kicked off your shoes or changed into flats. Our in-house alteration department is stocked with cups that can be sewn into your dress, as well as pieces of lace, loose beads, tulle, fabric, etc. to enhance and complete your look. Your fittings are a great time to coordinate accessories like jewelry and hairpieces because you’ll be in your dress. Bring your accessory options with you. We have beautiful jewelry, hairpieces, and veils that our expert stylists are happy to show during your alteration appointment.
Who to bring
We suggest leaving your entourage at home for your dress fittings. Your mom or a good friend can help as a second set of eyes and/or another opinion. Your maid of honor or whomever you would like to learn your bustle should accompany you to your last fitting so they can see how to get you into your gown and how to do your bustling on the wedding day. The journey of your gown begins when you say yes to the dress and ends when you walk down the aisle. Make sure you are in capable hands for the steps in between.