So I bought my dress on the (relative) cheap at David’s Bridal.
I LOVE IT. I do. It’s perfect for me, I think Jam will think it’s perfect for me, it’s pretty, it’s feminine, it’s exactly what I wanted. I did not ever expect to find this sort of thing at a big chain bridal store, especially not 22 months before the wedding!
Shortly after I bought my dress, my mother needed a sundress altered, and decided to give a woman a few towns over a try. I went along for the ride. When we met Mary at her shop, she asked if we had an appointment. Eek, we had no idea we needed one, whoops! She got out her calendar and then said “well what do you need done?” My mother just needed the straps taken in, so she hustled her into the changing room, pinned her, and got her out in about 15 minutes. I couldn’t help but notice the wedding photos and bridal accessories hanging around, so I asked her how much lead time she needed to alter a dress for an October 2010 wedding. She said “Bring it in around July.” At that point I had more than a year to go, so I figured I’d think about it.
Fast forward to bridesmaid dress shopping with my ladies – my ‘maid Jen leans over as we’re plowing through the racks at David’s and asks if I’m going to have the dress altered there. “Well” I said, “I’ve heard they do a fine job, but the charges can add up and I really don’t want to have to haul my butt out here. I’m thinking of going to a lady right near my train stop – I think she really knows what she’s doing.”
Today I brought my dress to Mary for alterations, and let me tell you, it was incredible the amount of time and energy she put into fitting my dress just right. I was there for nearly two hours while she snipped the weird tacks around the bosom of my dress, cut the straps, pinned up the hem, showed me what different bustle options would look like, put fake boobies in the front. She then looked at my veil and explained how the quality of the lace on my veil was far superior than that on the edge of my gown, and while it was my choice, it might be worth the purchase of 7 yards of lace to make the gown look richer. I agreed, and told her I’d be on the lookout for the perfect lace while in NYC this week.
I won’t lie, the alterations aren’t cheap (but affordable in my opinion, since I paid someone in Boston $40 to take in the halter of a halter dress a few years ago) but I already know they’re going to be worth every penny. Going to a professional with the time to invest in making the dress fit properly made me realize that my dress didn’t fit me at all! It was about 10 times more flattering pinned up than it was in the store. While I can’t say for sure, I tend to doubt someone at a chain would’ve hustled around for 2 hours pinning, cutting and pinning again. I had such a great experience.
The only weird thing was that I though having my dress on would make everything seem “real.” It didn’t! I still feel like I’m playing dress-up! Maybe be the next fitting everything will feel more real…
Anyways, ask around and find a tailor you can trust with your wedding dress alterations. It’s totally worth every penny – and those pictures will last a very very long time, the last thing you want is a picture of your boobs hanging out or a picture with a hole in your train because the hem was too long and you or someone else stepped on it!