For some brides, trying on dress after dress during their bridal appointment can quickly turn into wanting to combine features of two different dresses or wanting to tweak a dress slightly to make a dress "the one". These questions feel confusing and frustrating because altering a dress to fit your vision seems like a lot of work and something that usually can't happen. But, most brides don't know just how often brides use simple alterations to create a custom bridal gown from one they've tried while shopping. Between the designer and a seamstress, these six simple changes can get you a custom bridal gown without breaking the budget.
1. Adding Straps to a Strapless Dress
When brides know they want straps or sleeves, they tend to ignore strapless dresses altogether. But, once our stylists mention that designers or seamstresses can add straps to any gown, they're more comfortable trying strapless looks. More often than you'd expect, brides choose a strapless dress and add sleeves or straps during alterations. Some designers might also offer the change. Keep your options open by asking about changing the neckline on a dress that you otherwise love.
2. Create a Custom Hem Length
Ask about customizing the length of your gown when you order to save a lot of time and money. Seamstresses traditionally hem gowns once they arrive, but there are limitations to what seamstresses can do to certain dresses that are completely lace or have extremely delicate fabric. Always ask if a custom length is available from the designer of the dress, and how much customizing would cost. Usually, you'll end up paying less for ordering the dress in a custom length than altering the hem.
3. Adding Small Embellishments To a Dress
Maybe you're in love with a dress, but wish it had just a smidge more beading or laceor maybe a little lessso you move on to the next dress without adding this one to your contender list. Don't write off a dress simply because it's slightly off-base. Ask your stylists if either the designer or a seamstress can add that little extra detail you're seeking.
4. Adding (Or Substracting) Poof
Whether you want more volume on the bottom of your dress, or you think there's way too much fabric for you, adding or getting rid of poof is an easy fix. Add a petticoat to make your look more dramatic, or ask the seamstress to remove crinoline from the skirt.
5. Replace a Zipper with a Romantic Corset Back
If you're old-fashioned or attracted to the romantic look of corset backs, good news: a seamstress or the designer can swap out the zipper of a dress and replace it with a lace-up corset back! This customization packs a big impact because it completely changes the look of the back of your dress.
Ask About Options for Creating Your Custom Bridal Gown
If you're interested in having any of these changes done to your dress, talk to your bridal shop about whether the designer of the dress or a seamstress can make your dress a custom bridal look. Don't limit what you try because you're intimidated by making changesmore brides customize their dresses than you think! And, one word of advice: check with the stylist or seamstress and ask if any of these changes will affect the fit of your dress. When in doubt, ask, ask, ask!
Do you have more questions about the dress shopping or alterations process? Read our FAQ's or browse some more of our blog posts (you know you want to!).