Alterations are an essential part of ready-to-wear gowns, even if you specifically order it in your size or measurements. Your wedding is the biggest fashion event of your life so you should never skimp on the perfect fit. When it comes to wedding gowns, the alterations can be anything from straightforward to complex depending on the design. Kira Elizabeth puts her design skills to use in anything from simple tweaks to completely redesigning aspects of the gown. We are happy to do your alterations regardless of where you buy your dress. Here are a few commonly asked questions answered by the designer herself.
Feel free to contact us with any further questions.
Do I really need alterations?
Ever been to a wedding wear the bride is pulling up her strapless dress during the ceremony? What about lifting up the skirt while walking down the aisle or holding the train during the reception. These are NOT issues with the design, they are an issue with fit. A common misconception is that strapless dresses “won’t stay up.” If the dress is sliding down, it’s because it is too big in the waist. Wedding gowns are heavy and they need to rely on your waist and hips to win the battle against gravity. When the hem is right you should be able to walk without worrying about tripping or holding it up and a bustle is a decorative way to pull up the train so it is out of the way during the reception. The right fit will keep the dress from being a high maintenance annoyance so you can focus on more important things on your big day.
What exactly is a bustle?
A bustle is a decorative way to pull the train up to keep it out of the way of yours and other peoples’ feet. This is my favorite part of alterations because I have the most creative freedom to design a bustle the compliments the design of the dress. My often achieved goal is for a bride to love the dress just as much, if not more, with the train bustled. There are two main bustle styles: French and American. I actually prefer to use a combination of the two or get creative with a style that compliments the design of the dress. Check out some sample bustles on our design page.
What if my dress is lace and/or has a decorative hem? I don’t want to lose that detail.
Most hems are a lot easier than they look to an untrained eye. Often the bottom layer can be removed and then replaced after the other fabric is hemmed. Don’t fret! I have never met a dress I couldn’t figure out how to hem and keep the design on the bottom the same.
Should I wear a strapless bra?
That depends on your body and the dress style. Often, once the dress fits well, you won’t need one. That being said, there are exceptions if you have a large bust and you need the extra support, or if the design calls for it. I can usually tell at first look if you will need one and can recommend the right style for the dress. Sew in cups are also an option but are more for adding push-up and padding rather than support.
How much will alterations cost?
I always tell brides to plan on spending between $300-$500. This may seem pricey but wedding gowns are not an easy thing to alter with their many layers and often need several fittings to get the perfect fit. Many girls forget to add this into their dress budget because they just don’t think about it, or they think that a dress ordered in their size won’t need any. If you are unsure about anything, set up a consultation with us to get a full estimate.
Help! My wedding is next week and I lost weight!
Don’t stress! We understand that this happens! We would be happy to help you with last minute alterations and only charge a $35 rush fee for less than a two week turnaround.
Here are some other vendors that may be helpful with your wedding:
Party Bus Charleston