Your guide to wedding dress alteration and design

We've helped 216 customers alter or design their wedding dress in the past year.

Planning checklist

Prepare for success by getting started now.
12 months ahead: Visualize
  • Try to envision the kind of dress you’ve always imagined yourself wearing on your wedding day. Write down any special details.
  • Check on your favorite photo sites and wedding pages for additional ideas that help narrow down the style you’re looking for. Save the pictures you like to refer back to them later.
  • Set a budget. It’s OK to splurge on your wedding dress, but it’s smart to still know exactly how much money you’re willing to spend.
  • Choose between creating a custom dress or purchasing one and having it altered.
  • When thinking about altering a dress, ask whether they charge a flat fee or per modification.
8 months ahead: Start shopping
  • Choose your shopping buddies. Get the expert opinion of store personnel combined with the voice of someone who knows you.
  • If you go the alteration route, grab your photos and head out until you find your ideal dress. More than anything, find something that makes you happy.
  • If you're not interested in something off-the-rack, start searching for local dressmakers who can bring your dream to reality.
6 months ahead: Start altering
  • Feel free to customize. Have an alteration pro add lace or beads, change the silhouette or do pretty much anything else you want.
  • Attend your first fitting. Have your seamstress get started on adding to your dress right away.
4–5 months ahead: Supplement
  • Purchase your undergarments, shoes and hair accessories now that you have a better idea of your dress style.
3 months ahead: Check it out
  • Attend another fitting to ensure your dress is progressing the way you want it to.
  • Ask your seamstress to make any final changes to the embellishments at this time.
1 month ahead: Finish up
  • Attend your final fitting and bring your accessories along to assess your wedding-day look.
  • If necessary, your seamstress will make final adjustments.
2 weeks ahead: Go get it
  • Pick up your wedding dress, inspect it and find a safe place to store it.
1 day ahead: Pack
  • Get everything together ahead of time to take to the venue, including your dress, shoes and accessories.
  • Keep all your items together.
The day of: Steam
  • Give your dress one last steaming if necessary up to 30 minutes before the ceremony starts so you have time to get dressed.

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