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Bridal Alterations vs. Customizations: Which is Right for Your Wedding Dress?

If wedding dress alterations is a new world to you, you are not alone. After selecting THE dress, the journey has only just begun to achieve the best fit for your big day. Wedding dress alterations is a commonly referred to as “the hard part of bridal” because now your alterations specialists begins to edit your dress to fit your body measurements and create any customizations requested at your styling appointment.

It can be overwhelming and possibly frustrating to communicate what you want if you are not familiar with garment construction. However, we remove the hassle of figuring out technical terminology by guiding each of our brides through the process of a curated styling experience to achieving the wedding day final look. During a bridal consultation, our stylists will review options for alterations and customizations to achieve the bride’s vision for her gown.

Is there a difference between alterations and customizations?

Yes! Alterations are smaller adjustments to an existing dress and are defined as achieving a fitted silhouette in an existing garment by adjusting the garment to make the wearer feel more comfortable. These are slight adjustments are needed to ensure a dress is not falling off of your body and you have the silhouette intended for the style of dress. These changes can take many forms, such as hemming the bottom of a dress, adjusting a strap length or taking in the side seams, etc. Standard base alterations are included in our package pricing.

Customizations are often added details to a finished or nearly finished dress which enhance the final look for vision a Bride is considering. This would include, but it’s not limited to adding an off the shoulder caplet or full length mesh sleeve to a strapless dress; or adding a modesty panel to a deep plunge in the front, or back of a dress by adding appliqué details, or a more opaque lining. Customization options are an additional cost and start at $50.

Will every dress have customization options?

Yes, for an additional fee. A good bridal seamstress can alter any wedding dress but a great seamstress will collaborate with a bride to design, develop and create the unique details to achieve a one of a kind gown. The Bridal Stylist and Alterations Specialists work together to determine which alterations are needed and then the customization process can start. The most common personalization changes we see are altering the neckline, adding sleeves, adding a bow and adding a detachable train.

Does every dress need alterations?

The answer is yes! Every dress will need alterations. Wedding dress alterations are the tailoring and adjusting of your wedding dress. During your fitting appointment, your seamstress will take your measurements, and pin the areas of your gown that need to be taken in. Without alterations, your designer wedding dress will fit loosely and not highlight your figure

What are common wedding dress alterations?

There are parts of the dress that should always be tailored to fit just right. Common alterations include adjusting the bust, taking in the waist, and adjusting the fit at the hips. These three alterations help keep your gown staying up and in place. Additionally, adjusting the hem length, adjusting the straps and adding a bustle are also needed for wearability and functionality of the dress. These standard alterations will be key to making sure you feel the best in your wedding dress.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind alterations has limitations. Certain styles of dresses with a structured bodice will allow for a corset back to allow for sizing up. This allows us to make a tight dress slightly bigger by only 1-2 sizes; Being mindful of fabric tension is key because there is never extra fabric along the seams and letting out the fabric of dress is not really an option. Additionally, significantly downsizing a dress may also result in changes to the design and can affect the overall garment construction. Our stylists provide options in our curated dress selections which can be adjusted to fit your measurements.

Can I have alterations and customizations?

Of course you can! A few things to consider, when discussing adding customizations to your dress with your bridal stylists and alteration specialist:

  • Will the customizations affect how my dress will fit? —> your dress should fit fairly snug. It is based on your comfort level, but you want to have enough room to breathe, walk, sit and stand comfortably. Being mindful of how heavy a dress is with additional embellishments will impact your comfort level.

  • Is there an option to make customizations removable or detachable ? —> of course! Sometimes having a modesty panel or long sleeves are needed if you are getting married in a church setting. Our Alterations Specialists will inquire about how you want the customizations to function — permanent or removable. Providing this information is key to making a dress comfortable.

  • How much time is needed to create the customizations? —> General rule of thumb is to account for a minimum of 4-8 weeks for our seamstress to review and design customization requests. This is to ensure we can complete the standard alterations in conjunction with editing the customizations you have requested.

In the end, alterations will ensure you have a tailored fit and customizations will offer added enhancements to a dress to achieve a one of a kind bespoke dress.

About us: We are Laine London a first-of-its-kind, woman owned wedding rental boutique making women's history in Atlanta, Georgia. We have in house alterations and customizations at our boutique making us a one stop shop for all your bridal needs. If you are newly engaged and looking for your dream dress, consider renting. Book your appointment today!


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