Good wedding dress alterations are just as important as choosing the actual dress. You could splash out on the most expensive dress, but get a bad seamstress and it's money down the drain. Chances are your chosen bridal boutique will have some excellent recommendations. But, just in case we've compiled a list of expert seamstresses. Once you've nailed down where to go, you need to know what to expect. So, without further adieu, here's our ultimate guide to alterations.

What can I expect?

One of the most important things to remember when wedding dress shopping is to budget for your alterations. Depending on the work you need to be done, you could be forking out an extra €500/€600.

First Fitting

Your first wedding dress fitting will usually take place roughly six weeks before the wedding. You will need to bring along a couple of things with you: your wedding shoes (or ones of a similar height), and similar shapewear and underwear to what you'll wear on the day. It's also a good idea to bring one or two of your bridal party, so you have a second opinion. The initial fitting is to see how the dress falls on you as is and what necessary alterations need to be made. However, are there any cosmetic stuff you'd like to change? Adding a sleeve here and there or perhaps you'd like a slightly different neckline? Now's your chance to ask.

wedding dress alterations Image via Into the Light

Second Fitting

Around a month before your wedding, have your second fitting. This is your time to make sure any concerns or things out of place have been fixed. Move around in your gown, make sure it's comfortable and easy to get around in. If you've opted for a full-length dress, be sure that the hem just brushes over the top of your shoes. Have an inspection of the gown - this is where you're pals will come in handy. Make sure there are no stray threads, bunching or material being pulled. Again, we'd advise you bring along your underwear, shoes, veil and any other accessories. This will help you get a better idea of the finished look on the day.

Final Fitting

It's here! The day you get to try on your wedding dress for the last time and (hopefully) take it home! It's time to iron out any minor concerns. For example, does your gown have a million buttons down the back? Ask if the seamstress will show your bridesmaids how to do it up, so there's no confusion on the morning of the wedding. Ask about storing your wedding dress, how to properly steam it and if they have any last minute advice for caring for the gown. You're all set, giz a twirl!

Where to go:

Dublin

Anna O Alterations

2nd Floor, 220 Harold's Cross Road, Dublin 12

T: 085 743 2483

E: a[email protected]

W: alterationsannao.com

Couture Studio Dublin

19 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2

T: 01 676 3814

E: [email protected]

W: facebook.com/couturestudiodublin

Alterations Dublin 

The Mill, Greenmount Industrial Estate, Harold's Cross, Dublin 12

T: 01 485 3961

E: [email protected]

W: alterationsdublin.com

The Stitch Shop

63 Lower Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin 6

T: 01 441 0011

E: [email protected]

W: facebook.com/thestitchshopranelagh

Image via Berit Alits

Rest of Ireland

The Zip Yard

79 North Main Street, Cork city. (Also numerous stores nationwide)

T: 021 427 9777

E: [email protected]

W: thezipyard.ie

The Diamond Needle Studio

Tircroghan, Mullingar Road, Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath

E: [email protected]

W: facebook.com/thediamondneedlestudio

Something Special

279 Woodstock Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim

T: +44 28 9045 5426

W: Facebook: Something Special Professional Bridal Wear Alterations

Silver Needle Studio

Terryland, Co. Galway

T: 086 409 5828

E: [email protected]

W: silverneedle.webs.com

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