The glib answer here it- to make it fit, but really why doesn’t it fit perfectly in the first place?
The answer is really quite straightforward, unless you have your dress made to measure, which entails multiple fittings in person with your dressmaker then your dress will have been made to a standard, off the rack, size.
Your Bridal salon will have taken measurements, but only to ascertain the closest match between your measurements and the manufacturers size chart. You may well have fallen between the sizes and they have erred on the side of caution and gone up a size, you may have lost (or gained) weight between sizing and the wedding, or you may have fallen pregnant. Length is rarely correct either as the maker doesn’t know how tall you are or what height heels you have chosen. You may also require the train to be bustled.
It’s pretty rare for an off the rack dress to fit perfectly whatever the reason and that’s why you need a skilled seamstress to make those alterations which make the difference between an OK fit and a dress that makes you feel a million dollars.
A seamstress with experience in bridal wear will be able to adjust those boned bodices, cope with beaded dresses, adjust length from the waist (where appropriate) and make sure you feel confident in your dream dress. There are lots of tricks of the trade to make sure bras don’t show and necklines don’t gape.
It is not a job for the faint hearted or the inexperienced though, so when choosing a seamstress don’t forget to ask some pertinent questions. Does your chosen seamstress have experience in working on bridal gowns? how many has she done? Does she have insurance?
Recommendation is always a good thing so if your bridal salon recommend someone it’s likely they are confident with the work they produce. Perhaps a friend has recently had a gown altered and can make some suggestions.
When you have found the person with the right skills she should be able to asses the dress and advise you how much it will cost to alter. That will all depend on how extensive the alterations are, and the construction of the dress. It’s impossible to give an accurate idea of costs here as each dress will vary as will prices in different areas.
The main advice though is, don’t leave it too late, the good seamstresses are usually booked well in advance so call her, make contact and get the ball rolling.
Off you go now and make that call.