The gown shopping
Let me tell you the short version of a horror story that happened to me when having my wedding dress altered. As I mentioned before, we got engaged and married within six months, so I didn’t have too much time for dress shopping. I was lucky and got my dream dress on my first shot at the Bridal Garden in NYC. I paid $700 compared to the original $1,500 price tag. It was mermaid style, simple – yet sophisticated lace. The dress was just perfect with only one downside – it was a little big on me. First, I wasn’t sure whether to buy it or not. I knew that alterations would cost additional money, but the sales lady claimed that it only required simple work that would cost about 200 bucks.
I purchased the gown, and my alterations quest began
I didn’t know any good tailor and all the ones recommended by the salon were unavailable. So I did what everyone would do – I went online and found the seamstress that had the best reviews. She had a cool website and bunch of positive reviews. I was able to get the fitting appointment the next day, which made me excited. There was a $50 consultation fee where she would explain what alteration would be needed and the cost of it.
The first appointment was quick and very pleasant. The seamstress told me that all I need is to hem the bottom and a small reduction in my bust and hips area. The price she quoted was 300 dollars. It was a little more expensive than I expected but I liked her, and she seemed to know her stuff, so I agreed to everything. I was supposed to come in 2 weeks for the second trial and probably in 4 weeks my dress would be ready.
My drama started in the second fitting
She showed me what she had done with the dress. I tried it on, and I didn’t think the dress fit me well. The hem and bust looked good, but I’ve noticed a prominent excess of the material (it looked like a bubble) in my hip area that looked even bigger when I tried to walk. It looked awful to me, but my seamstress calmed me down saying that everything is under control. She claimed that the dress is just stitched and not sewn yet. And when I come in 2 weeks to pick the dress everything will look normal. It sounded a little iffy to me, but I had no idea about alterations, and she was “an expert” in wedding dress alterations, so I decided to wait patiently for the next trial and see how things go.
I almost had a panic attack when after two weeks the bubble still was there. I told the seamstress that I’m not satisfied with the dress and I want her to fix it. Her attitude totally changed. Everything that was smiley and chatty turned all of the sudden to bitter coldness. She started rolling her eyes, saying that I’m the first customer that isn’t satisfied with her work and that the bubble is just in my imagination. Also, that no one can make a dress fit the body perfectly and if I want I can take it to the another tailor (after paying her of course).
I almost burst into tears. I’m usually very chill and easy going so if this was just a little flaw I really wouldn’t make a big deal about it. I’m so far away from being a bridezilla, but at four weeks away from our wedding day, not only did it have major issues but I also maxed out my dress budget completely. I pulled my shit together and tried to talk to her as calmly as possible. After a while, she resistantly agreed to try fixing the issue and told me to come back in 3 days. Those were the longest three days of my life. This time I took my maid of honor as a backup with me. I was so stressed and nervous. The dress looked good. I sighed with relief – No f-ing bubble. But now we had another problem. The seamstress demanded 400 dollars more because of the additional work she had to spend on fixing my bubble. I just could believe it. With the extra $400, it would make the alteration total the same price as the actual dress.
How my maid of honor saved my ass
I just couldn’t think of anything to say. Luckily my friend jumped in and helped me. I was in a daze of shock and panic and barely heard anything my friend said to her, but I knew she was upset at how the seamstress treated me and was fighting with her and calling her unprofessional. She mentioned how unprofessional it was to charge more than double the original estimate considering she even charged $50 to provide the estimate. Eventually, the seamstress agreed to the previous price and angrily shoved the gown into my hands.
It was such an unpleasant experience. After this incident, I couldn’t even look at my dress or think about the wedding for a while. Luckily it all worked out ok, and eventually I got over it, but I wouldn’t wish this experience on any other bride. There is so much else going on during wedding planning that wondering whether you will even have a wearable dress four weeks before your wedding is unbearable.
Hopefully, I’ll save your ass
I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. I don’t want you to go through the same.
I will try to put together some advice based off of my experience and what I think I did wrong and what you could do to avoid my mistakes soon, and hopefully, it will help others avoid this kind of wedding dress drama. UPDATE: Check out my advice on how to avoid these stresses and save money on your alterations. Let me know what you think about my story. If you, like me, had some drama about your wedding dress alterations, don’t hesitate to share.