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A while back, we shared a blog about bridal gown alterations. With the spring and summer season upon us, it felt like time to update and remind you about what you need to know, and consider when you've purchased a gown that may need to be altered.
We've never met a bride who wanted an ill-fitted gown... not once. You search, you set up Pinterest boards, you take screenshots and you try on possibilities until you hear The Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet and you make a purchase. According to The Knot, most gowns will need some sort of adjustment or alteration and the scope will depend on how many alterations, what kind of altering, where you purchased your gown, and the timeline/scheduling of your tailor/seamstress.
KEy Things to Remember
> Altering any garment is a process. A seamstress is literally fitting a gown to your body. She's molding the dress's structure, shaping the fabric and making sure that dress looks like it was custom made just for you. Getting the perfect fit rarely happens with just one fitting. It's a process that takes tweaking and retweaking.
> Alterations take time... The average bride will have between 3 - 5 fittings based on the intricacies of the gown and types of alterations. Sometimes there are more than half a dozen fittings. You'll want to plan on making those trips to try on your gown, be pinned in again based on new adjustments, try it on with your shoes and veil, and so on. It is not an easy job. It's surgery. Seamstresses are, in some cases, taking your dress apart and putting it back together.
> ... & Timing is Important. Bring your dress to be altered too soon and your weight may fluctuate by the time of your wedding. It happens. No judgement. Wait too late and your seamstress' schedule may be packed. See Communicate below.
> Seamstresses have a backlog. When your dress is pinned and fitted to you the first time, you'll then wait a few weeks before you see it again. This may be due to the number and types of alterations, but it's most certainly because you are not their only client or dress. Your seamstress is not working solely on your gown or bridesmaids dresses. She is slammed, because this is how she makes a living and because this is delicate work. She needs the time to do that delicate work on every gown, not just yours.
> What & Who to Bring With You to Fittings. Make sure that your seamstress sees the entire vision of your attire. Bring your veil, any head or hair pieces, your jewelry and shoes, and any other visuals that will inform him/her. As for people, bring your maid or matron of honor, if possible, and a trusted friend or family member who can advise and support you.
> Alterations are not free. Things cost money. When you work, you expect to be paid - whether you are nursing a patient back to health, managing a project on a timeline, adding structural boning to the bodice of a wedding gown, or removing 350 tiny beads from the train of a gown. Seriously! Think about all the requests that a bride can make:
+ Add 500 crystal beads or sequins.
+ Remove the lace that came with the dress and replace it with my grandmother's antique lace.
+ Create a keyhole in the back where there wasn't one.
+ Shorten the sleeves.
+ Lengthen the hem.
These are complex tasks and seamstresses expect to be paid for their experience, their knowledge and expertise and their careful, intricate, detailed work.
The seamstress is an independent contractor, so when you're working with her and paying her, you're helping feed her family. Some big box stores have their own in-house seamstresses who get paid through the company. Using an independent seamstress like those we suggest for our brides often means you will save money. The cost of alterations can range anywhere from $20 to $500+, and will depend greatly on the dress and what has to be done.
> Show Patience. Losing patience with any wedding vendor will never serve you well. So don't huff and complain to your seamstress. More than one fitting is not the beginning of your dress being destroyed. It's an absolute part of the process. As she molds your dress to your body, she makes those adjustments by hand in many cases. Understand that some wants for your gown are just not possible because of the way the dress is already cut and shaped.
> Communicate. It's important to trust your seamstress and be patient with the process, but don't fail to speak up if you find that something feels uncomfortable or ill-fitting, or not what you were expecting the end result to be. Keep the lines of communication open. She's there to help you and cannot read your mind. Ask questions, listen and keep talking.
> Be Kind. That seamstress is your ally. Listen to what she's telling you about what can and cannot be done and trust her instincts. She's there to make you look fabulous in the gown you chose. Don't succumb to the temptation to go Bridezilla because you're under stress. Behaving badly is something you'll regret. Be kind!
Why do we harp on kindness? Because it's a foundational unit of measurement - like centimeters of fabric. Your wedding is a big deal and every vendor you're working with wants your day to be perfect. Be more honey than vinegar and you'll remember the experience fondly and enjoy your day sooooo much more.
Misty Case is an amazing photographer right here in North Wilkesboro. She is also a wife, a mom to son Finley, a loyal friend and has been a bridal and prom shopping companion to BT Owner Kelly Shumate for the last several years.
Misty is family. And now she's works with us at BT.
What's so wonderful about having her as part of our team is that her career as a photographer has largely been about capturing images of love. If there's love nearby, leave it to Misty to find it in her lens. Brides, babies with new parents, communities coming together for a cause, a passion for a project, families reunited, Misty has focused literally - on what love looks like for more than 15 years.
During those 15+ years, she became a dear friend of Kelly's and a reliable companion on trips to bridal shows to choose gowns, bridesmaids' dresses, prom attire and accessories. She's an asset with a great eye for style and romance, and she's a Good-time Charlie.
With clients at BT, Misty is calm, supportive, knowledgeable and adds her own unique charm to Kelly and the team. Stop by to meet this lady, she's in the store on Saturdays! You'll love her like we all do.
It's prom season and while we at BT are helping ladies and gents get their attire planned, bought or rented, it's a good time to remind our brilliant readers of some of the dos and don'ts for promgoers.
Dos for the Night
Pick a dress or outfit that you really love. It's a special occasion and you should feel that you look your best and feel amazing.
Go with someone you enjoy being with. For those of you who aren't dating someone exclusively, make sure your date is fun, respectful and will want to stick with you from start to finish. Going with a best friend is always a good idea.
Compliment your date! Make them feel special by telling them how amazing they look.
Make an entrance! If you don't want to rent a limo, see if you and your group can find a stylish old car to borrow and the driver to go with it. Otherwise, just enter ready to enjoy the evening.
Wear jewelry and a hairstyle that complement your dress. Nothing makes a statement like an complete look.
Get your attire ordered and coordinated in plenty of time. We are here for ya!
Dance and have fun!! Prom is about spring, the nearing end of the school year and celebrating with your friends.
Dont's for the night
Don't do anything illegal. We had to say it. But seriously, there is no need for regret, regret, regret. Understand the rules set out by your school and the prom venue. Where it says "NO," don't bother trying to get around the rules.
Don't go tanning the day before your prom. And beware of spray tans.
Don't choose uncomfortable clothing. Don't wear a gown that is difficult to move in, dance in, sit in, or is just generally makes you feel like you're out of yourself instead of present. The same for your shoes: don't wear heels that you haven't at least walked in long enough to know that they'll work. You will be walking and dancing.
Don't freak out if someone is wearing the same dress. You are you and you'll look singular.
Don't ignore your friends. Make plans to find and see them so that new and old friends and dates can get to know each other and mingle.
Do not overspend on prom. Nor should you think that it's the biggest night of your life.
It is a special milestone that is a lot of fun. No pressure. Have a great time!
Why do we call these blogs "Real Brides?" Largely, because not every bride wants to tell her entire wedding story as one of our "Features," but is happy to share images from her big day. When we receive images from one of our BT brides, we're thrilled. We feel like the distant relatives who played a small part in making the day special.
We recently got these wonderful photos from Cheyenne Tranter's wedding and she said we could share. Enjoy!
Winter weddings are so much fun, for obvious reasons (see image of groomsmen below), but as a bridal boutique, we cannot stress this point enough: No matter what you're wearing, your venue or your specific palette, if you want to get married during the cooler months: DO IT!
June weddings are fabulous, but so are those that take place around Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and the first part of January. Families often have time off and can gather to celebrate you. And weather is like the fun guest, right?
Cheyenne's palette was gorgeous, with plenty of deep orange, green, gray and, of course, white. The couple shared a sweet "first look" before making their way to the altar.
We love textures and creativity. From the seating charts on vinyl records, to the beautiful invitations and wood elements at their elegant rustic barn wedding, everything was coordinated and contained their vibe and choices.
The bride's gown and veil were romantic and bohemian with plenty of sparkle and lace. If you get married during cold months, don't think you have to have sleeves and fur, a muff and gloves. Wear what makes you happy and feel beautiful.
All weddings should end with a smooch. Bridal Traditions sends the best to these two sweethearts with our heart-felt congratulations!
"But it's only the beginning of March!!"
We hear you, but you have to trust us, gentlemen: if at all possible please don't wait until the last minute to get your suit, tux and gear for Prom season 2023. The sooner you start planning, the more fun you're going to have planning, executing and attending your prom.
Are you going to your prom AND a prom at another school? Some guys and girls do, and that means even more planning and logistics.
So take a deep breath and get excited. Here are some basic guidelines, fellas, and if nothing else, stop by Bridal Traditions and let us hook you up!
The Basics for guys going to prom
First, you need to decide if you're going as a group or if you need to secure your date. The promposal has become a big deal, but you can always play it cool. There's nothing wrong with an old school approach.
Next, what arrangements do you need to make?
Do you need to buy tickets to your prom?
Will you need to make the dinner reservations, or are you arranging a picnic or group pre-prom party?
Do you want to rent a limo or set up transportation for you and your date?
Consider your budget for all of these items and get started making the reservations.
AND THEN GET ORGANIZED AROUND WHAT YOU WANT TO WEAR! And here is the good news: prom rentals for guys are a quick turnaround process. If we know what you need, we can get it ordered and have it ready in time for your evening. Because these tuxes and suits are being worn, cleaned and returned, you cannot expect to have yours hanging in your closet weeks in advance.
Rent or Buy?
It's still the question for most grooms but prom goers usally want to rent. If you are a senior in high school and consider a suit an investment, you may want to buy. Most guys just want to rent something that can wear and return.
What to Wear
Tuxedos are still considered prom style, but black, blue, gray or even tan suits are becoming more popular at prom.
What do you like to wear?
What do you feel great in?
Not sure? Worry not!!
Via our website, Bridal Traditions can help you build your look! Check it out!
Coordinating Attire for Prom
This isn't just about your tie matching her gown. You will want to talk to your date about other ways to coordinate. It can be with attire, with flowers, with socks, with matching or coordinated jewelry or with some other fun form a flair. Talk to your date and companions and check out out selection of all those accessories as well.
Treat your Attire well.
Do not go off roading in a dune buggy during your prom in that suit. You will regret it. Have fun, but treat it as though you were prepared to buy it. Rental companies know that stains happen at dinner, but don't be a slob. Return your rented attire before the deadline, please.
The bottom line: start planning, and when you know what you want to wear, come see us. We can guide you through the process. Don't worry if you just have a week to get your suit plan together. WE'VE GOT YOU!