Alterations Guide at The White Dress

Alterations Guide at The White Dress

Alterations Guide at The White Dress. Mobile Image

Mar 15, 2022

THE ALTERATIONS PROCESS ...........................................................................................................................

Our philosophy at The White Dress by the shore is to consistently provide our clients with exceptional service, above and beyond their expectations.

This is exemplified from the moment you walk in the door to purchase your gown and accessories, and carried through to our unique and extensive fitting process, which ensures you will look and feel your very best on your wedding day!


Our expert seamstresses, and our dedicated and trained fit specialists on staff ensure that you and your beautiful gown will be in the very best of hands, and in an environment exclusive to our boutique.


We are pleased that we can offer high-end professional alterations services to our clients. If you are planning to have your alterations performed at The White Dress, please continue to read the important information below, which explains our process in detail. Please keep this document as a reference to refer to throughout the fitting process. We do recognize that our schedule and fees may not be appropriate for all of our clients and we would be pleased to provide you with a seamstress from our network of reputable contacts.




  • After your gown has been paid for in full, you may contact us 2 weeks after your gown has been purchased, to schedule your alterations appointments.
  • Our in-house seamstress is available to perform fittings during our regular business hours on Wednesday – Friday 10-4 pm (**note final alterations cannot be scheduled after 2 pm). Alterations DO NOT take place on weekends at The White Dress by the shore. There are no exceptions.
  • Please understand that the fitting schedule at The White Dress by the shore is subject to change. Generally, your first fitting will be about 4 months prior to the wedding, and the final fitting will take place 1-2 weeks in advance of the big day. On average, there are usually 3 visits, which consist of 2 regular fittings and a final pick up appointment. The total number of fittings is determined by the seamstress and is based on the type of gown you have chosen.
  • If you live out-of-state or require specific dates for your fittings, we recommend that you review this with your Stylist when you purchase your gown. For your convenience, we can ship your gown and recommend a reputable seamstress in your area.
  • If your gown order was placed as a “rush”, please note that the scheduled delivery can often be over
    a two-week period. We appreciate your patience while waiting for your rush order to arrive. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to perform your rush alterations at the boutique, particularly during peak bridal season. As always, we can refer you to a seamstress in our network if we cannot accommodate your alterations in-house. All rush alterations are subject to an alterations rush fee.
  • Cancellation Policy - The White Dress by the shore reserves the right to charge a $50 cancellation fee if a fitting is not canceled with at least 24 hours notice. If a fitting is cancelled by the client, there is no guarantee that we will be able to accommodate you in our schedule. If special time exceptions need to be made in order to accommodate the cancellation, a $50 exception fee may be applied.


  • Because of the superior level of service that we provide during our fittings and the amount of time that is spent with each gown, both during the fittings and in the sewing process, our alterations fees average as follows (note: these are only estimates, as we only charge for those alterations that need to be done to the gown):

Bridal gowns: $750-$950

These estimates are based on our normal fit process, which is 2-4 total fittings. Final pressing and packaging of the gown at your two-hour pick-up appointment is also included. Payment for the total alteration charges is due at your first fitting.

You will be charged in full for the extent of alterations at the first fitting before any work on the garment begins. Your payment allows the seamstress to move forward with your alterations. It is not common, but additional charges may occur throughout the duration of your fitting appointments if you decide to change an element of your gown and/or lose or gain weight that had not been previously discussed. Please let the fit specialist and seamstress know if you plan on losing additional weight after your first fitting.

  • If these estimates are outside of your budget or your schedule does not correspond with our days for fittings, we have developed a network of reputable seamstresses to whom we can refer you, that may be better able to accommodate your schedule and budget.



  • First Fitting: At the first fitting, you will be introduced to your seamstress. Our unique process ensures that the same seamstress who pins your gown is also dedicated to the sewing of your gown.

When you come to your first fitting, it is required that you bring the actual shoes and undergarments that you will wear at your wedding. It is vital that you have your shoes and undergarments at this appointment and each thereafter. If you would like to schedule an undergarment consultation prior to this first fitting, please contact Josie at Beneath the Gown in Branford at 860-304-7399.

The first fitting is what we call a “working” fitting. The focus of the fitting is for our seamstress to pin the dress and work with you to determine the overall look of the gown. We suggest keeping your guests to a minimum as the primary focus of these appointments is the fit. At the first fitting the seamstress will determine the amount of work that is required for the gown over the life of the process and full payment for your total alteration charges is due at that time. It is important to note that additional fees, beyond your quoted charges, can be incurred if weight is lost after the first fitting or if further design changes are made in subsequent fittings.  This is the perfect time to select your veil and accessories.  Let us know if you would like to work with a stylist to select these items before or after your fitting.

  • Second Fitting: The second fitting gives you an opportunity to assess the overall fit of your altered gown and ask any questions or raise any concerns that you may have. The bustle selection is made and pinned at this fitting, as is the hem. Make sure that you bring your shoes and undergarments again as you will need to check the hem length and make sure your foundation garments coordinate well with the gown’s fit. Don’t be concerned if there are openings or pins still in your gown, as our seamstresses work slowly to ensure a perfect fit over time. If there are tweaks or changes that need to be made, they will be dealt with during this fitting or an additional fitting appointment will be scheduled.
  • Final Fitting/Pick Up: This is a “working fitting!” At this appointment, you will try on the gown one last time to ensure that the fit and length of the gown are perfect. It is suggested that you bring along a member of your bridal party to attend the fitting and practice dressing you and arranging your bustle. We will provide you with a ‘Dressing Guide’ and can include personalized written dressing and bustling instructions at this fitting (we also recommend videotaping this process for your dresser to refer to on the big day). We block out three hours of our seamstresses’ time at this fitting to ensure that any final changes can be accommodated, should it be necessary. Be prepared to go out to lunch or run errands while this work is done. Shoes and undergarments are essential for this fitting. Please ensure that you have a vehicle that is clean and large enough to accommodate your beautiful gown.
  • While you wait, our seamstress will press or steam your gown and prepare it for transport.
  • If your wedding is local, it’s often a good idea to bring the gown directly to where you will be getting dressed or to a place that it will be safe and sound. We usually prefer it to hang on the back of a door or in a closet so that it will not be disturbed.
  • If your wedding is out of town, many brides make arrangements to carry their gown with them to the wedding. We can assist you in packing your wedding gown into a carry-on bag for air travel.
  • Don’t forget to ask about the gown cleaning and preservation service that we offer. You will save $75 if you pay for the service before your wedding and it is a must-do if you wish to preserve your incredible (and beautifully fitting) wedding gown!


As always, please feel free to contact us with any additional questions either before, during or after your fitting. It is our goal to make your entire experience here at The White Dress by the shore beyond your expectations. Congratulations and we are honored to be a part of your big day!