It’s very rare that a dress fits perfectly. That’s why having a good tailor is a must.  But many times the alterations can cost you as much as the bridesmaid dress if you don’t take the time to think about fit before buying. In fact, when it comes to wedding gown alterations, it’s recommended that you budget at least 10% of the cost of the gown for tailoring services.

Since great fitting dresses are always on our minds, we wanted to share our suggestions for what to ask a tailor. We caught up with custom bridal dressmaker – and seamstress extraordinaire – Daniela Chaidez of With This Dress to get answers to these questions and find out how to avoid costly surprises and delays when you take your dress to the tailor.

1. How much time in advance should I bring in my dress for alterations?

3-6 weeks is pretty good timing for most tailors, but the really busy ones may have longer lead times.

2. What should I bring with me for my appointment?

Make sure to bring the shoes and undergarments you plan to wear the day of the wedding. It’s not just about the height of the heel or bra padding – your body posture changes depending on the shoes and undergarments you’re wearing.

3. Do you offer a quote before alterations begin?

Most boutiques may offer a quote right away. Even if they can’t tell you a price on the spot, don’t agree to the alterations until the price is provided. Bridal wear can be very tricky and delicate so costs can run quite high.

4. How big is too big to alter?

Tailors can do different things depending on their experience, but the rule of thumb is to stick to no more than 3 dress sizes larger.  All dresses are designed differently, but the size difference will be more noticeable in certain styles–like a strapless dress with princess seams. When in doubt, remember it’s always easier to take in a dress than let it out.

Now you’re guaranteed to look stunning! Get in touch with a Brideside stylist to find your best fit by emailing Let us know what your favorite tips are for alterations in the comments.