You said "Yes" to the Dress! Here are your next steps:
Please email me to schedule your first fitting as soon as you have your gown or know the date your dress will arrive: firstname.lastname@example.org. I only schedule appointments by email (please don’t call or text to schedule). My calendar fills up very quickly so it is never too early to make an appointment.
When emailing please provide the following information: your name; wedding date; where you purchased your gown/dress; what type of dress it is (wedding gown, mother of bride, bridesmaid, etc.) and how many dresses need alterations; when you would like to start alterations; any other comments/questions you might have; your phone number
For wedding gowns, I allow 1 hour for the first fitting and 30 minutes for subsequent fittings. For bridesmaid's or mother's gowns I allow 30 minutes per fitting.
If you need to cancel an appointment, please call or text as soon as possible: 303-345-7888.
2. WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR FITTING:
Shoes and Undergarments: It is important to bring the shoes and undergarments that you are going to wear with the dress to all of your fittings. If you are still shopping for shoes, then please bring a pair with the same heel height as the shoes you are planning to purchase. If you are deciding which undergarments to wear, please bring all of your options with you and we can try them during your fitting. If you are using an extra slip or crinoline bring that also. Please see "what if I can't wear a bra" in the FAQs below.
Clean Hands/Hair Up: Please try to wash your hands before trying on your dress. Grease from lotion, food, or makeup can transfer very easily from your hands to your dress. Please only bring water to your alterations appointment and not coffee, other drinks or food. Also, if you have long hair, please bring a clip or ponytail elastic to secure your hair up for the fitting. This way I can clearly see all the details of your gown symmetrically without hair to obscure the details.
Ideas and Photos: If you would like to "re-design" your dress please bring photos of your ideas your fitting or create a Pinterest page to share with me. Usually a minimum of 4 months is required to complete any re-design or add-on options to your gown (like sleeves, bead work, custom belt, etc). This allows time to source matching fabric, beads, lace, etc. and to order supplies as needed. Please take this time frame into consideration before scheduling!
A Friend for Final Fitting*: It is very helpful to have another person who knows the details of your gown to assist you on wedding day. Bring mom, a bridesmaid or your wedding planner to your final fitting for bustle lessons, to video bustling process and to snap a few photos for memories.
*A note about bringing friends/family: Your wedding planning season is a special time and of course you want to include your family and friends in every part of the process. However, your alteration appointment isn’t your bachelorette party or bridal shower. Please be respectful of the fact that this appointment is a time to work on fitting the gown and a time for me (the seamstress) and the bride to discuss your wants and needs for how the gown should look. Please limit guests to 2 or 3 people and the best choice (if possible) would be those people who will be helping you get dressed and bustled so they can learn the buttoning, fastening, lacing techniques.
Can I change or redesign my dress? There are limitless options to creating a unique look that is perfectly you. Adding necklines, sleeves, straps, sashes, belts, crinolines, detachable trains, and bead work can make an "off the rack" dress completely custom. If you have ideas, I can make it work! Please schedule at least 4 months prior to wedding for redesign. (I use an amazing fabric store in south Denver (if needed) to find matching lace, fabric, beads, appliques, etc. and I have wonderful results with their help. However, due to the drive time and the time needed to find the perfect match for your dress, there is a $50 trip charge for this service in addition to the cost of the fabric, etc.)
How many fittings will I have? Basic formal wear alterations require at least 2 fittings. For redesign, lace hems, extensive alterations or custom work plan on 3 or 4 fittings. If you do not try on your garment after I have done the alterations or bring the appropriate shoes or undergarments to your fittings, I cannot guarantee the fit.
How do I pay for alterations? I can provide an estimate at or shortly following your first fitting. Payment is due at the time of your final fitting. For custom work or redesign, I may ask for a deposit to purchase needed fabrics and supplies. I accept cash or credit cards (via Square). As of January 2018, I will no longer be accepting checks.
How much will I pay for alterations? Typical wedding gown alterations in this area of Colorado (Front Range) average $200 - $700. If you work with a bridal shop or seamstress in the Denver Metro area, those alterations can run $500 - $900. A bridesmaid dress or mother's dress averages $90 - $150. Please see my price list for more information. Estimates are free but I usually cannot give an accurate estimate over the phone or via email. It is best to schedule an initial fitting at no obligation and then I can give a more accurate estimate after seeing the dress.
What if I can't wear a bra with my dress? There are several types of bra cups that can be sewn into a dress to add shape and eliminate the hassle of a strapless or stick on bra. Sometimes sewing the front of a bra into a gown also works well to add structure and support. Unless there are extensive bodice alterations, we can try options at the first fitting to determine what will work best.
What is a bustle and do I need one? A bustle is a series of buttons, loops and/or ties that lift the train of your dress off the floor and make your skirt approximately the same length all the way around. Bustles are perfect for dancing and at the reception. They make it much easier for the bride to maneuver in her dress by reducing the weight and drag of the train. Bustles help to protect your dress from damage while dancing. Most wedding gowns do not have bustles already built into them because the height of the bustle varies with the height of the bride and her shoes.
Shoes and Hem Length? There are no magic tricks to hem your dress to be the correct length for heels and flats at the same time. :) Some gowns with layered or ruffled skirts can be bustled in the front but this is usually not the case with your average gown. You need to decide your comfort level and what type of shoes you will be able to wear for an extended length of time. Keep in mind that if you are taking pictures prior to the ceremony, you will already have had heels on for a couple hours before walking down the aisle. If your dress is hemmed for a 4” heel it will drag and you will step on it if you change into flats or go barefoot. Give some extra thought to your comfort when choosing shoes!
Steaming/Pressing? I can steam or press your gown prior to pick up. When you get the dress home, or to your venue, I recommend hanging it from the highest point possible with the train spread out to prevent wrinkling (see photo below). If you need to steam or press your gown for a last minute touch up, work from the underside (or wrong side) of fabric so the outer layers aren't exposed to scorching or water spots.
Additional Questions? Please email me at email@example.com
Here is a list of some wonderful vendors I work with...they come with my highest recommendations:
Katie James Beauty (Bridal Hair and Eyelash Extensions 720-340-6012)