All About Alterations

Will I need Alterations?

The easy answer is usually.  All of our gowns are ordered in standard sizing and as per the Designers size chart.  They are not made to measure (including length) in any of our gowns.  We can offer a much more affordable option, by ordering to standard size and then completing any alterations you require.  Not all Bride's require the same alterations, and alterations will vary from Bride to Bride and Gown to Gown.  Our consultants can best advise very broadly the type of alterations you will require during your appointment, and more specifically once they have seen your measurements, and then will be better informed to your standard size.

Only the Dressmaker can provide quotations during an Alterations appointment.

How much can I expect to pay for Alterations?

Alterations costs are dependant on each Bride's special needs and requirements.  The majority of our alterations are between $500 and $1200 but of course there are always exceptions based on the work that is requested by each Bride.  Alterations are an additional service, completely dependent on your individual requirements, and are not included in the price of your gown.

We know Alterations are a big part of your wedding gown experience and we consider it part of our expert service to be with you from the moment you choose your gown until the alterations are completed to make sure you are getting the look you are after.

Here are some of the most common questions.

What size will my gown be ordered?

We ALWAYS do our best to order your gown as close to your measurements and needing the least amount of alterations as possible.⁠ We go through this process at the time of purchase and show you where you are measuring in regards to the Designers sizing.  Together we identify the best size gown to order.  We make a recommendation about the size we believe is best for you to order and ultimately each Bride has the final decision in what size is ordered.

We do not offer any custom sized gowns at Archela Bridal.  Your measurements are taken to match you to the closest standard size from the Designer's Size Chart.  Your measurements are used by the Designer to make your gown custom fit to you

Please note:  The Length of your gown is not something determined by sizing and is not custom made for every order (see next question).  Each gown arrives in a standard length determined by the designer and any customisations to the length of your gown will be done in alterations. 

We highly recommend our alterations specialists who have many years of experience working with our gowns and our designers.


What about the length of my gown?

Gowns arrive with a standard length. Length is not increased or decreased with size. Whether or not you require a hem is up to your requirements, your preferences, your height, and the heel height of the shoe you choose to wear. Once these decisions are made, you will know whether you need a hem adjustment or not.⁠ Of course, we can help advise you during your appointment. Most of our brides require a hem to be done as part of their alterations

Do you have in house Alterations & Dressmakers?

Yes, we offer in house alterations and are one of the few Bridal Shops to do so.

We believe this is an essential and complete service to offer you, to ensure the gown you purchase and the vision you are after is followed through, from selection of your gown, to the moment you walk down the aisle. Our stylists are with you from start to finish.

Our seamstresses and specialists are all extremely experienced and have worked with all the designers in our store. You won't have to worry about your gown looking different from the one your purchased!  We support you through this process to ensure that the vision discussed when you purchased your gown is achieved.

I've heard Alterations can be expensive?

Yes they can be but not necessarily.  Alterations work like any other specialised service......the more you require to be done, the more it will cost.  This can also depend on the details of the gown you choose.

We have seen Brides that have required absolutely no alterations and we have seen Brides that request many changes, and turn their gown into a unique one-of a-kind gown.  

If alterations costs are a factor in your wedding budget, then please mention this to your stylist and they can best advise you during your appointments to find your dream gown, and one where your alterations cost will be kept to a minimum.

When do I start getting my gown Alterations?

We advise to start alterations 2 months before your wedding (or 3 months if getting married in January or February to allow for the busy Christmas period).
This gives you and the Dressmakers reasonable time to do alterations as well as a little wiggle room in case you need an extra fitting appointment for any extra changes.

We recommend booking in your “try on” appointment once you have been advised that your gown has arrived.  Your try on appointment is an appointment to see your ordered gown for the first time, and double check that it has been ordered, and delivered to the exact specifications of your order.  

Please note we offer try on appointments Monday to Friday 10am-5pm.  We also offer Try On appointments on Thursday evenings until 8pm.  Try on Appointments are not available and cannot be booked on a Saturday.

From your try on appointment, you will then see how your dress is fitting you and your stylist can help advise if any alterations are required.  Please be aware that most Bride’s will require a hem length to be adjusted at a minimum, however it is not uncommon for a Bride to require absolutely no additional alterations.

Our Dressmakers are available for alteration/fitting appointments ONLY on  Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-4pm.  Each fitting appointment lasts for 60 mins.

Whats the Difference between Designer Variations & Alterations?

Variations are not to be confused with Alterations.

If you require a sleeve, that is a variation. Want to change the neckline of your gown? That again is a variation. Variations are bigger changes & require more work and shouldn't be considered as part of your alterations budget.

What do I bring to my Alterations Appointment?

Your shoes, Your dress (if you have already collected it), your hoop petticoat (if you have one), any undergarments you plan on wearing on the day.

How many fittings appointments will I need?

Usually 2-3 fittings will be time enough to complete the necessary alterations to your gown. This entirely depends on how much work you are requiring to be done to your gown.  

Anything else?

ALWAYS talk to your Dressmaker and our stylists during your appointment if you are worried about anything. We can work through options, solutions and any concerns far easier and more efficiently during your appointment and you can leave your appointment feeling assured.  We really appreciate our clients talking to us at the time if you have any concerns or questions.

Dressmakers can always suggest alternatives if you have any concerns and this is best done face-to-face.  

Quotations are always given at your first fitting and agreed to in writing before the Dressmaker proceeds with any work.  If you need the chance to think about your alteration quote, you are more than welcome to do so.  Fitting fees for their appointment time are incorporated into your quote and if you are wanting time to think about your quotation, only the fitting fee will need to be paid on the day of quotation.