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Wearing an Heirloom! A conversation with Altered for the Altar Dallas

August 10, 2021

There is one job in the wedding industry that I simply can not imagine the pressure behind, and that is the alterations company!

I imagine each cut into the wedding dress like an incision in surgery. Each cut is mission-critical and done with absolute care! The wedding dress or suit is the centerpiece of the wedding day attire and being able to transform it into a customized fit is essential to the character of the garment and the transformation of the person wearing it!

Last fall one of our brides was able to restore and modernize her mother’s wedding gown from several decades prior into her own beautiful wedding day masterpiece. This was all with the support and detailed planning of the team at Altered for the Alter Dallas.

Our Mayfield design team sat down with Ruth, one of the mother/daughter duo that operates Altered for the Altar in the Design District of Dallas. Ruth shared with us her journey from sewing bridesmaids’ dresses, to being an in-house seamstress at some of the biggest bridal boutiques, to her current passion of customizing wedding dresses to transforming women into brides! In her words, “It is about so much more than just a dress!”

The team of fashion design-educated professionals at the store can support a client who is wanting to do a few tweaks to their dress, a complete redesign of a gown, an heirloom gown restoration, as well as dress pressing and preservation

Ruth shared that the first thing they do in a consultation about a restoration of a gown is asking why a client wants to restore or redesign a dress. For this team of designers all with backgrounds in fashion design, the heart of a redesign is in creating an heirloom.

The Altered for the Altar process begins with a client bringing in their dress for an initial consultation and discussion about fitting the piece to their body. In the case of a redesign or restoration, you would bring in the dress and discuss the adjustments you desire. Once that process has been started most clients will have 3 fittings to align the dress perfectly to their body type.

Commonly Asked Questions about Alterations:

  1. How soon do alterations start after getting the wedding dress?
    • In most cases, it will take three fittings with your seamstress. Our team recommends that you start this process 5 months before the wedding. However, there are times that the process can move more quickly.
  2. What do I need to bring to an alterations appointment?
    • Your Dress
    • Undergarments (You can also purchase these from Altered from the Alter)
    • Your Wedding Shoes
  3. How long is an alterations appointment?
    • Most appointments last an hour
  4. Who can attend the alterations appointment?
    • Most seamstresses will allow you to bring guests. As the planner, we don’t typically attend, but we recommend that you bring family member, friend, or someone special. We have even had couples who did everything together in the past! This is totally what you are comfortable with!
  5. What is the average cost of having a wedding dress altered by a professional seamstress?
    • The cost of the alterations will be greatly influenced by the adjustments you need made to the gown. Most of the time we allocate between $400-$1500 for these adjustments. However, that is not always the cost. It is better to schedule a consultation with the seamstress and design team to see what is the best path for fitting your gown.
  6. What is the cost if I want to have an heirloom dress altered or redesigned?
    • In general, repurposing a wedding gown will be similar in cost to the investment you would have made in purchasing a wedding dress. The biggest question anyone should ask before having a dress designed is, “Why am I doing this?” If the answer is, “because it will be cheaper” then redesigning a dress may not be the best option for your wedding.
  7. What areas does Altered for the Altar serve?
    • They primarily serve the DFW market, however, they have clients drive in from all over Texas and Oklahoma to have their dresses designed.

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