The Alterationist

-bridal gown alterations-

804 N. Bishop Street
Chicago IL 60642
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bridal alterations faq



Q: Iím getting married! How do I start the alterations process?

A: Shoot us an email once you know when youíll have the gown in your hands. From there, weíll schedule a consultation appointment with you, so tailor and bride can both know what the gown needs and what the work and timeline will look like. Itís never too early to come in for a consult, and get an idea of the process!

Q: Whatís your price range? Iím not made of money!

A: Pricing varies widely for each gown and body. The typical bridal ticket at The Alterationist ranges from a low of about $200 up to about $950. Most totals fall right in between. Our apologies, but it is impossible to responsibly give any estimate over the phone or via photos!

Q: Whoa! Nine hundred bucks sounds like a lot! What if I only need a few alterations?

A: We always start with a consultation appointment, so we can give you an estimate! For a $50 fee and no commitment, we will take one hour and go over the possibilities and necessities of alterations on your gown. We will be able to give you an estimate (not a fixed price). For a more accurate estimate, bring your shoes and your undergarments.
After our consult, youíll receive a follow-up email detailing a price breakdown, recommended schedule for further fitting dates, and advice on any bridal-wear-related questions we discussed at your consult. We are here to help!

Q: Is it true that if I decide to stick with The Alterationist for my gownís alterations, that consult fee is credited toward my alts fees?

A: Yes! If you commit to having your alterations done by us, the $50 fee is subtracted from the alterations total. Win-win.

Q: Okay, that sounds better. What does the alterations process look like?

A: At the consult appointment, if you like our estimate and would like to jump in, we will lay out fitting appointment dates for the first, second, and third fittings. Sometimes gowns that need more work need a fourth or fifth fitting; sometimes we can count the consult as a first fitting. Whatever works with your schedule and the alterations necessary is what we will do!
These fitting appointments are best spaced about a month apart: The first should be 3-4 months ahead of the wedding date, and the last one should be no more than three weeks out from the wedding date.

Q: How does payment work for alterations? Is everything due up front?

A: Nope: fifty percent of the total due is payable about halfway through, usually at the second or third fitting. The remainder is payable at the time of pickup. We accept either cash, Venmo, Google Wallet, or Chase QuickPay for bridal work (no checks). If necessary, we can accept credit cards for alterations fees, after a 5% service charge is tacked on.

Q: Do I need to take my gown to a cleaners before or after alterations?

If you have a sample gown, absolutely take it to a cleaners before wearing it or having someone work on it! You donít want someone elseís makeup or armpit juice on your dream gown, right?
If you are unsure whether it has already been cleaned, you can either ask your bridal shop vendor, or we can do a ďsmell testĒ at our consult, where we can see for ourselves whether itís smelly.

Q: Where do I get it pressed? I donít intend to wear a well-fitting but wrinkly gown on my wedding day.

A: Pressing (and getting your gown aisle-ready before pickup) is included in our total price for alterations! If youíre traveling far from Chicago for your wedding, ask your hotel in advance if they can do some last-minute steaming for you upon your gownís arrival, if necessary.

Q: Can you take care of my veilís steaming too?

A: Of course! If your veil measures 40Ē or less, weíll do it for free. Multilayer and longer veils can be steamed (and packaged with your gown at pickup) for a $20 fee.

Q: Do you make wedding gowns?

A: Nope. Just alterations on existing garments.

Q: Do you make veils, jackets, or other accessories?

A: Nope. Just alterations on existing bridal gowns.

Q: Iím using my motherís wedding gown for my modern wedding. Do you redesign/revamp vintage gowns for events?

A: Not really. Alterations and re/design are two very different things, and while we have the talent for one, we have no time to figure out the other. But fear not! When in doubt, make a consult appointment with us, and we can advise you.

Q: Iíve got my bridal alterations taken care of, but my bridesmaids need alterations on their dresses too! Can you help?

A: We apologize, but bridesmaidsí dresses are out of our purview (mostly due to time constraints). Searching ďbridesmaidís alterationsĒ on Yelp, Offbeat Bride, A Practical Wedding, WeddingWire (or your bridal-planning site of choice) is a great way to tackle this.

Q: Youíre going to think Iím nuts, but I have a super-specific request and Iím not sure if itís doable; who do I ask about this?

A: Email for further info or to make an appointment for a consultation --!

Appointments take place on Thursdays

Email to request an appointment.

Fittings, try-ons, and pickups are by appointment only.

Bridal alterations require a minimum of 10 weeks between initial appointment and pickup date.