What to Ask Your Dressmaker

Guarantee a result you’ll revel in for years to come by asking the right questions from the get-go.

  • Story by Photo Marissa Findlay

Guarantee a result you’ll revel in for years to come by asking the right questions from the get-go. 

How long until it’s ready?

Depending on your designer and dress style, gowns can take up to eight months to make. Clear this with the store before you part with your cash, particularly if you’re on a tight deadline.

Can I make customisations?

The ability to individualise the dress will depend on the policies and capabilities of the store – some will allow for unlimited tweaks. If the store is unable to carry out customisations, don’t fret – seek out a reputatble alteration salon that can do the job instead. 

Are fittings included in the cost of my dress? And how far in advance will I need to book them?

Most stores or seamstresses will include at least three free fittings – most of the time, this will be sufficient. If, however, you have had a couture gown designed, you’ll usually have unlimited free fittings. When you are working with an extremely popular designer or seamstress, they’ll likely be booked up well in advance – booking well ahead of time will ensure you aren’t limited to inconvenient appointment times.

What is the return and exchange policy?

Most bridal stores have a tough returns policy. Make sure you’re aware of this upfront to avoid disappointment down the line.

Will the dress look exactly like the one I tried on?

If you have tried on a sample that will be altered to suit your body, the dress consultant should explain exactly how the alterations will affect the look of your dress.

Can I have a written contract?

Reputable stores should provide details including the final price, any customisations you have asked for and an approximate finishing date.

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