The Perfect Fit

This time of year, wedding industry professionals are almost run off their feet seeing to all of the details of many special days, for many special brides. Alteration professionals and seamstresses are amongst the busiest, as they use their talents to ensure every bride goes down the aisle looking her best.

When working with a seamstress or tailor be sure to BOOK EARLY


Talented and qualified professionals are always busy and can book up months in advance during busy season in June, July, and August. Not only are they working on wedding gowns, but everything that goes with weddings: gowns for mothers of the bride and groom, bridesmaids, flower girls, officiates, and guests too. If your wedding is at the beginning of the busy season, chances are your seamstress or tailor is also busy with prom and grad season, so take that into account.

We are often asked what to expect from alterations, what to bring, etc. One of the seamstresses we work with offers these tips:

  • Expect to have two or three fittings. Its best to start alterations at least a month in advance of your big day to ensure a relaxed timeline. 
  • During a first fitting, it’s ideal to bring any undergarments you plan to wear on your day: bra, shape wear, etc. Although not crucial, it can affect the alterations that need to be completed. 
  • To limit the number of fittings you need, its best to bring your shoes to your first fitting. If you don’t have your shoes yet, work on that for your second fitting.
  • Don’t expect the dress to fit perfectly – no two bodies are the same and alterations to the bust and length are extremely common. 
  • First alteration appointments can vary from just a few minutes for minor alterations, to longer depending on the hem, layers, etc.

Although wedding gown alterations are late in the planning process, it’s important to be respectful of your seamstress/tailor’s schedule and recognize alterations shouldn’t be done last minute. 

Our Favorite Things

During an appointment, it’s important that a bride try on the wedding gowns she is interested in – whatever style, fabric, or design that may be. 

As consultants, we never ever have our own agenda, and we do our best to make sure the bride’s priorities are put above anyone she may be shopping with. 

However, bride’s will often ask our opinion or for a suggestion of a gown that may interest them.  After chatting this over with the Muse staff, turns out we all have one dress we love above all others; one dress we think looks great on everyone, and every bride should try on.  What’s also interesting is that we are all over the place – older and newer designs, different designers, etc.

Given the time of year, I think it’s a great time to get to know the staff while we recap our “favorite things”. 

Patty – Bridal Stylist Extraordinaire 
Patty came to the studio with retail experience, but has truly found her niche in assisting brides as they shop for their big day.  There is no bridal challenge she cannot conquer.  Her favorite in-studio wedding gown is a gorgeous Sophia Tolli a-line organza gown.  “It’s just so romantic and sparkly.  There isn’t another dress like it any bridal collection, and it fits everyone so well.”

Janice – Seamstress & Garment Aficionado 
Janice has been with Muse Bridal Studio since… well, since before it was Muse Bridal Studio.  Her experience in alterations and the construction/deconstruction of wedding gowns make her knowledge invaluable.  Janice’s current favorite wedding gown is a vintage inspired Alfred Angelo lace and satin, fit and flare with a low back.  “I just love the way it drapes, and the simple elegance of the dress.” She may also have mentioned she might like to see one of her two daughters try it on.  Just in case.  

Sally – Creative Visionary 
Sally has worked in bridal just a little over a year now, but came to the industry with a background in fashion merchandising and window displays.  She is generally responsible for the fun and eye catching displays that are updated once a week in our windows.  A blessing to the rest of us, she is able to set a scene with mannequins and props.  Sally’s creative eye favours Snow White from the Disney Princess collection, with three dimensional flower details on the bodice.  “It has a soft gentle elegance, and just a touch of enchantment.”

Becky – the Natural Newbie
The most recent addition to our team, Becky works with us on a casual basis but definitely has bridal in her blood.  Being the stylish person she is, she has a keen eye for finding the right wedding gown to fit and flatter any bride.  Becky chose a Sophia Tolli mermaid style with lace applique and beading and a gorgeous low back as her favorite.  “Its very antique and vintage looking, but the silhouette makes it chic.”

Kirsten – Special Projects and Bridal Uber Model
Kirsten’s unique knowledge of wedding gowns comes from the fact that she’s worn way more of them than any of the rest of us as a model in the studio fashion show.  Besides being the perfect proportions to wear bridal off the rack, Kirsten is also a key member of the studio purchasing team, and the wedding/trade show development team.  Her favourite gown is a true classic by DaVinci, while being right on trend with its big ball gown skirt and satin bodice and with waist embellishments.  “I picture this dress on a beautiful summer day – you don’t need shoes, because you’re in the grass, looking up at the clouds roll through clear blue sky.”

Britt – Chief Executive Coordinator
People sometimes refer to me as the manager, but that’s really not what I do.  None of the team at Muse Bridal Studio needs to be managed.  I do, however, coordinate; making sure we all have what we need when we need it to do the best job we can do for every bride that walks through the door.  Much like Patty’s pick, my favorite is super unique; it would be so difficult to find anything to directly compare it to.  A super sculptured and sophisticated gown, this St. Patrick by Pronovias dress is feminine, but very urban. 

The B word

“Ok great – you have 8 months until your outdoor wedding.  You’re looking for something ivory, with straps, preferably in a chiffon or organza.  I’m positive we can help you.

Do you have a budget?”

****Awkward pause****

“Why do you need to know that? I just want to try stuff on.”

I know how it sounds.  If I were to go anywhere and a salesperson asked me about budget , I might assume something was amiss.  Is the price of everything in the store going to go up as soon as I tell them my budget? Are they only going to show me merchandise that is at the top of my price range? Do they think I can’t afford to shop here?

When you’re shopping for a wedding gown, stylists will ask you questions to get a feel for your wedding, your venue, your style, and the type of gown you’re looking for – and the budget you have set for yourself is a big part of pointing you in the right direction.  Stylists can help find the very best gown for you, at a price you can afford. Rule of thumb states you shouldn't even try on a dress if you aren't comfortable with the price of it. 

Nothing spoils the fun of shopping more than falling in love with a dress that busts the budget.  

I have yet to be shocked by a Bride’s budget – high or low.  Wedding gowns come in all shapes, sizes, and prices.  There is, quite literally, something for everyone.

So, when a bridal stylist asks “Do you have a budget?”, please know we have no ulterior motive - we're just trying to make your walk down the aisle as budget friendly as you need it to be. 

Sizing gone wrong

"So, normally I wear a size 12."

"Ok, so depending on the gown you could where between 12 to 16."

"WHAT!?! I'm a 12 - sometimes a 10 - NOT a 16!"


On average, we have this conversation twice a day with women of all shapes and sizes. Brides, bridesmaid, grad, mother of the bride - if you're wearing formal wear, expect to go up at least one size, maybe two. I've read and heard varying reasons for this- bridal sizing hasn't evolved with women's changing shapes, sizing hasn't changed in 80 years ago, etc, etc. Whatever the reason, just be aware that formal wear and ready to wear are going to fit you differently.  If you can do this, instead of your self-esteem taking a dive, it will soar when you see how amazing you look in a well-made garment. 

Keep in mind:
  Corset (lace up) backs are always more forgiving then zipper backs
  Size will change from designer to designer
  Each garment is different - is it fitted through the hip, or more A-line?


Although I've never seen it (and I can't bring myself to do it - yet) I've heard tell of some studios and salons that actually cut out the sizes, so that ladies have no idea what size they are wearing. The focus can then shift to how a woman feels in the gown, rather than how the tag makes her feel.

Maybe there's something to that.