What You Should Know About Wedding Dress Contracts and Fittings

Monday, February 6

wedding dress contract

Photo by Esther Funk Photography

Congratulations! You found the dress you love and are ready to make your purchase. But before you sign your wedding dress contract, you should familiarize yourself with the important contract details. Failing to do so could lead to miscommunication or errors – which could cost you more money or great disappointment.

Wedding Dress Contracts

1. Read the Contract. Read ALL the information, including the ‘fine print’, and have an understanding of everything before signing the contract.

2. Verify Accuracy of Information. Double check that all information included on the contract is accurate. The following are details that should be included:

  • DRESS DETAILS. Name of designer, style number, color, size, your measurements taken. Make sure you verify these measurements at that time. Don’t have them taken over bulky clothes or extra bra padding you don’t plan on wearing on your wedding day. TIP: You want to be comfortable with the size that is being ordered based on your measurements that day. Please don’t set unrealistic goals of losing weight to fit into a smaller dress size; you really don’t need that pressure before your wedding. Remember, you are beautiful to him, and he chose you just the way you are! 
  • SALON DETAILS: Name, address, contact info, name of consultant that assisted you.
  • DATE AND TIME. The day and time you purchased your gown.
  • ARRIVAL DATE. The date the gown should arrive at the salon. 
  • ALTERATION POLICY. Can you complete your alterations at an independent seamstress or do you have to use their salon for alterations. If you have them completed at their salon, what arrangements need to be made to schedule in the alterations. How many fittings and alterations are included, and how much for any extra.
  • NAME OF SEAMSTRESS. If you are having the alterations completed at their salon, you should know who is going to be doing the alterations. Are they sending it out or doing it in-house.
  • SPECIAL REQUESTS. Such as bustling, extra beadwork, etc. and the subsequent costs. If you have any concerns about the dress, and are given suggestions or promises, this should all be noted. 
  • TOTAL COST. Gown, accessories, special requests, shipping, alterations, bustling, taxes, etc. 
  • NO ADDITIONAL CHARGES. The contract should state there will be no additional charges.
  • DEPOSIT AMOUNT. Exact amount of deposit that was paid and how it was paid. Note: On the day of placing your order, you will be required to pay a deposit, typically it’s 50%. 
  • CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY. Do you get a refund of your deposit if the gown arrives late, if there are defects, or if the wrong size, style or color is delivered?
Wedding Dress Contracts

Photo by Steph Schulz Photography

Your First Dress Fitting


Once the gown comes in you will be contacted to arrange for your first fitting. If you plan on having alterations completed at their salon, bring the following to ensure the correct alterations can be made.

  • SHOES. Bring the shoes you will be wearing with your dress. If you don’t have them, bring a comparable pair that have similar height. 
  • GARMENTS. Bring the garments you will be wearing (bra, corset, girdle, etc.).
  • VEIL & ACCESSORIES. These items will tie it all together; giving you the complete picture of what you will look like on your wedding day.
  • MAID OF HONOR.  Your gown will need bustling after your ceremony; your Maid of Honor (or alternative) should be there to learn how to do this properly. Another option is for her to attend your final fitting if you plan on having alterations completed at the salon. It’s also good to have someone attend this appointment with you for that extra support and second set of eyes and ears. 
  • DEPOSIT.  You will need to pay the remaining balance.


You should know what to look for and the questions to ask when you go in for your first fitting. The following are some tips to help prepare you.

  • VERIFY DETAILS.  Make sure that your dress is the correct size, color, design, and includes any special requests you made.
  • LOOK AT THE DETAILS. When you put on your gown, look at the details. How is the quality and stitching? How does it fit? Look at the different areas of the dress at different angles. Check for anything that doesn’t look right to you that may need altering or adjusting, such as the chest, waist, hip, sleeves, etc. Is everything in tact, such as jewels, beading, embroidery? Can you move comfortably? Any concerns? If the dress is strapless, you want to make sure it will stay where you want it without you needing to pull it up.
  • CONFIRM PLAN & UPDATE CONTRACT.  At this time you should confirm when the alterations will be completed by, and when you should be able to go in for your second fitting. Your alteration details should be attached to your contract, including any additional fees. Your contract should reflect the payment you made this day.

Remember, this is the time you should express ALL of your concerns. You should feel confident in your conversation with the seamstress. If you don’t agree with what is being discussed, you need to mention it at that time before alterations begin. If you have any concerns or red flags, perhaps taking it to someone you know you can trust would be the best option.

The Follow-up Fitting

When you go in for your follow-up fitting, you should bring with you all of the items as last time. You will want to confirm that everything you discussed at your last fitting was completed correctly. You should feel good in your dress; it should fit you well, move with you comfortably, no bunching anywhere, no slipping. If there are any concerns at all, you should bring them up and determine a plan of action. If there are any further alterations that need to be done, they should be added to your contract, including any additional fees and completion date.

Final Fitting

Hopefully this is your last fitting and everything went smoothly with your last set of alterations. You will try on your gown to confirm everything fits well (please keep realistic expectations).


When it’s time to pick up your dress, you should ask a few more questions.

  • How to best store your dress leading up to your wedding.
  • How to get out any wrinkles.
  • What to do about wedding day stains or spills?

One of the great features in hiring a Wedding Coordinator is that we take great care of you on your wedding day. If your dress needs steaming or you need help getting a stain out of your dress, we take care of it! Our Emergency Kits are loaded with all the essentials to help handle any kind of obstacles or mishaps.

Contact SWE for your complimentary coffee date; together we can prepare for a stress free wedding day! Let’s Chat!

If you found this post helpful, perhaps you may like the following:

The Wedding Dress That Compliments All Of Your Beauty

10 Things To Know Before Bridal Gown Shopping