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The Truth about Weight Loss and Bridal Gowns, from the Gown Care Pros at Oakwood Cleaners

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hello lovely Nashville brides!! I know that you have a million things on your minds and the alteration talk, like the budget talk, isn't a fun topic. But, it is a necessary one. Hop off Pinterest for a second and let's talk about wedding gown shopping and care. Before you fall in love with a dress, splurge to buy it and then hate it after alterations, get smart with today's expert advice.

I spoke with Rhonda, owner of Oakwood Cleaners, Nashville's go-to resource for special event gown care. We chatted at length about the most popular gown-shopping techniques and the consequences of not knowing how alterations work before buying your gown. Below are the common thoughts that Nashville brides have about wedding gowns. If one of them is yours, this is a no-judgment zone. Just read and take heed. :)

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Thought 1: I will buy a wedding dress to fit my "ideal weight" versus my current weight.

I know what you are thinking. I'm going to buy a wedding dress in my ideal size versus my actual size and lose a ton of weight. It all sounds good in your mind but the reality is, you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself, during one of the most celebratory times in your life. Think of all of the congratulations dinners, the "I’m finally engaged" nights out with your girlfriends. And, when you are happily in love, you eat! At the football game next to your beau, laughing and eating hot dogs, or at your first Thanksgiving as an engaged couple, grabbing seconds. Even if you don't gain weight, and just stay where you are, you are already too big to fit into that "ideal" dress.

Rhonda of Oakwood Cleaners sees this ALL the time. "I totally understand brides wanting to look their best on their wedding day and planning to lose weight. However, this happens a lot," says Rhonda.

Here's her advice, and I'm paraphrasing:

A lot of brides do not end up losing the weight and the dress is too small. They bring the dress in for alterations a month, or even weeks, before the wedding and are expecting a miracle. This close to the wedding, brides are nervous, stressed and it's hard to love a significantly altered dress. The results aren’t ideal because the dress required so much altering that it changed its overall structure. Brides simply do not like the way it looks because of the significant alterations that had to be made. In addition, the costs to alter double, because it's considered a rush job.  

It's not what many brides want to hear, but you should buy your dress to fit you now. Then, there will be fewer alterations but usually a greater satisfaction because you already know how it looks; there are fewer changes to the structure of the dress. It's harder to let a dress out than to take it in; however, keep in mind that you never really want to have a dress taken in more than two sizes. You will be much happier in the long run.

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Thought 2: I will lose weight and get it altered right before my wedding day.

Oakwood Cleaners is a professional gown care center so they are entrusted with a lot of wedding dress alterations. They advise that you bring your dress to them 3-4 months before your wedding. Again, I know what you are thinking. I'll be much smaller by the time I pick up my dress so I will wait and take it closer to my wedding.

Rhonda definitely does not advise that you wait.  As long as there is availability, Oakwood will work with you, but your costs and stress will probably double. You want to be realistic and give your seamstress ample time to alter your dress.

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Thought 3: I love my friend's wedding dress! I will buy it and save tons.

Rhonda says, love the dress but be smart. Often, the dress may be many sizes too big or too small. You may think you are getting a deal but it may cost just as much to alter the dress. If you are going up or down more than two sizes, the structure of the gown may be comprised and it may not hang the way it was intended, especially when it comes to strapless gowns. The bargain may become an alterations nightmare because the seamstress is redoing the dress. Rhonda of Oakwood has seen many brides upset because the dress alterations cost more than the gown.

The best advice is to take your friend's dress to the pros at Oakwood Cleaners, or another competent seamstress, and have a consult before you buy the gown. Once they give you an estimate, you can decide the best route for you.

Contact Oakwood Cleaners to schedule your consultation or to get advice before or after you buy your wedding gown. They are very helpful!

About the Author:

Ashley King's avatar
Ashley King

Hey - I'm Ashley! I started nashvillebrideguide.com to give Nashville brides, or folks planning a Nashville wedding, a local resource for inspiration and resources. Hope to see you at a bridal show soon! Until then, Find me on

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send Posted on November 6, 2013 | Filed under: Alterations, Gown Preservation, Advice & Planning, Bridal Gowns, Wedding Dresses & Accessories,

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