Your dress is picked out, it’s ordered, and it has arrived! Unless you have one of the very few figures that match designers’ specifications, alterations will be necessary. Most brides-to-be will need at least two fittings; custom-designed gowns will likely require more. To make sure you have enough time for alterations, determine a specific date for your dress to be finalized and work backward from there. Remember, if you are having a bridal portrait done, you’ll want your gown to be ready before that day arrives. Bridal salons often offer alteration services, so you need to decide whether to have alterations done there, or at another local business. The choice is up to you, but bridal salons have in-house seamstresses who specialize in gown alterations. If the location where you purchase your dress does not have a seamstress, your gown consultant will most likely be able to recommend someone who can take care of any changes you might need. Even if one of your relatives is a sewing champ and you’re thinking of asking them to take care of the alterations, proceed with caution. This is your wedding dress, and you want it to be just right, without inflicting additional stress on your friends and family. The easiest way to achieve maximum results with minimum hassle is to have your bridal salon take care of the stitching.