A dress-altering experience

I've mentioned before that when I bought my wedding dress, I had the hugest sense of relief and weight lift off my shoulders that I didn't even know was there until it had gone.

Since the dress has been in my possession, I've tried it on at least a dozen times and I STILL get that little buzzy feeling that makes me feel like a... girl.

My next issue? I need alterations. Lots of alterations.

You see, I bought a sample dress for a discounted price (yay) that was a bit too big for me (better than the alternative, I guess...). 

This of course means it needs a fair few nips and tucks.

Now starts a new anxiety. As the wedding day approaches, who do I trust to hand over this dress and do a good job of it?

My panic was compounded the other day when an engaged colleague took her dress to an extremely reputable dress designer in Wellington.

When she tried on her elegant dress after the first round of alterations, she was horrified to see about 9cm taken off the bottom; her ankles bare there for all to see.

The poor girl was so shocked she couldn't really do anything but smile and nod while the (extremely embarrassed) dressmaker set about attempting to rectify her mistake.

Thankfully, she did. For no extra cost (and fair enough, too).

No loss there, but what's the deal if, heaven forbid, the dressmaker had indeed ruined the dress completely? Would she have to replace it?

(Eek, just writing that sentence has made me wonder if I should call my insurer and get my dress listed as a specified item?)

It's put the heebies up me! So much so I'm wondering if I should get my dress altered now - with five months up my sleeve to absorb any potential catastrophic fails.

In fact, in between writing that last sentence and writing this one right here, I've called the place I bought the dress from and I'm taking it in next week for a consultation on how we're going to tackle it.

It's not too expensive (well actually that will depend on how many hours' work is involved!) and they've dealt with the style of dress I have before so hopefully they're familiar with it.

I'm interested to hear about other people's alteration experiences though? Any horror stories, or places that have exceptional service? How early is too early to get a dress altered? Or how close to the wire should you have your last fitting?

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