Wedding Alterations

Are you considering wearing a strapless wedding dress but have concerns about feeling unsupported or uncomfortable without straps? Well, we’ve got fantastic news for you! In this article, we’ll explore the possibility of adding straps to a strapless wedding dress, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. So let’s dive right in and discover how you can modify your strapless gown to have the perfect amount of support and style! 


Choosing the Right Wedding Dress

Planning your wedding day is an exciting time, filled with decisions both big and small. One of the most important choices you’ll make is the selection of your wedding dress. Your dress should not only make you feel beautiful, but it should also enhance your natural beauty and complement your figure. When choosing the right wedding dress, there are several factors to consider, including your body type, wedding theme, and personal style.

Consider Your Body Type

First and foremost, it’s important to consider your body type when choosing a wedding dress. Different dress styles flatter different body shapes, so take some time to understand your body type and which silhouettes will be most flattering on you. If you have an hourglass figure, you may want to consider a mermaid or trumpet-style dress that hugs your curves and accentuates your waist. For those with a pear-shaped figure, an A-line or ballgown-style dress can help balance out your proportions. There are many resources available online that can guide you in determining your body type and which dress styles will flatter you the most.

Think About Your Wedding Theme

Another important consideration when choosing a wedding dress is your wedding theme. Your dress should be in harmony with the overall look and feel of your wedding. If you’re having a beach wedding, for example, you may want to consider a lightweight and flowy dress that reflects the relaxed vibes of the beach. For a formal and glamorous wedding, a ballgown-style dress with intricate beading or lace may be more fitting. Think about the atmosphere you want to create on your special day and choose a dress that aligns with that vision.

Consider Your Personal Style

Your wedding dress should reflect your personal style and make you feel like the most authentic version of yourself. Take some time to think about the clothes you feel most comfortable and confident in. Do you prefer classic and timeless pieces, or are you more drawn to contemporary and unique designs? Understanding your personal style will help guide you in selecting a dress that you will truly love and feel comfortable in on your wedding day. Don’t be afraid to try on different styles and experiment with different fabrics and embellishments until you find the dress that speaks to you.


The Pros and Cons of Straps

Now that you have an idea of what kind of dress you’re looking for, it’s time to consider whether or not you want to add straps to your gown. Straps can provide additional support and add a touch of elegance to your dress, but they may not be suitable for everyone. Let’s explore the benefits and drawbacks of adding straps to your wedding dress.

Benefits of Adding Straps

One of the main benefits of adding straps to your wedding dress is the added support they provide. Strapless dresses can sometimes feel insecure and require constant readjustment throughout the day. By adding straps, you can ensure that your dress stays securely in place, allowing you to dance and enjoy yourself without worry. Additionally, straps can add an element of elegance and sophistication to your dress, enhancing its overall appearance and creating a more polished look.

Drawbacks of Adding Straps

While there are definite benefits to adding straps, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. Depending on the style and design of your dress, adding straps may not always be feasible or aesthetically pleasing. Some strapless dresses are designed to be worn without straps, and altering them to include straps can alter the overall look and balance of the dress. It’s also worth noting that straps may restrict your range of motion slightly, depending on their design. If you envision a dress that allows for complete freedom of movement, you may want to consider whether or not adding straps aligns with your vision.


Factors to Consider

If you’ve decided that adding straps to your wedding dress is the right choice for you, there are several factors to consider before proceeding with the alteration. These factors include dress structure and fabric, existing alterations, budget and time constraints, and the skill and expertise of the tailor you choose to work with.

Dress Structure and Fabric

The first factor to consider is the structure and fabric of your dress. Some dress styles lend themselves more easily to the addition of straps, while others may require more extensive alterations. If your dress has a structured bodice or boning, it may be easier to add straps that will provide the necessary support. Additionally, certain fabrics may be more forgiving when it comes to alterations. Be sure to consult with a professional tailor who can assess your dress and advise you on the viability of adding straps based on its structure and fabric.

Existing Alterations

If your dress has already undergone alterations, it’s important to consider how adding straps may interact with these existing modifications. If your dress has been taken in or let out in certain areas, adding straps may impact the fit and overall balance of the dress. Discuss any previous alterations with your tailor and ensure that adding straps will not compromise the integrity or appearance of your dress.

Budget and Time Constraints

Another factor to consider is your budget and time constraints. Adding straps to a wedding dress can be a labour-intensive process that requires skill and expertise. Be sure to factor in the cost of the alteration as well as the time it will take to complete. It’s important to find a balance between your desired timeline and the time required to achieve the best possible result. Discuss your budget and timeframe with your tailor to ensure that both parties are on the same page.

Skill and Expertise of the Tailor

Choosing the right tailor to work on your dress is perhaps the most crucial factor to consider. Adding straps to a wedding dress is a delicate and intricate process that requires skill and attention to detail. Look for a tailor with experience in bridal alterations and ask to see their portfolio or examples of their previous work. Reading online reviews and asking for recommendations from friends or family members who have undergone similar alterations can also help you find a skilled and reliable tailor. Remember, this is your special day, and you deserve the best possible outcome for your dress alteration.


Types of Straps

Once you’ve decided to add straps to your wedding dress and considered the various factors involved, it’s time to explore the different types of straps available to you. From delicate spaghetti straps to dramatic off-the-shoulder straps, there are several options to choose from. Let’s take a closer look at some popular strap styles and their unique characteristics.

Spaghetti Straps

Spaghetti straps are thin, delicate straps that provide minimal coverage and create a delicate and romantic look. These straps are often made from the same fabric as the dress and can be simple or adorned with embellishments such as lace or beading. Spaghetti straps are a popular choice for brides looking to add a touch of femininity to their dress without overpowering the design.

Cap Sleeves

Cap sleeves are short sleeves that sit on the edge of the shoulders, providing a bit more coverage and support. These sleeves create a soft and elegant look and can be made from a variety of fabrics, including lace, tulle, or even sheer illusion material. Cap sleeves are a versatile option that can be tailored to suit different dress styles and personal preferences.

Off-the-Shoulder Straps

Off-the-shoulder straps are a stylish and trendy option for brides looking to make a statement. These straps sit just below the shoulders, exposing the collarbones and creating a flattering neckline. Off-the-shoulder straps can be simple and understated or dramatic and voluminous, depending on the desired look. This strap style adds a touch of sophistication and glamour to any wedding dress.

Illusion Straps

Illusion straps are made from sheer fabric, often featuring intricate lace or embroidery, that creates the illusion of straps while still providing a sense of delicacy and airiness. These straps can be a great choice for brides who want the look of straps without the added weight or coverage. Illusion straps can be combined with other strap styles, such as spaghetti straps or cap sleeves, to create a unique and personalized look.

Halter Straps

Halter straps are a popular choice for brides who want to showcase their shoulders and back. These straps wrap around the neck, creating a halter-neck neckline that adds a touch of sophistication and elegance. Halter straps can be made from various materials, including fabric, lace, or even beaded embellishments. This strap style is particularly suited to dresses with an open-back design.

V-Neck Straps

V-neck straps are a stylish and flattering option for brides who want to elongate their neckline and highlight their decolletage. These straps form a V-shape at the front of the dress, drawing the eye downwards and creating the illusion of a longer and leaner silhouette. V-neck straps can be made from a variety of materials, including fabric, lace, or even luxurious satin, adding a touch of sophistication to any dress.


The Alteration Process

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of straps available, let’s dive into the alteration process itself. Adding straps to a wedding dress is a multi-step process that involves consultation with a professional tailor, making design decisions, choosing the right straps, measuring and marking, sewing and attaching the straps, and finally, fitting and making any necessary adjustments.

Consultation with a Professional Tailor

The first step in the alteration process is to schedule a consultation with a professional tailor who specializes in bridal alterations. During this initial meeting, you’ll discuss your vision, explore different strap options, and address any concerns or questions you may have. The tailor will assess your dress, taking into consideration its structure, fabric, and any existing alterations. They will provide you with expert advice and guidance to help you make informed decisions about your strap addition.

Making Design Decisions

Once you’ve had the opportunity to explore different strap options with your tailor, it’s time to make design decisions. Consider how each strap style will enhance or complement your dress. Think about the overall aesthetic you want to achieve and how the straps will contribute to that vision. This is also a great time to consider any additional embellishments or details you may want to incorporate into the straps, such as lace, beading, or appliques. Work closely with your tailor to bring your design ideas to life.

Choosing the Right Straps

With countless strap options to choose from, it’s important to select the straps that best align with your personal style, dress design, and overall vision. Consider the neckline of your dress and how different strap styles will interact with it. Take into account the comfort and flexibility of the straps, as you’ll be wearing them throughout the day. Your tailor can provide guidance and advice based on their expertise and experience working with various strap styles.

Measuring and Marking

Once you’ve chosen the right straps for your dress, your tailor will take precise measurements and mark the placement of the straps on your dress. This step ensures that the straps are positioned correctly and will provide the necessary support. The tailor will also consider the balance and symmetry of the straps, ensuring that they enhance the overall look of the dress.

Sewing and Attaching the Straps

With the measurements and markings in place, it’s time for your tailor to sew and attach the straps to your dress. This requires skill and precision to ensure that the straps are securely fastened and that the stitching is seamless. Different strap styles may require different sewing techniques, so it’s important to work with a tailor who has experience in bridal alterations. Throughout this process, your tailor will pay close attention to detail, ensuring that the straps enhance your dress and provide the desired look and feel.

Fitting and Adjustments

Once the straps have been sewn and attached, it’s time for the fitting and adjustment phase. You’ll try on your dress with the newly added straps, and your tailor will make any necessary tweaks to ensure the perfect fit. This may involve minor alterations to the strap length or positioning, as well as any additional adjustments required to achieve the desired comfort and fit. The final fitting allows you to see your altered dress in all its glory and ensure that you feel confident and beautiful on your wedding day.


Alternatives to Traditional Straps

While traditional straps are a popular choice for many brides, they are by no means the only option available. If you’re not keen on adding straps directly to your dress, there are several alternative options to consider. Let’s explore a few of these alternatives.

Boleros or Jackets

Boleros or jackets provide a stylish and versatile alternative to traditional straps. These pieces can be worn over your dress during the ceremony or for added coverage during cooler temperatures. Boleros and jackets come in a variety of styles, from lace to satin, and can be tailored to match the design of your dress. They are a great option for brides who want the flexibility of removable straps while still achieving the desired look and feel.

Detachable Straps

Detachable straps offer the best of both worlds – the option to wear straps when desired and the freedom to go strapless when preferred. These straps typically feature a hook or snap closure that can be easily attached or removed from the dress. Detachable straps come in various styles and can be made from different fabrics or embellishments, allowing you to customize your look to suit your preferences.

Caped Sleeves

Caped sleeves are a unique and eye-catching alternative to traditional straps. These sleeves drape over the shoulders, creating a cape-like effect and adding a touch of drama and elegance to your dress. Caped sleeves can be made from various fabrics, including lace, chiffon, or even tulle, and can be tailored to match the style and design of your dress. They are a great option for brides looking to make a statement and add a touch of glamour to their bridal look.

Shoulder Jewelry

For a more unconventional approach to adding straps, consider shoulder jewelry. Shoulder jewelry consists of decorative pieces that drape over the shoulders and create a unique and eye-catching look. These pieces can be made from a variety of materials, such as pearls, crystals, or even chains, and can be customized to complement your dress. Shoulder jewelry is a great option for brides who want to add a touch of sparkle and individuality to their wedding attire.


Tips for Adding Straps to Your Dress

Now that you have a better understanding of the different strap options and alteration process, here are some tips to consider when adding straps to your wedding dress:

Consider the Neckline

When choosing straps for your dress, take into account the neckline of the dress. Different strap styles will interact differently with various necklines, and you want to ensure that the overall look is cohesive. For example, V-neck straps can complement and enhance a V-neckline, while off-the-shoulder straps can beautifully frame a sweetheart neckline. Consider how the straps and neckline will work together to create a harmonious and balanced look.

Match the Dress Fabric

When selecting straps, it’s important to match the fabric of the straps to the fabric of your dress. Matching fabrics will create a seamless and cohesive look and ensure that the straps blend seamlessly with the dress. If your dress has lace or beading, consider incorporating these elements into the straps as well to create a consistent and unified design.

Ensure Comfort and Flexibility

Comfort is key when it comes to wearing your wedding dress all day. Make sure the straps are comfortable and allow for freedom of movement. Consider the weight and thickness of the straps, as well as how they sit on your shoulders and back. You want to feel supported and secure without feeling restricted or uncomfortable.

Test the Strap Length and Position

Before finalizing the alteration, have a fitting and test the strap length and position. This will allow you to see how the straps look and feel on your body and make any necessary adjustments. Ensure that the straps are positioned evenly and that they enhance the overall look of the dress. Taking the time to test the strap length and position will help you achieve the perfect fit and ensure that you are completely satisfied with the final result.


Avoid Common Mistakes

When adding straps to your wedding dress, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can detract from the overall look and fit of your gown. Here are a few mistakes to watch out for:

Forgetting to Consider Undergarments

When adding straps to your dress, it’s important to consider the undergarments you plan to wear. Straps can affect the fit and support of your bra or bustier, so be sure to choose undergarments that work well with the straps and provide the necessary support. Consult with your tailor if you need guidance on finding the right undergarments for your altered dress.

Choosing Inappropriate Strap Styles

Not all strap styles work well with every dress design. Be mindful of the overall aesthetic of your dress and choose strap styles that complement and enhance the design. A strap style that looks stunning on one gown may not have the same effect on another. Consider your dress’s silhouette, neckline, and fabric when selecting strap styles to ensure the best possible outcome.

Neglecting the Dress’s Overall Balance

Adding straps to a dress can alter its overall balance and symmetry. It’s important to consider how the straps will interact with the rest of the dress and ensure that they enhance the overall look rather than detract from it. Work closely with your tailor to ensure that the addition of the straps creates the desired balance and symmetry.

Ignoring Expert Advice

When it comes to altering your wedding dress, it’s important to listen to the advice and guidance of the professionals. Your tailor has experience and expertise in bridal alterations and can provide valuable insight and suggestions. Trust their judgment and be open to their recommendations. Their goal is to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your dress alteration and ensure that you feel confident and beautiful on your special day.


Finding a Skilled Tailor

Finding a skilled tailor to work on your wedding dress is essential to achieving the desired outcome for your strap addition. Here are a few tips to help you find a reputable and skilled tailor:

Ask for Recommendations

Reach out to friends, family members, or other brides who have recently gone through the alteration process and ask for recommendations. Personal recommendations can provide insight into the quality of work, professionalism, and overall satisfaction with the tailor.

Check Online Reviews

Take some time to search for online reviews of local seamstresses who specialize in bridal alterations. Read through the reviews to get a sense of the experiences of past clients and their overall satisfaction with the tailor’s work. Look for seamstresses with consistently positive reviews and glowing testimonials.

View Their Portfolio

Ask potential seamstresses to provide a portfolio of their previous work. This will allow you to see examples of their craftsmanship and determine if their style aligns with your vision. A strong and diverse portfolio is a good indication of a skilled and experienced tailor.

Discuss Pricing and Timeline

When contacting potential seamstresses, be sure to discuss pricing and timeline expectations upfront. Understanding the cost and time required for the alteration will help you make an informed decision. Be wary of seamstresses who quote significantly lower prices or promise drastically shorter timelines than others, as this may indicate a lack of experience or quality.



Choosing the right wedding dress is an important decision, and adding straps can be a wonderful way to personalize and enhance your gown. By considering your body type, wedding theme, and personal style, as well as the pros and cons of adding straps, you can make an informed decision that will make you look and feel your best on your special day. Remember to carefully consider factors such as dress structure and fabric, existing alterations, budget and time constraints, and the skill and expertise of the tailor you choose to work with. With the right strap style and a skilled tailor by your side, you can create a wedding dress that is uniquely you and perfectly captures the vision you have for your dream wedding day.