Wedding Gown Alterations & Budgets

At JOA, we often have clients reaching out about pricing for their wedding gown alterations. Naturally our clients would like to know the starting price and max price. Pricing for wedding gown alterations is very nuanced. There are always many factors to consider when calculating the price of your alterations. In this post we wanted to shared some of those factors to better prepare brides-to-be when creating their wedding budgets and considering their bridal alterations costs.

The first thing we always like to suggest to clients is to just come into the Atelier for an initial appointment that is free. In this appointment we will then be able to determine all the alterations and adjustments needed for your gown in order to give you an accurate number. Alterations can be a bit deceiving. Take for example just having a gown that is a bit too long. If the fabric is more simple then great this will in fact be a very simple alteration. However, if the fabric has beading or appliqué designs scattered on the fabric then suddenly this simple alteration becomes far more complex and tedious. Each wedding gown alteration is very case by case.

Factors that contribute to the alterations needed involve the type of fabric of your dress, any intricate designs such as beading or appliqués that need extra care to maintain the details, the layers of fabric, the addition of a bustle to your gown, and then of course all of the micro-adjustments to the gown that will eventually give it a custom-fit appearance. And the bustle in itself can contribute to a higher price. There are simple bustles and then very complex bustles. Below the JOA team, Sophia, Elaine, and Lynne are sewing 35 bustle points on this wedding gown. They were creating a ballroom bustle. Some bustles can have as few as 3 bustle points as well. This completely depends on the shape of your gown, the length of your train, and the layers of fabric.

Brides-to-be we recommend coming in for an initial consultation so that we can give you a quote and determine the alterations necessary for your wedding gown. If you’d like to book an appointment please email Yasmine at admin@jenniferoberg.com.

Prom Season!

Maui High Schoolers and Teens! It is finally Prom season again. After two years without Prom we are thrilled to welcome teens back into the Atelier for fittings and alterations with their prom attire. We’ve already had many girls coming in for prom dress alterations. Wow, we are so excited for them to be able to experience prom again!

Below are photos from two years ago, right before the pandemic began. We had some prom dresses in the studio and then suddenly everything got canceled. At the time, we had no idea it would be a whole two years until Prom returned.

High schoolers, teens, and parents: get in touch with us as soon as possible if you are in need of alterations. Our schedule is filling up quickly with prom and wedding appointments. We want to be able to help everyone! The sooner you reach out to schedule your appointment the more likely we will be able to assist you.

For all appointment bookings reach out to Yasmine at admin@jenniferoberg.com. Mahalo!

Heirloom Gowns & Pandemic Weddings – Part 3

Photography by Madelynne Lorraine

Continuing our blog series with Bride Kristin and Groom Sven, we have the final part, part three! In this blog we will share more about the couple’s love story and how they navigated their wedding plans during the unpredictable moment of the pandemic.

Photography by Madelynne Lorraine

Photography by Madelynne Lorraine

Kristin and Sven had a long engagement and meanwhile were traveling the world together. After three years of being engaged they had some exciting wedding plans in the works for 2020. They decided to get married underwater by the President of Palau (Micronesia) in May 2020 and then to come home to a lively New York City 350-personal black tie wedding party on June 20, 2020, Of course, the pandemic completely wiped these exciting plans away. 

Photography by Madelynne Lorraine

Photography by Madelynne Lorraine

The couple ideally wanted to wait to re-plan the wedding celebrations until the pandemic was a thing of the past. But sentimentally, Bride Kristin, felt it was important to find a way to move forward with some type of celebrations. Wearing her grandmother’s wedding gown and honoring all the women who had worn it before while also inspiring future generations of brides was very important to her. As the pandemic continued to carry on, Kristin began dreaming up a “deconstructed wedding” where special parts of the wedding would all be celebrated individually. And then, their plan B for the wedding began to take form.

Photography by Madelynne Lorraine

In the end, the couple opted to do a small elopement, traditional Tahitian “ring” ceremony, at a small island in southern French Polynesia called RURUTU (Australe Islands north of Antarctica) in October 2020. Then they came home to Maui, and Bride Kristin worked together with Jennifer to finish the restyling of her grandmother’s dress. She then began planning a bridal portrait celebration and a blessing which would take place on their island home of Maui. Kristin wanted to include some special women in her life, junior and senior bridesmaids. They held a lovely procession at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center under a rainbow and then were blessed with a rain shower as the officiant did a traditional Hawaiian blessing. They did a pikake lei ceremony which was common in Hawaii in the early half of the 1900s. They also shared their vows on their 81st month anniversary in the fast ice of the Weddell Sea near Snow Hill Island on the continent of Antarctica! 

In the end, the couple had a very beautiful and memorable wedding celebration. We were so happy to get to work together with Bride Kristin and we are very happy that they were able to find a way to make their celebrations special even amongst the chaos of the pandemic. Congratulations Kristin and Sven! We wish you endless love and happiness in your new life together!

 

Photography by Madelynne Lorraine

Photography by Madelynne Lorraine

Wedding Vendors:

Dressmaker/Restyling: Jennifer Oberg Atelier | www.jenniferoberg.com | @jenniferobergatelier

Jewelry: Vintage Yves Saint Laurent limited edition | www.ysl.com | @ysl

Shoes: FENDI | www.fendi.com | @fendi

Photographer: Sean Michael Hower | www.howerphoto.com | @seanmhower

Photographer: Madelynne Lorraine | www.madelynnelorraine.com | @madelynnelorraine

Venue: The Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center | www.huinoeau.com | @huinoeau 

Makeup: Jessica Waite | www.jessicawaite.com | @jessicawaite 

Hair: Catalina Drouillard | www.threesixteenhairhaven.com/catalina-drouillard-hair | @catalinadrouillardhair 

Floral Designers: Jeanne Givens | www.dellables.com | @dellablesfloraldesign 

Officiant of Blessing: Euta Lightsy | www.kahulightsy.com | @maui_officiant_lightsy

Heirloom Gowns & Pandemic Weddings – Part 2

Photography by Sean M Hower

Continuing our blog series with Bride Kristin and Groom Sven, we have part two! In this blog we will share how this gorgeous 1940s heirloom wedding gown became strapless and all of the extra pieces added to complete the look.

Jennifer has always been passionate about heirloom pieces. When working on heirloom dresses she is careful to maintain the integrity of the gown. For this particular gown, there were a few tweaks made to the dress in order for it to be more comfortable for Bride Kristin and to give it the personalization it needed to fit her as if it were a custom wedding gown. 

The back of the new strapless dress.

The Bride decided on going for a strapless dress. Jennifer cleverly tucked the bodice inside, and retained the sleeves, so that the dress could be completely reconstructed if needed in the future. The dress had already been worn by several women in the family, and it was very likely it would continue to be worn by future family brides.  It was exciting for Jennifer to work on this gown, knowing its history over the past 80 years and knowing that it could be worn again 80 years in the future.  

The ties for the 3 tier French bustle. The ties are color coded.

The addition of a built-in corset and petticoat under the dress gave the gown shape and fullness. A silk charmeuse ruffle was added to the bottom to provide the length needed for the bride. These few tweaks completely transformed the gown on the bride while maintaining the elements that made this family heirloom piece uniquely one-of-a-kind. 

The dress and veil ready for steaming.

In addition to restyling the dress, a beautiful peacock feather train was created. Bride Kristin wanted to honor Queen Kapi’olani and the historical monarchy of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The train was inspired by a famous peacock feather gown worn by Queen Kapi’olani, commissioned for Queen Victoria’s Grand Jubilee in 1887. Lastly, a 1940’s antique veil and headpiece completed the look.

Sophia sewing the peacock feather cape.

And below is the final look with Bride Kristin. Stay tuned for even more photos from the wedding day in the next blog!

Photography by Sean M Hower

Photography by Sean M Hower

In our final blog, we will share the exciting twists and turns the couple went through in the planning and changing of their wedding. Stay tuned for the final blog!

Heirloom Gowns & Pandemic Weddings – Part 1

At the Atelier, we have enjoyed meeting the many brides courageously finding ways to make their weddings possible during the pandemic. One very memorable Bride and Groom we met was Kristin and Sven Lindblad. Their love story, their eloquent navigation of their wedding celebrations amongst the constant changes, and of course, the 1942 heirloom wedding dress worn by the bride, left a very large impact on us. This is a story we just had to share with our clients! As this is a longer story, we will share it in three parts.

Kristin and Sven are travelers, environmental conservationists, and passionate about philanthropic causes. Kristin Lindblad is a former PR and communications consultant.  She now focuses on managing philanthropic efforts and serving in an advisory capacity to NGO’s focused on cultural and environmental conservation. Sven Lindblad, is a second generation Swedish explorer and founder of Lindblad Expeditions. Sven’s father, Lars-Eric Lindblad, is known globally as one of the “fathers of eco-tourism”. Together, Kristin and Sven, have traveled all over the world. Naturally, their wedding plans were just as exciting as the life they live.

Kristin came to Jennifer in 2019 with her grandmother’s gorgeous heirloom ivory satin wedding gown from 1942. The dress had since been worn 4 times by other women in the family.  It was in amazing shape for being worn many times, and the satin was clean and intact.  It was a very special gown and Kristin wanted to find a way to wear it for her wedding but with some new additions to personalize the dress. Jennifer collaborated with Kristin to restyle this vintage gown into something truly special and unique. 

The first issue to be solved was that the wedding gown was too small for Kristin, both in the bodice and in the length.  Apparently the women in her family were extremely tiny!  So Jennifer started the process by taking fabric from the long train and adding panels in the sides to make the bodice larger.  

The next decision to be made was whether or not to keep the sleeves.  They were typical 1940s style long sleeves with covered buttons at the wrist.  Kristin and Jennifer went back and forth on this decision for a while, taking time to sleep on it, thinking about it.  In the end, they removed the sleeves, which resulted in a strap over the shoulder.  Then they discussed whether or not to remove the strap and make the dress strapless. 

Kristin was concerned about making too many changes to the dress, and consulted with her family.  They gave their blessing to whatever she wanted to do.  In the end, that was the final decision – to make the dress strapless.  What a change from a traditional 1940s style gown with long sleeves to a modern strapless wedding gown!  

Stay tuned for part two where we share how the gown became strapless and the extra items that were added to complete the look.

All About Bustles: The Reception

We have previously shared the English Pick-Up Bustle in our blog series which you can find here. For this blog post we wanted to share this type of bustle in action! 

The whole purpose of a bustle is to give Brides the freedom and flexibility to have the dress of their dreams with the possibility for comfort. Many brides like to lean towards the classic longer train on their wedding gown. When you go for this look you also need to consider adding a bustle to your gown. Wedding gowns aren’t already made with a bustle. You need to find a highly skilled dressmaker or alteration specialist to create a bustle for you. Depending on the length of your train, the fabric, the layers, and the detailing on the gown, the complexity of the bustle can vary. Hence, you want to make sure you go to a professional with experience and expertise in sewing and dressmaking. 

The beauty of a bustle is that you suddenly get two dresses in one. You can flaunt your gorgeous classic train down the aisle at your wedding ceremony, and then come night, you can secure your bustle and suddenly your gown is ready to dance the night away at the reception! Bustles are not only incredibly practical and functional, they also add beautiful details to your gown. If you view our past All About Bustles blog series you can see the plethora of bustles you can add to your gown. The possibilities are endless and very much curated to you, your gown, and your personal style. 

Below is the Bride Mickenzy at her reception dancing with her pinned up English Pick-Up Bustle. You can see her bustle is nicely pinned up and her gown is ready to handle any dance moves. 

Here is a photo of her gown with the full train..

Brides-to-be get in touch with Jennifer at love@jenniferoberg.com for all bustle inquires. We would love to work together with you!

 

Bride Mickenzy’s Wedding Vendors:

Dress: Ellys in Kihei (@ellysformalwear) (Designer: Stella York) (@missstellayork)

Wedding Gown Alterations: Jennifer Oberg (@jenniferobergatelier) 

Photographer: Sydney Breann Photography (@sydneybreannphoto)

Hair/Makeup: Sisu Beauty, Duluth MN (@sisubeautyco)

Videographer: Hunter Chear, Chear Media (@chearmedia) 

Wedding ceremony: Enger Park in Duluth (@

Reception: Greysolon Ballroom (@greysolonduluth)

Flowers: Saffron and Grey (@saffronandgrey)

David’s tie: Otaa Australia (@otaa.australia)

David’s tux: The Black Tux (@theblacktux)

Real Weddings: Mickenzy

We are highlighting the Bride Mickenzy today! She got married on September 9, 2021 in Duluth, Minnesota. We had the joy of working together with her on her wedding gown. Below is some more information on the work we did for her, photos from her special day, her wedding vendors, and her favorite memory from her wedding day.

We did many different wedding gown alterations for Bride Mickenzy. First, we let out the straps that were too tight. Then, we made small darts at the neckline to tighten the front. We added new bust cups and added boning under the bust area to keep the bodice from collapsing. We hemmed all 4 layers of the gown. For the top lace layer, we had to remove certain appliques and reposition them to make the hem look cohesive. The goal in this type of work is to make it seem like nothing was done. Everything has to flow perfectly! Lastly, we created an English Pick-Up Bustle for her gown.

Having your wedding gown altered is a very precious and tedious process. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of finding a skilled Alteration Specialist to do this work. It takes tremendous care and a meticulous eye to carefully alter your gown while maintaining the integrity and intricate detailing of your gown. At JOA, we are specialists in what we do. Each and every gown we work on is entirely different from the next. 

We have a wealth of knowledge in not only sewing, but also in how various fabrics work, how to make changes blend smoothly so you have no idea anything was done, and how to mold the process to the individuality of each client. The alteration process is curated to the uniqueness of your gown and your body. There is no cookie cutter formula for altering gowns. People are not symmetrical. One shoulder may be higher, one breast larger, one hip higher, etc. Working in this field requires gentleness and kindness for each client we work together with. Every client’s body is completely different. 

Here are some photos of Bride Mickenzy on her wedding day with her husband…

A favorite memory from the bride:

 

“A favorite memory of our wedding day was having a sweetheart table during dinner to spend quality time with my new husband! “

Wedding Vendors

Dress: Ellys in Kihei (@ellysformalwear) (Designer: Stella York) (@missstellayork)

Wedding Gown Alterations: Jennifer Oberg (@jenniferobergatelier) 

Photographer: Sydney Breann Photography (@sydneybreannphoto)

Hair/Makeup: Sisu Beauty, Duluth MN (@sisubeautyco)

Videographer: Hunter Chear, Chear Media (@chearmedia) 

Wedding ceremony: Enger Park in Duluth (@

Reception: Greysolon Ballroom (@greysolonduluth)

Flowers: Saffron and Grey (@saffronandgrey)

David’s tie: Otaa Australia (@otaa.australia)

David’s tux: The Black Tux (@theblacktux) 

For wedding gown alterations and custom wedding dresses get in touch at love@jenniferoberg.com.

Real Weddings: Lisa

If you have been following our All About Bustle Series then you may remember the gorgeous Folded Fan Bustle we shared! Bride Lisa just shared all of her beautiful photos from her wedding day so we had to share her dress in action and some more about the alteration process.

Lisa had a beautiful wedding at Hui No’eau in upcountry Maui. She got married on May 29th, 2021. 

For her wedding gown, the JOA team assisted Lisa with wedding gown alterations. First, we shortened the straps and then we made them detachable. This was a very nice feature, as Lisa had the freedom to choose whether she wanted straps or not on the day of her wedding. Next, we hemmed three layers of this multiple layer gown. The outer layers of the gown were fine but we needed to hem the innermost layers so she could walk comfortably. After, we created a folded fan bustle for her dress. We attached all the skirt layers together so they acted as a unit. When it was bustled, it fell perfectly together. You can read more details about the folded fan bustle in our bustle series here. Lastly, we steamed and pressed the gown after all the wedding gown alterations were complete.

Check out some of these incredible photos of Lisa on her wedding day. All the photos are captured by the talented Maui-based photographer Bethany Dawn.

And here is a cute photo of Bride Lisa with her bridesmaids helping with the folded fan bustle.

Congratulations on your special day Lisa! It was a joy to work with you!

Beaded Wedding Gowns

Beading is an exquisite detail in a wedding gown. It adds elegance and grace to a dress. What people may not know is that beaded gowns require a significant amount of time to alter. There is a very specific process we use so that the beads don’t fall off during alterations. We wanted to share this with future brides, as it is always a good idea to give yourself extra time in the wedding gown alteration process.

We recently worked with Bride Lauren on alterations for her beaded wedding gown. She has a beautiful gown covered in tiny seed beads. We shortened the straps and took in the sides to make the bodice fit perfectly. We also hemmed the dress.

Beaded gowns always take more time than non-beaded gowns to alter. On average it takes three to four times longer. This is because the beads are usually held together with a chainstitch. If you cut the stitch, then the beads will all start falling off because the stitch unravels. The technique we use requires us to carefully break the beads that we need to remove without breaking the stitch. We determine where the new seam or hem will be, break the beads that will need to be removed, and then finish the seam or hem. We then need to hand-sew many beads as well to make sure the ends of the chainstitch are secure.

Although working on a beaded gown is a more tedious, we LOVE it! It’s a very zen and relaxing process. We put on music and zone into the beads and do the work. Brides-to-be, please reach out in if you need assistance with your beaded wedding gown. Email us at love@jenniferoberg.com for inquiries.

Real Weddings: Jada & Kurt

Jada and Kurt were scheduled to get married on June 1, 2020 at the Hui No’eau Arts Center on Maui. They had to reschedule their wedding for a year later, and they tied the knot on June 1, 2021! Congratulations to this gorgeous couple! And brava to all the couples finding ways to make their weddings work amidst the pandemic. We are happy to see our clients finding safe ways to tie the knot. 

We worked together with Jada and Kurt on alterations for their wedding clothes. We always enjoy working together with both the Bride and Groom. 

We altered Jada’s gorgeous beaded gown. We love working with beaded dresses. Check out our last blog about working with beaded gowns here. For Jada’s gown, we lengthened the straps, and made them cross in the back to provide more support over the shoulder.  We took the dress in around the bust and took the zipper in on the back.  We also hemmed the dress, a very nice and meditative process when it comes to working with the intricacy of beaded gowns. The beading was delicate and lovely and we enjoyed putting our heart and soul into the process.  

For Kurt’s wedding clothes, we tailored his shirt so that it fit better through the body.  We find that many men’s shirts fit through the shoulders and are too full in the waist area. This means you end up with a lot of bulky fabric to tuck into the pants.  So streamlining the fit makes a better look overall. We also hemmed his pants.  

We love working on both the bride and groom’s clothing! Get in touch if you and your partner need wedding attire alterations, we would love to work together with you!