Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… for some local brides, their wedding dress helps them check off all of the above.
Alterations by Toni, located in downtown Madeira, is a large shop with 12 experienced seamstresses on staff, each with their own area of expertise and more than 40 years of combined experience. They offer personalized fittings and boast the ability to tailor any garment.
One of the biggest trends this wedding season is re-fashioning. “Brides want a little bit of their mother/grandmother/aunt’s dresses to be a part of their wedding gown, or a total remake of the gown,” says Toni Friebele, owner of Alterations by Toni. “The first goal is to make a vintage gown fit, either by adding panels or a corset back. Then comes the removal of dated sleeves and collars, re-design of the neckline or a transformation to strapless.”
Friebele says it’s exciting – for her and the bride – to give new life to an old dress with sentimental value. “Clients can choose to add lace trims, beading, or extra/less fullness to bring the style up to date,” says Friebele. “Very often, we take the gown apart and just use the fabric to create the bride’s vision – something totally different. Some of our more cute and flirty looks have been lace crop tops with shorts and a high-low overskirt, or a short and fun party dress for the reception.”
Alterations by Toni also offers a full line of bridal services in addition to alterations: veils, handmade garters, monogrammed robes and hankies, Spanx, ring bearer pillows, gifts for bridesmaids/groomsmen, storage until the wedding day and preservation of gown after the wedding.
“In addition to expected bridal gifts, we have a full line of trendy bridal party gifts, all ready to be personalized with a monogram,” says Friebele. “Plus, jewelry and cosmetic bags, clutches and crossbody bags, beach and tote bags, as well as tablet sleeves and waterproof bikini bags.”
Monograms are another huge trend, Friebele says. “We can monogram just about anything of yours, or we have items in-stock you can monogram too, such as bath wraps, robes, cosmetic cases, jewelry cases, totes galore, tea towels, wine bags, dinner napkins, coasters, baby onesies, bibs, bloomers, and receiving blankets,” Friebele adds. “We have more than 50 monogram styles in every color imaginable, so you can customize it just the way you want it.”
What truly sets the Alterations by Toni apart, according to Friebele, is their ability to complete a super fast turnaround for last minute emergencies. “This is especially important for bridal gowns that come in beyond expected timeframes from the bridal shop,” says Friebele. “Or we can do last-minute tweaks to make it fit just perfectly.”
With the number of brides increasing by 28 percent a year, Friebele is ultimately looking to expand their space and add staff. “In an effort to continue striving for excellence, we really aim to hear the word ‘perfect’ from each and every bride,” says Friebele. “I want to be able to provide perfectly tailored garments at an affordable cost.”