Whether you should get your wedding dress steamed or pressed before or after your alterations depends on the condition of the dress.
In most cases, steaming a gown before the alterations should not be required.
For example, if you are going to wear a second-generation wedding dress that has been in a preservation chest for years, it will naturally require steaming or pressing before your wedding.
If you are having the dress hemmed and there is a sharp crease in the hem, most likely the wedding gown seamstress will want to have the creases steamed out so the fabric is relaxed and straight when she does the new hem. This would not require the entire dress to be steamed...just the area affected by the alteration.
But the real question to me is who should pay for the pressing if it is needed before alterations? I have not seen any wedding gowns that have been preserved and are so creased that the entire gown requires steaming before the alterations are completed. And it the wedding gown has been hanging rather than stored in a preservation chest, I doubt steaming is required for the alterations.
If you are preparing the dress for your wedding, you will need it steamed or pressed before your wedding. And if you are going to have the same people handle your alterations and steam your gown, then I would expect no specific charge for the steaming in preparing for the alterations.
Of course, expect a charge for steaming the gown when all the work and the fittings are complete.
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