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How Much Are Wedding Dress Alterations

How Much Is It To Get A Wedding Dress Altered


One of a womans greatest nightmares is to wait for her wedding gown for months, imagining how romantic or lovely she will look, only to be disappointed. It could be the wrong size. The train might be too long. The original neckline might not be flattering. The church venue might have dress code requirements for the wedding party. Or maybe, you decided to buy something off the rack and just have it tailored to fit you perfectly.

Finding the right wedding dress seamstress or fitter might be one of the most important tasks for you to get your dream wedding. Aside from hiring someone good, its also important to know the average wedding dress alterations cost. This way, you will know if the quotation is too steep or too good to be true.

Depending on the extent of work, the average price for wedding dress alterations ranges from $50 for minor needs like changing a button or fixing a zipper up to $1000 for major or extensive fixes. If you want to learn more about the factors that can affect your final alteration expense, keep on reading this guide that the Airtasker team prepared for you!

What Does The Wedding Dress Alterations Process Look Like

The bridal boutique you purchased your dress from will alert you when your wedding dress arrives. At this point, if they offer in-house alterations, they will try to schedule a time for you to come in for a fitting. During the initial fitting, you can discuss potential alterations with the boutiques seamstress.

Bridal salons that dont offer in-house wedding dress alterations will schedule a time for you to pick up your dress. At that point, you can make arrangements with the seamstress of your choice.

Dont Forget The Side Seam Dress Alterations

*Side Seams $50 $100 per side.

You will need to remember that the wedding gown consists of two sides, so when having alterations done, you will be charged per side

Again, these are just guidelines.

For the standard alterations, the average cost will range from different amounts. Depending on if additional custom work, as described below, wedding dress alterations can increase quickly. This does not include steaming. Yes, steaming is very important you want your wedding gown to be steamed.


When you are talking about having a wedding gown that consists of new detailing that was not originally part of a standard fitting, it will definitely cost more.

When you decide to have a custom wedding gown made from scratch, these wedding gowns will cost more due to the precision of the gown. The reason for the cost is that this is custom made just for you. Every material that is added will cost you additional fees: every extra beading and every single button. When your design is a bustle, this is considered customizing making train alterations will also be an added charge.

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Potential Wedding Dress Alteration Costs

The list below is an idea of how much typical alterations cost, but, of course, prices can vary greatly depending on where you live and how much your seamstress or bridal boutique charges. If you ordered your bridal dress online, or are finding your own tailor, you can always shop around to compare prices before deciding where to take your beautiful dress. Below, find examples of potential alteration costs to factor into your budget:

  • Take in/out the sides of dress: $35-$50
  • Take in/out sides of skirt or bodice: $20-$30
  • Hem dress: $40-$100
  • Add belt or sash: $25-$35
  • Beading work: ~$30 an hour
  • Bustle: $20-$60, depending how many points you want done
  • Steaming: ~$50

The work on your dress may be more expensive depending on how delicate the gown is, too. For example, with more lace or detail there may be an additional charge for the bridal alterations.

What If My Weight Fluctuates

How Much To Wedding Dress Alterations Cost : How Much Does ...

I always tell my brides that this is OK! Some weight loss or gain can happen with the stress of wedding planning, and since alterations are a multi-appointment process, there is usually time to adjust the dress according to your bodys changes, Lara said. However, if you are doing some dieting/exercise that could cause you to lose LOTS of weight, definitely make that known to your seamstress from the beginning. She or he may change the alterations process for you to accommodate your weight loss.

When I work with brides who are planning for lots of weight loss, I typically book their subsequent alterations appointments very close to their wedding date to give them the maximum amount of time to lose weight, and so I dont have to redo alterations too many times on the dress. I usually book my workload carefully to set aside enough time to do their alterations and adjustments in the shorter time frame we have planned.

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What Is The Average Price For Wedding Dress Alterations

Bridal alterations prices will vary based on the location of the boutique as well as the shop itself. But no matter where the area is, most bridal boutiques will charge on an a la carte basis for wedding dress alterations. This is great for you because it means you only pay for the work that you need.

Expert Tip:

If you are shopping at a boutique that charges one set fee for alterations, beware. They are just setting a flat fee for wedding dress alterations and charging it to everyone. Lets say for example you are tall and dont need a hem. Why should you have to pay an average cost of wedding dress alterations? You should only have to pay for what you need. Stores that charge a flat fee are basically using money spent by brides that dont need a lot of alterations to cover time spent on gowns that do need a lot.

Here is a breakdown of the average price for wedding dress alterations. .

How Much Of A Dress Can Be Customized

Bridal seamstresses should be able to do quite a lot some examples are adding sleeves or straps, deepening a neckline, lowering the back, even making you an overskirt or lace topper for an alternative look, said Lara. Sometimes the amount of customization will depend on the way that the dress is constructed. It could compromise the structure or integrity of the dress to do certain customizations. Its a good idea to reach out to the seamstress before your first fitting and talk with them about what customizations youd like to do, just to make sure that its possible, and that they feel confident in doing that type of customization.

We also recommend asking the bridal shop before you buy if you have an idea of what customizations you may want to make just to be safe.

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Wedding Dress Alteration Cost Breakdown

Most brides, if not all, will need a few alterations to their wedding dress to get the perfect fit. These alterations can be broadly categorized into two groups: basic hemming and customization. Some tailors or retailers offer individual quotes for each process, while some have a flat alteration fee.

The costs listed above are in ranges because the final quote will vary according to the gowns material, the intricacy of the design, the amount of work, and the retailer or seamstress.

If you are ordering a custom-made gown or modernizing a relatives old wedding dress, the same fees may apply. However, depending on the complexity of the work, you may need to account for additional charges.

Who Does My Wedding Dress Alterations

Shorten wedding dress – alterations cost explained

How much to tip wedding dress alterations. Most consultants work off commission or incentives. Most alterations cost more on bridal gowns than other garments because the fabrics are delicate and the dresses can be complex. So what is the average price for a bustle on a wedding dress?

Yes, we actually tipped twice. Tipping is definitely not necessary. I’m paying her $600 for alterations on my dress.

Don’t forget about wedding alterations when deciding what you’re comfortable spending on a dress. Most wedding dresses typically undergo two, three, or even four rounds of alterations. Vera skenderis, alterations manager at kleinfeldin new york city, puts it this way:

Your tip amount depends on your order and the other potential factors we described above How much you should tip your tailor again, there is no standard percentage on the final bill to tip, like the standard 15% minimum in other industries. The first time it felt appropriate, because the staff were really helpful in picking out different dresses and helping me try them on.

If you’re customizing your gown or modernizing your mother’s dress, it may be up to $1,000. Even if you’ve found your wedding dress and signed on the dotted line to officially make it yours, you still aren’t ready to head down the aisle quite yet. Include wedding dress alterations in your overall budget.

Read Also: What Goes On First Engagement Or Wedding Ring

What Should I Bring To My Appointment

Always have your wedding shoes, Lara said. Their height is important in figuring out the hem length, which nearly every bride needs. You can bring undergarments too, and if you have multiple options, your seamstress can help you to decide what will work best.

If youre planning on incorporating wedding accessories like earrings, necklaces, handbags, and so on, we recommend bringing those as well.

You Lost Or Gained Weight

Wedding planning is stressful! Even if you have a team of event organizers and the best suppliers, there will be a considerable amount of work left. This can lead to unexpected fluctuations in your weight. Dont panic if this is the case, because the wedding dress should fit you. Not the other way around.

A seamstress can take in or let out the side seams for around $100 per size. Another option is to have the zip back changed to corset back. This can give you more room for adjustment on the wedding day itself and if you opt for a photoshoot days after!

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Are Alterations Always Done In

Usually, but not always! Most bridal salons offer in-house alterations, but in certain cases, using an outside tailor may be necessary. If you do decide to use a tailor not affiliated with the bridal salon, make sure they have extensive experience with wedding gowns in particular. The fabrics and construction details are unlike any other type of garment!

Do I Need To Get My Dress Altered

How Much Are Wedding Dress Alterations

Almost every dress needs some type of alteration so that it fits you how you want it to. Unless its custom-made, wedding dresses are usually based on a generic model, so to get your gown to fit your unique body, having alterations done is crucial.

Consider yourself lucky if your dress fits well already and you need minimal alterations, Lara told Wedding Spot via email.

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Costs Of Wedding Dress Alterations

The truth is you will be a very unusual bride if you did not need some wedding dress alterations. But how much can a wedding gown be realistically adjusted? And how much will it cost? Most wedding dresses need some adjustment, and unless your wedding gown does not have a train, at the bare minimum it will need bustles sewn in the back. So be prepared for add a bit more onto your wedding gown costs than the price tag states. The average a bride spends between $75 and $250 on alterations.

If you know the wedding dress alterations you will need, feel free to call around and get some telephone bids. You do not necessarily have to use the alterations service from your bridal shop, but do not cut corners that you might regret. A seamstress experienced with altering wedding dresses will probably do a better job than your average tailor at your local dry-cleaner.

Alterations Done On Wedding Dresses

Since alterations could also make a dent on your wedding budget, there are some changes that you might want to consider and rethink if they are really a need. Aside from figuring out how much are wedding dress alterations, its also wise to know what are the alterations. These are the most common alterations performed in a wedding dress:

  • Basic hemming. The length of the dress needs to be the right for the bride so that she doesnt trip on the hem and fall over when she marches and moves about on her wedding day.
  • Changing or adding sleeves. Some brides like their gowns showing off bare shoulders, while others want full-on sleeves. Adding or removing sleeves gives a wedding dress a major change and a whole new look.
  • Beading and embellishments.Another way to update the look of a wedding gown is to adorn it with some beadwork, or delicate lace appliques and sequins. Adding these details to a wedding dress is a meticulous process.
  • Perfecting the fit of the dress.This is a crucial alteration since the fit of a wedding dress has to be flattering on the bride, and comfortable since she will be garbed in it for hours. This usually includes adjusting the torso, ensuring that the bust is supported, and that overall, the gown is form fitting.
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    What Do You Wear Under Your Wedding Dress With A Low Back

    Low back or bareback dresses have more bra specifications than other dresses. For example, if you are eyeing a low-back gown, you need nude silicon cups that provide the most natural appearance. Also, you need a practically invisible bra. So, in-built cups are excellent for the dress too.

    On the other hand, if you love a backless dress, sticky boobs or a double-sided fashion tape will serve you well.

    Also, we have adhesive bras that adhere to the front of your breasts to give you added comfort. They add to your confidence as you know that you will not pop out unexpectedly. However, they are more suited for ladies with smaller chests. So, if your chest is fuller, please get in-built cups for the gown.

    In addition, you can have your seamstress sew in a customized bodysuit or deconstructed bra for added support. Also, a fashion tape may help you keep unsecured body sections in check.

    Wedding Dress Alterations For Any Dress

    How to Save Money on Wedding Dress Alterations

    Not every dress can be altered to fit exactly the way you would like. Remember two rules of thumb:

  • It is easier to take something in than it is to let it out. If you are wearing your mothers wedding dress it may be worth going to great lengths to get the gown to fit to you. But, if you are buying a new wedding dress, get the correct size. Making a dress larger is difficult, and you may not like the fit afterwards.
  • Dont buy a wedding dress more than one size larger than your own size. Larger wedding gowns are cut proportionally larger all over the gown. The neckline, the bodice, and shoulders will all be over sized. This means the wedding gown may not fit quite right if only the side seams are taken in. However, some dresses are designed to fit several sizes, with a corset back that ties instead of zips. To get the best fit, stay as close as possible to your correct size.
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