How Much Do Wedding Dress Alterations Cost – The Lowdown

Congratulations, bride — you said “yes!” to the perfect wedding dress. But chances are, it needs a few standard alterations.

This is super-common, as every bride’s body is different. But how much will this cost, and what determines the price? Read on for a full breakdown.

How Much Do Wedding Dress Alterations Cost
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Key Takeaways

  • Tailoring your wedding dress to fit your unique measurements is the best way to ensure comfort and avoid wardrobe mishaps on your special day.
  • For the most stress-free experience, schedule alterations well in advance and choose a tailor experienced with wedding attire.
  • Several factors, including fabric type and details, influence alteration prices. Understanding these factors, plus the type of alterations you may need, can help you simplify the entire process and spare you from breaking the bank.

Why Do I Need Alterations on My Wedding Dress?

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into the bridal salon and leave with the most perfect dress on the same day? Unfortunately, that’s rare. Very rare.

Most wedding dresses need some type of alteration before they’re ready to be worn down the aisle. Every designer works off different sizing charts, and mass-produced dresses won’t fit most brides’ bodies. Chances are your bust, waist, and hips will only match one or two of the dress’s measurements.

That’s what alterations are for — to make the dress match the rest of your body and fit like a glove. You don’t want to risk a wardrobe malfunction on your wedding day because some part of your beautiful dress was too tight, loose, or long. So, factor an alteration fitting or two into your budget just to be safe.

Average Alteration Costs

According to online wedding planner, registry, and retailer Zola, the typical price for wedding dress alterations ranges between 150 and 600 dollars.

Basic alterations like hemming the gown or taking in the waist usually keep you on the lower end of the price spectrum. However, more complicated alterations like adding or removing intricate beading or lace usually put a larger dent in the wedding budget. They also mean having to schedule more wedding dress fittings and consultations.

Wedding Dress Alteration Cost Factors

Here are a few things that influence the cost of wedding dress alterations.

Flat Rate vs. A la Carte Rate

While some tailors have a flat fee for alterations, others charge a la carte fees. Charging a la carte means the seamstress has a set price tag for each alteration that can increase based on how difficult or time-consuming it is.

Type of Alterations Needed

Tailors set their prices based on how complex your requests are, so be clear about the changes you want to get the most accurate quote. Simple adjustments — hemming the wedding gown, for example — will cost less than more challenging, intricate modifications like adding or removing beading or appliques.

Dress Material

More delicate fabrics like silk or lace might require extra care during the wedding gown alteration process, and that may potentially push the service’s price higher. Communicate with your tailor about what your wedding gown is made of, and they’ll tell you if handling certain materials comes with extra costs.

Timeframe

Giving your seamstress ample time for alterations is the most considerate route — and it’s kinder to your wallet! Rush jobs are usually more expensive, even if you’re only asking for common alterations, so try to schedule alterations months in advance if possible.

Location

Because the average cost of living varies from place to place, the cost of services like bridal alterations varies, too. Alterations done by someone in Manhattan will probably cost more than those done by an equally talented seamstress in a small town in, say, Louisiana.

Experience

Don’t be surprised if the seamstress with decades of experience has higher alteration charges than the one who’s new to the game. They charge more because they have the expertise to back it up.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Wedding Dress Alterations Take?

The alteration timeline depends on the complexity of alterations required and the seamstress’s workload and availability. Usually, it takes about six to eight weeks, but play it safe and ask your seamstress about her turnaround time at your first alteration consultation.

Is It Worth It To Get a Dress Altered?

Yes! Hardly anyone goes to the bridal boutique and walks out with the ideal wedding dress in hand, no modifications necessary. You should look and feel your best on your wedding day, and getting the dress of your dreams fitted to your body can help you do that.

How Many Months Before a Wedding Should You Get Your Dress Altered?

Scheduling your first alteration session three to four months before the big day is usually the way to go. If you go earlier, you risk your dress fitting differently by the time your wedding rolls around. But go later, and you’ll end up rushing your seamstress, incurring a quick turnaround cost, and leaving no extra time for correction if something goes wrong.

Book a Seamstress and Get Your Perfect Wedding Gown

Ultimately, the specific alteration services you require and the day you need them completed are the biggest determining factors of how much wedding dress alteration costs.

Stay on the safe side by setting a few hundred aside for your bridal gown alterations. And while your dress is being adjusted, try not to worry. When you get it back, it’ll be your dream dress, one that fits you perfectly, makes you feel like a princess, and leaves you comfortable enough to mingle, eat, and dance the night away.

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