The Couture Seamstress

When appearance counts.

Bridal Gown Alterations Estimates

The Hem
The hem (the bottom) $100-$400 -The bottom of your bridal gown will almost always need to be shortened. As such the hem is many times much more complicated than it looks. You may see some plastic webbing around the bottom, or feel it in the dress. This is called horse-braid or horsehair, and as a result of that little bit of plastic your price is higher. Have more layers with it? You will be charged more. Have a layer of lace on your bridal gown down there? Yep, the price goes up with that. Is the bottom of your wedding dress beaded? Guess what, the price goes up even more… So what does an average bridal hem cost? From our experience you can estimate around $150 for a simple hem with no lace or beading and no sewn in lining.
The Sides
The sides $80-$200 - Many times brides need the wedding dress taken in at the sides. Don’t be mad at your bridal boutique for ordering a size too big though as you wouldn’t want to be stuck with a bridal gown that was too small, would you? Again, lace and beading will increase the amount that taking in the sides of your wedding dress will cost. Additionally, most places charge for how much they need to take the wedding dress in, whether it is just in the bust area, the hips, or along the entire seam… So what does is the average cost for taking in the sides on your bridal gown? From our experience you can estimate around $100 for a simple alteration with no lace or beading.  Remember all those layers are like an additional dress and each layer must be altered separately.
Putting in a Corset Back
Removing the zipper and putting in a corset back is going to run between $180 and $250 depending on the dress and what may be entailed.
The Bustle
The bustle (picking the back of the bridal gown off the floor so you can bust a move on the dance floor!) $75-$175 - If you have a train a bustle is needed. This is where we see many seamstresses make the most profit as they put an insane number of bustle points into wedding gowns. In our experience you should rarely need more than 6 or 7 bustle points, but we have seen as many as 35 in a wedding gown. Can you imagine having your friend or mother under your dress trying to decipher 35 bustle points? Neither can we… so what is the average price for a bustle on a wedding dress? From experience you can expect to pay around $90, but beware, many seamstresses will push that number as high as $250. This is something to ask about!
The Cups
The cups (if you aren’t wearing a bra - and be mindful, not everyone needs these) – $40-$60 - Cups are one of those things that almost all brides want in their wedding dresses, but rarely think about before their bridal alterations appointment. The charge will be based on the complexity of the dress itself and how those cups will need to be fitted into the garment. The cost to put cups in will vary slightly but you can pretty much expect to pay in the $40-$60 range plus the cost of the cups.

So, you may still be wondering… what will the cost of MY bridal alterations be? (Remember all these numbers are estimates and will vary depending on your gown and its construction). From our experience, you can expect to pay between $300 and $750 for your bridal gown alterations. Designer bridal gowns with lace, beading, and complicated hem lines will be more, but then again you are going to look amazing rocking a Maggie Sottero down the aisle.