Bridal gown alterations are much more complex than all other alterations.
The gowns have many layers and each layer has to be altered separately.
We prefer to get started on gown alterations 2 1/2 to 3 months out from the wedding.
OUR SPECIALIZED SERVICES
Alter Wedding Gowns
Create Unique Bustles
Create Custom Bridal Veils
Alterations Cost Estimates
How much do Bridal Alterations Cost?
There is no definitive answer to the cost of wedding gown alterations. However, we have laid out some basic costs and explanations if you have an idea of what may need to be done to your dress. Also, here are some things to consider:
1. Cheaper is not always better. If the cost sounds too good to be true, it is.
2. Beading and lace will always cost more.
3. Once alterations are started, your weight & body size needs to remain the same. If you lose or gain weight after the alterations have started you will have to pay your seamstress to re-alter your gown for your new size.
4. There is no way to get a price quote over the phone. Make an appointment and go in to visit the seamstress. Not all bridal seamstresses are created equal. If you are not comfortable with the seamstress, find someone you do feel comfortable with. You will be working with this person for 2 to 3 months through this process.
5. Get a solid final price before letting someone start work on your dress. At the Couture Seamstress the prices do not change part way through the process. Please remember, however, if you request an alteration that was not included in the original quote your price WILL change. Be sure to ask what those additional charges will be.
The hem (the bottom)
The hem of your bridal gown will almost always need to be shortened. As such it 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 horsehair 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. Is the hem 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 $150-$450.
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 would not want to be stuck with a bridal gown that was too small. It is much less complicated to take in a dress than let it out (which isn't always possible). Again, lace and beading will increase the amount. 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 is the average cost for taking in the sides on your bridal gown? From our experience you can estimate anywhere from $90-$250.
The bustle (picking the back of the bridal gown off the floor so you can bust a move on the dance floor!). If you have a train a bustle is normally 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 7 to 9 bustle points on the top layer of the gown; 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 our experience you can expect to pay $75-$150, but beware, many seamstresses will push that number as high as $250. This is something to ask about!
The bra cups
Cups are one of those things that almost all brides want changed in their wedding dresses. Almost all wedding gowns have a thin cup in them already; but most brides want to add one with a little pushup. Remember, these cups will add lift but will NOT add support for your bust. The cost to change the cups will vary slightly but you can pretty much expect to pay in the $30-$50 range. This includes the cost of the cups and to have the old cups removed and the new ones sewn in.
So, in final you may be still wondering… what will the cost of MY bridal alterations be? Remember, there is no definitive way to price the alterations for your gown without a consult with the seamstress. Also remember, most estimates you receive are just that, an estimate and the final price could and most times is several hundred dollars more than this “estimate.” At the Couture Seamstress, the price you receive at your consultation is the cost of the alterations. This amount will only change if additional alterations are required/requested during the alterations process. If you are not sure if an alteration will increase your amount due, please be sure to ask.
From our experience you can expect to pay somewhere between $500-$750 (on average costs are about $550 plus tax) for your bridal gown alterations. Designer bridal gowns with lace, beading, and complicated hem lines will be at the high end of this (& sometimes can be a little more); but then again you are going to look amazing rocking a Maggie Sottero down the aisle, right?!