Wedding Dress Alterations


You picked your dream wedding dress and couldn’t be happier. But in the midst of stressful wedding preparations, you lost a little weight and that once-flawless dress no longer fits you like a glove. Insert: the need for alterations! If you are worried about the average cost of wedding dress alterations, then don’t panic – we’ll break it all down for you and give you tips on how to save bucks when adjusting your princess dress.

Average Cost of Possible Wedding Dress Alterations

The first thing you need to take into consideration when thinking of the average cost of wedding dress alterations is the fact that there is a wide range of adjustments that can be made to a dress, especially one as complex as a bridal gown, so the cost can and will vary considerably, based on the type of dress you chose, the design of the garment and, even more importantly, the fabric.

The Hemline

Since most brides are not standard model height, the need for a shortened hemline is among the most popular of all. When it comes to this particular service, the style of your dress and, not to mention, size is highly important – a simple mermaid dress will have roughly about 1/3 of a hem belonging to a princess-style dress. Furthermore, if your dress has ruffles on the lower half, then all these layers would have to be shortened in order to keep the proportions of the dress. Roughly, such an alteration would cost anything from $70 to $250, based on all of the aspects mentioned above.

The Bodice

When it comes to the bodice alteration, prices vary as well – usually between $30 to $150. Since the bodice is the part where most of the beading and lace embellishments are placed, the price is highly dependent on the amount of work that concerns the removal and reapplying of the embellishments.

The Cups

If your dress is backless or see-through and there’s no chance you’d wear a bra, then you probably want cups for a little support. The average cost of wedding dress alterations for cups is around $40, but well worth it to make sure everything will be in place when your bust moves on the dance floor.

The Bustle

If your wedding dress features an impressive train, then mingling and dancing may be a difficult task, which is why you will need to opt for a bustle. A bustle job may include 1, 2 or tons of bustle points, so the prices do vary quite a bit, but you can expect to pay around $70. Make sure that your seamstress does not put in unnecessary bustle points that could easily elevate your price to a couple of hundreds!

The Sleeves

If the only thing you need altered is the sleeves, then you’re in luck, as this is the most affordable alteration out there, with a price around $60 (varying a little based on the style and embellishments of your sleeves).

The Steaming

One further service needs to be mentioned when calculating the average cost of wedding dress alterations and that is the fact that after the adjustments, most dresses will need to be steamed or pressed, which is why you should save around $50 to $100 for this service as well.

Tips on Saving

After we listed the average cost of Wedding Dress alterations, you know the dress alteration can take a big part of your budget. So are there any ways to save money while still getting the results you desire? Here are a few fast tips to keep in mind when trying to obtain that perfectly fitted wedding dress while on a budget:
  • Order Your Wedding Dress Early. When you postpone ordering your wedding dress up to 2 months or even less prior to the wedding, you can face certain inconveniences. For example: more expensive alterations. Anything that needs to be done fast will cost more and this rule applies to all things wedding related, especially when talking about bridal gowns. If you expect to get fast and impeccable alterations in a matter of days, then be prepared to pay much more. This is why it is always advisable to order your dress in advance – at least 3 months before your wedding day.

  • Settle Your Weight. Most brides lose or gain weight prior to their big day, either intentionally or as a result of hard work at the gym and healthy diets or because of a wide range of factors that accompany the wedding planning process: stress, anxiety, excitement. But when talking about the average cost of wedding dress alterations, it is important to also consider your weight journey – more specifically, it is advisable to settle at your goal weight ahead of the wedding (preferably at least 2 months ahead) in order to avoid the need for a second round of alterations. Maintaining your weight means your dress will fit your perfectly and will not require any last minute adjustments which could potentially bring the cost way up.

  • Bring Your Bra. Always bring your bra and other undergarments to your fittings. In order to avoid the need for additional costly alterations, you should always bring the exact bra you will wear on your wedding day and the other undergarments when trying on your dress, when having the final fitting and when opting for initial alterations.

  • Find a Free Seamstress Among Your Family and Friends. Follow this tip under one condition: the seamstress should have experience in working with wedding dresses – otherwise, it is too risky… and who wants to opt for risky ahead to their big day? If your friend or your relative is skilled with a sewing machine and knows how to work with delicate fabrics, then take the opportunity and ask them to do the necessary alterations instead of purchasing a wedding gift.