Wedding Alterations

So, you’ve found your dream wedding dress, and now you’re wondering if alterations are included in the price. Well, let’s get straight to the point: it really depends on the bridal salon or boutique you’re purchasing from. Some retailers may offer complimentary alterations with the purchase of the dress, while others may charge an additional fee for alterations.

From our experience working with bridal shops or talking to brides, it is more affordable to visit your local tailor, as you can save 20-40% off the alterations cost.

Ultimately, you will have to pay extra for the alterations, whether they are calculated in the gown price or not, it’s essential to inquire about the specific policies and costs related to alterations before making your final decision.


Costs of Wedding Dress Alterations

Are alterations included in the price of the dress?

In most cases, alterations are not included in the price of the dress. Wedding dress boutiques and designers typically charge separately for alterations. It is important to inquire about this before making a purchase to have a clear understanding of the overall cost.

Factors influencing alteration costs

The cost of wedding dress alterations can vary depending on several factors. These factors include the complexity of the alterations required, the fabric and intricacy of the dress, the experience and reputation of the seamstress, and the location of the bridal salon or designer.

Average costs of wedding dress alterations

The average cost of wedding dress alterations can range from $200 to $600. However, this is just an estimate and the actual cost can vary significantly depending on the factors mentioned earlier. It is advisable to budget a generous amount for alterations to ensure that you can achieve the perfect fit and look for your wedding dress.


Finding a Bridal Salon or Tailor

Different policies of bridal salons and tailor

Different bridal salons and designers have varying policies when it comes to wedding dress alterations. Some may offer in-house alteration services, while others may recommend independent seamstresses or tailors. It is important to clarify this information before making a purchase to avoid any confusion or inconvenience later on.

Inquiring about alterations during the purchase

When purchasing a wedding dress, it is essential to inquire about the availability of alterations services and the associated costs. Ask the bridal salon or designer whether they can recommend a trusted seamstress or tailor who specializes in wedding dress alterations. This will provide peace of mind knowing that you have reliable options for alterations.

Negotiating alteration costs

While it may not always be possible to negotiate alteration costs, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Some bridal salons or designers may be open to discussing a reduced rate or package deal for alterations if you purchase the dress from them. However, it is important to approach this topic politely and be prepared for the possibility that alterations may still incur additional costs.


Understanding the Alteration Process

Consultation and assessment

The alteration process typically begins with a consultation and initial assessment by the seamstress. During this consultation, you will discuss your desired modifications, such as taking in or letting out the dress, adjusting the hemline, adding or removing embellishments, and any other changes necessary to achieve the perfect fit.

Number of fittings required

The number of fittings required for wedding dress alterations can vary depending on the complexity of the alterations and the initial fit of the dress. On average, most brides will require two to three fittings. These fittings allow the seamstress to make precise adjustments and ensure that the dress fits flawlessly.

Common alterations performed on wedding dresses

Some common alterations performed on wedding dresses include taking in or letting out the bodice, adjusting the straps or sleeves, hemming the length, adding or removing bustle points for the train, and altering the neckline or back design. These alterations are tailored to each bride’s specific needs and preferences, ensuring a personalized wedding gown.


Budget-Friendly Alternatives

Considering off-the-rack dresses

If budget is a significant concern, considering off-the-rack dresses can be a smart choice. These dresses are already made and sold as-is, requiring minimal or no alterations. By choosing a dress that fits closely to your measurements, you can save on alteration costs and still find a beautiful gown that suits your style and budget.

Choosing a dress that requires minimal alterations

Another budget-friendly option is to choose a dress that requires minimal alterations. This can include selecting a dress with a simpler design, avoiding intricate beading or lace appliques. Additionally, opting for a dress with a forgiving silhouette that can be easily adjusted to your body shape can minimize the need for extensive alterations, saving you both time and money.

Renting or borrowing a wedding dress

Renting or borrowing a wedding dress can also be a cost-effective alternative. Many bridal shops offer rental services, allowing you to wear a beautiful designer gown for a fraction of the cost. Borrowing a dress from a family member or friend who shares a similar body type can also be a sentimental and budget-friendly choice. However, keep in mind that alterations may still be necessary to achieve the perfect fit.


Tips to Minimize Alteration Costs

Choose a dress closer to your size

One effective way to minimize alteration costs is to choose a dress that is closer to your actual size. While it is normal to have some alterations, selecting a dress that requires fewer modifications will ultimately reduce the overall cost. Pay attention to the measurements provided by the bridal salon or designer and opt for a size that aligns closely with your body measurements.

Be mindful of the dress’s silhouette

The silhouette of a dress plays a significant role in the alteration process. Certain silhouettes, such as A-line or empire waist, are more forgiving and require minimal alterations compared to fitted or mermaid styles. By choosing a dress with a forgiving silhouette that complements your body shape, you can minimize the number and complexity of alterations needed, ultimately saving on costs.

Avoid complex design elements

Intricate design elements, such as intricate beading, lace appliques, or cascading layers of tulle, can significantly increase the cost of alterations. Consider opting for simpler designs that still exude elegance and beauty without the need for excessive alterations. This can help streamline the alteration process and keep costs manageable while still achieving the desired aesthetic.



Considering the importance of wedding dress alterations, it is essential to understand the process, costs, and available options. Wedding dress alterations bring your dream gown to life, ensuring a perfect fit and enhancing your overall appearance on your special day. By following the tips and guidelines provided, you can make informed decisions, minimize alteration costs, and find the best option that suits your needs. Remember, it’s your wedding day, and feeling confident and beautiful in your dress is worth every effort and investment into alterations.