How Much Are Wedding Dress Alterations (Everything You Need To Know)

For many brides, the wedding dress is one of the most important parts of their wedding day. Women all over the world have always dreamed of wearing a beautiful, white gown that will make them not only look, but feel like a princess

The dress is still a staple of wedding day culture. It’s one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process, as those due to be wed spend hours trying on gorgeous gowns and finding the perfect outfit for the big day. 

That being said, finding a wedding dress can be a very long process. Everyone has different tastes, and we all have different body shapes, so locating that perfect gown for your shape and style can be a challenge. Luckily, most wedding dresses can be altered to fit snugly and exactly to your body dimensions! 

But, wedding dress alterations do not come cheap, and are generally left to the professional seamstress. So, how much are wedding dress alterations, and when should they be done? 

How much are wedding dress alterations? 

Most bridal dress designers argue that wedding dresses should always be altered to your specifications. This is because it ensures a proper fit, and wraps around the body perfectly.

You can spend thousands of dollars on your dream wedding dress, but if it is not altered to your dimensions, then it can look no better than a much more cost efficient dress. 

So, wedding dress alterations are vital if you want to look your best. Therefore, it is recommended that you leave some room in your budget for dress alterations, and this is not an expense that you should skip!

For the most part, how much dress alterations cost will depend on exactly how much needs to be done. Most wedding dress alterations can cost anywhere from about $50 all the way to $1000 or more.

In the majority of cases, the dress or gown shop will have a seamstress that works specifically with their designs, but you can also purchase the dress and take it to a tailor or seamstress elsewhere. 

Types of wedding dress alterations

Most wedding dresses will need to be altered at least a little. The most basic alterations are just the hemming of the length to fit the bride’s height. However, many brides will need the sides of the dress to be altered so that it fits her shape and size perfectly. 

A properly fitted wedding gown is meant to support the bust and shape it, whilst accentuating and flaunting the body shape. It should also be long enough to cover the bridal shoes, but not so long that it becomes hard to maneuver, or that the bride is at risk of falling over on her wedding day.

If you want more intricate alterations, seamstresses can add more beading or customizations such as buttons, sleeves, lace, straps or an extra train. 

Alterations are so important as these wedding gowns are designed to appeal to a whole range of brides all around the globe. They are not specifically made for you. But, once you choose a dress and have it altered, that gown is unique to you, and will forever become a part of your special day.  

When should my wedding dress be altered?

It is hard to alter a wedding dress too early, as the bride’s body shape could always change a little before the big day. This is why multiple fittings are advised. For most dresses, we recommend that you allow two or three months between the first fitting and the last fitting, depending on how much you want altered. 

For many brides, they will opt for three or four fittings to be sure that it fits just right. The last alterations and fitting should be done around five to six weeks before the wedding. This leaves plenty of time to complete all of the adjustments in time, and make any last minute changes after the final fitting. 

How much can you alter a wedding dress?

Generally speaking, you will be able to alter a dress about two sizes down and one size up. Dresses can also be made smaller by recutting the dress, but special alterations can always be made by an experienced seamstress or tailor. 

However, how much the dress is altered does depend on the dress itself. Typically, it is better to make a dress smaller than bigger. 

Is it better to buy a wedding dress in a bigger size? 

Sometimes it can be easier to purchase a wedding dress in a slightly larger size, particularly if you are not the same shape and size all over your body. This is because it is much simpler to take the dress in, rather than let it out and make it bigger. 

We recommend that you buy a wedding dress that fits you in the largest part of your body, so that a seamstress can easily take in the dress wherever it is too loose, for a perfect fit. 

When should I pick my wedding dress up?

As mentioned before, you should have a few fittings or at least three or four to ensure that your wedding dress fits you properly. In addition to this, you will need to have a fitting about 5 weeks before the wedding day, so that any final alterations can be made in time. 

Once you have had your final fitting, you should schedule a date and time that is around two weeks before the wedding. It is recommended that during the day you pick up your dress, you try it on one last time just to be sure. This is especially important if a lot of time has passed since your last fitting.