Post # 1
Hey y’all. It’s too bad you one gets married just once in their lives (or at least just a few times…) because I am having an education in all things weddings. Mostly sticker shock–
My beautiful alfred angelo dress that I re-fell in love with cost $402 to alter!!! The dress itself was $500. Is this normal? Did I get taken? It had to be taken in on the sides all the way down and I had to have it rehemmed: it’s two layers one thick satin and the other chantilly lace. That’s the challenging part. But, I thought Alfred Angelo, being a reasonably priced store would offer reasonably priced alterations.
I walked in for my first fitting alone. Everyone else had their entourages: bmaids, mothers, grandmothers, fathers…I did not know that I needed support and went alone. Now I know why. Stunned, I wrote the check.
Should I have shopped around? How much are y’all spending on alterations? What is normal and customary?
Post # 3
My first quote was $350. I shopped around, my second quote (for the same thing – basically making a new top) was $50 – I went back probably 8 times to get it right, but in the end she was like I don’t like to charge more than I initially quoted – I gave her $80. I think I got a GREAT deal though – from what I’ve heard alterations are super expensive.
Post # 4
Mine was just a hem and it was $350! These places may overcharge but they claim they know how to alter a wedding gown better than a regular tailor. It does seem like a lot when you consider the cost of the dress, but I really don’t know if that comes into account. Did you already leave the dress for the alterations? If not maybe you can ask them to hold off and at least price out some other tailors.
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2020 - Oakland Manor
I went to an independent bridal seamstress and I’m getting a ton of alterations for $200. I didn’t want to go to a bridal salon because I was worried they’d overcharge me and I hated the seamstress at a salon who did my sister’s Bridesmaid or Best Man alterations. Maybe prices are different for SoCal vs DC?
Post # 6
Wow…that seems like a lot!! The only quote that I have gotten is from a small, local bridal store that offered to take it in, shorten the dress, put in cups, put in the bustle, and steam the dress for $200.
Post # 7
I had wedding sticker shock too. I am sure you could have the same party for less money if it wasn’t a wedding. Anyway, I paid $300 in alterations for my $900 dress. I didn’t shop around because I heard the seamstress was awesome. I went in a total of 4 times to get the bustle and top right. My dress fit perfectly.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2008 - Imperia Hotel (modern chic hotel)
I would shop around. My alterations cost me 140$ (just the hem)
Post # 9
Dude, the place where I bought my dress has a flat rate for alterations: $499 no matter how much or how little you need to get done. Plus that doesn’t include bra cups or buttons if you need them. No thank you! So I’m shopping around. I’ll probably need the top taken in, a bit of hemming, a bustle, bra cups, buttons (maybe) and steaming. I’m sure I can find that for less than $500. I’m like you, my dress was inexpensive so I can’t imagine spending nearly as much as my dress on alterations. You have a decent amount of time, so is it possible to do some super fast legwork and shop around? Get recs from friends/family/local boards? If not…ugh that sucks. But at least your dress will fit, right? Good luck 🙂
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2009 - Westwind YWCA camp
My dress is entirely lace, and to hem and adjust the fitting (take out a little in the sides), the price was $500. My seamstress does fantastic work, though – I trust her completely!
Post # 11
I’d say for the average bride’s alterations, about $200 (changing the hem line, adding a bustle, adjust the bust or corset). For an overhaul, meaning almost every seam has to be adjusted, $400 to $600. It’s loads of work, really time consuming, and can be frustrating with lace.
I think you may have been charged a little too much, is there anyway you can cancel your order and shop around? A dear friend and master seamstress is working on my dress and it is her wedding gift to us. I think if she charged us, it would cost about $250 to $300.
Post # 12
@mklove: That’s for sure! (That weddings cost more than a comparative party, just because of the label.)
Alterations are notoriously expensive, unless you spend a lot of time shopping around at places that don’t specialize in wedding gowns. =/ Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is.
Post # 13
My seamstress was highly recommended at the place I bought my dress. She’s charging me $215 for taking in the top, bra cups, bustle and hem. I wanted to have the train removed but because the dress has a lace applique hem, that would have been another $250. Too rich for me. 🙁
Post # 14
If you still can, definitely shop around. Some lace dresses are easier to alter than it appears as the bottom hem is a separate piece of lace from the main skirt, so it’s taken off, the main section shortened and then the lace band re-attached. A wedding dress is still basically a fancy dress, and a good seamstress with experience working on other kinds of dresses should have no problem working on it.
My cousin got her wedding dress from DB, and was quoted $250 four years ago for shortening the dress (three layers of fabric), shortening the thin straps and putting in a one point bussle. Not really what she could afford at the time. My mom is an excellent sewer (but not by profession), so she said she’d do it. I helped and it only took us about two hours to do total. It wasn’t any harder than prom dresses or the halloween costumes we’d worked on in the past!
Post # 15
It’s unfortunate that your Alterations cost almost as much as your dress, and I’m surprised at EAQ129’s $499. price tag regardless of what’s involved. That’s not normal and anyone confronted with that should absolutely look elsewhere.
However, sometimes an alteration can take days of labor. Hours and sometime days to take apart carefully without ruining it, and days to put it all back together. A Hem: Layers and in lace or chiffon it’s not easy at all! Sides: lining and layers of interlinings boning and god forbid beads! Sometimes they look ‘simple’ from the outside but once you get out the seam ripper it’s another story. To me all Jenny Yu dresses are a labor nightmare lurking in a simple dress so I now upcharge for them, a hem once took me 8 hours! 8 hours = $???.00 per hour of my time?
Post # 16
My dress was $700 and alterations ended up being $280. I had a bustle done, the bottom hemmed, the torso taken in about 2 inches, and the neckline changed from strapless to sweetheart.