(Closed) How much $$ do dress alterations cost?

posted 12 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

It really depends on the dress and how many alterations you need. My dress needed to be shortened, so the seamstress took up the entire hem one inch and then added 12 ties for the bustle. She also took in the bust slightly. My dress originally cost 500, and the alternations were an additional 200.

Post # 4
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I’ve heard everything from $150-$400.  I would budget that much money even if that’s not what it will cost. 

My dress is being custom made so I’m not paying for alterations, but alterations should be differently charged depending on what needs to completed.  Usually getting alterations done by a seamstress is cheaper than doing them through the place you ordered the dress.

Post # 5
1156 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2005 - Westside Loft, New York

a lot of bridal salons will charge you 10% the cost of the dress.  A seamstress will probably charge you depending on how much work needs to be done to the dress.  I ended up paying over $400 for alterations (at the bridal salon where I purchased the dress) — I had 3 fittings and the dress had to have a bustle created, be shortened, and taken in.

Post # 6
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I paid 350.00 for my alterations.  I had the hem taken up and a bustle put in.  Also, it is a halter kneckline that needed to be taken in a bit.  I had know idea it was going to be so expensive when I went over budget for my dress! 

Post # 7
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Oh wow, I guess I am getting a decent deal, then.  I was surprised when the seamstress told me it will be $200. 

Post # 9
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I hope it won’t be too expensive for me! I tried my dress on for the first time on Saturday and really the only thing I think it will need is for it to be taken in a bit at the bust… so I hope that won’t be too much!

Post # 10
2 posts


as a bride myself that is renewing her vows after 5 years of marriage… and as an independent seamstress and designer, perhaps I can offer some perspective 🙂

I can tell you that many brides come to me after getting quoted high wedding dress alterations prices from a wedding boutique, bridal chain store or salon.

The best thing to do when shopping for your gown is to check out at least one independent designer or local seamstress in addition to boutiques and wedding dress shops.

As yogigal mentioned above, most bridal stores do not adequately disclose to brides what the alterations will cost for their wedding dress during the sale. Many brides are shocked at alterations costing $400 to $600.

The answer is finding an independent seamstress that quotes alterations prices that are way lower than high overhead bridal shops and wedding stores. An independent seamstress and designer may also offer the alterations free with a custom gown order as the user HOSTESS mentioned.

If you are in NY you should check online reviews from local seamstresses that can prove from references and examples of their work, that they specialize in working with bridal fabrics and wedding gowns.

My blog and alterations website has more tips to assist brides with finding a seamstress or store that does give accurate info on the cost for alterations before a bride makes a purchase. Getting the perfect dress at the perfect price means considering the cost of alterations before the purchase is made.
[Blog promotion redacted by moderation team] The average bride purchases her wedding dress at one of the first 5 stores visited and has the alterations done in house at the salon or store.

These brides often encounter overbooked alterations appointments and wait times to get in for their fittings. They also pay hundreds for alterations that can be done through a local professional seamstress for 50% less on average.

I hope this response will help future brides reading this, to remember to check into all of their options, before paying too much for bridal alterations and designer gowns :)A local designer may even carry the dress a bride wants for less than a stores or offer custom options, as I do 🙂

Thanks, Mari 🙂


Post # 11
156 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I paid $65 for […..] that much to be taken in from the bust.

Post # 12
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m in DC and used an independent seamstress (one of the best in the area) and she charged me $170 to adjust the shoulders (off the shoulder dress, so they had to be perfect), lower under the arms, hem and add a bustle. (my dress was plain ivory). But I’ve been tolded that she caps it at $250 for *all* her brides, no matter how complicated it is.

Post # 13
1077 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Mine are $400 for complicated alterations.

Post # 14
1504 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I had to have 2 layers of fabric hemmed and the top layer of fabric pulled up and re-sewn under an empire waist. The waistline in the top layer needed to be re-darted and my straps needed to be altered. It cost $350. It sounds like that’s the going rate for any alternations to the hem. One tip I can offer though is that I had my dress altered at the same bridal salon my bridesmaids got their dresses, so I asked the manager for a discount for my girls. She said that normally she doesn’t give discounts for less than 4, but because I was having my dress done as well, she gave them each 15% off. It never hurts to ask!

Post # 15
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

My bridal salon is an “all-inclusive” salon so alterations are included in the price of the dress. My dress cost $800 and based on my googling, that’s about how much it would have cost anywhere without alterations….so I guess I got a deal!

Post # 16
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

For taking my dress an inch in, a bustle, and heming the front of it up was $180.00. I honestly thought it was going to be more!

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