Who pays for bridesmaid dress alterations?

posted 2 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
5170 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

Personally I think the bride should, particularly if you have picked the dress since it is a cost you are putting on them but it depends on what is normal in terms of who pays for the dress where you are I guess.  

I don’t agree with giving someone a title of honour and then charging them for the pleasure. 

Post # 3
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

Where I live the common standard is bridesmaids pay for the dress an alterations. My bridesmaids will be paying for their dress and the alterations – though I am having them custom made so I decided to pay the deposit for each dress to help them out with the cost.

However they did not expect me to pay the deposit and were fully expecting (without me telling them) to pay for their own dress, alterations, hair and makeup for the wedding as part of being in the wedding party.

Post # 4
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

As above, it depends on what is normal where you are. For context, I’m in the UK and my view is (and what I think is commonly accepted here) is that if you are going to tell someone what to wear then you are on the hook for the cost of the outfit (and any alterations required) – i.e. the bride pays.

Generally though I would have thought that the cost of alterations would go with whoever is bearing the cost of the dress as to me they are part and parcel of the same thing. In my example therefore, the wedding couple would pay for bridesmaids dresses and any required alterations on the basis that you have chosen a dress for your bridesmaid to wear that would necessitate those alterations (i.e. rather than an off the peg that may not), and to say you’ll pay for the dress but not alterations to make it wearable seems to me to be only doing half the job. YMMV!

Post # 5
7268 posts
Busy Beekeeper

In the US it is typical for the bridesmaid to pay for the dress and alterations. No clue about Australia. As a US bee I do kind of hate this policy but it’s definitely the norm here, so certainly wouldn’t judge brides for doing this! 

Post # 6
13545 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Australian brides can weigh in but opinion on this seems divided. I think it is traditional for bridesmaids to pay, as in the US. That would include any alterations. But in practice it seems to go both ways with some brides offering to pay for all or part of the expense.

The bride should consult for style and budget in any case. Having input, keeping, and the potential for wearing again is the justification for each woman buying their own. But in my opinion any time a bride dictates the dress or chooses one not likely to be worn again, she ought to pay. 

Post # 7
4870 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
futuremrsv0819 :  aussie here. Usually in Australia it can go either way by way of who pays for the dress and alterations.

I’ve been bridesmaid loads of times and in my circle it’s common for the bridesmaids dress and alterations to be paid for by the bride but in other circles it can be that bridesmaids pay for their own dress and alterations or that the bride buys the dress and the bridesmaids pay for their own alterations if they are required.

Personally I feel that if you are as bride dictating a particular dress, shoe, hairstyle, make up and jewelry then you should pay for it including the cost of alterations. If you are leaving your bridesmaids free to choose their own dress, make up, hairstyle etc then you don’t necessarily need to pay for any of that including alterations. Doing it that way allows your bridesmaid the freedom of spending as little or as much as they feel comfortable.

Are you the bridesmaid or the bride here? Who’s paying for the dress in this wedding? If you give us more detail and context then we might be able to offer more specialised advice to your question. 

Post # 8
1998 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

View original reply
futuremrsv0819 :   Not sure if this is your taste but there are many sites like Azazie (US) that custom make bridesmaid dresses at very affordable prices.  All they need are your measurements. I’m pretty sure a bee mentioned one for Australian or UK bees a while back. Its an option to think about.

Post # 9
1503 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: USA

View original reply
futuremrsv0819 :  My bridesmaids paid for their alterations, but since the seamstress was my grandma she gave them all a really good deal on it.

Post # 10
2036 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Whoever is paying for the dress should pay for the alterations. Alterations are an understood extra cost and should always be added to the budget for whoever is paying. The exception to this is if it’s understood upfront that costs are split somehow. 

Post # 11
1381 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2021

US bride and 2 time bridesmaid here. I have never heard of a bride having to pay for the dress/alterations for her bridal party… IMO if you’re accepting the invitation to be a bridesmaid, there is a reasonable assumption of cost associated with that: dress, shoes, accessories, etc.

Post # 12
357 posts
Helper bee

I don’t know if this is typical or not, but my girlfriend’s mom paid for our bridemaids dresses and the alterations.  This may have been due to the fact that we were young and in school at the time, though.

Post # 14
525 posts
Busy bee

I bought my ladies’ dresses, and they are custom made to their measurements, so I’m leaving it up to them to undertake alterations  if they are needed. 

Post # 15
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I’m from Aus – i paid for my bridesmaid’s dresses then they paid for $100 of the alterations and i paid the rest, so sort of a mix! 

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