Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Alterations Express Staff
Brides-to-be: Let’s be honest, saying ‘YES!’ to the dress is difficult enough – but then you have to think about bridal alterations too?
How much are alterations going to cost? How far in advance do you have to begin your wedding dress alterations? What if you’re losing weight before your wedding? What if your dress is difficult to get into? And what can you expect from bridal seamstresses & wedding dress alterations in general?
We know you’re busy (uhh, you’re planning a wedding!) and that alterations are definitely not at the top of your to-do list. So, that’s why we’ve boiled down the 5 most important things to know about wedding dress alterations for every bride-to-be.
Check out our guide below, find out what you’re in for in terms of cost & timeline, and get all your questions about wedding dress alterations — answered!
- How & When to Get Started
- How Many Fittings Are Required?
- What to Bring for Your Wedding Dress Alterations
- How Much Do Wedding Dress Alterations Cost?
- Who to Bring to Your Fittings?
How & When to Get Started
Wedding dress alterations are usually more complicated and time-consuming than the average dress alteration. So, we strongly recommend scheduling a private fitting with the seamstress that will be performing your alterations. This will allow the seamstress to spend as much time with you as necessary to ensure that your gown fits perfectly.
Certain alteration shops that perform bridal gown alterations adhere to longer alteration timelines than others. Some are even known to begin alterations 6 to 9 months before the wedding! Definitely find this out before committing to a provider. And don’t be afraid to shop around for a seamstress that you feel comfortable with! It’s important that your bridal seamstress makes you feel confident that they can get the job done.
How long do wedding dress alterations take?
Wedding dress alterations usually take around 6 to 8 weeks to complete. At Alterations Express, we recommend that brides come in for their first bridal fitting about 6-8 weeks before the wedding day. Why? This allows us to achieve the best fit possible for your body as the wedding day approaches. Want to shop around for the best price? A little apprehensive about the alterations process? Our bridal seamstresses would be more than happy to meet with you sooner to outline what alterations are needed and provide a price estimate for your wedding dress alterations.
You can expect each bridal fitting to take around 45 to 60 minutes from beginning to end. The wedding day is approaching, so we know you’re busy. Our goal is to get you in and out quickly while also spending as much time as necessary to make sure your wedding dress fits perfectly.
How Many Fittings Are Required?
Most bridal alterations are completed within 3 to 4 fittings. However, depending on the complexity of the alterations, it could be more. A seamstress should be able to evaluate how many fittings will be required for your wedding dress alterations during your first fitting.
Your first appointment should consist of an evaluation of the work that needs to be completed on your gown. For your next appointment, you can expect to try on the gown so that the seamstress(s) can evaluate if your gown needs any other alterations.
Also, make sure to have your gown steam or pressed before your alterations are completed so that it’s perfect for your wedding day!
What to Bring to Your Fittings
Make sure to bring your wedding shoes and the undergarments that you’ll be wearing with your gown to all of your bridal fittings. These items are essential for your fitting and will allow your seamstress to make the alterations as precise as possible.
Additionally, if you would like to get a full picture of how you’ll look on your special day, feel free to bring your veil as well. Hint: Fittings can also be a great time to practice getting into and out of your gown!
How Much Do Wedding Dress Alterations Cost?
All wedding dresses are different, as are all brides. Therefore, most alteration shops cannot provide cost estimates until seamstresses can evaluate your dress and the necessary alterations. However, on average, most brides spend anywhere from $300 to $650 on wedding dress alterations, depending on the amount of work needed.
Some bridal shops provide alterations too. It is not uncommon for a bridal shop to offer brides an ‘Alteration Package,’ which is a flat fee that brides pay, in addition to the cost of their gown, for any necessary alterations. For some brides, this might be more cost-effective.
However, most will actually end up paying more using this pricing model as opposed to visiting an independent alteration shop or local tailor for their wedding dress alterations.
Psst.. again, don’t be afraid to shop around for the best price!
Who to Bring to Your Fittings
We recommend bringing someone with you to all of your fittings. This person should be accessible to you on your wedding day, both before and during the ceremony and reception.
During your fittings, this person can learn how to help you get into and out of your dress. They should also learn how to connect the bustles and/or corsets.
Fittings are an excellent time for you and your bridal fitting buddy to practice for the big day!
We hope that we were able to answer all your questions about wedding dress alterations. Follow these guides, and getting your wedding dress altered will be a breeze! Visit our bridal page to learn how to schedule your bridal fitting at Alterations Express.