Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by Alterations Express Staff
So, you’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid. Your dress has arrived. You got the shoes. You’re almost ready for the wedding day! Except for your bridesmaid dress alterations. If you’ve never visited a seamstress or tailor before, you probably have a lot of questions about your alterations and what to expect from a visit. How much are your bridesmaid dress alterations going to cost? What do you need to bring to your fitting? How long will your alterations take? How far in advance do you need to visit the tailor? Read on to get answers to your most important questions regarding your bridesmaid dress alterations and what to expect during your visit to the seamstress.
How much does it cost to alter a bridesmaid dress?
The cost of bridesmaid dress alterations can vary widely depending on the number of alterations that are being done to the garment, the original construction of the dress, how many layers of fabric the dress has, etc. We definitely recommend visiting your local seamstress or tailor with your dress to be able to get an accurate cost estimate for your alterations. However, on average, most bridesmaids spend between $45 and $150 on dress alterations.
Common Alteration Costs for Bridesmaid Dresses:
Hem: $30 – $120
Taper: $25 – $65
Take-in: $25 – $135
Adjust Shoulders/Straps: $25 – $55
Shorten/Lengthen Sleeves: $30 – $55
Replace Zipper: $30 – $45
*Garments with a lining cost more to alter than unlined garments. Also, keep in mind that multiple layers of a dress will increase the cost of a dress hem.
How long do bridesmaid dress alterations take?
Okay, so let’s talk timeline. How long before the wedding day should you visit your local tailor or seamstress? Just like everything else in life, we recommend that you DO NOT wait until the last minute to get your bridesmaid dress alterations completed. As a rule of thumb, we recommend getting your alterations completed within two weeks to a month before the wedding. This will give you enough time to make any adjustments before the big day and ensure that you achieve the most accurate fit.
Depending on how busy your local seamstress or tailor is, alterations could take between two to four weeks to complete. On average, alterations typically take 1 to 2 weeks to complete across the industry. With Alterations Express, bridesmaid dress alterations are typically completed within 4 days of the initial fitting. If you need your alterations completed faster, we also have express alteration services for Next Day, 2 Day, & 3 Day expedited alterations.
Are appointments required for bridesmaid dress alterations?
At Alterations Express, we do not require customers to schedule fittings for bridesmaid dress alterations. Instead, we allow customers to walk into any of our locations during operating hours for a professional fitting and price estimate on the spot.
However, keep in mind that most local tailors and seamstresses are not like us and will require you to schedule an appointment for your fitting. Tailors and seamstresses are usually very busy during the spring and fall, so make sure to keep this in mind when you’re scheduling your fitting. We recommend you call to schedule your appointment at least 6 weeks in advance to ensure your local tailor can accommodate your alterations.
What to expect during a visit to the seamstress
So, now that you know what you can expect in terms of cost and turnaround time for your alterations, let’s touch on what you can expect during your visit. During your first fitting, your seamstress or tailor will evaluate your dress and the alterations that are necessary. The fitting is a great opportunity to talk through your various options with your seamstress. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or make requests, this is what the fitting is for!
Also, don’t forget to bring the shoes and undergarments that you’ll be wearing with your bridesmaids’ dress to the fitting. These items are essential to ensure your dress’s fit is as accurate as possible. Additionally, if you intend on wearing shapewear with your gown, be sure to bring it with you for your fitting as well.
Most bridesmaid dress alterations are completed with just one fitting. However, sometimes, depending on the number of alterations being done to a dress, further adjustments might have to be made. Our recommendation is to plan for at least two fittings and then a final try-on as well. Learn more about formal dress alterations with Alterations Express.
Final Try-On & Last-Minute Tips
Before you leave your local tailor or seamstress during your final pick-up, make sure to try on the dress one final time with your shoes, undergarments, and shapewear (potentially). This will allow you to have any final adjustments made to the dress before the wedding day. We also recommend getting your dress professionally steamed or dry-cleaned before the big day. Alterations inevitably alter a gown’s shape and fit, so make sure to have the dress professionally cleaned or steamed so that the garment lays perfectly on the day of the wedding.
Being a bridesmaid is a lot of responsibility, but it’s also a lot of fun too! Follow the recommendations above, and your bridesmaid dress is sure to fit beautifully for the wedding day.