Skip to content

how much does it cost to alter a wedding dress

To alter a wedding dress, it typically costs between $100 to $400. Alterations may include adjustments to the size, length, neckline, or adding embellishments.

These alterations allow the dress to fit perfectly and accentuate the bride’s features, making her feel confident on her big day. Whether it’s taking in or letting out the dress, shortening the hem, or modifying the sleeves, the cost can vary depending on the complexity of the changes and the skill level of the seamstress.

It’s important to budget for alterations separately from the dress itself, as they are typically not included in the purchase price. Be sure to consult with a professional seamstress to get a precise quote for your specific dress alterations.

How Much Does It Cost to Alter a Wedding Dress? Find Out the Affordable Options!


Factors That Affect The Cost Of Altering A Wedding Dress

Factors that influence the cost of altering a wedding dress include the complexity of alterations needed, the fabric of the dress, the skill level of the tailor, and the region in which the alterations are being done. These factors can all affect the overall cost of altering a wedding dress.

Type Of Alterations

When it comes to altering a wedding dress, the cost can vary depending on several factors. One of the main factors that affect the cost is the type of alterations required. The type of alterations needed for a wedding dress can range from simple modifications to more complex changes.

Fabric And Complexity Of The Dress

Another important factor that influences the cost of altering a wedding dress is the type of fabric used and the complexity of the dress design. Dresses made from delicate fabrics such as silk or lace may require meticulous handling and specialized sewing techniques, which can increase the overall cost of alterations. Similarly, if the dress has intricate beadwork, embroidery, or other embellishments, the complexity of the design can also impact the cost.

Extent Of Alterations

The extent of alterations required for a wedding dress is another crucial element that affects the overall cost. The more extensive the alterations, the higher the cost is likely to be. Simple alterations such as hemming the dress, taking in or letting out the seams, or adjusting the straps will generally be more affordable compared to major modifications like changing the neckline, adding sleeves, or altering the silhouette of the dress.

To give you a better understanding, here is a breakdown of some common alterations and their potential costs:

Alteration Average Cost Range
Hemming $50 – $150
Taking in or letting out seams $50 – $200
Bustle addition $75 – $250
Adding or removing sleeves $100 – $500
Changing the neckline $150 – $500
Altering the silhouette $200 – $800

Keep in mind that these cost ranges are approximate and can vary depending on various factors such as the location, the experience of the seamstress, and the specific requirements of your dress. It’s always recommended to consult with a professional seamstress or bridal boutique to get an accurate estimate for your specific alterations.

Average Cost Of Common Wedding Dress Alterations

When it comes to preparing for your wedding day, finding the perfect dress is just the first step. The next step is ensuring that the dress fits you flawlessly. Wedding dress alterations are essential to achieve that dream fit, but you may be wondering, how much does it cost?


Hemming is one of the most common wedding dress alterations. It involves adjusting the length of the gown to ensure that it grazes the floor at just the right height. This alteration can be necessary regardless of the style of your dress, whether it’s a ball gown, mermaid, or A-line silhouette.

The average cost for hemming a wedding dress is around $100 to $250. However, keep in mind that the actual cost will depend on a few factors, such as the intricacy of the hem, the material of the dress, and whether it has multiple layers.

Taking In Or Letting Out The Dress

When it comes to the fit of your wedding dress, it’s essential that it hugs your curves in all the right places. This is where taking in or letting out the dress comes into play. Whether you’ve lost a few pounds or want a slightly looser fit, this alteration can ensure a perfect fit.

The average cost for taking in or letting out a wedding dress varies between $50 and $300, depending on the complexity of the alterations required and the structure of the dress. Keep in mind that if your dress has intricate beadwork or lace, the cost may be on the higher end.

Adding Or Removing Sleeves

If you’ve found your dream dress but wish it had sleeves or want to turn a long-sleeve dress into a strapless one, adding or removing sleeves is the alteration you need. Sleeves can add a touch of elegance or provide extra comfort depending on your preference.

The average cost for adding or removing sleeves from a wedding dress can range from $100 to $350. The specific cost will depend on factors such as the type of sleeves desired (cap sleeves, long sleeves, or illusion sleeves) and the level of complexity involved in the alteration.


The bustle is an essential alteration for a train that allows you to comfortably move around without dragging the train all day. A bustle lifts and secures the train of the gown, giving it a neat and elegant look for your reception or dance floor.

The average cost for a bustle varies between $75 and $250. Factors that can influence the cost include the length and weight of the train, the type of bustle you choose (e.g., French, American, or traditional), and any additional adjustments required to accommodate the bustle.

When it comes to wedding dress alterations, it’s essential to work with a skilled and experienced seamstress or tailor. They will ensure that your dress fits you seamlessly and enhances your natural beauty on your big day. While the average costs mentioned here can serve as a general guide, it’s always best to consult with a professional to get an accurate estimate for your specific dress and requirements.

Tips To Reduce The Cost Of Altering A Wedding Dress

If you’re planning a wedding, one of the biggest expenses can be the wedding dress. But what about the alterations? It’s important to remember that the cost of altering a wedding dress can add up quickly. However, with a little planning and some smart choices, you can reduce the cost of alterations without compromising on the perfect fit of your dream dress. Here are some tips to help you save your hard-earned money when altering a wedding dress.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is key when it comes to altering a wedding dress. Giving yourself plenty of time before the wedding will not only help reduce stress, but it will also give you more options for finding affordable alteration services. Many seamstresses charge additional fees for rush orders, so avoid last-minute alterations if possible. Start looking for a skilled seamstress well in advance, ideally 3 to 6 months before the big day.

Find A Skilled Seamstress

When it comes to altering a wedding dress, finding a skilled seamstress is essential. Look for a professional with experience in bridal alterations, as they will have the expertise to handle delicate fabrics and intricate designs. It’s a good idea to ask for recommendations from friends or wedding professionals, and don’t forget to check online reviews to ensure you’re choosing someone reliable and talented.

Consider Off-the-rack Dresses

Opting for an off-the-rack wedding dress can be a smart choice if you’re on a tight budget. These dresses are often more affordable than custom-made gowns, and they come in a range of sizes that might require minimal alterations. When shopping for off-the-rack dresses, try to find one that is closest to your size and shape, as this will help reduce the need for extensive alterations.

Choosing Simpler Alterations

Choosing simpler alterations can also significantly reduce the cost of altering a wedding dress. Instead of completely redesigning the dress or making major alterations, opt for minor adjustments that can still give you the perfect fit. Some simple alterations you might consider include hemming the dress, taking in or letting out the sides, or adding bust cups for additional support. Remember, the more complex the alteration, the higher the cost, so stick to the basics whenever possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Alter a Wedding Dress? Find Out the Affordable Options!


Alternative Options For Affordable Wedding Dress Alterations

Introductory paragraph

In this section, we will explore alternative options for affordable wedding dress alterations. Altering a wedding dress can be a costly endeavor, but there are budget-friendly alternatives available. Whether you choose to tackle the alterations yourself, consider secondhand dresses, rent a wedding dress, or trust online alteration services, these options can help you save money without compromising on your dream dress.

H3: DIY Alterations

Diy Alterations

If you have basic sewing skills, opting for DIY alterations can significantly reduce the cost of altering your wedding dress. With a sewing machine, some thread, and a bit of patience, you can take on simple alterations such as hemming the dress, adjusting the straps, or adding a bustle. However, keep in mind that more complex alterations like resizing the gown or working with delicate fabrics might be best left to professionals.

H3: Consider Secondhand Dresses

Consider Secondhand Dresses

Buying a secondhand wedding dress can be a smart way to save on alterations while still finding the dress of your dreams. Many brides sell their wedding dresses after their big day, often at heavily discounted prices. By purchasing a pre-owned dress, you may find one that fits you almost perfectly, minimizing the need for extensive alterations. Remember to thoroughly inspect the dress for any damages or alterations needed before making the purchase.

H3: Renting a Wedding Dress

Renting A Wedding Dress

Renting a wedding dress is another affordable option to consider. Numerous bridal rental shops offer a wide selection of wedding dresses at a fraction of the cost of purchasing one. When renting, alterations are usually included in the rental price, allowing you to customize the dress to fit you precisely without the added expense. This option is particularly suitable for couples on tight budgets or those who prefer not to keep the dress after the wedding.

H3: Trusting Online Alteration Services

Trusting Online Alteration Services

With the rise of online services, there are now reputable alteration companies that specialize in wedding dresses. These services often offer convenience and cost savings. You can simply ship your dress to them, provide detailed measurements, and discuss your desired alterations remotely. While this option can be more affordable, be sure to research and read reviews to ensure you choose a reliable and trustworthy service. It is wise to allow enough time for any potential alterations, as shipping times can vary.

When To Start Alterations And What To Keep In Mind

Start alterations on your wedding dress as early as possible. Consider factors like design complexity, fabric, and desired changes when estimating the cost. Keep in mind that alterations may affect the overall budget, so plan accordingly.

When it comes to planning a wedding, there are countless decisions to make. From choosing the perfect dress to finding a venue, the checklist feels never-ending. Therefore, it’s essential to plan ahead when it comes to altering your wedding dress to ensure that it fits flawlessly on your big day. Here, we will discuss the timeline for alterations, the importance of communication with your seamstress, and the final fittings, so you can be prepared and stress-free.

Timeline For Alterations

The timeline for alterations is crucial to ensure that your dress fits to perfection. It is recommended to start alterations around three months before your wedding date. This allows sufficient time for multiple fittings and any necessary adjustments. Keep in mind that some seamstresses may have a busy schedule, so booking your alterations in advance is essential to secure their services.

In the first fitting, your seamstress will take measurements and discuss the desired alterations. Be sure to have your undergarments and shoes ready, as they can affect the fit of your dress. Depending on the complexity of the alterations needed, additional fittings may be required.

Communication With Your Seamstress

Effective communication with your seamstress is key to achieving the desired alterations. Prior to your first fitting, make a list of any concerns or modifications you have in mind. During the fitting, discuss these details openly with your seamstress, ensuring that both parties have a clear understanding of the alterations to be made. Keep in mind that your seamstress is an expert in their field, so don’t hesitate to seek their professional advice.

It’s important to stay in touch with your seamstress throughout the alteration process. Make sure to discuss any changes in your measurements or weight to ensure that the dress will fit perfectly on your wedding day. Open and honest communication will help to avoid any last-minute stresses or surprises.

Rehearsal And Final Fittings

The rehearsal and final fittings are the last steps in the alterations process. About a week before your wedding, schedule a rehearsal fitting to ensure that the alterations have been completed to your satisfaction. This fitting will give you the opportunity to check the dress’s fit and make any final adjustments if needed.

During the final fitting, wear the same undergarments and shoes that you will be wearing on your wedding day. This will allow your seamstress to make any last-minute tweaks for the perfect fit. It’s also a good idea to bring someone whose opinion you trust, like a trusted friend or family member, to provide feedback on the dress’s fit and overall appearance. Their fresh perspective can ease any doubts or concerns you may have.

In conclusion, starting alterations in a timely manner and maintaining clear and open communication with your seamstress are essential for a stress-free alteration process. By adhering to the suggested timeline and staying in touch with your seamstress, you can ensure that your wedding dress fits flawlessly, allowing you to feel confident and beautiful on your special day.

How Much Does It Cost to Alter a Wedding Dress? Find Out the Affordable Options!


Frequently Asked Questions Of How Much Does It Cost To Alter A Wedding Dress

How Much Does It Cost To Alter A Wedding Dress?

Wedding dress alterations can range from $50 to $500, depending on the complexity of the alterations needed. Simple adjustments like hemming or taking in a gown may cost around $50 to $150. More involved alterations, such as adjusting the bodice or adding embellishments, can cost $200 to $500.

The final cost will also depend on your location and the expertise of the seamstress.

Can I Alter My Wedding Dress To Make It Smaller?

Yes, in most cases, a skilled seamstress can alter your wedding dress to make it smaller. Common alterations include taking in the bodice, adjusting the waistline, and hemming the dress. However, keep in mind that every dress is unique, and the extent to which it can be altered depends on its design and construction.

Where Should I Go To Get My Wedding Dress Altered?

To get your wedding dress altered, it’s best to go to a reputable bridal shop or a professional seamstress with experience in bridal alterations. Ask for recommendations from your bridal boutique or use online platforms to find reviews and ratings for alteration services in your area.

It’s important to choose someone who specializes in wedding dress alterations for the best results.

How Far In Advance Should I Have My Wedding Dress Altered?

It’s generally recommended to have your wedding dress altered about 2 to 3 months before your wedding day. This allows ample time for multiple fittings and any necessary adjustments. Starting early ensures that you have enough time to address any unexpected issues and achieve the perfect fit for your big day.


To wrap up, the cost of altering a wedding dress can vary depending on various factors such as the complexity of the alterations, the material of the dress, and the experience of the tailor. It is essential to consult with a reputable and skilled professional to ensure that your dress fits perfectly for your special day.

Remember, investing in alterations can truly enhance the overall look and feel of your wedding dress, so consider it an investment in creating your dream gown.