Every bride wants to look drop-dead gorgeous on her big day. While choosing the right gown is vital, getting your dress alterations right is equally important. Here, we reveal a comprehensive breakdown of wedding dress alteration costs to help you get that flawless fit and avoid last-minute financial surprises!

The Wedding Dress Alteration Price List

If you’re looking at basic bridal gown alterations, typical prices range between $150 to $700  depending on the complexity of alterations and the rates of your seamstress. 

If you bring delicate fabrics and intricate embellishments into the picture, you can expect the costs to increase. Many bridal boutiques also offer a flat alteration fee. This fee covers most basic alterations, excluding customizations, and the fee ranges between $500 to $1000. 

If you’ve just invested in a stunning wedding gown, chances are, you’ll need a bustle, hem, and side seam work to ensure the perfect fit. Here’s a quick breakdown of what most common wedding dress alterations cost:

The Bodice 

  • Bra cups addition – $20 to $30
  • Reshaping neckline – $40 to $100
  • Corset alterations – $100 to $280
  • Letting out or taking in the side seams – $50 to $200


  • Bustle addition – $30 to $170
  • Hem – $70 to $280
  • Shortening or removing train – $30 to $250

Shoulder and Sleeves 

  • Elongation or cap addition – $200 to $400
  • Raising or lowering shoulders – $40 to $70
  • Alter or tapering sleeves – $30 to $100
  • Adding or adjusting straps – $20 to $80


  • Beadwork – $30 to $40 per hour 
  • Adding sash or belt – $20 to $40

Important Cost Factors to Consider 

Before you start investing in wedding dress alterations, here are a few important cost factors to consider:

  • The style and fabric of the gown. Alteration costs increase for gowns crafted from silk or satin because the process demands delicate hand stitching. The same holds true for gowns that need detailed re-beading. Lace dress alterations and heavily embellished dresses come with an even heavier price tag. 
  • La cart vs flat rate. Professional seamstresses often charge a la carte rate, meaning each alteration comes with a minimum price, which can then increase based on the task’s intricacy. The flat rate, on the other hand, is the total amount of money bridal stores charge for all standard alterations. 
  • The number of alterations. An increase in the number of alterations means an increase in the cost, especially when la carte charges are involved. 
  • Number of fittings. It typically takes 2-3 fittings to complete the alteration process. You might have to pay an additional fee for more than three fittings. 
  • Rush charges. It’s important to plan your alterations 4-5 months in advance. Most seamstresses are fully booked during the wedding season. Approaching a professional right before a month could cause you to incur an additional fee of more than $25 per service!
  • The person doing the alterations. Seamstresses, tailors, and local dry cleaners charge different fees for alterations. While dry cleaners may alter your dress for cheap, you’ll likely achieve the perfect fit if you take the help of a skilled tailor or seamstress. 

When Do Alteration Costs Increase? 

The cost of wedding dress alterations may increase if you opt for customizations of your gown. Redesigning or customizing your dress can cost anywhere from $200 to $1000 or more. While simple customizations like a quick neckline change won’t cost you much, complex processes such as redesigning a family heirloom gown may cost over $1000, depending on the complexity of the alterations.

Cost of Hem and Bustle  

Hemming a wedding dress costs between $70 to $280. The pricing depends on skirt style, fabric, and hemline embellishments. Most boutiques charge a la carte fee for hemming a dress. The costs increase when satin fabrics, applique laces, and intricate beading work enter the picture. For bustling a dress, a seamstress may charge anywhere between $10 to $200. This price depends mainly on the number of attachment points. The more the points, the higher the price. 

Additional Alteration Costs to Consider 

When it comes to getting that perfect fit, there’s no such thing as too many alterations. Aside from standard alterations, there are a few additional alteration costs to consider. These include things like adding a zipper, bra straps, buttons, or slits. The average costs here range from $20 to $100. Here’s a quick breakdown of the prices:

  • Zippers or buttons – $40 to $85
  • Adding or removing crinolines – $15 to $30
  • Bra straps – $15 to $45
  • Opening or closing slits – $24 to $40
  • Steaming – $40 to $100

How Much Does a Custom Bridal Veil Cost? 

No wedding dress is complete without a stunning veil. If you’re envisioning a custom veil for your big day, you can expect to pay anywhere between $30 to $400 based on a few factors: fabric type and quality, length, embellishments, and number of tiers. Generally speaking, professionals charge anywhere between $30 to $40 per hour for incorporating intricate embellishments like heirloom pearls.

Why Take Advantage of “Flat Fees?” 

Most brides prefer paying a flat fee for their wedding dress alterations. This fee encompasses all standard alteration services. A flat fee may be the best and most cost-efficient option if:

  • Your gown doesn’t require lots of modifications.
  • You’re not looking for customization or redesign services. 

Over to You! 

Now that you’re familiar with the average costs of wedding dress alterations, it’s time to research and hunt for the perfect seamstress. 

Keep in mind that alterations take time. Start shopping for a wedding dress several months in advance. Remember, many gowns take about 3-5 months to arrive, and alterations generally take 3-4 months to complete. Be very clear with the type and number of alterations you will need to avoid last-minute financial surprises. 

If you’re buying a gown that is not your exact size, go for a larger dress instead of a smaller one. This is because making a gown smaller is easier and less expensive than making a bigger one. 

Bring your undergarments, shoes, and accessories to every fitting to get a full picture of your upcoming wedding look.

Source link