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The 411 on Wedding Dress Alterations

Everything You Need to Know About Your Wedding Dress Alterations ~ Written by Tali Gallo

The Bridal Finery owners are Roberta & Tali, they spent years in bridal fashion working with the most prestigious designers. They joined together and opened The Bridal Finery in 2017. Personalization is what they know best! Whether you want to add some lace or part of your dress you want to replace, The Bridal Finery helps you find and create your dream dress!



Once you have found your wedding dress, it’s time to consider who will be your seamstress! Some bridal boutiques offer in-house alterations while others provide a recommendation list on where to take your dress locally.  While every seamstress operates differently, there are standard business practices amongst seamstresses. Here a guide to everything you need to know about wedding dress alterations. 


How much should you expect to spend on wedding dress alterations? 

Alteration costs generally depend on the amount of time required to take in, hem, and bustle the dress for the reception. Standard alterations range from $500 - $900 depending on the details of the dress. Expect to spend $100 - $200 more for a lace or horsehair hem compared to a clean crepe hem. The longer the train the more bustle points required to pick up the train for the reception. 


Custom changes are available with experienced seamstresses. Custom changes include adding sleeves, making removable skirts, adding beading, and lowering backlines. Changes can add an average of $100 - $500 to the alterations bill. A bridal stylist should share with you an estimate on alterations cost prior to you purchasing your dress. 


When should you start your dress alterations? 

Standard alterations start two months before the wedding. If you are making major changes, we recommend meeting with your seamstress three months out just in case the fabric needs to be ordered.  During the first fitting, the seamstress will start with the bodice of the dress.  If you are trying to tone or drop weight before the wedding, make sure to advise the seamstress. They may suggest starting a little closer to the wedding. 


The second fitting is around 4-6 weeks before the wedding.  During the second fitting, the seamstress will start working on your hem and bustle. Additional fittings are scheduled until the dress is perfect. Typically the last fitting is a week before the wedding. Weight loss is common a few weeks before the wedding due to a busy schedule and all the excitement.  It’s important to try the dress on with the seamstress the week of your wedding to make sure there are no additional alterations needed.


What should you bring to your alterations appointment? 

You will need your undergarments for your first fitting so the bodice can be adjusted. Most bridal shops provide undergarment options including Spanx, cups, and bridal bustiers. Make sure to ask about undergarments when you purchase your wedding dress. We provide a collection of undergarment options at The Bridal Finery.  


By your second dress fitting, you will need your wedding-day shoes. We do not recommend changing to a different pair for your reception. Changing to a lower heel will make your wedding dress longer and uncomfortable to wear throughout the evening. 


Come ready to communicate how you would like your wedding dress to fit. We all wear our clothing differently. It’s important to speak up and share with the seamstress how you picture your wedding dress fitting you! 


Want to see behind the scenes? Check out The Bridal Finery's YouTube Video on Dress Alterations!





Written by: TALI GALLO

Owner & Stylist at The Bridal Finery

Her love of all designer gowns, attracted her to create a new concept bridal boutique; where gowns are sourced from couture designers, as well as other boutiques.


Looking for the dress you will remember forever?

Schedule your in-person bridal appointment today!



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