The gown that a bride wears as she sashays down the aisle is one of the most awaited spectacles at a wedding. It’s no question then that the wedding gown should fit the bride like a glove. No matter how sophisticated or expensive the bridal gown’s design and fabric may be, it is the fit that makes the dress. Altering a wedding dress then takes a lot of foresight and skill. It is an art in itself. So if it’s not a simple matter of just snipping and sewing, how much are wedding dress alterations?
Rates per Hour
Professional wedding dress tailors usually charge on an hourly basis. When they diagnose the alteration that needs to be done on a dress, they can give you an estimate of the number of hours they will work their magic, based on their hourly rate. Rates are different across tailors and wedding dress specialists. It gets more expensive when the tailor is more experienced, or is known in the industry, or has some level of prestigious training in his craft. Usually, the average hourly rate of a professional wedding dress tailor is from $20 to $40.
Rates Based on Design
Other wedding dress professionals base their rates on the intricacy of the alteration that needs to be done. If he or she has to work with complex designs or detailed embellishments, thousands of pearls and beads that make the gown difficult to maneuver, they can command a higher rate. Of course, if it is a no-fuss sheath dress, then alteration costs are kept at a minimum. An alteration based on design and factoring in the number of work hours can go as high as $100.
Of course, your location could also affect how much are wedding dress alterations.
Other Factors to Consider
Other fees you should consider when you have your wedding dress altered are the following:
- Consultation. Some tailors have consultation fees because diagnosing the problem on the dress is in itself a skill. This can be added to your fee when asking how much are wedding dress alterations.
- Getting your altered gown ready. Most tailors will take care of pressing and steaming and carefully packing your gown so that all you have to do is to step into your dress. They charge a fee for this, naturally, because costs are involved apart from labor, like the use of electricity. The fees could be from $25 to $100. It depends on the level of care that a gown, its material, and embellishment requires.
- Lead time. If you give your tailors more time to work on the alterations, then perhaps you can save a little bit. But if yours is a rush project, then expect to be charged more.
Alterations Done on Wedding Dresses
Since alterations could also make a dent on your wedding budget, there are some changes that you might want to consider and rethink if they are really a need. Aside from figuring out how much are wedding dress alterations, it’s also wise to know what are the alterations. These are the most common alterations performed in a wedding dress:
- Basic hemming. The length of the dress needs to be the right for the bride so that she doesn’t trip on the hem and fall over when she marches and moves about on her wedding day.
- Changing or adding sleeves. Some brides like their gowns showing off bare shoulders, while others want full-on sleeves. Adding or removing sleeves gives a wedding dress a major change and a whole new look.
- Beading and embellishments. Another way to update the look of a wedding gown is to adorn it with some beadwork, or delicate lace appliques and sequins. Adding these details to a wedding dress is a meticulous process.
- Perfecting the fit of the dress. This is a crucial alteration since the fit of a wedding dress has to be flattering on the bride, and comfortable since she will be garbed in it for hours. This usually includes adjusting the torso, ensuring that the bust is supported, and that overall, the gown is form fitting.
- Sewing in support. You wouldn’t want a case of a wardrobe malfunction on your big day, so alterations that secure the dress no matter how much you move are imperative. Tailors usually sew in a bustle so that the bride doesn’t contend with dragging the train around. Sew-in bra cups could also be stitched into the dress. Know more about wedding dresses.
When you go for a fitting, always bring your wedding shoes with you so that you are sure to have the proper and actual skirt length. Also, when choosing a dress, always go for one size bigger. It’s not only to accommodate the extra pounds you may gain along the way, although we are pretty sure you won’t. A dress of a bigger size is easier to alter since the tailor has extra fabric and more room to work around. With these ins and outs of perfecting a wedding dress, you now have a grasp of how much are wedding dress alterations.