Wedding Dress Alterations 101

How much do wedding dress alterations cost? What are the most common wedding dress alterations? How long do wedding dress alterations take? We're here with all of the answers!

The fit of your wedding dress is everything! Your gown should make you feel comfortable + confident, and alterations can help take the fit of your dream dress to the next level. Alterations happen after you've said YES to the dress, and help ensure that the gown you searched high + low for is absolutely perfect for the big day [and no one needs a wardrobe malfunction on their wedding day]. 

After your yes moment, your Luxe Redux stylist will refer you to a trusted seamstress in your area, who will help fit the dress to you. Alterations are a game changer and are necessary for any bridal gown, whether you purchase a designer sample gown with us or order a brand new dress from a traditional boutique!

The entire process of alterations will be done in multiple fittings, so that your seamstress has time to assess what changes are needed, take proper measurements, and finally make the alterations. Keep reading for the different types of alterations that may be needed to your wedding dress, many of the frequently asked questions about alterations, and tips for making the process as easy as possible!  

1. Basic Hemming 

Alterations begin with adjusting the length of the gown, taking in the sides if needed, and fine-tuning the overall fit of the dress. Following alterations, your dress should skim the ground, accentuate your bust + natural curves, and complement the body's shape. 

2. Adding Details 

Although these alterations will cost more than basic edits to the gown, your seamstress may be able to add additional details to your dress! Details like off-the-shoulder straps, sleeves, train length, lace, and beading can all be added to your wedding dress to make it more 'you'! 

3. Bustle 

If your gown has a train, a bustle is essential! This will allow you to wear your gown as-is for your ceremony, and then easily fasten your train to your dress and keep it out of the way for your reception. Your seamstress will walk you through the different styles based on your gown.

 Wedding dress alterations 101 | Luxe Redux Bridal


What should I budget for wedding dress alterations? 

You should always have a separate budget for alterations outside of what you're setting as your price point for your gown! Depending on what kind of changes you'd like to see, alterations can add up. Some seamstresses may charge per service [to shorten your gown, to add beading, etc], while other seamstresses may charge a flat fee. Keep in mind that the price of alterations varies vastly between locations + from seamstress to seamstress. We share with our brides that they should set aside anywhere from $400 - $1500, depending on what they'd like done to the gown! 

How long do wedding dress alterations fittings last?

The first fitting usually lasts about an hour, since this is the first time that the seamstress is able to assess the fit of the dress, and gives you a chance to further discuss your vision for the gown. Following the first appointment, each fitting should take less time!

How many wedding dress fittings will I need? 

Alterations typically take around 3 months to fit the gown properly. Traditionally, this happens the last 3 months right before your wedding to accommodate any shift in your body. Most seamstresses schedule 3 appointments [1 per month], starting with an initial consultation and pinning, followed by 2 appointments for hemming your length, bustling your train and any finishing touch-ups.

Tips for the wedding dress alterations process

Book early! 

The best time to book your alterations is right after you find your dress! Most seamstresses start booking 1 year out from the current date, and they can often book up just as quickly as other wedding professionals. It's best to be on their calendar ASAP!

Store your gown properly

Always store your wedding gown in the fabric garment bag that we provide during your appointment. These bags are designed to protect your gown from most external elements and are made to be water resistant. We suggest keeping your garment bag in a cool, dark closet with a door, away from pets, smoke, direct heat sources and direct sunlight.

Bring your wedding shoes + shapewear

Be sure to bring your wedding day essentials with you to alterations to get a true idea of how the dress will fit. Having your wedding day shoes + shapewear on your body while your seamstress is fitting the gown to you will make a world of a difference in the final outcome, and ensure that your gown will look perfect as you're walking down the aisle! 

Go for a hemline that grazes the ground

Another reason why bringing your wedding day shoes is so important - you want to make sure that the hem of your wedding dress is the perfect length, and ever so slightly grazes the ground as you walk! The main thing is to make sure that you're not tripping over your gown, and having your wedding shoes with you to ensure the perfect length will help with that! 

With that, choose your shoes wisely! We recommend finding a shoe that you will truly be comfortable in for 8 hours. If you end up kicking your shoes off on the dance floor, you are now gaining that length back in the front of your gown, which can make it easy to trip or fall.

If you're worried about the hem of your dress getting dirty, know that the bottom of your wedding dress is bound to get dirty throughout the big day,  but rest assured that these stains will be easily removed during wedding dress cleaning + preservation

Bring a friend 

As you head to your alterations appointments, bring a supportive friend or family member who will cheer you on + bring all of the good vibes! They'll provide an extra set of eyes to the situation, can be a sounding board for your opinions and ideas and can record a video of how to bustle your gown to reference on the big day.

Our stylists are highly trained in understanding what can be altered. If you love a gown, but have questions/concerns regarding the fit, please contact us! Our team is happy to assist in finding an experienced seamstress who logistically makes sense for you and your price point.

Now that you're armed with everything you need to know about alterations, let's find your dream dress — tap the button below to book your bridal appointment! 

Wedding Dress Alterations 101 | Luxe Redux Bridal