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Tips for saving money on alterations

Updated: Apr 9

Your wedding dress is one of the most important and expensive items you'll purchase for your big day. But what happens when you try it on and realize it doesn't fit quite right? Alterations are a necessary part of the wedding dress buying process, but they can also add up quickly. In this article, we'll share some tips for saving money on alterations so you can still have your dream dress without breaking the bank.

How Much Does It Cost for Wedding Dress Alterations?

Before we dive into money-saving tips, let's first address the question on every bride's mind: how much does it cost for wedding dress alterations?

The cost of alterations can vary greatly depending on the type of dress, the complexity of alterations, and the location of the tailor. On average, brides can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $900 for alterations. However, for more intricate or extensive alterations, the cost can reach up to $1,200 or more.

Tips for Saving Money on Alterations

Shop Around for Tailors

The first step in saving money on alterations is to shop around for tailors. Don't just go with the first tailor you find or the one recommended by the bridal salon. Take the time to research and compare prices from different tailors in your area, finding the best bridal alterations Toronto. You may find that one tailor offers a better price for the same alterations.

Consider a Dress with a Simple Silhouette

One of the biggest factors that can drive up the cost of alterations is the complexity of the dress. Dresses with intricate designs, beading, or lace can be more difficult and time-consuming to alter, resulting in a higher cost. Consider opting for a dress with a simpler silhouette to save money on alterations.

Buy a Dress That Fits Your Largest Measurement

When purchasing your wedding dress, it's important to buy a dress that fits your largest measurement. For example, if your hips are a size 8 but your bust is a size 6, it's better to buy a size 8 dress and have the bust taken in rather than buying a size 6 and having to let out the hips. This will save you money on alterations in the long run.

Ask for a Flat Rate

Some tailors charge a flat rate for alterations, while others charge by the hour. If you have a dress with multiple alterations needed, it may be more cost-effective to ask for a flat rate rather than paying by the hour. This way, you'll know exactly how much you'll be paying for alterations and can budget accordingly.

Don't Be Afraid to Negotiate

Just like with any other service, don't be afraid to negotiate the price of alterations. If you've done your research and know the average cost of alterations in your area, you can use this as leverage to negotiate a lower price with your tailor. They may be willing to work with you to keep your business.

Consider a Secondhand Dress

If you're on a tight budget, consider purchasing a secondhand wedding dress. Many brides sell their dresses after their wedding, and you can often find beautiful dresses at a fraction of the cost. Just be sure to factor in the cost of alterations when budgeting for a secondhand dress.

Skip the Designer Label

Designer wedding dresses can come with a hefty price tag, and this also applies to alterations. If you're set on a designer dress, consider looking for a similar style from a different brand. You may be able to find a dress with a similar silhouette and design for a lower cost, which will also save you money on alterations.

Be Mindful of the Fabric

The type of fabric your dress is made of can also impact the cost of alterations. Delicate fabrics like silk or lace may require more care and attention during alterations, resulting in a higher cost. Consider opting for a dress with a more affordable fabric to save money on alterations.

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute

Last-minute alterations can come with a rush fee, which can add up quickly. To avoid this, be sure to schedule your alterations well in advance and give yourself enough time for multiple fittings if needed. This will not only save you money but also ensure that your dress fits perfectly on your big day.

Consider DIY Alterations

If you're handy with a needle and thread, you may be able to save money by doing some of the alterations yourself. Simple alterations like hemming or adding straps can be done at home with some basic sewing skills. Just be sure to practice on a spare piece of fabric before attempting any alterations on your dress.

Average Cost of Wedding Dress Alterations

As mentioned earlier, the average cost of wedding dress alterations can vary greatly. However, to give you a better idea, here are some average costs for common alterations:

  • Hemming: $200-$300

  • Taking in or letting out the sides: $50-$200

  • Adding straps or sleeves: $50-$200

  • Bustle: $50-$150

  • Shortening straps: $50-$100

  • Adding a corset back: $50-$200

Keep in mind that these are just averages and the cost can vary depending on your location and tailor.

In Conclusion

Wedding dress alterations are a necessary part of the wedding dress buying process, but they don't have to break the bank. By shopping around for tailors, considering a simpler dress, and negotiating the price, you can save money on alterations and still have your dream dress. Remember to plan ahead and give yourself enough time for fittings to avoid any rush fees. With these tips in mind, you can have the perfect dress without overspending on alterations.

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