How Much Do You Need To Budget For Your Wedding Dress … – Glam

Planning a wedding is all romance and fairy tales until you start seeing the price tags. While you probably aren’t surprised by the extravagant costs of venues and caterers, the other hidden expenses of a wedding can pile up, too. One area where many newlyweds-to-be experience sticker shock is the wedding day ensemble. It’s no secret that a wedding dress can be a major investment, but few people realize that after you get the dress, you’ll have to pay for alterations, as well.
Professional tailoring services demand more space in your wedding budget than just an ad hoc footnote. It’s rare to find a dress off the rack that fits you perfectly, so you’ll likely need to find a tailor to make modifications. In the end, you can find yourself spending hundreds of dollars on wedding dress alterations. Anticipating this expense ahead of time will make all the difference when creating your wedding budget.

If you want to be on the safe side, you should budget for your dress alterations to cost at least $150, but you’ll need much more than that if your dress is intricate, or if you’re working with a high-end bridal boutique (via Zola). A simple adjustment could cost as low as $20, but more complicated alterations will push you to around the $600 mark. Customizations — such as adding sleeves — will likely cost upwards of $200. If you only need one small modification, you won’t be out that much money. But most people need multiple dress alterations, and even minor fixes can add up to a triple digit amount.
Before you angrily shake your fist at the exorbitant costs of the wedding industry, keep in mind that wedding dress alteration prices are somewhat reasonable compared to other aspects of a wedding, and that you’re paying a person for their skilled labor. Many wedding dresses need to be altered by hand, particularly if they contain lace or beading. And when dresses have big trains or skirts, the tailor literally has more material that they need to work on. Plus, if your wedding day is coming up soon, your tailor might need to work outside of regular business hours to get the dress done in time. So while you can be a budget conscious bride when arranging your wedding dress alterations, be sure to respect the time and labor that goes into modifying a wedding gown.

If getting your wedding dress professionally tailored is a necessity for your wedding experience, and you’re worried about the potential expense, you’ll need to plan ahead. If you know a dress will need extensive changes, it might not be a wise purchase. Look for a dress that is already as close to perfect as possible. After buying the dress, schedule an appointment for alterations right away. You want to give yourself and your tailor plenty of breathing room before the wedding day to avoid any extra costs. As you search for a tailor, compare prices to get the best deal possible. Even if your dress boutique offers alteration services, do an outside price comparison to ensure you’re staying on budget.
All that said, you can also avoid getting dress alterations if it’s not something you want to spend money on. If you or a family member have adequate sewing skills, you can make minor adjustments on your own. Even if you aren’t a confident seamstress, you can still cinch up a dress without any sewing and make other minor alterations with safety pins and fabric tape. Your dress might not have that professional polish you get from bringing it to a tailor, but it will still be beautiful. Besides, most wedding guests won’t be examining every detail up close. Wedding costs can get out of control quickly, but with some thoughtful planning, dress alterations are one expense that don’t need to sneak up on you.