Ask the Expert

How Much Customization Can I Do to a Gown in Alterations?

I’m having trouble finding the gown of my dreams. How much can be done in alterations to adapt an existing dress, and how much can I expect to spend?

Expert: Rylee Calvert, Co-owner of Altered for the Altar

Brides often have trouble finding exactly what they are searching for in a wedding gown, but the dress is only a few customizations away from perfection. For seamstresses that specialize in wedding gown alterations and customizations, most modifications are possible. Some of the customizations we regularly see made to gowns are: lowering the back, modifying the neckline, adding straps/sleeves, removing straps/sleeves, and creating custom boleros to wear over the gown.

It is important to remember that some changes are a complete pattern and design build that require a specific skill set. Do your research when choosing a seamstress for these changes, as making custom changes is a specialty that not all seamstresses or tailors offer.

Most reputable bridal seamstresses will charge between $500–$800 for general alterations and this should include pressing and bustling the gown. Customizations to a gown generally run $300–$800.

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