For most brides, looking their best on their wedding day comes at a cost.
No, we’re not talking about the price of your dream gown veil or other accessories, we’re referring to wedding dress alterations.
So, even if you’ve found your dream wedding gown at David’s Bridal, alterations will likely be in your future. If, like most brides, you’re worried about your bottom line, our David’s Bridal alteration costs guide will help you to budget for the overall price of your dress more effectively.
How Much Can You Expect To Pay For Alterations at David’s Bridal?
While pricing varies based on the complexity of the alterations, most brides will have a bill that ranges between $150 and $500.
To get an exact figure, however, you will need to make an appointment for a consultation at your local David’s Bridal.
Once a David’s Bridal specialist has seen you in the dress, she will be able to determine what alterations are necessary and discuss any enhancements you want before giving you a quote for the cost of the work.
David’s Bridal Alteration Price List
While David’s Bridal doesn’t provide a list of different alteration costs, we’ve curated comments from a number of brides online who shared their alteration expenses.
While pricing will vary from state-to-state as well as between Canada and the U.S., our list should give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay.
Here are the expenses of some real brides in 2021:
Alteration and price (real bride examples)
- Hemmed and fancy bustle – $270
- Hemmed and taken in one size – $500
- Hemmed, taken in on the sides, addition of beaded sash and three bustle points – $280
- Hemmed, 14-point bustle, dress taken in, bra cups added and straps shortened – $300
- Bodice back added, veil bustle, cups put in, corset taken in, and skirt hemmed – $345
- Bust taken in, sides let out one inch, bustle added – nearly $600
- Hemmed and sides taken in slightly – $90
- Hemming of chiffon and liner, leading and bustle taken in – $250
- Eight inches taken off waist – $180
- Bust and top upper body taken in, waist and down to hips taken in, bustle added – $165
- Bra cups sewn in and belt added – $70. Clamp above zipper added for free.
- Hemmed – $250
- Boning added to back, padded bra cups added, taken in on sides, hemmed in front and 47 bustles points added – $590
- Hemmed, nine bustle points added and sash sewn in – $250
- Pre-made bodice back and corset ties added – $175
- Hemmed, bustled, and taken in a bit – $350
- Hemmed, sides taken in, belt tacked on to the front, zipper redone and an over bustle – $475
- Bustle added – $120
- Hemmed, hip area altered, 10-point bustle and bra cups added– $360
- Six-point bustle added and liner layer hemmed – $101
- Shoulders tightened, sleeves shortened, lining added to bodice, front of the dress hemmed and three-point bustle added to the back– $535
- Bustle added, shoulders altered and bra cups added– $100
- Bridesmaid gown hemmed, shoulders altered and side slit lowered a bit – $105
- Hemmed, shoulder straps tightened up, and bustle added – $100
- Shoulder straps moved up and a bustle added – $111
Alteration and price (average cost)
Although David’s Bridal doesn’t offer an alteration price chart on its website, we’ve cobbled together the average starting cost of specific alterations based on online reviews and comments from brides.
A single layer hem in an easy-to-alter fabric should cost around $75. If your dress has numerous skirt layers, you can expect that cost to double to $150. If your dress is lace, the cost could be even higher due to the complexity of working with that material.
Shortening the sleeves on a wedding dress comes in at $35 for a basic fix. Dealing with lace, beading and other embellishments will make that base price climb.
Taking in or letting out your dress from the sides starts at $35 for a small alteration on plain fabric. That price will increase if your alteration specialist has to do a size change or deal with lace or beading. In most cases, the embellishment will have to be removed for the sides to be adjusted and then sewn back on afterward.
Bra cups ($20)
This straightforward alteration comes in at approximately $20. This price could change for specialty sizing.
Over bustles ($35)
Having an over bustle added for your train ranges in price. The first three loops or hooks costs $35 and each additional one is another $5 on average.
Under bustle ($50)
Opting for an under bustle will cost you a bit more. The first three points come in at around $50 and each additional hook or loop is $7.
Adding a bodice ($200)
Adding a bodice back to your wedding gown is not a cheap alteration. Starting at $200, the price will climb depending on the type of fabric the seamstress is dealing with as well as if embellishments need to be removed and then sewn back on.
David’s Bridal Alteration Tips
Whether you’ve purchased your dress or are about to start the shopping process, here are a few additional things to keep in mind with David’s Bridal alterations.
1. Keep alteration costs in mind when choosing your dress
The one cardinal rule of wedding dress shopping is to include the cost of alterations and bustling your gown into your overall dress budget.
Even if you buy a dress off the rack at a clearance price, if you need a pile of complex alterations to make it fit properly, you may not save as much money as you expected.
Your best bet to keep alteration costs reasonable is not to buy a dress that’s more than one size too large. It’s also a bad idea to buy a gown that’s too tight because letting a dress out is much more difficult than taking it in — and that translates into a higher alteration price.
2. Know the payment schedule
Make sure you’re prepared to pay for all of your alterations at your first fitting appointment. Most David’s Bridal salons will expect the payment up front rather than at your final fitting.
You can also expect to pay more for rush orders. Alterations needed within three weeks or less will be much more costly.
3. Read reviews for your local David’s Bridal store
Not all David’s Bridal salons are created equal. David’s Bridal is a giant in the bridal industry, but remember, the quality of service will vary from store-to-store.
While many David’s Bridal salons do have good Google reviews, there are enough horror stories out there to make any bride cautious. That’s why it’s always a good idea to read reviews for your local store before deciding if you’ll have your alterations done there.
If your local store has enough bad reviews to scare you away, you can always take it to another salon or find an independent bridal seamstress to perform the alterations for you.
What’s Included in Your Wedding Dress Alteration at David’s Bridal
Your first fitting will be an hour-long appointment. After donning your dress, a specialist will pin it to show you what alterations you’ll need for a perfect fit. If your wedding dress has a train, you’ll also discuss your bustle options.
On average, you will need two more fittings before your dress is ready. Your alterations specialist will work with you at your first fitting to create a timeline that works with your schedule and accommodates your wedding date.
Four weeks is generally allocated between your first and final fittings.
Pressing and steaming
A professional press and steam is included as part of your wedding dress alteration if you purchase your dress and alterations at David’s Bridal.
If you buy your dress at David’s Bridal but plan to have your dress altered elsewhere, the gown’s outer layer will be steamed before you pick it up.