Ashburn, VA

How much do bridesmaid dress alterations cost?

$60 – $200 average cost

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March 9, 2022

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 3 expert alteration services on Fash.

Bridesmaid dress alterations cost

Bridesmaid dress alterations cost $60 to $200 on average, with most spending about $140. The average cost to hem a bridesmaid dress is $30 to $100. Letting out a bridesmaid dress costs $20 to $70. Seamstresses charge $30 to $40 per hour to alter bridesmaids' dresses.

Bridesmaid dress alterations cost - chart
Bridesmaid dress alterations cost - chart

Average bridesmaid dress alterations cost
National average cost $140
Minimum cost $10
Maximum cost $550
Average cost range $60 to $200

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by Fash members.


Bridesmaid dress alterations price list

Bridesmaids' dress alteration prices range from $10 to $260, depending on the alteration type, dress style, and fabric. The most common alterations are hemming, taking in the side seams, and shortening the straps.

Delicate fabrics must be hand-stitched, and each dress layer hemmed separately, increasing the cost.

Bridesmaid dress alterations price list
Alteration service Average cost
Bodice alterations 
Add bra cups $10 – $40
Bodice side seams- Take in/out $30 – $70
Bustline/Princess seams $20 – $50
Corset back added $100 – $260
Neckline reshape $30 – $60
Sleeve & shoulder alterations
Add or alter sleeves $20 – $70
Add or alter spaghetti straps $20 – $30
Adjust armholes $20 – $40
Raise shoulders $30 – $60
Skirt alterations
Hem $30 – $100
Skirt - take in/out side seams $20 – $70
Embellishments and extras 
Add or alter belt/sash $10 – $40
Add embellishments (beads, pearls, crystals) $30 – $40 per hour
Steaming $20 – $60

Bridesmaids in altered pink and blue dresses next to bride
Bridesmaids in altered pink and blue dresses next to bride

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Cost to hem a bridesmaid dress

The average cost to hem a bridesmaid dress is $30 to $100, depending on the skirt design and fabric. Chiffon, taffeta, and satin skirts fray when cut, requiring a labor-intensive rolled hem. Highly embellished skirts are typically shortened from the waist to maintain the hemline design.

Cost to hem a bridesmaid dress
Hem service Average cost*
Chiffon/rolled hem $40 – $80
Chiffon/rolled hem on extra wide fabric (fuller skirts) $60 – $100
Lining hem $20 – $30
Main & lining, enclosed hem $40 – $80
Main & lining, enclosed with braid $90 – $120
Shorten from waist, reshape skirt $70 – $200

*Prices are per layer, with each layer hemmed separately.

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Cost factors to alter a bridesmaid dress

Several variables affect the cost of bridesmaid dress alterations, including the dress design, fabric delicacy, customizations, and seamstress rates.

  • A la carte vs. flat-rate fees – Some boutiques charge a flat fee for standard alterations. Most professional tailors charge by the service, ensuring you don't pay for more alterations than you need.
  • Alterations needed – A dress that needs multiple alterations costs more, especially when paying a la carte fees.
  • Specialist vs. local dry cleaner – Alterations by a professional seamstress or tailor cost more than a local dry cleaner's sewing services. For complex changes or highly embellished fabrics, seek a skilled professional to ensure the best result.
  • Consultation and fitting fees – Most bridesmaid dress alterations do not require a consultation or fitting fee.
  • Custom work – Customizing the neckline, sleeves, and embellishments increases alteration time and costs.
  • Gown complexity and fabric – Some fabrics like satin or silk require more tedious hand stitching to hide seams. Heavily embellished gowns require meticulous re-beading when altered. Applique lace requires the most skill and precision to alter.
  • Rush fees – Scheduling the fitting less than three weeks before the wedding may incur a $25+ rush-service fee.
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Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to alter a bridesmaid dress?

Altering a bridesmaid dress takes about 2 to 3 weeks, depending on how many fittings are required to get the perfect fit. Alteration time increases during the peak wedding season.

How long should a bridesmaid dress be?

The wedding location often determines how long a bridesmaid dress should be. A length 1-inch off the floor is best for outdoor weddings on grass, sand, or snow. A dress hem that touches the floor or slightly puddles is more appropriate for formal, indoor weddings.

How many sizes can a bridesmaid dress be taken in?

Most bridesmaid dresses can be taken in up to 2 sizes without impacting the dress design features. Letting out the dress is more complicated and only possible if there is enough seam allowance.

When should bridesmaids get their dresses altered?

Bridesmaids should schedule their fitting 2 to 3 months before the wedding to accommodate additional fittings if needed. Alterations during the peak wedding season require more time. Most seamstresses charge a rush fee for alterations less than three weeks before the event.

What do you wear to a bridesmaid dress fitting?

Bridesmaids should bring their wedding shoes and undergarments to a fitting appointment to ensure the dress is fitted correctly. If you don't yet have your wedding day shoes, the seamstress may alter the rest of the gown and leave the hem for another fitting.

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Hiring a seamstress or tailor for bridesmaid dress alterations

Before hiring a seamstress for dress alterations near you, be sure to:

  • Ask for referrals from friends, family, your wedding planner, or other recent bridesmaids.
  • Search online for a local seamstress with years of wedding dress experience or a tailor specializing in bridal gowns.
  • Read their reviews on Fash and Google.
  • Go with the shop that is the most professional, skilled, and works within your budget and timeframe.
  • Review all contract terms before signing and ensure you are completely satisfied before making the final payment.

Questions to ask

  • How many years of experience do you have altering bridesmaids' gowns?
  • Do you charge a flat fee for alterations or charge individually for each service?
  • How much will the alterations cost?
  • How many fitting appointments will I need?
  • How long will my fitting appointments take?
  • How long will it take to complete the alterations?
  • What should I bring to my first appointment?
  • Will you steam my gown after alterations?

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