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Bridesmaid Dress Alterations: What to Expect

Bridesmaid Dress Alterations

Hey there, lovely bridesmaids! We know that being part of a wedding is an exciting whirlwind of laughter, and love. But amidst the excitement, there's one important task that often gets overlooked—bridesmaid dress alterations. Don't worry, we've got your back!

Everything You Need to Know About Bridesmaid Dress Alterations

Sure, it may be tempting to believe that alterations are just an unnecessary hassle. After all, who hasn't tried wearing sky-high heels in the hopes of magically bypassing this to-do? But trust us, when you slip into a perfectly tailored dress that hugs your curves, you'll be singing a different tune.

That's why we've put together this guide to lead you through the wonderful world of bridesmaid dress alterations. We'll spill all the tea on costs, timelines, and everything else you need to know to make sure you're ready to shine on the big day!

1) Do I Need Bridesmaid Dress Alterations?

Let's tackle the question every bridesmaid asks: Do you need alterations for your bridesmaid dress? The answer is a resounding "yes!" Almost everyone will need some sort of tailoring to make their dress a perfect fit.

Latte Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridesmaid dresses are designed in standardized sizes to accommodate a variety of heights and shapes. So, don't be surprised if you find yourself with a skirt that's a tad too long or straps with a little extra length. It's all part of the adventure! But luckily, Kennedy Blue bridesmaid dress sizes come pretty close to normal dress sizes—major bonus points since that means fewer alterations!

2) Bridesmaid Dress Alteration Costs: Average Costs & What to Expect 

Ah, the big question: How much will bridesmaid dress alterations cost you? Just like wedding dresses, the cost can vary depending on a multitude of factors. Whether you need to take in or let out a few sizes, shorten the dress, or adjust those straps, each alteration will vary in cost.

The total alteration costs depend on the specific work required and the rates set by the seamstress you choose. On average, bridesmaids can expect to spend around $75-150 for alterations (based on Minnesota prices).

What's the Cost to Hem a Bridesmaid Dress?

Now, let's talk about hemming—adjusting the length of the dress to suit your height. Bridesmaid dresses come in various lengths, depending on the designer and style. It's not uncommon to need a hem alteration to achieve that ideal length for you.

Bridesmaid Dresses After Hemming

Hemming costs typically range from $45 to $90. However, several factors can influence the final price, including:

  • The number of dress layers
  • The width of the dress
  • Whether it requires a rolled hem
  • If it involves a horsehair hem
  • If the hemming is done from the waist.

How to Minimize Bridesmaid Alteration Costs!

We understand that bridesmaid dress alteration costs can add up, and saving a little moolah is always a plus! So, here are some handy tips to help you minimize those alteration expenses:

  • Try On Your Bridesmaid Dress Before Buying: While measurements are crucial, nothing beats the experience of trying on the dress in your chosen size. A well-fitting dress requires fewer alterations. Psst, have you heard about our Try-at-Home program? For just $10 per dress, you can try on a selection of our top-selling Kennedy Blue dresses in the comfort of your own home. That could save you up to $100 in alterations!

  • Opt for A-Line Bridesmaid Dress Styles: Not all dress styles are created equal when it comes to alterations. A-line dresses are like magical unicorns—they flatter most body shapes, provide comfort, and are less likely to require extensive alterations.

Fawn Bridesmaid Dress A Line Style

  • Forgo Bridesmaid Dress Hem Alterations (If You Can): If your dress is already sweeping the floor and you feel comfortable and classy in its current length, consider skipping the hem alteration. You can rock it with the right pair of heels. Just make sure you choose a heel height that keeps you confident and steady throughout the day.

  • Order a Dress with Adjustable Straps: Don't want to deal with costly strap alterations? Opt for a bridesmaid dress with adjustable straps. They offer flexibility and allow you to readjust to your heart's content at no extra cost.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to saving some hard-earned cash while still looking stunning in your bridesmaid dress. Your wallet will thank you!

Common Bridesmaid Dress Alterations Questions Answered

We understand that alterations can seem confusing, especially if you're new to the world of bridesmaid dress modifications. That's why we're here to shed some light on the most common questions we hear.

1) How Long do Bridesmaid Dress Alterations Take?

The timeframe for bridesmaid dress alterations can vary depending on the specific alterations needed. On average, the process takes around 1 to 3 weeks. Keep in mind that multiple fittings might be necessary, especially if significant alterations are needed. It's not uncommon to schedule more than 1 appointment to ensure a perfect fit.

Kennedy Blue Satin Rust Bridesmaid Dress

To avoid last-minute stress, book your alteration appointments well in advance. For weddings in the off-season (Nov-Mar), aim to have your first appointment about 1 month before the wedding. In the busy season (Apr-Oct), allow at least 2 months before the big day. Once you've ordered your dresses and have an estimated ship date, get in touch with a seamstress to secure your spot.

2) How Long Should a Bridesmaid Dress Be?

When it comes to hem lengths, there are three popular options to consider. Visualize them as curtains: Some bridesmaids prefer a length that sits 1 inch above the floor, while others like the dress to gracefully touch the floor. Alternatively, you can go for a slight puddle effect.

Kennedy Blue Cinnamon Rose Bridesmaid Dresses

While all three lengths are acceptable, a couple of factors come into play. First, consider the wedding location. If it's outdoors, think about whether you'll be walking on grass or sand at the beach. For indoor weddings, a classic hem just grazing the floor exudes elegance. Secondly, consider your personal style and comfort. If you're wearing flats, choose a hem that sits ~1 inch above the floor to avoid any tripping mishaps. Remember, we always prioritize your comfort!

3) How Many Sizes Can a Dress be Taken In?

Most bridesmaid dresses can be taken in up to 2 sizes. So, if you initially ordered a size 14 but find yourself now comfortably fitting into a size 12, there's no need to worry! However, increasing the size of a dress has more limitations. Whether you can let out a bridesmaid dress depends on factors such as available seam allowance and whether the side seams have been clipped. Remember, it's generally easier to make a dress smaller than it is to make it bigger.

Olive Green Bridesmaid Dress from Kennedy Blue

4) Factors to Consider When Choosing a Seamstress for Bridesmaid Dress Alterations

When selecting a seamstress, it's essential to consider their experience, reputation, and customer reviews. Look for someone with expertise in wedding or formal attire alterations. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your bridal shop. Additionally, don't forget to inquire about their pricing, turnaround time, and whether they offer consultations or fittings!

5) What Should I Bring to My Bridesmaid Alteration Appointment?

To ensure a smooth and productive alteration appointment, bring your bridesmaid dress (obviously!) along with any undergarments or accessories you plan to wear on the big day. This includes your preferred shoes, as they can affect the dress's hem length. Additionally, if you have any specific alteration requests or inspiration photos, bring those along to provide a clear vision to the seamstress.

Bridesmaid Appointment

6) What if I Gain or Lose Weight? Can I Get Last-Minute Alterations?

Last-minute weight changes can be a cause for concern, but don't worry! Most seamstresses can accommodate minor adjustments closer to the wedding date. However, it's crucial to communicate with your seamstress as soon as possible to discuss the changes and ensure they can accommodate your needs within the available timeframe.

Time to Tackle Bridesmaid Dress Alterations!

We hope these answers help you navigate the world of bridesmaid dress alterations. Remember, our goal at Kennedy Blue is to ensure you look and feel your absolute best in your bridesmaid dress. If you have any more questions or need further guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable team. Let's make your alteration journey a breeze!

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Leave a comment

May 22, 2020 10:54

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April 21, 2020 22:39

This is really helpful. One of my biggest goals in helping my girls choose their dresses is to make sure they are comfortable and feel like the dress flatters them, so the tips are great. Love that this article also targets saving money!

July 24, 2018 08:17

This was so incredibly helpful! I had instinctively wanted my girls in shape flattering dresses to begin with, and now I’m glad that that’s the direction I’m going in!

June 18, 2018 17:32

Love how helpful these blogs are! And how they really target saving you money on alterations in the end!

Paige Locke
June 08, 2018 08:41

SO helpful! I’m in a wedding in a couple of months as the maid of honor and this was a great article to read.

Sara Kathryn
June 07, 2018 09:34

This was so helpful!!! I’m a bridesmaid for one of my friends wedding and I’ve never been one before, I learned so much from this!

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