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Dress Alterations - Tips for Staying on Budget

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Dress Alterations – Tips for Staying on Budget
Katie B

Dress Alterations
When you buy your dress there are lots of stuff that the sales people do not tell you – for example, simple alterations can add up to another 50% of your dress budget. So if you are not lucky enough to have your dress fit perfectly right off the rack, here are some money-saving tips I learned from my own dress alteration experiences.

Get informed
The sales people are trying to sell you a dress. If there is something you don’t like about the dress they are quick to tell you that those things can be changed, no problem. However, these little alternations can end up blowing your dress budget. Make sure you know the cost (and get it in writing) of all the little changes so that you can factor those into your budget.

Buy shoes AFTER you go for the dress fitting
Most bridal stores will tell you to bring your wedding shoes to the dress fitting. This way they can hem the dress to match your shoes. However, this makes no sense to me. If you are on the average to tall side then you can save yourself hundreds by simply buying the right heel height instead of getting your dress hemmed. I went for my first dress fitting and determined that a 3.5” heel would save me a $400 alteration.

Ask about less expensive dress alterations
Getting a dress altered is like everything else, you can shop around. I really wanted a sweet-heart neckline – which did not come on my dress. Instead of an expensive alternation, the seamstress suggested gathering the bust area in something she called a pinch. This gave the illusion of a sweet-heart neckline with a fraction of the cost.

Think about a dress with a corset back
Having a corset or tie up back allows you to tighten or loosen your dress in whatever areas you want. This type of dress conforms to your curves and will save you tons of money in alterations.

Find a dress with accessories
Dress accessories are expensive. Veils, sleeves, belts, sashes are all in the hundreds of dollars. You can easily go over your budget when you add up all the things that make your dress, your dress. When looking for your dress remember that all the little things add up. However, some dresses come with things such as jackets, sleeves, and belts. I really wanted lace cap sleeves on my dress but could not find a dress with sleeves that I liked. So instead, I found a dress I loved with a lace cape and had it altered into the sleeves that I wanted saving me about $300.


Katie B

is a bride blogger who got married in 2014. You can read her wedding planning posts here.