Wedding dress alterations

Wondering how much people have paid for dress alterations...has anyone had a bridal shop bill in the region of £700?! It’s for a lace dress but not a terribly expensive one...just over £1,000 

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  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,137 New bride

    In two dress shops I’ve been to I’ve been advised that alterations are generally between £80 and £500! That’s in / near London. That depends on the type of alteration and the type of dress. They advised lace would always be more expensive. Eg shortening a lace edged train would be a few hundred because of the amount of work in removing the lace, cutting and then reattaching it.

    That does sound expensive but I’m not entirely sure the cost of the dress comes in to it, more the style. I don’t think a bill of that amount should be a total shock though - you definitely should have been made aware of an approximate figure before anything began.

  • MrsHowgateMrsHowgate Posts: 1,298 New bride

    I’ve been told to allow anything upto £350. When I went to try my dress on she said I was looking at around £250 for hem, bustle, letting out over hips and tummy, opening up arm holes, attaching my belt, adding additional boning and bra cups. The shop is based in Surrey and my dress was nearly £1400.

  • No estimate for the alerations was given at the time of purchase, just a confusing list of different nips and tucks. The dress was ordered in one size bigger than my usual dress size on the advice of the shop but when it arrived 2 weeks ago it was way too big on the shoulders/chest area. I expected it might need slightly taking in and the hem line lifted as I’m 5ft 2 and I ordered  extra lace and buttons to cover the low back of the dress as there were few dresses in the style I needed (long lace sleeves and covering most of my blemish prone skin). I figured it would be a few hundred pounds but at no point was I warned this would come close to doubling the cost of the dress. It is now less than 8 weeks until the big day and I have a dress I can’t wear unless I pay their extortionate prices. The shop is far from London, in a run down part of the West Midlands. It‘s a shame because it’s a beautiful dress and the shop director assured me  she could do this, that and the other - no problem. Now I just feel I was conned into snapping up a dress that wasn’t suitable for me as I was short on time and there aren’t that many dress shops nearby. 

  • MrsHowgateMrsHowgate Posts: 1,298 New bride
    Beabride wrote (see post):

    No estimate for the alerations was given at the time of purchase, just a confusing list of different nips and tucks. The dress was ordered in one size bigger than my usual dress size on the advice of the shop but when it arrived 2 weeks ago it was way too big on the shoulders/chest area. I expected it might need slightly taking in and the hem line lifted as I’m 5ft 2 and I ordered  extra lace and buttons to cover the low back of the dress as there were few dresses in the style I needed (long lace sleeves and covering most of my blemish prone skin). I figured it would be a few hundred pounds but at no point was I warned this would come close to doubling the cost of the dress. It is now less than 8 weeks until the big day and I have a dress I can’t wear unless I pay their extortionate prices. The shop is far from London, in a run down part of the West Midlands. It‘s a shame because it’s a beautiful dress and the shop director assured me  she could do this, that and the other - no problem. Now I just feel I was conned into snapping up a dress that wasn’t suitable for me as I was short on time and there aren’t that many dress shops nearby. 

    Can you not contact an independent seamstress and ask her opinion on alterations and cost?

  • Well, my dress wasn't lacy, and more of a BM dress (you can see it in the thread 'My dress'.) It needed taking up, taking in and the strap making shorter. A local tailoring shop called Diamond Tailoring charged me £25. And I am in London (SE20).

  • I don’t know of anyone local who could guarantee to do it in the timescales as I only have 8 weeks left. The seamstress said the lace hem needs unpicking and reattaching and the lace sleeves have to come off and be reattached so would be a risk to give it to someone you don’t know and who isn’t obliged to meet your deadline. Just feel screwed over by the bridal store and has totally taken the shine off going back for any further fittings. Not sure how to get that happy wedding vibe back now as feel like I’ve been let down over the one item you want the best advice with. I accept DJs and accessory people etc may be out for top dollar and if you don’t like it you shop around and find something cheaper - but a local vendor deliberately not giving you an indication of how costly a particular dress might be when you’re deciding between 2 gowns and you’ve indicated your budget at the first appointment is pretty shoddy. Also feels like the dress would have actually fitted with minimal alterations had they ordered my usual dress size. 

  • I would put in a complaint. And seriously you have been quoted 8 weeks! I know mine was much less complicated, but they did it in a few days! Can the shop rush order your usual size? If not, will they give you a refund? You could maybe take them to the small claims court. Can you get another dress or would it ruin your day? They have some lovely dresses you can buy off the peg eg Jenny Packham.

  • Maybe they are ripping you off for the alteration service? The word 'bridal' usually adds hundreds. Give the tailoring service I used a call 0208 8659 6725, see what they think it should cost and how quickly it could be done. (You could send photos). At least you will know if they are trying to pull a fast one. Sounds to me like the bridal shop are in league with the seamstress! If my place can do it, you could always courier it there and back. I have no vested interest, just a satisfied customer.

  • Mrs2018Mrs2018 Posts: 398
    Beabride wrote (see post):

    No estimate for the alerations was given at the time of purchase, just a confusing list of different nips and tucks. The dress was ordered in one size bigger than my usual dress size on the advice of the shop but when it arrived 2 weeks ago it was way too big on the shoulders/chest area. I expected it might need slightly taking in and the hem line lifted as I’m 5ft 2 and I ordered  extra lace and buttons to cover the low back of the dress as there were few dresses in the style I needed (long lace sleeves and covering most of my blemish prone skin). I figured it would be a few hundred pounds but at no point was I warned this would come close to doubling the cost of the dress. It is now less than 8 weeks until the big day and I have a dress I can’t wear unless I pay their extortionate prices. The shop is far from London, in a run down part of the West Midlands. It‘s a shame because it’s a beautiful dress and the shop director assured me  she could do this, that and the other - no problem. Now I just feel I was conned into snapping up a dress that wasn’t suitable for me as I was short on time and there aren’t that many dress shops nearby. 

    I'm in quite a run down area of the Midlands aswell do you mind me asking where about? My dress is full lace and alterations are  £175 because my hem doesn't need adjusting but she said it would have been a few hundred more if it did! If you close to me I could pass her details to you:)

  • I got my alterations done in 3 days, and they cost £85. It's worth asking round, someone could be willing to save the day!

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,454 New bride

    This seamstress is very well thought of locally and all the local bridal shops recommend her. Have put a photo of her price list below

     

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