Do You Tip A Seamstress? [Is Tipping Customary Or Expected?]

When it comes to wedding expenses and all the services that go into your wedding, it can be confusing to know whether you should tip a seamstress or not. They are a little different than your makeup and hair services because while both are custom work, one is on a product and one is on the person! If you are not sure of what you need to do, here is what you should know.

So, do you tip a seamstress? It is not customary to tip a seamstress, nor is it generally considered necessary to do so. Seamstresses are quite expensive and make a good profit off their work – it’s all factored into their price. However, this isn’t to say you cannot tip if you wanted to show some further appreciation. 

So the short answer is – it depends, and it is up to you.

You needn’t feel obliged; the seamstress will not be expecting it, and you’re likely paying enough. 

Besides, chances are they are doing other fittings for your bridal/groom party too. They’re not typically short of work!

Nevertheless, it can be a nice gesture. And we will soon advise on how much you could tip if you felt inclined.

So be sure to read on as we get into more of the specifics. 

Should You Tip A Seamstress?

It is standard etiquette not to tip the seamstress. Usually, this is because most of the prices are built-in with some cushion. 

As such, seamstresses tend to make decent money on the fittings of brides and their parties. 

They do not expect an additional tip. For the most part, that is.

However, if you are getting discounts or an explicit slash in the price, you may want to reconsider. 

Especially if the work comes out fabulous or there are multiple bumps along the way. 

If you decide to (or not to), here are some general tips. 

How Much To Tip A Seamstress? (If You Decide To)

If you do decide to tip your seamstress, a good general recommendation is between 10-20%. It’s a starting place for sure.

In reality, the how much has a lot of variables, and they can be broken down into several different categories.

These include the following. 

  • Initial Price
  • Number of Pieces
  • Number of Appointments
  • Complications

The more of these factors you have, the more likely you will lean towards giving a little extra except for the initial price.

If you have a very high price, then we may think otherwise. 

Initial Price

The first thing you want to do is if you have been offered a contract with a seamstress for them to do X amount of dresses for a maximum of this cost with a cost breakdown, then it is important to scour the page for gratuity included.

Likely you will not come across this, but from time to time, a business owner will put it in the price and let you know.  

It is also really important to note that a service fee is not the same as gratuity.

A service fee will typically go to the employer rather than the employee and is as simple as its title.

It’s a fee for all the services you will be acquiring. Having said that, this isn’t as common as you think, but better to be prepared than not. 

If the initial price is really high, there is a good chance that they already put some cushioning in there.

In this case, you don’t need to tip.

This is different than tipping a makeup artist or a salon artist.

You can think of it like every time you go to the salon, you tip regardless of whether you are the bride or not. But when you get something stitched up, not so much. 

IF the price is incredibly low and it seems like you have been given a discount or a favor, consider thawing some extra cash their way.

It can be either be something like 10-20 percent or an extra $30. 

Number Of Girls

This point plays off somewhat of the first one.

It’s kind of a double-edged sword, sort to speak.

The more girls you have at the wedding that will be getting their alterations done, the more work it will be for the seamstress.

Now, the seamstress may need to have a team helping them if they have quite a lot of girls.

Usually, the head seamstress will work with the bride while the store’s team will take on the girls. 

The reason why this can be a double-edged sword is that you will want to appreciate them from the work they do when the number increases, but you also know the price is going to start going up and up. 

A good rule of thumb to consider is that again, if they are giving you discounts for having more people come in, consider throwing some extra their way.

But now this gets complicated because there may be multiple seamstresses?

You can divide the 10 percent among them.

What actually can be more useful to a bride is if the bridesmaids offer to pay for their alterations.

In this case, it will be up to the bridesmaid whether to tip or not and takes it off the shoulders of the bride. 

The Number Of Alterations. 

This is more specific to the bride than it is to the bridesmaids.

However, that isn’t to say the bridesmaids are immune. The more complicated a wedding dress is, the more alterations it may need.

It also inevitably will need more or less depending on the amount of weight you lose or gain between the first time you put it on and the last time.  

While it is expected for the bride to have multiple alterations consider throwing in a tip if it becomes to be more than usual.

If the seamstress is constantly altering and fixing the little things and they do a great job, it’s not a bad idea to put in an extra 10 percent for your wedding dress. 

Complications

A wedding simply is not a wedding without some good old hectic complications along the way.

Things happen, and the more complicated it gets, the more you should consider thanking your seamstress.

Say you change your mind for whatever reason on the dress after the work has started to be done.

Or say you have two looks for the wedding.

These are added extras and complications that may be worth thanking your seamstress for.

Even something like being hard to schedule or work with is a consideration. 

How Much Should A Seamstress Charge?

A seamstress may charge as little as $50 for an alteration or as much as $1000 (and sometimes more). It depends on the work done, the dress, along other factors. As such, the cost range is large.

You can expect 1-3 fittings to get the job done with room for error in case of serious weight loss and maybe weight gain. 

A good seamstress can make up for most of that, and of course, the more you see them, the more expensive it gets. 

Let’s get into the details. 

Basic Hemming

The basic hemming can sometimes be anything than basic.

It can include a number of different alterations that a bride may need. The first is the actual hemming of the dress and making it the appropriate length.   

What comes next is the adjusting of the side of the dress so that it isn’t too baggy and has several creases and wrinkles.

The last will be the sort of fine-tuning aspect of the dress so that if any other areas don’t feel quite right (hello baggy underarms), then the seamstress can take of this and make sure the dress fits perfectly. 

Adding Details

This is where it gets a little pricier and more personal.

The more customized you go with a gown, like adding details to the dress, the more you can expect to pay.

Details to the dress, however, are fairly common as many brides want to have trains that are long for walking down the aisle but have the ability to be tucked away when the dancing starts. 

Adding a train is not the only kind of added detail that brides constantly request.

Off-the-shoulder straps, gems, beading, or adding a bustle, among many more options, are all considered to be added detail that will add both time and money to the process. 

The Price Point

Some examples of what to expect when it comes to paying for your alterations can be by service or somewhat of an all-inclusive price.

This is because things constantly come up. However, it is by service you may expect something similar to the listed below. 

  • Hemming $225
  • Resew Seams $125
  • Design Change $50 upwards. 

Budget Well

When it comes to alterations, you don’t necessarily need to tip your seamstress because in general, the costs can add up quickly, and there is some cushion built into paying them.

In general, it is slightly different than the salon because you would tip to go into a salon even if it was for a basic haircut. 

When it comes to tipping your seamstress, it usually is because they’ve done a great job and have put in extra time and effort to help you out.

They may have even given you a great discount to use. 

Where it gets confusing is the more work a seamstress does, the more inclined you may feel to tip.

But also, the more expensive it gets so you may feel like it is not necessary. That’s why tipping your seamstress is a total judgment call and maybe very situational. 

If you decide to tip, you have our suggestions!