Being in the wedding party is such an exciting honor. Something that is less exciting is paying for the bridesmaid’s dress and all the hemming that comes along with it. Whether you’re a bridesmaid paying or a kind bride taking on the expenses of alterations, knowing how much you should expect to pay can help tremendously. Here is what you need to know.
So, how much does it cost to hem a bridesmaid’s dress? To hem a bridesmaid’s dress, you can expect to pay anywhere from $45 on the lower end up to $150 on the higher end. The total cost is dependent on several different factors, mainly those that revolve around the complexity of the dress and the expertise of the seamstress.
Just like anything, there are more affordable routes to go.
And you’ll always be able to shop around for prices.
Whether you should is another question, of course.
Finances, who is paying, what’s available to you; are just some of the factors you may want to consider when setting a budget.
Nevertheless, let’s talk about some of those factors that can influence the cost.
This way, you will know you aren’t getting ripped off or, at the very least, aren’t shocked if the bill is higher than expected.
How Much Does It Cost to Hem a Bridesmaid’s Dress?
It typically costs between $45-$150 to get a bridesmaid’s dress hemmed.
Prices can vary based on several different factors.
First, the expertise of the seamstress is something that heavily influences price.
The second most important factor is how much work has to be done and the complexity of the dress.
Who’s Hemming It
Or, in other words, the experience and reputation of the seamstress.
Someone who is in demand more will be able to charge a higher rate.
Some seamstresses may be highly qualified but charge a lower rate to get customers through the door.
Regardless of experience, if all the bridesmaids go to the same seamstress, they may offer a group discount to get more business.
Just consider that independent seamstresses may be more expensive than outlets like David’s Bridal!
The Complexity Of The Dress
If you are going to choose a simple dress that has a straight hemline, then you don’t have to worry so much.
However, if you have a waterfall hemline, this will require a lot more work and will ultimately lead to paying more.
If your dress has multiple layers, then this will take additional time as well.
Where It Gets Hemmed
Where it gets hemmed sort of goes along with the complexity of the dress.
If you hem from the bottom, this will be different than a waist hemline which can be a little more difficult depending on the dress style and width.
There are several different types of hems, like a rolled hem and horsehair hem.
Different hems cost different amounts.
Where Can You Get Your Bridesmaid’s Dresses Hemmed?
You can get your bridesmaids dresses hemmed at a bridal shop or a local seamstress. Bridal shops, of course, do the hemming and alterations specifically for bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses, so this is always going to be your best bet.
However, if you know a good tailor and seamstress, they may charge less for not being only in the wedding industry.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Bridesmaid’s Dress Hemmed?
It generally takes between two to three weeks to get a bridesmaid dress hemmed. However, it does depend on the time of year, demand, how many dresses need to be altered, and the expertise of the service used.
And you need to be mindful.
There may be additional alterations or hemming that need to be done after a second fitting.
This can take another few weeks, which is why it is essential to give everyone enough time to get their dresses back and make sure everything fits perfectly.
When Should Bridesmaids Get Their Dresses Altered?
A bridesmaid that wants to be safe should start the dress altering around three months before the wedding. This is especially true if you are all getting your dresses done at the same place.
It’s easy for the seamstress to take on too much and focus on the bride’s dress (they should) and then forget about the bridemaids.
It does happen, unforuntately.
This is why you simply need to get your timelines right.
Here is a good timeline to follow as a bridesmaid.
Three Months Out
This is when you can schedule your first fitting.
It will be when your measurements are taken, and the seamstress can see where the gaps are in the dress and how long the dress falls on you.
This is the first official fitting.
The hemming can sometimes depend on some of the other alterations that the seamstress will need to take, like pinching the sides to make it tighter etc.
Three months out allow for the first 1-3 weeks to go by and get the dress ready for what is hopefully the final fitting.
But hey are bodies are all different and unique right?
1-2 Months Out
This will be where you get to try your dress on for the second time, and hopefully this is the final fitting.
A good seamstress should be able to nip things in the bud in two shots.
However, if for whatever reasons you still need some hefty hemming and alterations this gives the seamstress a few more weeks to really iron out the details and get it right for the next time you stop by.
Don’t be shy to say you didn’t take off enough.
If the dress still feels like it is dragging on the floor, say so. The last thing you want to do is rip your dress or faceplant going down the aisle.
Even when your dress is done by your seamstress, there is a chance you may need some last-minute touches on the day off.
You may need a safety pin to hold a certain piece together discreetly or you may need just a little double-sided tape to make sure nothing goes on display later.
Even great seamstresses fail to catch everything (though because it is expensive, they should be very close to perfection).
So, having to do a little cinch here and there on your own really isn’t all that uncommon.
Just make sure you know before the wedding day what your plan is, so you aren’t trying something out on the fly.
How Long Should a Bridesmaid’s Dress Be?
While your bridesmaids will surely not all be the same height, you definitely want the dress to fit everyone well. Depending on the style of the dress will depend on where the dress should fall for each bridesmaid.
For short dresses that are commonly referred to as tea dresses, the length should fall just a few inches above the knee.
Some girls prefer to do below the knee by an inch, but you should decide early on below or above the knee as a mix would look funny.
For taller girls with long legs, the seamstress may cut less than those who are on the shorter side.
With long gowns, the girls will need to wear the right shoes to the fitting.
If everyone is wearing heels, then the same length in inches for that heel needs to be worn to the fitting.
This is because it will alter the inches hemmed dramatically.
For long dresses, a seamstress should leave 2-2.5 inches of space between the ground and the dress to not drag.
Suppose you have bridesmaid’s dresses with unique layering where the front may be shorter than the back or has a waterfall tail.
In that case, this will make the hemming a bit more complicated.
The same rules apply for the section that is short and the section that is long.
You will want a few inches off the ground and the short part of being just above or below the knee.
Get Good Service
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your bridesmaid’s dress almost as good as the bridal gown.
Everyone’s dress should be in tip-top shape, and by choosing a trusted seamstress, the proper hem length should be met with each and every dress.
This, of course, will depend on whether you have a long dress, a short dress, or a dress that has mullite layers and lengths, making it a bit more complicated to hem.
The more experienced the seamstress is, the better.
Having said that expect to pay a little more for those that are in demand.
If you bring your entire wedding party to the same store then you may be able to bargain for a discount on the total price or spread out individually if everyone is paying their own way.
Unfortunately, the cost really can swing an extensive range because everyone is unique and will require different work on their dresses.
Just make sure that as a bridesmaid, you are leaving plenty of time to get the dress hemmed the right way.
While it probably will take one shot, maybe two at the most, it isn’t unheard of for strange things to happen.
Either way, you don’t want to be the reason the bride has a panic attack the day of the wedding.
Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time, and set a reasonable budget of up to $200 accordingly. This should ensure everything goes to plan.
It’s better to budget more…
Other guides you may want to take a look at:
- Does The Bride Pay For Bridesmaid Dresses? [Or Other Expenses?]
- What To Wear Under A Bridesmaid Dress – 3 Options To Consider
- Best Steamer For Bridesmaid Dresses [My Top 3 Picks & Why]
- Best Bra For Bridesmaid Dress [My Top 3 Picks & Why]
- Bridesmaids Dress Too Small [What You Can Do]
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!