What if the bridal shop says they have to do the alterations?

As an alteration shop – we are in charge of one of the biggest parts of your dream – your gown. You have dreamt of wearing your wedding gown since you were 8 years old and now the time has come. After much time trying on dress after dress you finally found “the one.” But, it’s not perfect…yet. It needs a few tweaks and tucks and a bustle.
Keep in mind-
You are not obligated to have alterations done at the bridal shop where you bought the gown.
Do your homework first. Call shops in your area and ask for windows of prices. What do your hems start at? How do you charge for bustles? What do you consider the average for gown alterations? While they haven’t seen your dress and can’t give exact prices over the phone – they should be able to give you a ball park figure. If they won’t talk to you on the phone, hang up and move on.
Many shops have their own alteration department. Ask for an estimate on your alterations. It is their dress and they know precisely how much alterations will cost. And if they don’t know – really? It’s their job to know. If you had to drive a distance to the bridal shop and they are doing alterations – that means you will be driving back there maybe 4 more times for fittings and pick up.
I have heard of wedding shops requiring you to sign a contract agreeing to have your alterations done at their shop if you buy their gown. If a shop demands to complete your alterations I would look very closely at what you are signing, what is happening and what you will be paying for and how much it will be. They may offer cut throat prices on the gown only to rake you over the coals on alterations. Ask what their prices are. It is their dress and they know precisely how much alterations will cost.
Remember to ask about fitting fees. One fee period or one fee per fitting? Any other fees? Many shops have a supply or notions fee. This is normal and should be a small percentage.
Will they press the gown for free?
Kudos the bridal shop I once worked at that had free alterations. However – there were very few discounts given on dresses.
At Rapids Alterations we offer a free, no obligation consultation on your dress. Bring it in and we’ll tell what needs to be done and how much the alterations will be.
Last but not least – if you go somewhere and they are not treating you with respect or if you just have a gut feeling that it doesn’t seem right – Say thank you, take your gown and leave. There is no need to be put up with rude people, dirty rooms, or people who are not forthcoming with costs.