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Beginner June 2020

Alterations - David's Bridal or local seamstress?

Christina, on November 13, 2019 at 12:13 PM Posted in Wedding Attire 0 16
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Back1Alterations - David's Bridal or local seamstress? 1FrontAlterations - David's Bridal or local seamstress? 2

Hi all, first time posting here (and it's a long one!).

So I bought my dress from David's Bridal and had a great experience (stock pics attached). I just love my dress! However, because I have really big hips, I had to buy a size 4 to fit my hips. My waist and chest are close to a 0. So I have to have some major alterations done in the waist/chest area. I also need a hem, a few bustles, and a belt sewn in. My DB attendant girl, who I really loved, assured me that buying up a size and having the waist taken in would be easier than buying down a size and having the hips let out.

I went to a local seamstress who owns a small boutique bridal shop here in town. She has great reviews on Yelp, Google, etc. I've heard how expensive David's Bridal can be with alterations, so I thought for sure she would be reasonable. She quoted me $200 to take the waist in, $250 for a hem, $15/bustle, and $20 for the belt. I was very shocked! I know it's probably due to the amount of work and all the layers, especially the lace, but I was expecting (maybe naively) between $200 and $300 for everything.

I have a consultation appointment next week at David's Bridal to see what their costs will be, but just speaking with someone on the phone in their alterations department, she said their hems cost between $90-$190, and to take in the waist will cost $70-$170. That's already somehow cheaper than the seamstress.

I've tried looking around elsewhere in town for other well-reviewed seamstresses but somehow there just aren't that many seamstresses around here, and the others I have found have bad reviews and I don't want to risk it with them. So these are pretty much my two choices.

I also asked the seamstress if I exchanged the dress for a 2 and instead needed the waist taken in less and the hips let out a little, if that would be cheaper. She basically said it's six of one, half a dozen of the other. So it makes no difference. My hips are my problem area, so I really need to accommodate them! (Ha.)

I'm a little frustrated with myself that I didn't think in advance about the cost of alterations. I almost wish I went with a dress that gave my hips freedom and only needed minor alterations in the waist (like a ball gown or something), but I can't go back now. And I really love my dress. It just sucks. I guess this is the cost of being a bride, lol.

So what would you recommend? Should I go with the seamstress who may end up costing more? Is David's Bridal really that bad? If DB ends up being cheaper, should I just go with them? I firmly believe you get what you pay for but if I can save even $50 to $100 between the two, it seems I should just go with DB.


TL;DR: Alterations through David's Bridal will cost as much or less than a local, well-reviewed seamstress. Is DB so bad that I should just bite the bullet and pay more for alterations with the seamstress, or in this case, can I trust DB so I can save $50 - $100?

16 Comments

  • Liz
    Dedicated June 2020
    Liz ·
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    I am in exactly the same predicament.. Bought my DB dress 2 sizes to big as I’m taller and there is a band that’s supposed to sit under my breast line and the smaller sizes went up to high. So now I have to have the whole thing taken in to accommodate that. Haven’t gone to a seamstress yet but planning on it soon. I’ve heard mixed reviews on DB seamstress, all depends on the location.
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  • A
    Devoted February 2020
    Andrea Online ·
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    The seamstress I met at DB during my wedding dress shopping day was amazing and I really hope I get her to work on my dress. I actually liked her better than my consultant who barely helped me. Maybe it's cause I was her last appointment and she was over it?

    I've read tons of reviews from people on these forums saying how it depends on the location since DB is such a huge conglomerate, so you might want to see if you can find reviews from your location. Maybe the reviews are positive? You are going to meet them next week too, so you can gauge how much you like the seamstress and how knowledgeable she is.

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  • Kathryn
    Devoted April 2020
    Kathryn ·
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    Honestly, there's something to be said about DB being a large company and not a lady running alterations out of her house. I was already pretty much set on DB doing mine because of the price and convenience, but a recent post about a lady who had her dress coming back to her 5 days before her wedding and not even finished from a local seamstress have me more spooked. I think it'll be better in the long run to go with DB and hope you get a good seamstress. I was debating putting in a corset back on my dress, and that too was putting the cost up when I compared with local seamstress.
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  • C
    Beginner June 2020
    Christina ·
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    I will definitely wait to decide until I meet them and see what they can do. I did try googling the alterations dept. of my local David's Bridal to see if there are any raving, positive reviews for them. Unfortunately they are mostly mixed. Smiley sad

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  • C
    Beginner June 2020
    Christina ·
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    My fiance says the same thing you do. I'm just paranoid given the plethora of horror stories out there about DB alterations. I think I'm at the point where I would rather pay more for the local seamstress who knows her stuff and have the peace of mind while she does it, rather than pay less and be anxious for the next few months until it's done. But we'll see once I have my appointment. :/

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  • C
    Beginner June 2020
    Christina ·
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    Why can't our bodies just be proportionate, right?! I love (and by love, I mean laugh at) wedding "help" articles on saving money that say, "Buy a dress that fits so you don't have to get it altered." Gee, thanks for that advice. It's as if there's a dress out there that fits my exact measurements and I'm choosing NOT to get it! *eye roll*

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  • Liz
    Dedicated June 2020
    Liz ·
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    Absolutely, wouldn’t it just be a perfect world if we all fit in those perfect size molds... Well good luck girl...
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  • C
    Beginner June 2020
    Christina ·
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    I almost feel ashamed for thinking this but I’m almost wondering if I should just try returning the dress for a dress of equal/greater value that needs fewer alterations. Like a ball gown in a size that fits my waist. Although that might still require a significant hem which could still end up costing a lot. Ugh. Am I just freaking out too much?
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  • A
    Devoted February 2020
    Andrea Online ·
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    I think you’re freaking out too much. Did you go see the seamstress yet from DB?
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  • C
    Beginner June 2020
    Christina ·
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    No, I go on Tuesday. I’m still just nervous they’ll completely screw up my dress and then be like “sorry, not our problem.” I’ve read stories on here about how DB messed up wedding dresses and brides had to fight them to get a refund/exchange/etc. even though they screwed it up. Ugh.
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  • Stevie
    Savvy February 2020
    Stevie ·
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    I thought DB seamstress was a rip off. When my sister got married I was one of her bridesmaids and both of us had to give back our dresses 3 times for the alterations to be right. This time around I went to a local seamstress who specializes in wedding dresses. She had nothing but good reviews.

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  • C
    Beginner June 2020
    Christina ·
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    Update: So I went to my DB consultation. They want to charge me $673 for everything that the seamstress will do! Jeez!! I’m quite relieved because now I get to go with the seamstress AND she’s less expensive. I can’t believe alterations can be so pricey.
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  • C
    Beginner June 2020
    Christina ·
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    Yeah, the DB seamstress seemed...okay. One thing both my MIL and I found strange/concerning was that she seemed to think she would only need to take in the side seams of my dress. But as my MIL I both sew, we know (as should any seamstress) that you don’t just take in a few seams—you take in all of them evenly! When we asked about her taking in the side-back seams she said it would be another $80! What the?! I’m glad it worked out that I don’t need to go with them. Also she just gave me the pricing on a post-it note, not an actual quote sheet. Lol. 😅
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  • Stevie
    Savvy February 2020
    Stevie ·
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    I am glad that everything worked out for you! she DB seamstress did the same thing to me. Wrote her estimates on a sticky note lol.

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  • C
    Beginner June 2020
    Christina ·
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    Lol. I know I sounded nitpicky. I just saw pics of some sheet floating around different forums with all their alteration services listed on it so I guess I was expecting that!

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  • Stevie
    Savvy February 2020
    Stevie ·
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    Not nitpicky at all! I would expect the same thing. Especially coming from DB!

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