Ask Kate: Do I have have to pay for wedding dress alterations?

April 17, 2013

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.


I went to get measured for my wedding dress in December, and tried on the gown in the shop with my bridal shoes. One lady in the shop suggested it just needed to be an inch longer whereas the owner advised two inches. So my dress was ordered in two inches longer. I tried it on today and it is an inch too long, and as there are five layers they said it will cost me up to £90 to alter. Why should I have to pay when it is their mistake that it was ordered in the wrong length, especially when one assistant said only needed an extra inch. Do I have any rights?


It depends on what was agreed and also if they do the alterations in-house or out-source them. If, at the time of ordering, you agreed to the extra 2inches then, whatever was said at the time concerning the 1inch option, they will state that it was your decision to go with the 2inch suggestion. If you have signed anything then you are bound by it unless they will compromise. If you have signed nothing and there is no paperwork at all from the bridal shop then it’s simply a matter for discussion and you could argue that they ordered it incorrectly. You have more chance of getting them to waive the fee if they do the alterations in the shop itself. Your other option is to find bridal shoes that are an inch higher. I’d appeal to them and ask them if they would waiver the alteration fee as it was their mistake. I’m afraid that it is likely you’ll have to pay the alteration fee but it’s always worth asking.

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