As brides, most of us have neither had much experience nor have much knowledge about wedding dresses, wedding alterations, or custom designed wedding gowns.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misleading and unrealistic information available online which not only isn´t helpful, but adds to the confusion.
Knowledge is power— it also saves a lot time and hassle. Misconceptions make walls between you and receiving the best service you wish for and could get.
Getting the best at a reasonable, realistic price should be the goal, not finding the cheapest service. You get what you pay for, and this is not where you can cut corners, or save money!
To get answers to your questions and to figure if we are your best choice, please consider reading our “55 Frequently Asked Questions”, before attempting to make an appointment. The answers are intended and meant to be frank and right to the point and might seem odd to some, but we believe everybody deserves the truth and any type of game playing is dishonest and just waste of time!
55 Frequently Asked Questions:
- 1- Is it possible to see Mina in my first fitting?
- 2- How do I know how much my budget is, I don't know how much these things cost?
- 3- How do I choose a seamstress or tailor for my wedding dress?
- 4- Why do you need my budget, pictures, and an explanation of the work I need done?
- 5- Which one is more important the style or the fit?
- 6- The fact that you only communicate via your web site and by email makes everything easier and organized, but should I be concerned about late responses and not getting the appointments on time for the fittings?
- 7- Why don't you allow brides to make appointments by phone, like other tailor shops?
- 8- Why don't you give a quote over the phone, like other tailor shops?
- 9- I see that many brides who post you reviews say Mina is an "artist" who changes the fit magnificently and gives the bride an amazing body, small waist, etc. What do they mean?
- 10- I have mixed feelings, I see all of your amazing reviews, but the address and your celebrity clients make me wonder if I can afford you at all?
- 11- Why don't you charge a flat rate for bridal alterations like others do?
- 12- I hear horrible stories about how some tailors quote a job and, at the end, ask for a lot more! How reliable are your quotes?
- 13- My previously worn wedding dress is torn; can I bring it to you?
- 14- Why can't I just stop by your shop and show my dress?
- 15- Why should I pay a consultation fee just for someone to look at my dress and give me a quote?
- 16- Because my budget was low, you refused to set an appointment, but this is the quote that the bridal shop gave me, except that they cannot convert the neck line. Why you are not willing to go the extra miles to get my business, and let me feel special?
- 17- When is a good time to start the alterations?
- 18- I have months to the wedding and I am trying to lose weight, can I wait until I get to where I want and then start the alterations?
- 19- You suggest taking the dress for alterations as soon as possible, but I see many happy brides commenting that you have accepted their dresses much closer to their weddings. Would you explain that?
- 20- My beaded wedding dress is two sizes too big for me; no one is willing to work on it. Would you help? Can you keep the integrity of the dress? How noticeable will the alterations be?
- 21- Is one month to the wedding a good time to start the alterations?
- 22- My dress does not arrive until a month before my wedding; can I make an appointment now?
- 23- I cannot find anything that I like in the stores. I am confused and am not sure about what I like. Do you think custom-made is the way to go?
- 24- What percentage of the purchase price should I budget for the wedding alterations?
- 25- How much do you charge for wedding dress alterations, just a ballpark?
- 26- I have a simple wedding dress with no beading, how much will the alterations cost?
- 27- How are the regular bridal alterations that everybody does different from the customized bridal alterations that you do?
- 28- I need some more coverage for the church, as well as a beaded belt, headband, and a veil; can you help me with them?
- 29- I live in New York, but my wedding is in Los Angeles. Can you help me with the alterations if I arrive in LA three weeks before the wedding?
- 30- My dress arrived 3 inches short. Is there anything you can do?
- 31- What if a bride loses some weight in the process, do you charge her extra?
- 32- What kind of dresses can you work on?
- 33- My wedding dress was ruined by a tailor, but she seems unable to fix it. Can you rescue me?
- 34- What if you are not told that the dress was previously altered and you notice the previous alterations during or after the consultation?
- 35- I want to add some beads to my dress, as well as a beaded belt, how much will you charge me?
- 36- I have trouble finding the right veil to go with my dress and I don't want any cookie cutters, any chance you can customize one for me?
- 37- The tailor I am using does not know how to bustle and cannot change the neckline to sweet heart; how much do you charge for these minor alterations?
- 38- I don't have my shoes yet, can you start working on other areas until my shoes arrive?
- 39- I don't have my shoes yet, but I know what height I want, can you start the hem?
- 40- What if I want to wear two different shoes with different heights in my wedding, can you do the hem in a way that works for both?
- 41- I ordered my dress seven months ago; I'll be five months pregnant on my wedding day, 10 weeks from now. What can be done for my dress and when I should start the alterations?
- 42-Can you add embellishments, trims and belts? If so, do you provide the materials?
- 43- I was on a budget and took my dress to someone else in an attempt to save money. My dress is completely ruined and the tailor says that the only thing they can do is put the dress back where the original seams were. Can you work on it if I bring the dress to you after she is done?
- 44- My dress was torn by my shoes. I want to make an appointment for alterations, but I don't know if you can help me with the tear too.
- 45- cannot find anything that I like in stores, but I like a top of one bridal gown, and skirt of another, is there any chance you can make me my dream dress? If so, do you need me to buy the pattern?
- 46- I have been shopping for wedding dress for more than a year now, but I cannot find anything in the stores that I like or looks good on me. Can you make me something from scratch?
- 47- Why is the cost of bridal alterations in Los Angeles so high compare to purchase price? Are they taking advantage of the situation?
- 48- How many fittings do I need before I pick up my wedding dress?
- 49- I read that Mina worked around some bride's budget, would you explain how so?
- 50- Why don't you allow a fiance, the mother of the bride, or someone else make the appointment for the bride?
- 51- Will you allow me to take my dress for jewelry shopping or other reasons before you are done with it if I bring it back to you?
- 52- I am on a budget, can you help me?
- 53- Do you also custom-make or alter bridesmaid's dresses?
- 54- I have low budget and cannot find a wedding dress within my budget, do you think it's better to have something made?
- 55- Do you dry clean and press?
1- Is it possible to see Mina for my first fitting?
For every appointment, Mina sees every bride herself in privacy of our large studio. That's why we are so careful about setting appointments. She does not allow any interruptions or distractions. You'll get her full and undivided attention. Our goal is to deliver perfect results on every project. We prefer to accept a few less orders, and spend enough time with every bride and on every project. We are committed to use her limited time only with serious brides who comfortably set aside a reasonable budget considering our higher skill and perfectionism.
2- How do I know how much my budget is, I don't know how much these things cost?
Budget is what you plan to spend—it is probably the most important (and commonly used) word the bride will hear while she plans her wedding.
Whether you want your dress custom designed and tailored from scratch or need customized alterations on your purchased dress, bridal tailoring is a very detailed and time consuming job if done properly and professionally.
Right now (2017), average price of custom-designed wedding gown is 5k-6K depends on the design and quality of the work; and the price of alterations at bridal salons in Los Angeles starts from $500 and $30 per bustle. For basic routine alteration flat rates in LA start from $600 (depends on their skill) which normally only covers to take in bodice, a hem, and a bustle (embellishments, modifications, restyling, additions, production corrections, replacements, etc. not include; and no beads involved), and those with higher skill charge based on the job. Of course tailor shops, because of their lower skills, should have lower rates. Some bridal shops also have low-mid skill tailor on-site and charge about the same as tailor shops. In bridal tailoring, every detail counts.
We are a highly skilled bridal atelier specialized in couture bridal design and European tailoring. We charge each bride accordingly based on the time, skill, and effort spent with them and on their dresses. Unfortunately, we are unable to estimate any cost or make any suggestions without seeing the bride in person. If bridal alterations are needed, we also need to see her dress and examine it closely. We are perfectionist, and because of our higher skill and extra time we spend on each dress, our prices might be higher than average in LA. We charge a non-refundable consultation fee which will go towards your final cost if you place your order during your consultation appointment.
We are the best choice for brides who have good taste and comfortably consider a reasonable budget for their project/s considering our higher skill!
3- How do I choose a seamstress or tailor for my wedding dress?
The first fact to consider is that the difference between a poor job and an excellent job might be ONLY a couple of hundreds! Let’s be clear, whether you want your dress custom designed and custom-made, or you need customized alterations on your purchased dress, you can’t just use a regular seamstress or tailor to work on your wedding dress—you need a real bridal dress specialist who is highly-skilled, has design capabilities, is hands-on, and can do everything from A to Z (making patterns to finishing touches). They need to specialize in bridal and evening gowns because, even if the project is “just alterations”, the must be customized to your body which not everyone can do it. Even if you have a simple wedding dress, the work will not be simple, and it takes someone skilled—you will smile knowing your money was well spent every time you look at the pictures of your wedding for years to come!
Your specialist must be able to tastefully design without any struggles— artistic vision and fresh ideas are a must. She/he must be able to picture the best fit for you to enhance your beauty and balances out your body. For beaded and more complicated wedding gowns, you need someone who not only specializes in bridal gowns, but is also highly-skilled when it comes to beaded and more elaborate gowns. Make sure they only work on bridal dresses and gowns because higher skill is needed. Also, your dress can’t be mixed with or worked on in the same environment as regular clothing or materials such as jeans, leathers, velvet, etc. Those materials (residue and color they leave behind) may stain and damage the wedding dress. The tailor or seamstress with measuring tape around their neck, pins in their mouth, and chalk in their hand whom most of us picture as a professional, is not necessary the person who should be working on your gown!
The best way to find a trustworthy establishment is through “word of mouth”— ask someone with the same fashion and quality taste as yours who has had good experience with them already! If you have to find her on line, at least search wisely on reliable sites such as Google, Yahoo, City search, Wedding Wire, Insider Pages, Kudzu, and YP. Do not rely on one or two sites, but search a few. Don’t trust review sites that are known to filter and manipulate reviews when businesses don't advertise with them, and remove the real positive reviews from the listing page or create negative fake reviews. The point is that not all of them are in business to keep the consumers informed, but some are dangerously misleading. Read what they don’t want you to know, otherwise you never get the real picture on those sites. We custom-designed a wedding gown for a bride and the dress was featured in Brides and C magazine, yet the review she posted for us on Yelp was sent to “Not recommended….” page, as a fake review! That’s just one example!
Keep in mind, you won’t be meeting with your bridal dress specialist just once, but many times so good chemistry is crucial. You must both be comfortable working together. Expecting them to go extra miles to get your business, and the customer is always right, it's not reasonable. It's a contract, and no business will pass the offer if pays the bills. Bridal tailoring, if done professionally and tastefully, is a long process and hard work, so any extra pressure is unnecessary.
It's worth mentioning that the worst method to find a wedding establishment is to “price shop.” Remember, you get what you pay for. Saving a few dollars is not worth the stress and dissatisfaction you may experience on big day. In a wedding, some cuts in some areas can be made and forgiven—but the wedding dress is not one of them. The low quote a tailor shop gives you is what they believe their work and skill worth, so do not blame them when you see the result! Also, do not go to a highly skilled wedding dress specialist and expect them to do the job for the price a tailor shop gave you! Be willing to pay for what you get. It might be hard to believe, but there are some brides who care about parking, business hours, and same day appointments more than the final fit and look of their dresses!!
4- Why do you need my budget, pictures, and an explanation of the work I need done?
We believe discipline, organization, and good preparation lead to perfection! The pictures and other information we ask for, help us be ready for the project once the bride comes for the consultation. Also, since each bride has limited time, we have limited openings, and we charge a consultation fee, it is only fair to everyone that before making an appointment we know the budget is reasonable for the project considering our higher skill. We want to make sure the appointment is productive for both sides, and we are the best choice for those we schedule appointment with. This also allows us to be better prepared and responsive to the bride.
Since we are contracted to do the project, both sides (the bride and us) must willingly and comfortably agree on the deal and happy to work with each other. Providing the information prior to the consultation saves a great deal of time for both sides and reduces confusion and misunderstandings. Spending limited time on price shopping is fundamentally wrong and we do not want any part in it, even though we charge for consultation. In fairness to the brides who actually have realistic budget for their project and only seek for the best, we have to use our limited time wisely and also be able to pay the bills!
5- Which one is more important the style or the fit?
The answer is the fit! You can put the same style dress on different people and the dress won’t even look the same!
No matter what the styles are, when you compare the same dress “before” and “after” a perfect fit is achieved, you’ll realize how important the fit is! Regardless of the size, each dress MUST be customized to the bride’s body and balances out her figure.
6- The fact that you only communicate via your web site and by emails make everything easier and organized, but should I be concerned about late responses and not getting the appointments on time for the fittings?
With the exception of a rare few, everyone prefers our system over phone calls. We respond to emails and requests that come through our website faster than some respond to phone calls and voice mails. Some time you may even feel you are chatting!
It is our client’s responsibility to email us 2-3 weeks in advance and make their appointments for the approximate time they were advised during their last appointment.
7- Why don't you allow brides to make appointments by phone, like other tailor shops?
We are not a tailor shop. We are a highly skilled bridal studio specialized in couture bridal design and tailoring. Unfortunately, we are not designed to take calls or make calls to our clients. We prefer clear, detailed, and concise communication, which is not possible by phone, especially for brides-to- be with so many things on their minds it's always helpful to have all the information and communications at the palm of your hand.
We are committed to keep the atelier quiet and peaceful for the brides and other clients in fitting and consultation. What we do here is not just “design and tailoring”, but art, so we require a peaceful environment without constant interruptions.
Also, bridal design tailoring relatively is a large expenditure and, like everything of that nature, the bride and us should have prior understandings before deciding if we want to meet. In our experience, when someone avoids to make her appointment through our website, or email and hesitates to provide the basic related information, there might be some questionable intent or she is just price shopping and is not willing to pay enough attention to her dress; and probably will be more comfortable with an establishment with lower rates.
8- Why don't you give a quote over the phone, like other tailor shops?
We are not designed to take calls or make calls to our clients. Bridal design and tailoring is very complicated and time consuming job. Each dress has many layers and details. Considering the level of our work and skill, whether the dress is being made from scratch, or needs customized alterations, every detail counts. Without knowing the bride's body, her personality, the design, and all the details, it's impossible to estimate the cost. Bridal alterations are not like hemming a pair of jeans that a tailor shop gives you the price over the phone.
We are not a tailor shop! We are a highly-skilled bridal atelier, specialized in couture and beaded bridal gowns. We custom design, custom make, combine designs, restyle, add embellishments; and do all kinds of modifications and build ups without any limitations. We do not just alter the dress, but customize it to her body which not everyone can do! Those who give quotes over the phone are only able to do a few things, although, most of the time, you end up paying much more than the original quote!
Our methods might disappoint those who are used to bargaining or unnecessary “back-and-forth”, but we are the perfect choice for the brides who want the best fit and figure, not the cheapest rate; and who are comfortable to spend money on the most important aspect of the most important event of their lives!
We have a great deal of respect for our word, and we don’t just “sweet talk” to attract clients. The only surprise our clients get is the results beyond their expectations—not the cost beyond the estimations.
9- I see that many brides who post you reviews say Mina is an “artist” who changes the fit magnificently and gives the bride an amazing body, small waist, etc. What do they mean?
Our goal is not only to down size, or up size the dress to the bride's size, but to fit it perfectly and customize it to her body, and more importantly, that the dress enhances her beauty and complement her body by balancing out the whole dress on her. Beside Mina’s professional eye, her artistic vision and higher skill in design and pattern making (without much pinning or measuring) determine how and where to balance and emphasize the bride’s body. In another word, she showcases the best of each bride's body and hides the rest!
We do not take the dress in from only the back seam/zipper or one seam somewhere. We work proportionally all around the dress as necessary— not by inches, but by millimeters. That is how we raised the fit of custom-made bridal gowns and customized couture bridal alterations to a higher standard and a level of art!
10- I have mixed feelings, I see all of your amazing reviews, but the address and your celebrity clients make me wonder if I can afford you at all?
There is no doubt that nobody can top us in terms of skill, design, ideas, quality of work, or our stress-free process! We are reasonable for what we do in terms of our skill and quality of work, but we are definitely not the cheapest. The difference between a poor job and an excellent job might be ONLY a couple of hundreds! Even if you have to pay a couple hundreds of dollars more to have the best, it is worth it. This is not where you want to cut corners. Those who use us are getting exactly what they pay for and even more!
We do not pay referral commissions of any sort to anybody including the wedding planners and the bridal stores, so every cent you spend on your dress goes towards your dress… and every referral you get to us is because they wanted the best for you, not because they benefitted in any other way!
Although celebrities use the best, they do not use “the most expensive”—their “people” have reliable contacts to direct them where to go.
11- Why don't you charge a flat rate for bridal alterations like others do?
Generally, shops that charge a flat rate only do limited work with up to average results, and avoid any alterations that go beyond their rate. We are highly skilled with no limitations. We work solely in bridal design and tailoring; and evening gowns with the highest standard and no limits.
We don’t just down size or alter the dress, but we customize it to the bride’s body and enhance her beauty in ways no one can. Each bride needs different work done to their dress which takes different amounts of time. One may take ten hours in total and the other, one hundred. We believe is neither fair nor reasonable to charge the same amount for every dress.
Bridal tailoring is very complicated and time consuming if done right. Each dress has many layers and details. Whether the dress is being made from scratch or needs customized couture alterations, every detail counts. Without knowing the bride’s body, personality, and all the other details, it’s impossible to truly know how much work needs to be done, and how much it would cost.
Since we have no limitations and the unpredictable nature of the work makes it impossible to offer a flat rate. Those who offer a flat rate are only capable of doing a few things, don't mind to cheat the work, and avoid anything that takes more time and skill. In flat rate, those who need less work end up paying even more for their alterations!
12- I hear horrible stories about how some tailors quote a job and, at the end, ask for a lot more! How reliable are your quotes?
We are very frank and upfront—the estimate we give for the jobs we confirm is what you pay. We never go over our estimate unless there are new requests, additions, changes to the original work order, purchase of accessories here, or we provide supplies that we were not originally supposed to provide. We don’t just “sweet talk” to get your business, and as a matter of fact we are very frank and clear in the consultation session and throughout the process.
We charge each bride based on the time, skill, and effort spent with them and on their dress. The only surprise our clients get is the results beyond their expectations—not the cost beyond the estimations.
13- My previously worn wedding dress is torn; can I bring it to you?
Unfortunately, we do not do repair on a dress after it has been worn. However, as a courtesy to our clients, we accept the dress if it was originally worked on here and no one else is skilled enough to fix it.
14- Why can't I just stop by your shop and show my dress?
We are a high-end bridal studio specialized in couture bridal design and European tailoring. We are by appointment only because Mina sees every bride herself, and we believe every bride deserves privacy and undivided attention. Because of that, while a bride is still here we cannot allow another one in.
Also, because of the importance of time, we believe that before setting any appointment, both sides benefit from understanding each other and deciding if they want to meet, and that's only possible by exchanging some information beforehand. We require sufficient budget for the project considering our higher skill and quality of work before scheduling any appointment.
15 - Why should I pay a consultation fee just for someone to look at my dress and give a quote?
We don’t just look at your dress and give a quote! Mina sees every bride (by appointment only) herself, in the privacy of our large studio, with undivided attention, and her time and skill is too valuable just to give quotes. She is highly-skilled, talented, and full of ideas and designs. Each consultation also includes a fitting and takes time. Whether or not the bride places her order and leaves the dress for alterations, she will take valuable ideas with her.
Price shopping for bridal alterations is fundamentally wrong! Considering our skill and level of our work, we are best only for those who seek the best and are comfortable to consider a sufficient budget. For those, paying for consultation wouldn't even be a concern, because the collected fee will go towards their final cost if the order is placed during the appointment.
We believe everyone should get paid for their skill, time, ideas, and work; and they should be able to make a living. It only makes sense that those using the service pay for it, not the next customer! Also, it's not fair to realistic brides who gracefully pay for the best fit and look, if Mina's limited time goes to those who are just price shopping or want to come in and take Mina’s ideas to a tailor shop and get done for less, as if they can transfer the skill too!
16- Because my budget was low, you refused to set an appointment, but that was about the quote that the bridal shop gave me, except that they cannot convert the neck line. Why you are not willing to go the extra miles to get my business, and let me feel special.
Generally, bridal shops that accept alterations have a low wage tailor to perform a few basic jobs with low-mid quality of work, as you mentioned yourself, not even able to convert a neck line!
With due respect, the only extra mile (compare to others) that we are able to go is to ensure best quality of work and hassle free process. You cannot possibly demand for the best at the cheapest quote you've received, as each establishment quote you based on the skill and abilities they see in themselves, and that's the MAX you can hope for! The quotes you received and price you paid for the dress have no role in what we charge. We charge each bride based on the time, skill, and effort spent with them and on their dresses considering our high skill and level of work.
As much as we believe each bride is special, but realistically, it's the bride’s family friends to make her feel even more special and getting sponsors within that circle might be the best solution. The number of brides expecting special treatments increases in a fast pace, to make hundreds of brides feel special by slashing the cost, and still stay in business is impossible. We are only able to accept orders from reasonable brides with realistic budget. We are perfectionists and work hard to make a living. The time and skill we contribute on each project is above what a tailor in a bridal shop or a tailor shop provide. We deserve to get paid respectfully and accordingly based on our skill and time we spend on each project, while each bride also have the right to choose her best option based on her budget and needs.
17- When is a good time to start the alterations?
Generally, we suggest as soon as you have your dress and have found the right bridal establishment. Let them fit you in their schedule and don't forget you may need many fittings! Make sure to pick up your dress 2-3 weeks before the wedding and try it on before picking it up. Once the dress looks and feels perfect, you MUST maintain your weight.
18- I have months to the wedding and I am trying to lose weight, can I wait until I get to where I want and then start the alterations?
We do not suggest that. You may not be able to find someone trustworthy to do the job if you wait to the last minute. Take the dress now to someone you trust and let them know about your plan. It might cost a bit more for possible extra adjustments, but it is worth the peace of mind.
Have the last fitting 2-3 weeks to the wedding, and then maintain the weight.
19- You suggest taking the dress for alterations as soon as possible, but I see many happy brides commenting that you have accepted their dresses much closer to their weddings. Would you explain that?
Yes! We are very well organized and we never leave anything for the last minute, very often the dresses are ready much sooner than the due date. That, plus our wonderful clients who cooperate with us when possible to move around appointments, allows us to take care of brides who are trapped in an unexpected situations!
We’ve had cases of brides that from out of state, or had to go back to the other side of the world just a few days after purchasing the dress, yet we were able to help (of course, for an extra rush fee) in ways that nobody else could.
There are also many who as soon as they know they are expecting late arrival of their gowns, are wise enough to make all the arrangements with us by placing their order and installing payments ahead of time (flexible budget requires and rush fees apply), so that we are ready to start working on their dresses the minute we get our hands on it.
We try to help as many as we can, but many times we just have to accept the fact that we cannot help everyone.
We work based on a "First ordered, first served" policy and we are only committed and responsible towards those who have already placed their orders and paid the non-refundable deposit.
20- My beaded wedding dress is two sizes too big for me; no one is willing to work on it. Would you help? Can you keep the integrity of the dress? How noticeable will the alterations be?
Beaded gowns are more complicated and not everyone can work on them and keep the integrity of the design. We specialize in beaded bridal gowns. We never had a case that we weren't able to help. We are always able to find ways to keep the integrity of the dress. Most of the time, even the bride, who witnesses the step-by-step alterations, can’t tell how we did it!
21- Is one month to the wedding a good time to start the alterations?
We’ve done it more often that you can imagine, but generally, no, it's not, too risky if you intend to have it done perfectly by a professional! It will cost you more, or you may not be able to find someone skilled and trustworthy to accommodate you. We ask our brides to pick up their dresses 2-3 weeks before the wedding and have their dress ready, pressed, and hanged in their closet!
It won't hurt to ask, but do not plan for it! Although, sometimes, we are able to take care of rushes, as we do our best to stay ahead of schedule, or by moving around appointments by getting the consent and cooperation of our other wonderful brides, there is no guarantee that we can do so every time. Regrettably, there might be some brides we are unable to help.
We work based on a "First ordered, first served" policy, so having an appointment with us does not guarantee that we'll be able to accept your dress, unless you place your order in advance and pay a non-refundable deposit.
We make exception for brides expecting late shipment ONLY if they are referred by our associates such as Kleinfeld NYC and The White Dress. However, sufficient budget for the project (considering our skill), and prior arrangement is required.
22- My dress does not arrive until a month before my wedding; can I make an appointment now?
Although sometimes we do our best to take care of rushes as we try to be ahead of schedule, or by moving around appointments and with the consent and cooperation of our other wonderful brides, not having your dress until a month before your wedding is too risky even if everything goes as planned.
You must make all the arrangements before, so your dress goes straight for alterations from the bridal salon. Also, see if you can expedite the shipping, or at the very least make sure there won't be any more delay.
We work base on a "First order, first served" policy, so having appointment with us does not guarantee that we'll be able to accept your dress, unless you place your order in advanced and pay the non-refundable deposit. A rush fee may apply.
Also, because you do not have your dress, and there is no way to know what really needs to be done, you need be ready for unexpected and consider a flexible budget.
23- I cannot find anything that I like in the stores. I am confused and am not sure about what I like. Do you think custom-made is the way to go?
Usually, custom-made is for those who know exactly what they want and what looks good on them, but cannot find it in stores. You need to have large flexible budget and can afford to custom design your dress and pay for the possible changes you may make through the process, buy what you like the best, then modify and embellish it to what you love.
24- What percentage of the purchase price should I budget for the wedding alterations?
Realistically, the price you paid for your dress has nothing to do with the cost of the alterations. The work, time, layers, details of the dress and skill needed (as well as some other factors) should be considered instead. Separate from the fabrics and materials used, we charge each bride accordingly based on the time, skill, and effort spent with them and on their dresses.
25- How much do you charge for wedding dress alterations, just a ballpark?
We don’t just alter the dress, but customize it to the bride’s body to balance out her figure! We charge each bride accordingly based on the time, skill, and effort spent with them and on their dresses. Bridal dresses are very detailed, with a lot of layers, and each is different from others and needs different works on different bodies. For that reason, we are unable to estimate any alterations costs or make any suggestions without seeing the dress on the bride and examining it closely. Unfortunately, we cannot give a ballpark estimate.
26- I have a simple wedding dress with no beading, how much will the alterations cost?
Although beads make the alterations more complicated and the process much longer, not having beads on your dress does not make the job any simpler. Except when you are wearing a regular white dress as your wedding dress, there is nothing simple about wedding dresses and no one can truthfully estimate the cost without seeing the dress on you and examining the dress closely.
Unless you don’t care much about the right fit and best figure, there is no such thing as “standard” wedding alterations, as each dress on each body needs different work, and each must be customized to the bride’s body. Because of this, only those who offer and can do a few minimal works can offer a flat rate.
Right now (2017), alterations rates at bridal establishments and salons in LA start from $500 (minor routine alteration) and about $30 per basic bustle. Some have a flat rate starting from $600 (depends on their skill) for just taking in and a hem, maybe a bustle (bustles, embellishments, modifications, restyling, additions, production corrections, replacements, etc. not include; and no beads involved), and those with higher skill charge based on the job. Of course tailor shops, because of their lower skills, should have lower rates.
We are perfectionist, and due to the extra time we spend on each dress, our higher skill, and the result we deliver our prices are higher than the average in LA.
27- How are the regular bridal alterations that everybody does different from the customized bridal alterations that you do?
In regular alterations, they just downsize the dress from the back. This means they pull the whole bodice towards the back without any concern that, by doing so, no part of the dress-- especially the bodice-- will hit the right place on the bride's body. Because of this, the dress looks weird, as if her nipples are running away from each other towards her armpits!
Also, they are not skilled enough to work on the rib cage area, bust, and neckline, which make the bride look boxy and when moving, the bride goes in one direction and the dress goes towards another!
Customized alterations take a lot of skill and more time and not everybody can do it. It takes a skilled designer with good pattern making skill. It's done proportionally and all around the dress considering the bride's body as if the dress was made from scratch, to emphasize her beauty and to balance out her body in her dress. The rib cage, bust and neckline are "must work on" parts in every customized alterations as no two bodies are the same, so why should their dresses be?
28- I need some more coverage for the church, as well as a beaded belt, headband, and a veil; can you help me with them?
Yes, we can. As a matter of fact, we can always come up with some designs suitable for the design of the dress. We have a large selection of bridal accessories! Our beaded belts, veils and headbands are very popular, as well as our tiaras, combs and bridal jewelries. We are also the best destination for religious brides.
29- I live in New York, but my wedding is in Los Angeles. Can you help me with the alterations if I arrive in LA three weeks before the wedding?
Yes, if you send all of the necessary information, place your order, and pay the non-refundable deposit to reserve and schedule you for your arrival date. A rush fee may apply.
30- My dress arrived 3 inches short. Is there anything you can do?
We get these cases a lot and can always come up with something that goes with the original design and makes up for the shortage.
31- What if a bride loses some weight in the process, do you charge her extra?
The adjustments we make in the first fitting, before the boning are installed back and the areas are not finalized, are free of charge, as long as they were included in the original estimate. After that there will be charges.
32- What kind of dresses can you work on?
We specialize in couture bridal design, beaded gowns, and European tailoring. We custom design and custom make any type of wedding gowns and evening gowns. We also provide customized couture alterations on any and all types of wedding gowns and high-end evening gowns that haven't been worked on by others, are made properly, and meet the standards.
33- My wedding dress was ruined by a tailor, but she seems unable to fix it. Can you rescue me?
Unfortunately, we get that a lot, some from those who contacted us first, but went to the ruing direction to save a few bucks, but our policy does not allow us to work on dresses that have been already altered elsewhere. This includes any dresses that are not made properly, don't meet the standards, are ruined, or partially worked on.
34- What if you are not told that the dress was previously altered and you notice the previous alterations during or after the consultation?
We count on the honesty of our clients; there may not be any choice but refusing to work on the dress.
35- I want to add some beads to my dress, as well as a beaded belt, how much will you charge me?
Beading is a very time consuming job and we are unable to estimate the cost before knowing all the details. It would be helpful to know your budget so we can work around it.
If we work on your dress, we can design and make matching accessories for your gown or you can just purchase them here in person.
36- I have trouble finding the right veil to go with my dress and I don't want any cookie cutters, any chance you can customize one for me?
Absolutely! We custom-design veils on regular basis for different reasons. We have a large selection of high quality materials including fabrics which help us find the best matching color, and we add new materials to our selection on regular basis and as we need . We custom-design veils to go with the dress and the bride personality, as well as the length of the veil as not all women are the same height why should the veils be the same length.
37- The tailor I am using does not know how to bustle and cannot change the neckline to sweet heart; how much do you charge for these minor alterations?
We convert neck-lines to sweet hearts and make bustles on regular basis. However, unfortunately, our policy does not allow working on dresses that have previously been worked on or altered elsewhere. Also, we do not do minor works, although sweetheart neckline is not easy to do and not everyone can do it.
38- I don't have my shoes yet, can you start working on other areas until my shoes arrive?
39- I don't have my shoes yet, but I know what height I want, can you start the hem?
No. Unfortunately, we cannot touch the hem until you have your actual wedding shoes with you. You never know what will be available to you and what you'll fall in love with. However, we might start to work on the layers underneath.
40- I've read in reviews that although the dress seemed fine in some areas, right away, Mina was able to point to things that no one could see, would you explain?
We are highly skilled. Mina not only has professional eyes, and can point to problems that not many may see; but is also highly skilled and talented in design and pattern-making, so she can suggest the potentials that no one could think of and could do. Each makes a huge difference. She knows how to balance out the dress for the bride's body. Remember, a dress should not only be the right size, but more importantly must be customized to the bride’s body, and perfectly fit to balance the bride's body to enhance and showcases her beauty.
41- I ordered my dress seven months ago; I'll be five months pregnant on my wedding day, 10 weeks from now. What can be done for my dress and when I should start the alterations?
You should start right now! There are some options on some styles, and some are out of questions. No one can tell until seeing the dress on you and examining it closely. Please take the dress to someone you trust to figure the possibilities and decide what you'd like to be done.
42- Can you add embellishments, trims and bridal sash? If so, do you provide the materials?
We can add all kinds of things. We design and make all kind of sashes, headbands, and trims. We can provide the materials from stock, or order and purchase them for you. However, we cannot guarantee to work on materials you bring in, as they may not be suitable.
43- I was on a budget and took my dress to someone else in an attempt to save money. My dress is completely ruined and the tailor says that the only thing they can do is put the dress back where the original seams were. Can you work on it if I bring the dress to you after she is done?
Unfortunately, our policy does not allow working on dresses that have been previously altered, ruined, or don't meet the standards.
44- My dress was torn by my shoes. I want to make an appointment for alterations, but I don't know if you can help me with the tear too.
Yes, we can take care of it when we do the alterations if the dress hasn't been worn or altered previously.
45- I cannot find anything that I like in stores, but I like a top of one bridal gown, and skirt of another, is there any chance you can make me my dream dress? If so, do you need me to buy the pattern?
Absolutely! We can design, make, and combine designs for any wedding gown from scratch. We are highly skilled and can make the best pattern for your dream dress as well.
46- I have been shopping for wedding dress for more than a year now, but I cannot find anything in the stores that I like or looks good on me. Can you make me something from scratch?
Sure! As long as the budget and the project are on the same page and there is enough time, we can do anything.
47- Why is the cost of bridal alterations in Los Angeles so high compare to purchase price? Are they taking advantage of the situation?
Bridal alterations are a very complicated and time consuming process if done professionally and properly. There are many layers, many details and fittings involved. Because of that, and the high cost of living and doing business in LA, the costs may seem high, but the fact is that one who works hard should make a living.
Bridal gowns are made overseas with low wages and without any concerns if they fit a certain bride. However, bridal alterations cannot be outsourced and must be done perfectly for a certain body.
48- How many fittings do I need before I pick up my wedding dress?
That depends on the work the dress needs.
49- I read that Mina worked around some bride's budget, would you explain how so?
The fact is that we are in business to make a living, and although we charge consultation fee, we do not even schedule an appointment if the budget is not realistic for the project. Because, we are not in a consulting business, and once is clear that we cannot help the bride, we rather brides with a low budget save the consultation fee, and use someone who can help them within their budget.
Understandably, some brides do not have a realistic budget for the work they need. They might have a budget that is larger than the project or one that is too small. That all depends on the life style and source of information the bride has. In that case, if the budget is large and the vendor is honest, the bride has no problems. However, if the budget is too small, they will often have frustration that they take out on the vendor, which makes them lose the chance of better service they could have otherwise had.
There are some areas that you just cannot compromise on—such as the bodice. The bodice is where the dress holds the body and we use our skills to give the bride the best possible figure, so we do what we have to do and you pay what you have to pay, otherwise we do not even accept the dress.
There are some other areas— such as the number of bustles, the shape of the neck line, embellishments, number of changes to the dress, and sometimes even the hem— that can be compromised on and used to work around your budget. We never cut the corners to meet the bride budget, Mina is very frank and clear throughout the process, and it's up to the bride to compromise. However, Mina will not accept the order if essentials are taken lightly.
50- Why don't you allow a fiancé, the mother of the bride, or someone else make the appointment for the bride?
We require direct communication with the bride and each form to be filled out by her or the client wearing the dress only. We believe this saves a lot of time, confusion and misunderstanding.
As a contract-based business, both sides must willingly and comfortably agree on the deal and a meeting of the minds is needed. We also ONLY accept payments directly from the bride or client wearing the dress and no matter who helps the bride towards our services and products, our only client is the bride or client wearing the dress and we are not responsive toward anyone else.
51- Will you allow me to take my dress for jewelry shopping or other reasons before you are done with it if I bring it back to you?
Unfortunately, we do not allow the dress leave our studio, for any reason, unless the dress is completely done, tried on and pictures are taken before the pick-up.
52- I am on a budget, can you help me?
Everybody is on a budget, but it's important to know the dollar amount of the budget along with the details of the project. The budget needs to match the project. Otherwise, you need to bring them together by compromising somewhere if possible at all or adjusting the budget.
We never know what a bride means by "on a budget" or "tight budget". Sometimes, they say the same thing, but they come up with an amount way above the final cost. Other times, they say that money is not an issue at all and it turns out they want to spend around $50 (true story!).
53- Do you also custom-make or alter bridesmaid’s dresses?
Bridesmaid’s dresses can be bought in the store or online just for a few hundred of dollars. We charge for each dress accordingly based on the time, skill, and effort spent, and that will cost you many times more than what you can find online or in store. Of course the quality and level of the work is not comparable either. However, if you have large budget will be able to help. Just have each bridesmaid to go to our website, select “Custom-Designed Gowns” under “Contact Us” and submit the form.
We alter them if they are considered evening gown, please have each bridesmaid to go to our website, select “Evening Gown Alterations” under “Contact Us” and submit the form.
54- I have low budget and cannot find a wedding dress within my budget, do you think it's better to have something made?
The reason to custom-make something should not be to pay less that would be rarely the case. Custom-made gowns are the best for those who want something unique that stores cannot provide (in terms of style, size, color, materials, or delivery date).
Your best option might be sample sales or off-the-rack. If you live in Los Angeles, visit “Glamour Closet”, you may find some designer gowns that you love there. Then we can help you you’re your customized bridal alterations if a sufficient budget is considered.
55 - Do you dry clean and press?
We do not clean or press wedding gowns. However, we softly steam the areas of the dress that we work on and mention to our brides that they may take their dresses to a dry cleaner for professional steam and press.