What Are Rush Fees and How Can You Avoid Them?

If you’ve looked into purchasing a wedding dress, you’ve probably come across warnings for rush fees! Since these aren’t required for every bride, the details of rush fees aren’t always laid out in entirety. We’re here to share what rush fees are, why they exist, and how to avoid them.


Rush fees are additional costs on top of the wedding dress price added to expedite the creation and shipping of the gown. The cost of these rush fees fluctuates from store to store based on time constraints, dress designer, and the intricacy of any customizations. Most boutiques require that you order your dress 6-12 months in advance to allow for ample creation, shipping, and alteration time.


Rush fees typically come into play if you’re ordering your dress 5 months or less before your wedding. Designers require time to source their materials from all over the world. From there, each wedding dress is made-to-order based on your personal measurements. After the gown is assembled and shipped to your boutique, it still needs to be altered before it’s ready for you to wear. This is why it’s essential to get a jump on wedding dress shopping! If you’re looking to avoid rush fees, aim to order your dress 9-12 months ahead of your wedding. This will allow you plenty of time to fall in love with, order, and alter a gown.


Alternatively, if you’re short on time and still want to avoid rush fees, you have a few options! In many wedding dress boutiques, you can purchase a gown from the store’s sample inventory and take it home that day, as-is. The sample inventory includes dresses that have been on display in show rooms and tried on by other brides. These gowns may have small imperfections due to being handled, however, they can be a great way to get a wedding dress quickly since you can take it home with you that day.


Another way to purchase a wedding gown with a short timeframe is to attend a sample sale. A sample sale is an event where bridal boutiques will put out all of their sample gowns for purchase. Typically, these gowns have been heavily marked down and are being ushered out of the store in order to make room for new inventory. This is a smart way to save money on your designer gown while also avoiding creation and shipping times. These events tend to be extremely popular among brides due to the massive savings associated with them. Due to the large influx of women attending these sales and the limited inventory, it can be competitive getting a dress in your style and size at these events. Be sure to get to your sample sale early so that you have as many options as possible!


No matter how you’re purchasing your gown, it is paramount that you budget time for alterations. Even when gowns are ordered to your size, they typically need minor alterations to achieve a personalized fit. In the months it takes for gowns to come in, it’s not unusual for women’s bodies to have experienced slight changes. Alterations within a few weeks of the wedding are key to make sure that your dress fits you like a glove! If you’re buying your dress at a sample sale or out of the showroom, it is extremely rare that you’ll find a perfect fit. This is the tradeoff for scoring a hugely discounted designer gown with no wait time. You’ll want to take your newly purchased sample gown to be fitted ASAP. Not leaving enough time for alterations is a huge reason why brides end up paying rush fees, so plan ahead!

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