Wedding Dress Fitting

wedding dressThe following information is to give you, the bride-to-be a little bit of an insight as to what to expect when going for a fitting for your wedding dress.

As all brides come in different shapes and sizes, it is only natural to assume that bridal gowns also come in varying sizes and shapes.  A bride-to-be can walk into a bridal shop and see a wonderful dress hanging on the rail and know instantly that it is the one for her but when trying it on discovers that perhaps her bust is not big enough to fill the bodice or that her hips are slightly too big for the zip to go up etc. 

Any dress that a bride-to-be tries on, whether you are buying or hiring your outfit, may find that it needs altering in some fashion.  This is not something that you should be upset about, it just means that in order for you to look stunning on your big day your dress will need a couple of tweaks in just the right places.  If you are hiring your dress you may not be able to have as many alterations done to the dress as you would like but this is something that you can discuss with your supplier.

Alterations can include lowering or raising the hem line, taking in the bust or waist or if needed letting them out slightly, adding more detail to the bodice or train or even shortening the length of the sleeves.

Ideally you should have between two and three fittings for your dress over a period of time with the final fitting being anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before the day.

Your First Fitting

You already have your dress all picked out and at this stage, it is about your dress so just take along some good underwear and perhaps the shoes you will be wearing if you have already chosen them.  The idea behind the first fitting is to ensure that your dress not only fits correctly but it looks and feels right too.  The seamstress will be looking at the way the dress flows when you walk, how it sits on your shoulders and hips, whether certain areas are too tight and run the risk of tearing and also if the dress is too long as no bride wants to walk down the aisle and trip over on the way.

You will be helped into your dress by the Seamstress and/or their assistant who will zip or tie you up where you need to be secured.  Bear in mind that these people put brides into dresses every day and are used to the pulling and tugging needed to get that dress to fit correctly so go with the flow and allow yourself to be transformed.

It is your dress and you want to look perfect so ensure that while you have the dress on, you check your look in the mirrors provided for any areas that you are not happy with.  Is there any part of the dress that is too bunched together, check for tears, loose beading or stitching and get someone to check all around you from each angle for anything you are not happy with.  Do remember though that the seamstress is there to make the dress fit, she will not be able to make your bottom look smaller than it is or to fit you into a smaller sized dress.

On leaving your first fitting, ensure you book an appointment for your next fitting.

Subsequent Fittings

After the initial fitting and before your final fitting it is your prerogative to have as many fittings as you feel comfortable with.  At these fittings you should take along with you everything that you will be wearing on the big day from your shoes and underwear to your jewellery.  This way you will get a real feel for how you will look on the day.

Once you have the dress on along with your shoes and any headwear you have chosen, you should firstly ensure that all the alterations from the first fitting have been made.  Then, take a walk around the bridal shop and see how the dress moves and whether it is too long on the floor as you walk from one side of the room to another.

Your Final Fitting

This can take place just a few days before the wedding if you so wish but you should be aware that if any alterations need doing as a result of this final fitting, the seamstress will need time to do them.

Your mother and/or your Maid of Honour should accompany you (if they haven't already done so) for this fitting so that they can learn how to secure you in the dress on the actual day.  Some dresses, particularly those with bodices, need tying in a particular way and if no one knows how to do it on the day then you are stuck with an open dress!  They will need to learn how to access the straps and buttons as you may not be able to reach them from the front.

Before you leave your final fitting, arrange a date for you to pick up your dress.  It is also worth mentioning at this stage that watching what you eat in the lead up to your day is a good idea, particularly if you have a very tight fitting dress as no bride wants to be putting on her dress the morning of her wedding only to realise that it no longer fits!

Tips For Dress Fitting

While trying on dresses and going for fittings, consider the following tips:

  • Consider when you have your fittings, is it your particular time of the month and are you more bloated than normal?
  • Do not be afraid to say what you think and explain in detail how you want each alteration doing.
  • Do not have too many people with you as too many opinions will confuse you.
  • If you are pregnant obviously your shape will change considerably in the lead up to your wedding day so your fittings might be more appropriate to be held as near as possible to the actual day.
  • Take along a digital camera and have some shots taken from all sides so you can see how the dress looks from a distance.  This is particularly handy if you have not yet decided what jewellery you want to wear on the day, you could take along a few designs and pick whichever looks best by viewing them on the camera.
  • Try not to wear any make up during your fittings as you do not want it rubbing off onto your dress.
  • Wear a strapless bra, particularly if you have a strapless bodice. 

Once your dress has been altered to fit you perfectly and it is now time to take the dress and store it at home until your wedding day, it might be worth considering the following:

  • Do not take the dress out of the bag when at home, especially if there are children or animals in your home.
  • If you are travelling abroad or having your wedding anywhere other than from your own home, why not consider having a portable or travel steamer so you can steam out any wrinkles in the dress that may have occurred during its transportation.
  • Just incase, have a small sewing kit to hand for the big day incase you snag or pull something while putting your dress on.
  • Keep it hung up; hanging in the bathroom on the shower rail is an excellent way to keep it clean and crease free.  It might be worth asking the shop about the best way to store the dress and the train.
  • Make sure that all the alterations have been done to your specifications.  If you are even slightly unhappy, take the dress back and get them to amend it.

Your dress should be altered to not only make you feel comfortable but also wonderful.  Enjoy your fittings and let the shop staff treat you like the princess you want to feel on your wedding day!