Make Your Wedding Fitting Fabulous

Follow these simple steps to get a gown that truly fits.


The alteration process can be stressful for brides. You have questions and concerns — and you want to make sure everything is perfect. Here are 10 insider tips to help you along the way:

Plan ahead
Be aware of the bridal salon’s alteration policy and how many fittings you’ll need. Space your fittings out on the recommendation of your tailor. (Most salons suggest three or four fittings, depending on how much needs to be done.) Your final fitting should be about two weeks before your wedding. Don’t stress if your dress doesn’t fit like a glove at the first fitting. Your measurements may have changed since you ordered it and you still have plenty of time before the Big Day.

Find your shoes
Bring your beloved heels or flats to your first fitting. At the first fitting, you’ll see your dress, check the color, and try it on for family and friends. If you don’t have shoes, it’s nearly impossible for the tailor to begin the alterations and find the right length. If you feel like you won’t be able to last the night in sky-high heels, don’t wear them. If your gown is hemmed for stilettos, it will drag on the floor and get dirty if you change into flats or decide to go barefoot halfway through the reception.

Keep reading for additional tips…

Pick out accessories
Decide which jewels and headpiece/veils you’ll wear before the first fitting, if possible. That way, you can see your complete bridal look and have time to make adjustments if it doesn’t come together quite the way you imagined.

Purchase undergarments
Your foundation is extremely important and affects the look and fit of the gown. Some salons sell bras, while others will require you to purchase and bring your own to the fitting. Some gowns require a full corset, where others may only need a strapless bra. Confused? Ask your tailor. And, if you’re wearing a fitted gown, opt for unmentionables that won’t give you visible lines.

Check the details
Ask questions and skim your gown for imperfections throughout the alternations process. Point out missing beading, puckering, or pulling. Make sure the dress falls smoothly and fits comfortably. Considering a sample? Understand the flaws and what the tailor can realistically do to improve them. If you can’t love them, leave them and chose another dress.

Eat healthy
The more you do to maintain a consistent, healthy weight, the easier your fittings will be. Don’t go on any harsh diets. Ten pounds is about a dress size so do your best to maintain your weight.

Bring a bustle buddy
Whether it’s a stylist, a maid of honor, or mom, make sure someone who is attending your wedding knows how to bustle your gown. Ask the tailor which fitting they should come to, then recommend that the lucky guest bring a camera or phone to take a video. She should record the tailor reciting the steps as she bustles the dress and then practice a few times.

Schedule the pick-up
At your final fitting schedule a date and a time to pick up your gown. Request that the dress be pressed, stuffed with a bust form, and hung in a garment bag. Ask that the train not be put inside the bag until you get there or it will wrinkle. Many salons will require the bride (or whoever is picking up the dress) to sign off before it leaves the store.

Keep it pristine
Drape a clean white sheet over a door and one on the floor, away from high-traffic areas. Take your dress out of the bag as soon as possible (leave any bust form or stuffing intact) and hang it on top of the sheet. This will keep your gown clean and wrinkle-free. If your veil wrinkles, hang it in the bathroom while you take a shower.

But, just in case…

Have a plan B
What if you — gasp! — spill something on your dress or need to remove last-minute wrinkles? Some salons will provide you with printed solutions to these and other problems, which is important when bridal brain kicks in. Ask for a reliable phone number for your tailor in case of an emergency, but know that once you leave the store, the dress is yours.

Make post-wedding arrangements
Look for a company that will clean and preserve your gown. Ask your tailor if she recommends anyone in particular and do some research. Although it can be pricey, it’s important to have your dress taken care of by a professional and not the local cleaner. If you’re leaving directly after the reception, bring a costume change and ask someone to keep the gown while you’re gone.

(Photo from iStockphoto)

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