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Fashion & Beauty

Wedding Dress Fitting Dos And Don'ts

  |  By David Connolly
Wedding Dress Fitting Dos And Don'ts

Celebrity wedding planner David Connolly from Rich Bride, Poor Bride has joined Weddingbells as a guest blogger answering all of your burning wedding-related questions.

Here, Connolly tackles everything you need to know before you attend your first wedding dress fitting appointment.


First fitting

DO make your first fitting appointment six weeks prior to your wedding, because unless you’re 5’7” and wearing a three-inch heel, you’re going to need alterations.

The future bride looks around the shop and tries on wedding dresses in the presence of her best friends. Lifestyle shopping concept, post-Covid-19 era Anchiy / iStock


Your body is beautiful

DO make peace with your body the way it is at your second fitting, scheduling your fitness regime to become a maintenance program at that time.

The bride is trying out her wedding dress Eva-Katalin / iStock


Wear your wedding shoes

DO bring your actual wedding shoes as there is no other way to determine the perfect length. If you don’t have them, reschedule the fitting. Hem length and fit are not something people notice when they are perfect. You tripping over extra material on your way down the aisle is definitely something people will notice.

Married couple foot detail ciseren / Getty Images



DO bring your undergarments. Find functional, properly-fitted support that will create a perfect (yet potentially unfamiliar) silhouette. Remember, if your dress is structured and proportioned to be larger than life, you might have to be too. No problem thanks to body shapers, balconettes, and padding! Choose a colour as close to your skin tone as possible.

Bride wearing wedding garter on leg grinvalds / iStock


Be thorough

DO NOT feel guilty about taking the time to meticulously examine the dress for marks, tears, loose seams, missing beading, discoloration, etc.

Beautiful woman in bridal studio trying wedding dress with assistance of her tailor freemixer / iStock


Hair and makeup

DO schedule your hair and makeup trial before your second fitting, then bring a silk scarf to cover your hair and face to get in and out of the gown. If scheduling doesn’t work, don’t wear any makeup to the fitting, just to be safe. NO ONE handling the dress should wear watches or personal jewelry that could potentially snag lace, tulle, organza, etc.

Makeup artist doing glamour makeup petekarici / iStock


Befriend your bustle

DO familiarize yourself with the bustle on your dress. Figure out where all the hooks and loops are so you can easily transition the gown on your wedding day.

Mother helping the bride - her daughter to put her wedding dress on, close up photo djedzura / iStock


Bring help

DO bring whoever is going to be helping you get in the dress and bustle it to the fitting for a how-to tutorial.

Fashion designer with her client Eva-Katalin / iStock


Don't settle on the first veil

DO try on many veils and headpieces while in the dress. If you have a small face, wearing your hair up and off will make it look bigger. So will choosing smaller hair accessories worn close to your head. Conversely, for big faces, consider wearing pieces of your hair down and choosing bigger hair accessories and veils to create proportion.

Caucasian female customer, a future bride, at the bridal shop trying on wedding dress, with a help of saleswoman miodrag ignjatovic / iStock


Steaming your dress

DO consider a final light steam wherever you are getting dressed especially if you’ve travelled with your gown. If you don't have a steamer run a hot shower in a bathroom with a closed door until a medium steam is created, then bring the dress in and hang it on the back of the door. With a white towel wrapped around your arm, lightly sweep the dress downward to the hem, starting with the inside layer.

Few beautiful wedding, bridesmaid or evening dresses ball gown on a hanger in a bridal shop. Wedding fashion for beautiful brides. SbytovaMN / iStock


Budget ahead

DO budget for alterations from the beginning, remembering the more elaborate the dress, the more money, time, and level of expertise required to alter it. A bodice and sleeves can range from $30 to over $100 if laced, beaded, or boned. Bustles and pressing/steaming can cost from $30-$100 each depending on the length of the train, etc.

Haute couture designer making gowns. Rossella De Berti / iStock


No, really, budget ahead

DO remember that “attire” is traditionally budgeted at 10 percent of the total wedding cost and should include gown, alterations, shoes, headpiece (s), undergarments, accessories, jewelry AND whatever expenses the groom incurs.

Morning of the bride when she wears a beautiful dress, woman getting ready before wedding ceremony Yuliia Bondar / iStock
This article was originally published on Jan 26, 2015

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