Dress-Fitting Dos And Don’ts

Photo courtesy David Connolly

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. Need some help with the planning process? Have a question about etiquette, organization or budgeting? Post your question in the comment field below and we’ll forward it directly to David.

In honour of another successful Toronto Fashion week, here are some “I dos” and don’ts regarding your wedding dress 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.

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.

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.

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 with support in a colour as close to your skin tone as possible, self-adhesive bras, balconettes, padding, and petals.

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

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 jewellery that could potentially snag lace, tulle, organza etc.

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.

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

DO try on many veils and headpieces while in the dress. If you have a small face, wearing your hair up and off it 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.

DO consider a final light steam wherever you are getting dressed especially if you’ve traveled 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.

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 length of train, etc.

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

“Asking an experienced seamstress to mend is like asking Michelangelo to paint your garage.” ~Author Unknown

Find David on Facebook at Facebook.com/theaislefile

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