Now that you’ve found the perfect wedding dress, it's time to clink champagne in celebration. Phew! But that's not all you need to think about during your dress saga. For one: does it fit properly? Most wedding gowns need to be altered into oblivion before they're aisle ready.
I found my wedding dress at Monique Lhuillier in Los Angeles and I felt incredibly lucky to work with their in-house seamstress who specializes in Lhuillier’s use of delicate fabrics. After five fittings with her and a successful night of dancing with ease at my reception, I learned a lot about what's necessary during the alteration process.
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Scroll down to find out the most important things I took away from my dress fittings.
1. Wear the Right Undergarments
When I showed up to my first fitting unintentionally wearing lime green underwear, I immediately realized it was a bad choice. You could see the bright color through the dress and it was annoyingly distracting. But, I realized that the fitting sessions are a great time to figure out the proper undergarments. For my particular dress, I needed to find something that wouldn't give me VPL (visible panty lines) because the bodice of my dress was tight through the hips and buttocks. My seamstress suggested Commando's elastic-free thong ($22; nordstrom.com) and they worked perfectly with the gown.
2. Bring Multiple Pairs of Shoes
It may sound like obvious advice, but don't buy your wedding shoes until you try them on with your dress first. Some boutiques, like Jimmy Choo, will loan you shoes for 24 hours, so borrow a few that you love and see what works best. While you're at it, try different styles and different heel heights too. I was set on a maroon-colored strappy heel, but brought a few different styles from Jimmy Choo's loan program to my fitting as back-up. When I tried the maroon heels on with the dress, they didn't work at all. Luckily, I had also borrowed mirrored gold sandals that complimented the dress perfectly. I bought those and returned the rest.
3. Be Aware of Your Workouts
During my second fitting, the seamstress pinned and tucked the skirt of my dress so that it fit snug around my legs. But, I failed to mention to her that I was doing Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide workout, so when I showed up to my third fitting, my legs had four more weeks of added muscle. While I was proud of myself (that workout is hard), the freshly altered dress was now too tight around my legs. I cut out the leg workouts after that so we wouldn't have to re-alter the dress entirely. If you do plan on upping your fitness routine during your fitting process, make sure your seamstress is aware and can alter accordingly.
4. Hem the Dress Last
The one thing my seamstress insisted upon was hemming the dress last. Once I found the right shoes, figured out my dress-appropriate workouts, and had the rest of the gown altered to my liking, we then spent two entire fittings focused on the hem. There is nothing worse than re-hemming a dress, so aim for it after everything else is settled.
5. Know Your Bustle
Before your fitting, decide whether or not you'll need a bustle. If your dress has a train, like the one pictured, you'll want to bustle it during your reception. The next part to figure out is what type of bustle would look best with your dress. Do some research! American bustles pin up on the outside of the dress, while a French bustle pins underneath. Will your wedding be indoors or outdoors? Or both? That factors in as well. Have a heart to heart with your seamstress about it before rushing into a decision.
6. Speak Your Mind
Make sure your voice is heard! That's undoubtedly the most important lesson I learned during the process. If you hate the bra cups sewn into the dress, you better tell your seamstress. If you think the hem is a centimeter too short, speak up. At the end of the day, you want to leave your fitting feeling happy and accomplished. It's your dress and your wedding, after all!