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How to care for your wedding dress before, during and after your wedding day

You fell in love with the perfect, pristine white wedding dress and put down your deposit for the purchase. Very soon, you will have this beautiful gown altered to your measurements and take it home. It will stay there till your wedding day, when you finally get the chance to show it off and be a gorgeous bride. All this seems easier said than done!

White wedding dresses with their heavy fabric layers and intricate embellishments are susceptible to different types of damage. From stains to embroidered details coming loose and even yellowing of fabric, there are many things that can ruin its brand new look. This would be a huge tragedy, since it is the one dress that will aid your transformation into a stellar bride.

Furthermore, you cannot risk damaging it beyond repair during or after the wedding. You may have plans to sell your wedding dress afterwards, store it for yourself or preserve it as an heirloom for your future generations. This is possible only if your dress is as good as new, even though you wore it. This makes it all the more important to retain the original look of our dress.

Fortunately, we have the perfect guide to help you keep your wedding dress in great shape before, during and after the wedding. So, get ready and make notes of what you ought to do at each stage.

Keeping your wedding dress safe before your wedding day

When you buy a brand new wedding dress, it will be created from scratch by the manufacturer and shipped to your bridal store. It is a good idea to have your alterations completed at the same boutique, since this will minimize handling of your gown.

After the fittings, your gown is ready to go home. Exercise caution about how you go about handling your gown at every stage, from this step onwards. Here is all that you should know at this point.

Transporting the gown: Make sure that your gown is properly boxed or wrapped in plastic, before you take it outdoors. We suggest you lay the gown down in the back seat of your car, instead of shoving it in the storage. The more space you can afford to spread it out on, the less it will wrinkle. If creases are formed during transport, you will end up having to press the dress again to restore its original look.

Keeping it intact till the big day: Allocate a low-traffic area which is out the way, for the storage of your wedding dress. Don’t remove it from the bag, unless absolutely necessary. However, if it comes wrapped in plastic, we suggest you move it into a fabric bag. Plastic causes stains over time and it doesn’t allow the fabric to breathe. So, it is best avoided, if your dress arrives home long before your wedding day.

How to store it: Most wedding dresses have heavy fabric layers and plenty of embellishments. It isn’t wise to hang such dresses. However, if your dress has minimum embellishments and is light-weight, consider hanging it in a closet or a similar safe place. For a heavy gown, you should ideally store the dress flat. Ideal locations would be the top shelf of your closet or a storage area under the bed, that you rarely use for anything else. Or if you have a spare room, consider storing it there, if it is out of direct sunlight.

Hang it with care: If your dress isn’t too heavy, you can hang it up in your storage space. However, be careful how you do this. Always use a padded hanger for the purpose, and not one made from wiry material that can damage the fabric. Wedding dresses will have fabric loops on the inside. Use these to hang it. Never hang a dress by its straps or sleeves. This can cause the delicate material to sag or rip.

Keep it away from heat and dampness: Exposure to heat can damage your wedding dress. Also, placing it in a humid environment makes the fabric prone to stains and mold. So, make sure that your storage area experiences no fluctuations in temperature. Additionally, it shouldn’t be damp. Use a dehumidifier in the room, if you aren’t certain the space is prone to dampness.

Do not handle it too often: Resist the temptation to constantly check on your dress or show it off to guests. Let it rest in its spot, so it continues to look clean and crisp. Remember that you risk damaging or staining your dress every time you touch it or take it out. So, avoid touching it while it is in storage. Occasionally give it a quick visual check to make sure everything is fine, and it will be sufficient.

Traveling with the gown: If you have a destination wedding, it is imperative to travel with your gown. In this case, make sure you carry it in your hand luggage and not check it in. Arrange with your airline to hang it in a safe area for the course of your journey. Else, transport it in a box to ensure minimum handling. We suggest you choose fabric that doesn’t wrinkle easily and a dress with few embellishments, to reduce the risk of damage during travel. Visit this article on the Bridal guide to find out more about how to pack your wedding dress for travel. 

Steaming and pressing: Simply hanging your dress high can help most of the wrinkles in it drop. You can also hang it in the bathroom with a hot shower running. This is sure to get any remaining wrinkles out. However, be careful that you do not get the dress wet in the process. If you still notice wrinkles, entrust the job of getting them out to a professional dry cleaner. It isn’t wise to try this yourself. So, find the right agency who can do this without causing any damage to your wedding gown.

Caring for your wedding gown on your wedding day

You will finally get to wear your brand new wedding gown on your wedding day. Isn’t it exciting? However, remember that this is also the day when your dress will be subjected to most wear and tear. If you are a little careful, you can make sure that the damage to your dress is minimum. Here is what you should take care of on your wedding day.

Wear your dress only after your hair and makeup is complete: Hair spray, perfume and makeup will cause stains. With a little care, you can eliminate the chances of any of them coming in contact with your wedding gown. Complete your hair and makeup first, and only then wear your wedding dress. If you must touch up your hair and makeup, place a towel over your dress, so the products don’t come in contact with the fabric. This sample timeline on the Brides website may be handy in planning your day.

Have an emergency kit at hand: A wedding emergency kit is a lifesaver on most occasions. You can either buy a ready-made kit or set it up yourself. This emergency kit will contain all the essential items to address any unexpected wedding dress mishaps. From crystals that fall off to makeup stains or rips and tears, it will have the emergency supplies to handle such situations. So, don’t go anywhere on your wedding day without your emergency kit to tackle things at a moment’s notice.

Never rub any stains that may happen: Should an accident occur, never use harsh products to clean up the mess. For makeup or oily food stains, apply baby powder to the area and dust away the excess powder. In case of wine stains, simply blot the area with a dry tissue. A professional dry cleaner will be able to tackle the stain that remains, as long as you get the dress to them soon after the wedding.

Be ready to spot clean or mask stains: Wearing your wedding dress is usually one of the last dressing up things to do. So, you will already have your hair and makeup done by this time. Although you will most probably step into your wedding gown after the rest of the works, you cannot entirely eliminate the risk of a makeup stain. There are also chances of ending up with wine stains, food stains and dirt or mud stains. Be prepared to mask or spot clean your dress, should any of these occur. Baking powder, baby powder or chalk will mask most stains. In any situation, never use anything permanent like shoe polish or white out as you cannot get these out later.

Hold up your skirt and train when outdoors: Not only will your dress collect dust, dirt and moisture when you are outdoors, it can stain and the fabric may be damaged beyond repair. The fibers in wedding dresses are very delicate and susceptible to ripping and tearing. So, pick up the train and hold your skirt up when you step outdoors. Have your bridesmaids support your skirt and train if it is a long walk, so your dress isn’t damaged.

After the wedding

The big day has come and gone. Yet, your job isn’t complete! It is time to get your wedding dress cleaned pronto! Here is what to do.

Hang it out to dry: Your wedding dress will pick up sweat, dirt and dust over the course of your wedding day. So, don’t stash it into a box or your closet right away. Hang it up, and allow it to air dry for a bit. Don’t wrap it in plastic, as this can cause stains to set and new ones to form.

Cleaning and storage can’t wait: If you plan to head off on your honeymoon soon after the wedding, entrust your wedding gown to a faithful friend. Ask her to drop it off for cleaning and preservation ASAP! For tasks like this can’t wait till you are back. The sooner you attack the stains, the better your chances of getting them out. So, have your dress sent to the dry cleaners with instructions on the damage done, so they can work on it accordingly.

Store it the right way after cleaning: For your dress to be re-usable, it should at least be dry cleaned after the wedding. Once you get it back from the dry cleaners, you can store it carefully at home by yourself. You will need a box that is at least one-third the length of the front of your gown to store it properly. Use plenty of tissue to line the box and stuff the dress to avoid creases from forming. We also advise removal of metallic buttons, zippers and hooks that can oxidize and stain the dress over time. Take the dress out of storage once in a while, inspect it for deterioration of any kind, refold and put it back to ensure it is in best condition.

Use professional preservation services for guaranteed results: To guarantee the storage of your dress in perfect condition, it is best to have it professionally preserved by the experts. Heirloom preservation methods remove existing damage and box it in such a way that it is completely shielded from environmental elements. You can choose to save it in a window box, so you can see it from outside. Make sure that you choose the best storage method for your gown—vertical vs horizontal—to ensure the gown is stored right. Finally, place it in an area that isn’t prone to moisture, temperature changes or pests, so your gown retains its fresh condition.

Well-kept wedding gowns are a pleasure to have. If you are lucky, the women in the future generations of your family will be thankful for this gift that you lovingly hand over to them. Or you could yourself wear this special dress years later, for a vow renewal ceremony. Even if you were to sell it off, a properly preserved gown will fetch a good price and have more takers.

At Best for Bride, we have a professional dry cleaning and wedding gown preservation service. Take a look at this page on our website to find out more about these options. 

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Wedding dress Fittings: Do’s and Don’ts

Shopping for your wedding dress is only half the work. Alterations are the next essential step to get your dress ready for your wedding day.

Although wedding dress alterations are not as complicated as wedding dress shopping, they present their own set of challenges. Preparing for the task in advance will help you get the best results. From our experience of many years in providing alteration services to brides, we have compiled this list of the important do’s and don’ts to help you ensure your alteration services progress smoothly. Take a look at what they are.

DO select a service that specializes in wedding dress alterations

It isn’t wise to entrust your wedding dress alteration to anyone other than a professional seamstress who specializes in wedding dress alterations. Unlike regular dresses, wedding gowns are complex garments. Not all tailors are adept at handling the complexity of such garments. They may also not have the tools to handle this task. So, you risk the outcome unless the dress has a simple silhouette and or simple details when you ask a regular tailor to do your alteration.

DON’T forget to check reviews

Wedding dress alterations are expensive. However, if the task is done well, it is worth every penny you spend. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Before you finalize a person for the job, make sure you check their reviews. Experienced and professional alteration services will have happy customers who provide good feedback. Also check around for recommendations from family and friends. Finally, don’t be hesitant to ask for samples of previous work from the alteration service provider, if you are unsure.

DO set aside enough time to complete all the fittings properly

Rush jobs often result in poor results. So, set aside enough time to properly complete your alterations. You will usually need two to three fitting appointments to complete the task. Make your first appointment at least six weeks before your wedding date. Schedule the rest of the appointments after consulting your seamstress. Make sure that your appointments are spaced well, so that your tailor has enough time between sessions to complete the intended tasks on time. Follow this wedding dress shopping timeline on the Knot for best results. 

DON’T forget to factor in the budget for alterations

When you plan your wedding dress budget, don’t forget to include the cost of alterations. The expenses will depend on the size of dress you buy and the changes you desire. Some types of alterations are more expensive than others. For instance, custom changes like extra embroidery, moving of the hemline to another height or adding extra fabric to a dress can amount to a decent amount. Account for alterations into your planned dress budget, and you needn’t worry about your dress costing more than you anticipate.

DO schedule your final fitting closer to the wedding date

Your wedding dress is supposed to be perfectly fitted to your exact measurements. It is highly unlikely that you will retain the same shape or weight throughout your engagement, especially if you intend to lose weight in time for the wedding. Although you should schedule your fitting sessions weeks early, plan the last one just a week or two before your wedding day. This will allow your seamstress to fit the dress to your exact measurements so it drapes perfectly on your special day.

DON’T get the size wrong

If you are on a major weight loss program, it is important that you switch to a maintenance program at least two weeks before your wedding day. Accept how your body is at the time, and have your dress adjusted to the exact measurements. It isn’t likely that you will lose considerable weight during the time left. And if you do, you won’t look great in a dress that just hangs loosely off your frame. So, once your last dress fitting is done, say goodbye to your weight loss plans as well.

TIP: When you go dress shopping, never select a dress that is smaller than your actual size. Although you are sure to lose weight and fit into it in the months that come, it is a risk. If you do, your tailor can take in the extra inches and make it fit you correctly. However, if you don’t lose weight as intended, it is extremely difficult to add extra inches to a gown. This can ruin the finishing of the dress and hence isn’t advisable.

DO take the suggestions of your professional seamstress seriously

Your tailor will have had enough experience in carrying out alterations. So, she ought to give you the best possible advice regarding custom changes and size alterations. Go with her suggestions and don’t compel her to make changes she thinks aren’t possible. Remember that your seamstress can weigh several factors like fabric quality, placement of embellishments, your body type etc to figure out what changes are right and what aren’t. Accept her suggestions and choose to do alterations that she thinks will fit you best.

DON’T rush with custom changes or they can end up as a mess

It is possible that you want to make your dress truly unique through custom changes that alter the appearance of the dress entirely. If you decide to do this, remember that this usually involves more work than regular dress fittings. Discuss the necessary time with your seamstress and schedule your appointments accordingly. Make sure you leave enough buffer time before the wedding day to make sure the dress is ready and complete with all necessary alterations in time for your wedding.

DO remember to wear your wedding shoes to your alteration session

One of the things you should get right at your wedding dress fitting is the hemline of the dress. A hemline that is too long is an invitation for disaster. It can cause you to trip and fall, apart from making your dress look less than perfect. On the other hand, a dress that is too high ruins the entire bridal look. A floor-length gown should simply graze the ground as you walk. The height of your heels affects this greatly. Your dress can end up being too short or too long depending on the heel height. So, wear them to your dress alteration session.

Make sure you go shopping for your shoes soon after you complete dress shopping, so they are ready to try on by the time of your alterations. If the original shoes aren’t available, at least wear a pair with the same heel height that you intend to wear on your wedding day.

DON’T take too many people with you when you attend your fitting session

You may be tempted to invite your friends, bridesmaids and family to your fitting session. However, this isn’t a great idea. Not only can this be a distraction, it will also spoil the surprise of how you will look as a bride. Ask just a bridesmaid or your mother to come along to your alteration. Entrust the task of learning how to bustle your dress to this person. You can communicate what you want with your tailor on your own, and leave the rest of the work to her to handle.

DON’T hesitate to speak up your mind

Although you may not know much about wedding dress alterations and the details it involves, you should openly discuss your ideas with the tailor. Be flexible with your ideas and let her make suggestions that you may not have thought of. If you aren’t happy with the suggestions your seamstress makes, discuss this with her. This will allow her to make other suggestions that appeal better to you. In either case, open communication will allow you to clarify your doubts and find a dress that fits your vision perfect.

DO make sure you can comfortably move in your dress after it fits correctly

Alterations are intended to make sure the dress fits you closely. It should match your exact measurements, so the dress drapes on your figure without any bits hanging loose or bulging anywhere. While the dress ought to fit you like a glove, it is nonetheless necessary that you be able to move around in it. It shouldn’t be too tight that it stifles your movement. You should be able to walk, turn around and dance in it. Make sure this is possible at each of your dress alteration sessions. This is very important especially if your dress silhouette is a snug-fitting one like the mermaid, that tapers towards the feet and constricts free movement.

DON’T forget to check how the overall look comes together at the final session

Make sure that the big reveal on your wedding day is perfect, by checking it out for yourself at your fitting session. Book your hair and makeup trial on this day. Head to your bridal boutique after getting your hairstyle and makeup done as you would on your wedding day. When you try your dress on, you can see how the overall look comes together. This gives you the opportunity to tweak or change your style if you deem it necessary.

DO learn how to bustle your dress during the fitting

Bustling your wedding dress is a complex, but essential part of your wedding day. Ask your maid of honor or another bridesmaid to understand how to do it correctly after the wedding ceremony. For this, ask her to accompany you to one of your fitting sessions. Your seamstress can demonstrate the process and teach her how to do it correctly. If there are any questions or concerns, this opportunity will also allow you to clarify it and get it done without issues on your wedding day.

DON’T forget to wear the right undergarments to your fitting session

If your wedding gown must fit you exactly, it is important that you wear the same undergarments to the fitting sessions as you would on your wedding. Find perfectly fitting, functional undergarments that create the right silhouette, for this purpose. Make sure that it doesn’t show from beneath the white color of your wedding dress. It is advisable to pick nude colors for this. Wear it to your fitting sessions, so your seamstress can alter the measurements correctly based on this factor.

DO find a reliable pressing and steaming service for your destination wedding

If your wedding is at a faraway destination, you will have to travel with your gown. Handling the gown during the journey can cause wrinkles, especially if the fabric is stiff and structured. Locate a reliable steaming and pressing service at your destination. They can get the wrinkles out and refresh your dress after the long journey. If you are lucky and the wrinkles are minimum, you can get them out by hanging it in a steamy bathroom.

TIP: If you must travel with your wedding dress, choose one with lightweight, breathable fabric that does not wrinkle easily. Also keep the embellishments to a minimum to avoid the chances of damage to it. For more ideas on how to pick the right dress for your destination wedding, take a look at this article on the Brides website. 

DON’T forget to check your dress for any signs of damage that need to be addressed

Take a close look at your wedding dress before the conclusion of every session to make sure it is free from damage. If you find any stains, tears, frayed threads or embellishments that come off, have the damage rectified at your fitting session. Don’t overlook this step at this stage. It will not be easy to have it fixed if you discover such damages later, if you find it on your wedding day.

Tailors specializing in wedding dress alterations have the expertise to do dress alterations. Stores like Best for Bride that offer custom wedding dress designs will have seamstresses with experience in custom stitching of wedding dresses. This will help greatly in ensuring a better finish for your completed wedding dress. Check out our alteration service at Best for Bride and the price rate for each change at this link to our website. 

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Wedding dress shopping etiquette guide

Wedding dress shopping is a very exciting experience for a bride. As her bridal gown is one of the most expensive dresses she will wear in her life, this can also make her nervous. Fortunately, you will have your entourage and bridal consultants to help you make your dress decision. And, as with everything wedding-related, there are certain etiquette rules that you should stick to, when shopping for your wedding dress too. Let us take a look at what they are.

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1.Think through about who you should take along when you go shopping

You may be tempted into inviting all your friends, cousins and relatives to your shopping appointment. However, this is unnecessary and it can even do more damage than good. The ideal size of your entourage shouldn’t exceed four. Make sure you choose the right people, who share your taste in fashion and are supportive. They should provide positive inputs when you go shopping. Also remember that bridal salons may not have the space to accommodate a huge group. Even if your salon may have enough space for your huge group, it can be disruptive to the other brides shopping there. So, be considerate, and take along only those who really ought to accompany you. You can always include the rest of your gang for the alteration sessions, when they can see you in your gown!

2.Always book your appointment

Most bridal salons can only entertain brides with an appointment, when they go bridal shopping. Even if the shop you visit will be able to accommodate you on short notice, it is always suggested to book your slot before you go shopping. This will make your shopping session more efficient. When you have a prior appointment, you can not only book a time that is convenient for you, but your bridal consultant will also be able to focus on you, since she won’t be juggling appointments or be stretched for time.

3.Discuss your expectations at the start of the appointment

Bridal boutiques do not have shopping racks like you see in regular clothing shops. Instead, their inventory is stocked in a back room, from where bridal consultants pick dresses for you to try on. So, it is always good if you have a clear idea of what you want, and communicate that to your consultant. If you have pictures that you would like to see, show them to your consultant, so she knows what you are after. Additionally, if you shortlisted any dresses during your research, check if the boutique can have them ready for your appointment. When you provide this list earlier on, they should be able to have them ready for your appointment. So, you can first check these out, and move on to other options only if you aren’t satisfied with any of them.

4.Be punctual for your appointment and do not expect to stay beyond the allotted time

Just as you expect to be served on time, be respectful of the time slot allotted to you. Either call up to check whether your appointment will run on time, or arrive at least ten minutes before time. Typical wedding dress appointments run for an hour or two. However, weekend appointments may be shorter, as many brides will be shopping on these days. Book your appointment on a weekday, if you want to relax and do your shopping better. Check when the boutique has fewer appointments to decide on your slot, and be flexible if you want to enjoy your experience better. While you are at the bridal salon, make sure that you do not stall or waste any time unnecessarily. The better prepared you are for your appointment, the smoother it will progress.

5.It is important to be honest

Your consultant doesn’t know you personally to decide what would satisfy your tastes and preferences. She relies on your inputs to pick dresses for you to try. So, don’t hesitate to tell her exactly what you want. Although a dress consultant may have suggestions for you, the final aim is to make sure your dress is one that satisfies you. She will move on to other dresses and designs, based on the feedback you give about the ones that she shows first. This will help narrow down the selection to what will most likely appeal to you. So, the more details you give upfront, the quicker this can be done. If you aren’t happy with the dresses she brings out, tell her specifically which features you don’t like. Then, she can get the next dresses out accordingly.

6.Do not wear too much makeup

It is advised that you do not wear dark or smudgy makeup that may stain the dress, when you go shopping. Although your makeup shouldn’t get on the dress while you change into it, it is still risky. Lipstick in particular is notorious for staining dresses, and is very difficult to get off when it does. Your consultant may have to spend an extra amount of time and effort to get it out, if you accidentally get some on the dress. Even though the dresses on the shop floor are meant for trials, it doesn’t hurt to be mindful of such small things that can make everyone’s life a lot easier.

7.Disclose your true budget

One of the biggest possible disappointments when you go wedding dress shopping, is to fall in love with a gown that you cannot afford. You should fix your bridal dress budget right at the beginning, so you know the limit to which you can stretch. Remember to also account for bridal gown alteration charges and accessory rates, when planning your budget. When you attend your appointment, your consultant will ask you for your budget, and she expects you to tell her the actual amount you can afford. A few hundred extra bucks may be alright, but it is always best to look only at dresses that you can actually buy, and not try on anything that you cannot buy.

8.Be honest about it, if you have another dress shortlisted already

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Sometimes brides may not stop looking even when they find a great dress, just because they aren’t sure if it is indeed the right one. If this is how you end up at the salon, it is best to be honest about it with the salesperson. That way, neither of you will be wasting time looking at options that cannot beat the existing choice. Your salesperson can show you what they think will be better than the other gown, and you can make up your mind accordingly. She will also appreciate it if you tell her why you are there, and which is the other gown, so she can plan your session accordingly. When you tell her what you like about the other dress, and why you aren’t sure if it is right, she will be able to direct you to dresses that will likely be better choices.

9.First start with low-budget options and then move on to expensive ones

If you are on a tight budget, it is wise to first look at the dresses that are on sale or have offers attached to them. Move on to expensive dresses and ones that belong to the latest collections, only if you aren’t satisfied with any that you see in the discounted section. We always think this is the better way to go about it, than the reverse. In general, the more gowns you try on, the more confused you can become. So, if budget is the main factor in your selection and you come across a gown that looks great, stop there. Don’t even think of looking at another one, or you will again end up being confused.

10.Be prepared with the right accessories

Wedding dresses are delicate garments, and you will need your shop assistant’s help to get in and out of it. So, be prepared for that by wearing appropriate undergarments in which you are comfortable. Also carry accessories that will not look out of place, with the wedding gown you intend to buy. If you are shopping for strapless styles, a nude bra is an absolute must-have. Many bridal boutiques carry undergarments to use during your appointment, but it is always better to go prepared with your own, for your appointment.

11.Check before you take pictures

Not all bridal boutiques allow you to take pictures during your appointment. If in doubt, make sure to ask before you do so. Although your intents may be pure, boutiques face the risk of their designs being copied and used elsewhere, when brides do this. So, if it is against their policies to allow photography during appointment sessions, respect it. You can find all the information about most designer dresses, online. Once you finalize your dress choice and get the paperwork done, it shouldn’t be a problem to click a few snaps. You can ask if you are allowed to take a camera along, when you book your appointment, just to confirm.

12.Be courteous to your bridal consultant

Brides ought to enjoy this special shopping experience of their lifetime. Bridal consultants get this, and this is why they go to extreme lengths to ensure your wedding shopping is an exciting experience. If you have attended such a shopping session before, you will realize how different it is from any other dress shopping experience you have ever had. While you enjoy yourself and have fun with your girlfriends, don’t forget to be polite to your bridal consultant. Appreciate her enthusiasm in searching for the perfect dress that meets your needs and also thank her for all her help, whether you find your dress or not.

13.Update the salon if you have to cancel or reschedule

Remember that you are asked to book an appointment for a reason. Bridal boutiques are busy places, that have brides in queue all the time. If, for any reason, you are unable to attend your appointment or are running late, it is polite to call and inform the shop. They may be able to reschedule your appointment for the same day, if they have other slots available. If it is a rush day, canceling your appointment will allow them to allocate the sales assistant to another bride, thus not wasting their chance to make a sale. If you have booked the appointment, but have already located a dress at another shop, do not forget to cancel your appointment for the same reason. It may be a trivial matter for you, but the shop would appreciate it if you were so polite and respected their time, just like they respect yours.

14.You don’t have to be apologetic if you can’t make your decision then and there

Bridal shops know that not all brides can make this important decision in a jiffy. Some brides have to sleep on it, to be sure they have actually found what they want. So, don’t feel bad about telling your consultant that you will be back later. It is also likely that you may have to visit a boutique more than once, to narrow down on your actual dress. This is because wedding dress shopping is physically exhausting, and you have only so much time to make a decision right there. Your bridal consultant will have seen this happen, and won’t be surprised. If anything, she may even be supportive and offer you another appointment to look at more dresses at another time.

Wedding dress shopping is fun, exciting, nervous and yet, special. It is one of the most thrilling parts of your entire wedding planning process, and something you want to remember fondly. So, take note of all that we have discussed today, and make sure you as well as all those around you remember your shopping day fondly.

Before you go shopping, you should definitely take a look at our e-book, “ What to expect at your first bridal appointment”, which can be viewed or downloaded here.  And to browse through our vast and interesting collection of wedding dresses for your big day, don’t forget to check out Best for Bride’s wedding dress gallery here.

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What to expect at wedding dress fitting sessions and 6 Tips to help you get the most out it

Buying the perfect wedding dress is only half the task done! Now, you have to start the process of having it fitted to your exact measurements, so you can look perfect on your wedding day.

Ready-made wedding dresses are built to specific measurements, based on the designer collection they belong to. When you look at a particular wedding dress collection, you will observe that all the dresses in that size will have the same measurements for the bust, waist and hips. Unless you measure exactly the same for these three aspects, it is likely that you will need at least minimal alterations so your dress fits correctly.

Alterations

Let us make this more clear!

No two women are alike. Haven’t you noticed how the same dress can look different on two women who share the same dress size? Although your dress size may be the same, your structure and built are different. So, how a dress drapes around you will also be different. A dress is based on standard measurements that guide you to the closest fit. The fact is that it is nearly impossible to find a dress that will exactly match your body size and measurements.

This is where fitting sessions come into the picture. Every bride must have her wedding dress altered to fit her correctly, if she has to look her best on her wedding day. This is because wedding dresses are structured garments that usually follow your natural shape. Unless the silhouette enhances your best features, and fits comfortably, you can look either squeezed into a dress or holding it up like a hanger. Neither of these are good! Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult to have your wedding dress altered, and all it takes is a couple of fitting sessions after you buy your dress.

Before we move on to how you can make the most of your fitting sessions, let us first look at some things that will help you make the job much easier, even before you book your first session.

  • Choose a dress in the closest possible size: Don’t make the mistake of choosing a dress that is too big or too small, believing that you can alter it to fit you later. If you want to retain the original charm of the dress, it should be in a size that is closest to your actual measurements.
  • When in doubt, choose the larger size: You may be certain that you will shed several pounds in the months leading up to the wedding. Nevertheless, err on the safe side by choosing a gown that is one size bigger than your current one as it is easier to take in fabric, than add extra to it.
  • Try not to make too many design changes: Adding sleeves, moving the neck up or shortening the hemline are all easy and inexpensive alterations. However, cutting up a dress and modifying it to meet your idea may not be a great idea. It can easily spoil the entire effect of the gown.
  • Pay attention to design factors: This is when you may love a gown for it’s beautiful lace hemline that follows a plain stretch of the skirt. In case the gown is too long, taking fabric from the skirt may cause the dress to look totally different once the hemline is cut and moved up. Check with your bridal consultant before you make the purchase, so you do not feel disappointed with the final look after the change is done.
  • Trust the job only to experienced wedding seamstresses: Set aside a part of your wedding dress budget for alterations, and trust this task to an experienced seamstress. Don’t ever make the mistake of going with a regular tailor, as experience in working on wedding dresses is absolutely necessary to do the job well.
  • Alterations of fabric that are soft and difficult to work with, may cost more: Wedding dresses are made in different fabrics, and some are easier to work with than others. Fabrics like chiffon and charmeuse are delicate and hard to work with. So, expect to shell out more money on altering these dresses, when compared to lace or tulle.

Once you take care of these factors, you will have a gown that will yield to your vision, with minimum alterations. Although you can always schedule as many alteration sessions as you want, it isn’t usually necessary to have more than three or four sessions to get the desired look.

 

Before you go for your wedding fitting session, it will be helpful to know what you can expect at it. Let us find out now.

What to expect at your wedding dress fitting sessions

During your wedding fitting, you will be working with a tailor or seamstress who has the well-needed experience to work on wedding dresses. Remember that not every tailor is capable of the task, as wedding dresses are complicated garments with several layers of fabric. The design details are also very intricate. Unless the person working on altering it knows her way around wedding gowns, it can end up becoming a disaster.

You will most likely have to attend more than one alteration session to have your dress look like it should, on your wedding day. Your seamstress should be able to give you an idea of how many sessions will be necessary, when you attend your first appointment.

 

The first appointment: At your first appointment, your tailor will take a look at your dress while you are wearing it. She will then suggest what fixes will be required to make it fit your actual measurements. This is also the time when you will have to discuss custom changes like adding a sleeve or altering any design details like the neckline, so it meets your vision.

Your tailor will be taking down measurements and notes, and will pin and tuck the fabric on the dress to make it match your curves and look good on your body shape. At this time, pay attention to whether you like what you see and make your suggestions on whether something should be different. If you want it a little loose or tighter than what she thinks is right, let her know.

Consecutive fitting sessions: Your tailor will work on the suggested changes after your initial appointment. You will have subsequent appointments once these changes are done, and it will be while you are wearing the garment. The following appointments are usually shorter than the first, and you will see your dress coming closer to the final form it should be in, for your wedding day.

If there are any changes that you aren’t quite content with, or you wish to make any further changes to the original plan, you can discuss this with your tailor. If it is practical and there is enough time to work on it, you should be able to have it done.

 

Now let us take a look at some handy tips to help you make the most of your fitting sessions.

1.Try to be at your target size in time for the final fitting: Fitting sessions are all about getting the dress to fit your natural size and curves perfectly. This will be impossible for your seamstress to do, if your size keeps fluctuating significantly, from one session to another. Schedule your final appointment close to the big day. A week before the wedding, would be a good time. By this time, you should ideally have reached your final target size, and your seamstress can do the last minute changes to make your dress fit you just right.

2.Wear your wedding shoes at the session: Once you buy your wedding dress, don’t delay buying your wedding shoes. This is because you must wear your actual wedding shoes at your alteration session, if you are to get your gown length right. Your seamstress will have to shorten the dress hemline to be just right so it covers your feet. If you buy the shoes after the hemline is done, and the heel length ends up being higher than you assumed, your dress will look shorter than it ought to be. If the heels are shorter, you risk tripping over the dress, and having an accident.

3.Wear undergarments and shapewear that you will actually use on the day: Make sure that your dress fitting is done to perfection, by having it altered over the actual innerwear you will be using on your wedding day. If you will be wearing shape-wear, it will squeeze in any unsightly bumps, making your figure more attractive. Unless you wear it to your fitting session, your tailor would be working with your actual figure when altering the dress. This could cause you to lose the advantage of using shape wear to have a more toned look on the actual day.

4.Make sure you feel comfortable in the dress: At each alteration session, the main thing you should look at is whether the dress looks and feels comfortable. If it is loose or too tight, inform your seamstress so she can make the necessary changes. Also pay attention to the neckline. If you have chosen a strapless or sweetheart neckline, see to it that the neckline stays taut and doesn’t shift. You should feel comfortable about where it begins and how tight it is. If the dress reveals cleavage, make sure that you are comfortable with the amount of skin that is exposed. Ask your tailor to make adjustments if it doesn’t meet your expectations or is deeper than you are comfortable with.

5.Follow up on the previous sessions inputs: It will be helpful if you keep notes of the changes that you had suggested at the previous session. Also take pictures so you know what suggestions were made and can follow through. At the next session, make sure that the concerns you had previously were addressed. If not, ask your seamstress to prioritize them for the next time. If you had any more ideas after your previous session, note them down so you can discuss it with your tailor at the coming appointment.

6.Walk, twirl and make sure you can move comfortably in your dress: You will be in your wedding gown for several hours on the day you get married. Make sure that the dress is comfortable to wear, during your fitting sessions. Lift your arms and stretch them to see if the neckline stays steady. Try sitting down, walking and twirling as you would on the dance floor, to make sure that your movements aren’t stifled by the fabric. Also walk around a lot, to make sure that the skirt length is correct and you do not run the risk of tripping over an excessively long hemline. Discuss the changes that may be necessary if the bodice is too tight or feels loose, and ask your tailor to correct it for the next session.

With these tips in mind, you should have no trouble with your alterations. Watch yourself love your wedding dress more and more with each consecutive appointment, when the dress is made to fit you to perfection.

At Best for Bride, our wedding dress services include wedding gown alterations. Our seamstresses have years of experience working on wedding gowns, and can offer you the best possible service you can get, for the most reasonable cost. We handle everything from simple dress fittings to complicated design changes easily. Whether you want to have your wedding dress altered, or the dresses of your wedding party fitted to perfection, you have the solution at Best for Bride. Call us or drop in today to find out what we can do to help you. Watch our video for more tips and advice on using our alteration services.

Additionally, our store also brings you wedding dresses of every style from top-class designers, as well as a range of wedding services. We pride ourselves on being a one-stop bridal destination and welcome you to visit and explore all that we offer you to make your dream wedding day a reality.