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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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10 things to do before you put on your wedding gown

dress

Once you wear your wedding gown on your wedding day, your transformation into a bride is almost complete. There are few things left to do now, before you walk down the aisle. But before you step into your dream wedding dress, there are a couple of things you should first complete. This is what we will look at today. Here is a list of must-do’s before you finally wear your bridal dress, and are ready walk down the aisle.

1.Eat and drink something

While you should have something light to snack on, even after you change into your dress to keep the hunger pangs at bay, you should fill yourself up prior to wearing your dress. Once you are in it, you should be very careful not to soil your dress. So, make sure that you snack on something nutritious and filling before you change into your wedding dress. Don’t skip this step as you need your nutrients to keep going through the hectic evening. All the excitement can also make you feel light-headed, and an empty stomach will only make it worse. So, even if you have a hearty meal early in the day, carry a few non-colored snacks to chomp on, should you feel hungry later. Check out this post on the Bridal Guide blog for some great food suggestions. Also don’t forget to have enough fluids, so you are fresh and your skin retains its freshness. Save the juices and other colored drinks for before you wear your wedding dress. Sip on clear liquids and water, once you change into your dress, so you minimize the chances of staining your wedding dress.

2.Take one-last trip to the bathroom

Your wedding dress is made from yards of fabric, and it isn’t easy to visit the bathroom once you are wearing it. Although you will have to do it at least once during the reception, you can try to delay it for as long as possible by making a visit prior to wearing your dress. In all the rush during the day, don’t forget to schedule in this last visit, just before you wear your dress. You can even ask your maid of honor to remind you, just in case you forget. While we are on this topic, it is also worth a reminder that you ask your maid of honor to learn how to bustle your dress, so you can comfortably maneuver it during your visit to the bathroom.

3.Finish your hair and makeup and allow it time to set

hair

Not only should you finish your hair and makeup prior to wearing your dress, you should also allow it enough time to sit. Even a small hint of makeup on the dress can form an unsightly mark, that will easily damage the beauty of your gown. To avoid this, make sure your makeup has enough time to set. After applying your makeup, dust it with translucent powder or use a setting spray, and wait till it sets, before wearing your dress. This will protect both your makeup and your dress.

Tip: While applying makeup, don’t forget to cover all the areas on your body that will be exposed. Blend each layer in very well, so that the makeup looks continuous and doesn’t end abruptly to expose patches of raw skin.

4.Get all the things you need for your dressing ready and in one-place

Once you are in your stark white wedding gown, you want to avoid any accidents that may cause a stain. Think of all the likely situations that can cause an accident, and then prevent it at all costs. You can do this when you plan your wedding schedule to the last detail, including what all you have to do after you wear your gown. Try to collect everything in one place, so you needn’t wander around in your gown and risk any accidents. Set up all the things you need, the day before itself, so you needn’t worry about it in the morning. Place everything, including your shoes and bouquets in low-traffic areas, so the chances of staining your dress are low. Don’t forget the ground either, as your dress will be trailing on the floor. Spread clean towels or sheets over the floor before you get into the dress. Similarly, have all the items you need to get dressed handy. We think this idea on the Knot is simply brilliant. The suggestion is to have a crochet hook on hand if your dress has a number of fabric buttons, and you can avoid handling them too much. Also keep a towel handy to cover up the front of your dress when you eat, drink or touch up your make-up.

5.Take a proper look in the mirror and make sure you are all set to wear your dress

Once your hair and makeup is done, the only thing left to do is to get into your wedding dress. Don’t rush it. Spend a few minutes to get a proper look of yourself in the mirror, and make sure you are entirely happy with what you see. If you think your makeup is missing any detail, or your nails could do with one top coat of polish, this is the time to do it. Also check your hair and make sure that it is in place, like it ought to be. Mentally run through all that you should complete as part of your hair and makeup, and before stepping into your wedding dress. These few minutes could be valuable in reminding you of something you may have overlooked. Once you have completed everything that is to be done, there is nothing left to do but change into your dress.

6.Finish off any work that you have to do yourself

last minute

If there are any DIY details or personal stuff that you have to handle yourself, make sure it is completed before you change into your wedding gown. Whether it is overseeing the centerpieces, arranging the wedding favors, feeding your pet or doing your flower girl’s hair, you should tackle it before you change into your wedding dress. However trivial a task may be, it is better to get it out of the way before you change into your dress. After all, the wedding dress is a detailed garment, and it may not be wise walking around in it and risking an accident. Once you are dressed in your wedding gown, all that should ideally be left to do, is wait to get married.

7.Do a quick stain check

Like we suggested earlier, you should have your dress pressed and on the hanger, the day before your wedding itself. The dress should still be wrapped in a transparent bag to ensure that there are no chances of getting stained. Place it inside the closet or in a spot that not many people will access, to avoid any risk. On your wedding day, just before you step into your dress, spend a brief minute or two checking it for any possible stains. If there is an unexpected mark, it is always better to tackle it before you put the dress on. Have your emergency bridal kit on hand, and you will have the solution to your problem there. Find out more about what your emergency kit should contain, and how you can buy a ready made one, by checking out this previous post on the topic. Don’t be too worried if such a stain is indeed visible. Try to hide it, if not get rid of it. Just go for what looks like the most practical solution at that point of time. Once you are in your dress, be super careful about not adding any more stains to your white dress. While stepping into your dress, and moving about in it, ask for help from your bridesmaids so you can avoid brushing against anything that may cause it to catch color. Also, it is better to be safe than sorry. See to it that you put away makeup, food and anything that can cause an accident, and check any surfaces that you will be sitting on or leaning against so there are no chances of catching stains.

8.Have your wedding dress photographed and getting ready pictures clicked

Yes, you need to add a picture of your wedding dress on the hanger, into your wedding photo collection. Only then will the transformation after you wear it be evident. Make sure your wedding dress is on a pretty hanger, or placed neatly on a neat and pretty surface, so it looks good. It is also customary to have pictures of yourself and the bridal party getting ready for the big event. Work with your photographer to plan the timing of the shoot. Make sure you get this done with sufficient time to get fully dressed, so you won’t have to rush through everything. Also schedule this into bridesmaids time schedule, so they are all present on time. Discuss how much time this will take and other details with your photographer, so you won’t be late, nor should this clash with the rest of the wedding day activities.

9.Put your garter on and take that one loving glance at your dress

If you are a traditional bride who will be following the age old tradition of wearing a wedding garter, make sure that you wear it before you wear your gown. Well, you could always add this little accessory even after you are in your wedding dress, but it won’t be easy. Since you’ll be lifting up the skirt for this, you risk scrunching it up and spoiling the fresh look. So, save this task for before you are actually in your wedding dress. Once the garter is also in place, all that is left to do is dress yourself in the gown. Before this, we suggest you take a final look at your dress, as it awaits you. It’ll be a memory you’ll love to hold on to later.

10.Get your helpers in position

It is very unlikely that you will be able to get into your wedding dress and have it zipped or buttoned up, all by yourself. Getting yourself strapped into your wedding dress is usually at least a two member task. So, have your assistants at their posts, before you set about getting into the dress. It would be wise to use a scarf over your face, so you do not smudge your makeup or stain the dress. Also remember that the right way to wear a wedding gown is not to pull it over your head, but to step into it. The only exception is if the gown is a sheath style dress or a high-neck design without a zipper or long button train at the back. So, have all that you need to assemble everything into place handy, and the bridesmaids who will assist you, in their positions. One of them should hold the dress open and stiff, so it doesn’t get crumpled. It would be a good idea to hold on to one of the other girls for support as you step into the gown. Finally, they can zip or button you up, and the job is complete.

So, now you know all that you need to do prior to wearing your dream wedding dress. We hope this post has been useful for you. For more such wedding related advice, tips and tricks, keep visiting us at Best for Bride.

We are the one-stop bridal destination for not only brides in Canada, but all over the world. With a stunning array of wedding gowns from top-class wedding designers, we bring you both classic and modern wedding dresses of every type imaginable. Our collection also includes bridesmaids dresses, mother of the bride dresses, flower girl dresses and much more. Visit our online store to find out all about the various wedding services we offer. We ship orders worldwide, and so you are closer to realizing your dream wedding vision, than you were ever before.

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How to Bustle Your Wedding Dress


A bustle brings the back of a wedding dress off the floor so that the bride is not hampered by the train during the wedding reception. Bustles are very common. Different styles of bustles can be used. The bustle may require the addition of hook and eye or ties to the wedding dress.

The  bustle is created during alterations. Since bustles are so common, brides may wonder why wedding dresses do not come with the bustle attachments in place. The bustle requires that the hem of the dress be brought up to a height that keeps it off the floor. The back of the skirt is typically raised so that it is just above the floor. Therefore, the person doing bridal dress alterations can adjust the bustle to account for the preferred bustle style, bride’s height, and shoes so that the bustle is the correct length.

For an over bustle, the train is brought up on the outside of the skirt and attached to the waist of the dress with a hook and eye or button and loop. A covered button may be added to the back of the wedding dress with a small loop attached under the train. A long train may require additional hook and eye attachments. These can be camouflaged with lace appliqués or other subtle embellishments.

An under bustle is tucking the length of train under the wedding gown. The under bustle sometimes is called the French or Victorian bustle. Ribbons are sewn on the inside of the dress. Different colors of ribbons often are used. After the ceremony, the bride may need assistance to tie the ribbons to make the bustle.

The bride and her assistant need to tie the matching ribbons together to draw the gown up in the bustle. A one-point French bustle uses only one pair of ribbons while the three-point bustle uses three pairs that will need to be tied. Three-point bustles are best for long trains.

An Austrian bustle uses a system of loops. The bride simply pulls the string that is in the loops and the train is gathered upwards. Instead of folds like the other bustles, this is a gathering of the fabric. A royal bustle uses multiple ties. The fabric is gathered up at each of these points. So, it’s somewhat like an Austrian bustle with three or more points. A bubble hem is a folding up of the length of the dress at the hem. This method may require numerous bustle points for a long train.

The cost of a bustle can vary by type and the number of points needed to be added to the dress to create the bustle. The bride will want to go to a room away from her guests to bustle up the dress, especially for the types of bustles that require her to lift her dress to access the underside. Some wedding dress seamstresses recommend that the bride have two or three women who are ready to help her bustle her dress after the ceremony.

A wedding dress is an important way to express yourself during your special day. Our blog at Best for Bride contains many helpful wedding dress advice like choosing the style and learning about modern trends.

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Wedding Expert Minute Tip 7 – How to Repair a Broken Bustle

Repair a Broken Bustle Wedding

Now and then, a wedding day “disaster” may occur that threatens a beautiful bride-to-be’s peace of mind. One of these wedding day snafus is a broken bustle. If your wedding dress is a bustle-style design, you need to know how to deal …