From accessories to customizations and bridal veils to bustles, here’s everything you need to know to have a successful first wedding dress fitting, alterations process, and styling plan.
After you’ve found your dream bridal gown. Now it's time for placing your order and walking down the aisle, you’ll need 1-3 fitting appointments to make “the one” feel like a truly personalized work of bridal perfection. Keep scrolling!
1. Remember that wedding dress delivery takes time
Like many moving parts of your wedding planning, your wedding dress fitting is all about timing. Here are some timeline fundamentals to keep everything on track:
- Because wedding dress deliveries takes time, remember that your mindset and emotions can shift during the interim between shopping and fittings. More on this as we go along, but remember that it helps to be patient, calm, and mindful of these periods of anticipation.
- Wedding dress delivery typically takes 4-5 months, so you’ll want to order in time to have your first wedding gown fitting at least 6-8 weeks before the wedding.
- Remember that weight can change over time, but be patient and realistic about how much that will affect a wedding dress alteration.
- Be open to scheduling more than one wedding dress fitting, especially if you are making major alterations to your dress and accessories.
2. Wear correct undergarments for the style of your wedding dress
Be sure to bring the exact pieces that you’ll be wearing on your wedding day to all your fitting and alteration appointments. If a successful wedding dress fitting depends on one thing, it’s the power of undergarments. This ensures the best fit, tailoring, and overall comfort factor for your final look. Proper undergarments may include:
- A bra that properly supports your bust while complementing your wedding gown’s bodice.
- Shapewear that complements design elements like a plunging neckline, low back, skirt slit, or illusion fabric.
- Design elements already featured in your wedding dress, such as built-in shapewear, bra cups, a corset back, or smooth jersey lining.
- A slip or petticoat to add fullness to your skirt.
3. Bring the wedding shoes you’re going to wear on your wedding day
A big part of wedding gown alterations is length adjustment, which in turn depends on your shoe height and hemline preferences. Here are a few factors that might influence your footwear:
- Familiarize yourself with the fit and feel of your wedding gown’s bustle. This plays a big factor in the length, sweep, and hemline of your final wedding dress look.
- Opt for a shoe height and length combo that allows your hemline to lightly graze the ground. Too short and it will cheapen the look of the wedding gown; too long and you’ll be tripping over it all night.
- Since your wedding gown hemline is adjusted for shoe height, you want to choose a pair that’s comfortable for both ceremony and reception. If you plan to switch from heels to flats over the evening, your hemline will likely be too long.
4. Bring some of your wedding accessories and jewelry
If you have key pieces like an heirloom bridal veil or splurge-worthy tiara, be sure to include them in your first wedding dress fitting appointment to help map out your final look. Here are the basic bring-alongs to consider:
- Bring your bridal veil or browse options at your boutique. Whether or not you’ll be wearing a veil (not to mention its length and style) can play a big role in fittings and alterations.
- You don’t have to have your “real” jewelry on hand, but it helps to know which statement pieces you’ll be working with, e.g., long chandelier earrings, gloves, a necklace, or a flower crown. At the very least, bring similar items to help curate your look.
- If you haven’t decided on your exact bridal shoes, bring a pair with the same height to what you’d like to wear on your wedding day.
5. Do your hair and makeup similar to how you would on your wedding day
You don’t need to book a professional make up artist for your first wedding dress fitting, but it certainly helps to prep a beauty look that’s similar to your vision for the big day. Here are some tips:
- Wash your hair the day before your fitting, and style it up or down depending on your bridal vision.
- Give yourself time before your bridal appointment to moisturize your face, apply a basic contour, fill in your brows, brighten your lips, and define your eyes. Even if you don’t create the exact same makeup look on your wedding day, this will help you feel primped, polished, and confident.
- One makeup item you may want to avoid applying is a statement lip or dramatic eye, as it can easily rub off or stain your wedding dress as you get dressed and undressed.
Follow our tips for prepping, adjusting, discussing gown options, and working with your local bridal boutique. With these tips, we promise your first wedding dress fitting is sure to be a smashing success.
Excited for this next big step in your wedding dress shopping journey? We certainly are!
And if you haven’t started your wedding dress shopping yet, find one of our Authorized Retailers with our Store Locator. Best wishes for your best day ever!