Bridal columnist Carina Monteith shares the dos and don't for the all-important dress fittings before your wedding day.

So, you’ve found the dress of your dreams and you are delighted with life. Chances are that you ordered from a sample dress that was either too big or too small so seeing your own dress for the first time can be a little daunting.

It’s normal to have a visual in your head of what you think you will look like in your dress (bear in mind you have had roughly 6 months to conjure up the perfect bride image in your head!).

If I had a euro for every time I had a bride say, ‘I don’t think that’s my dress……’ when they see their own for this first time, I’d be driving a better car!

Every bride imagines themselves with their dress fitting like a glove as they walk up the aisle but they forget the stage in between – the alteration fittings. Unless you are incredibly lucky or have the budget to get a fully made to measure gown then your dress will require some form of alteration.

Generally, when a dress is ordered by a Bridal Boutique, it’s ordered in your nearest size so alterations are then needed to make it fit like it should so remember it won’t be perfect when you first got to try it on. Your dress fittings are an important part of your wedding prep so give the process as much attention as everything else.

Your dress fittings are an important part of your wedding prep so give the process as much attention as everything else.



Here are my tips to avoid the dress stress!

  • Go with experience! My advice is to have your alterations taken care of by the boutique where you bought your dress where possible. If not then make sure you book someone with a proven track record with wedding dress alterations, look for recommendations.
  • Be Organised – Book your fittings well in advance as appointments book up fast during the busy wedding season. Check in advance as most boutiques won’t offer alteration appointments on a Saturday.

    Image via inside weddings

  • Prepare in advance – It’s usual to have 2 fittings and then a final appointment to pick your dress up. Your first fitting should be around 8 weeks ahead of the wedding with your second fitting 4 weeks before – this allows time for any further alterations that may be required.
  • Bring your Accessories – It’s essential that you bring your wedding shoes and bra to all your dress fittings so that the seamstress can get an exact idea of what you need. If you turn up without your shoes they can’t alter your length so it will be a wasted appointment. Your fittings are also a good opportunity to try on any other accessories with your dress. Lots of brides opt to have a hair and makeup trial on the same day as one of their fittings to get an idea of the completed look for the big day.
  • Have a Fittings Buddy – It’s not necessary to have your full bridal party with you for your alteration fittings but it’s a good idea to have one person with you so that the seamstress can show her how to get you into the dress with ease and show her how to bustle your skirt for the evening. Practice makes perfect!

    Image: Pinterest

  • Pay attention! It’s easy to get carried away admiring yourself in the mirror and not concentrate on the fit of the dress or what the seamstress is saying but this is your one opportunity to make sure that you are 100% comfortable and happy with your dress. Ask lots of questions, a good seamstress will be happy to explain everything to you.
  • Don’t stand still. Once the seamstress is finished pinning your dress make sure you move around! This is particularly important at your second fitting as the bulk of the alterations will be complete at his stage. Make sure you can sit comfortably and walk around without your dress catching on the flooring. Don’t forget to consider the flooring on your aisle and reception venue – if its carpet then I’d advise you to go half an inch off the ground so you can walk around all day with ease.

Finally, remember to include the cost of alterations into your budget. A good seamstress is worth every penny as their expertise is what will make all the difference to how you look on the big day.

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All the Wedding Best Carina x