Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting | CHWV

When you slip into a dress that makes your heart sing, you know you've found the one. But the story doesn't end there. Still to come are all the finer details, from choosing your accessories to booking your wedding dress fitting. Here is where to begin…

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting | CHWV

When should your fittings take place?

If you're taking 12 months or more to plan your wedding, then your dress hunt will slot into the recommend timeline with ease, which is to order your wedding dress at least six months before the big day. Allow longer if you'd like a dress designing from scratch, before being made to measure.

After you've chosen your gown, your next steps will be to book a series of wedding dress fitting appointments. You may only need one to adjust the hem, but often two or three are required to create the perfect fit. For a strapless design, this is especially important.

"When buying a ready-made dress off the peg it is not unusual to have just one or two fittings, sometimes three depending on the work you have done," reveals couture bridal designer Terry Fox.

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting - Terry Fox Bridal | CHWV

Image courtesy of Terry Fox

 

"Brides tend to want to leave it quite close to the wedding, especially if they plan to change weight. But don't leave it too long as you really need to feel relaxed, so ideally I would say two months before the wedding, followed by a final fitting one month before."

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting - Terry Fox Bridal | CHWV

Image courtesy of Terry Fox

Who is in charge of your wedding dress fitting?

Often a boutique will work very closely with a seamstress, either in-house or as a visiting expert. The seamstress will be your font of knowledge and the practised pair of hands that transform your dress.

"You need to choose your seamstress carefully," recommends Terry Fox. "Once you have put the research in and made your decision, leave it to them. Be guided by their expertise and enjoy the experience."

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting - Terry Fox Bridal | CHWV

Image courtesy of Terry Fox

 

"Convey your ideas and express how you want to feel on your day clearly. Leave no room for misinterpretation. Have an in-depth conversation before you start to establish you are both in agreement. Be confident and continue to be stress-free."

Who should you take with you?

There's a wealth of wedding dress advice when it comes to who to take on your dress shopping trips and the same applies to your fittings.

"I suggest bringing a bridesmaid, close friend or member of family who has similar opinions to you, but is also not afraid to be critical," advises Wiltshire and London-based dressmaker Jessica Turner. "It is a joyous occasion and you should feel excited to attend your appointment with this person."

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting - Jessica Turner Designs | CHWV

Image courtesy of Jessica Turner Designs

 

You need someone who's going to support you and your choices and provide honest feedback when requested. Someone you can trust and someone who you want to share such an important process with. Someone who you're happy to let see your wedding dress!

What should you wear to a wedding dress fitting?

Remember choosing occasion-appropriate underwear and a strapless bra when you first went to try on wedding dresses? Well, there's a dress code for your wedding dress fitting too.

For brides who will be having several fittings, the wardrobe is more flexible, as dressmaker Jessica Turner explains:

"I ask brides to wear their everyday underwear, tights and leggings to their first fitting. We'll discuss whether they'll wear a bra on their wedding day, which should then be brought to their second fitting if the answer is yes. Then the wedding shoes are required at the final two fittings to finalise the length of the dress, along with the veil and accessories to see the overall bridal look."

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting - Jessica Turner Designs | CHWV

Image courtesy of Jessica Turner Designs

 

One of the best pieces of wedding dress advice is to prioritise practicality over prettiness for your underwear, as Terry Fox advises.

"If you are going to wear briefs or Spanx, I suggest you most definitely have them too. Spanx could reduce your dress by a size and change the drape of your gown."

"Briefs, if too detailed, may be seen. Keep everything as smooth as possible. Not always the prettiest but the most effective. And if you're wearing a slinky low neckline either to the back or front, some body tape would be useful."

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting - Terry Fox Bridal | CHWV

Image courtesy of Terry Fox

What's possible from a wedding dress fitting?

When bride-to-be Lauren fell in love with a discontinued dress, the only option was to purchase the sample dress that she'd tried on, with the promise that any pulled threads would be transformed without any additional cost.

But there was a problem - the dress was too big. Fortunately, most dresses can be reduced by up to two sizes without too great a cost, but it always worth asking for wedding dress advice from your seamstress first. In only three fittings, the dress will be transformed to fit like a glove.

"Anything is possible, but consider the time frame and the budget," suggests Terry Fox. "To put a sleeve into a sleeveless dress or a top onto a strapless dress is the unknown. The new piece needs to be made and then positioned in situ."

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting - Terry Fox Bridal | CHWV

Image courtesy of Terry Fox

 

"This will mean fitting then altering, taking the piece away to do the alterations then fitting again. So if you want to completely change a feature on a dress that is different to what the designer had in mind, expect work in progress for a while."

What should you expect it all to cost?

Some boutiques offering a premium service may include your fittings in the price of the dress. Others will charge you separately, and others still will add your fitting costs to a payment plan for your dress.

"Always ask for a quote before the work is agreed," Terry Fox says. "A good seamstress should be able to give you a final costing before starting. I find most dresses need alteration to the hem, bodice and straps. It tends to get more complicated when it involves zips and other fastenings. I would expect to pay around £200 to £250 for this - more if resizing and restyling is involved."

Is a made to measure dress realistic?

If you've not yet found the one, a made to measure gown could be the perfect choice. It could also be more achievable than you might think. Fortunately, Jessica Turner is on hand to provide experienced wedding dress advice:

"The made to measure cost of a bridal dress really depends on the choice of designer, the style and the fabric. Brides should always start with a budget to give to the dressmaker and research what they typically charge for a bespoke dress before deciding which dressmaker to visit."

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wedding Dress Fitting - Jessica Turner Designs | CHWV

Image courtesy of Jessica Turner Designs

 

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