Finding your dream wedding dress is only the beginning. After that you have to worry about how to accessorize it and how to make sure that it looks right on you. Here is what you need to know on how to get the perfect fit from your bridal gown.
Chances are that you have never worn an actual gown before the one that you purchased for your wedding. Therefore, when it comes time to have it altered to fit you, you may go into the process without a clear picture of what the final result should be. If you have a really terrific seamstress, you can probably simply put yourself in her hands, but it is still a good idea for brides to know what is going on during the gown fittings. It is the only way to be sure that you end up with a wedding gown that fits beautifully and also feels amazing to wear.
Different styles of dresses should fit differently, but the one thing that they have in common is that you should not see the fabric pulling tight anywhere. Take a spin in a three-way mirror; do you see a taut area across your bum or hips? Does a strapless gown have horizontal pull lines across the waist? These are all signs that your gown needs to be let out a pinch. (And often it is only a minor adjustment that is needed; you would be amazed at the difference as little as a half an inch can make.)
Strapless gowns are known to be the most tricky to fit. They need to be snug enough to stay up, and yet loose enough that the bride can breathe. In addition, if the gown is too tight across the top, you will end up with the dreaded "back cleavage". There are times when that back squish is unavoidable, but if you choose a strapless gown with an inner corset, it will be much easier to get a perfectly smooth fit. This is because the inner corset can be cinched in as tight as is needed to keep the gown from shifting, while the outer layer of the gown can float away from the body every so slightly. This is the ideal.
Another common question that brides have is about the straps on their gown. They should be short enough to stay in place without slipping down your shoulders. If straps are overly short, though, they will pull the entire bodice up too high with the result that the waistline of the gown will not fall at your actual waist. Tall brides must be certain to order extra-long straps.
One of the other biggest concerns that arises in alterations is the appropriate hem length. In general, brides think that their hemline should be closer to the ground than is practical. Almost every bridal gown should be hemmed to fall one inch off the ground with your wedding shoes on. If you have to hold up the front of your skirt to walk, it is too long. The last thing that you want is to catch your foot in your gown as you walk down the aisle!
To ensure the ideal fit of your special gown, expect about three appointments with your seamstress. It is a good idea to put together your entire bridal ensemble at least one of your fittings, including your veil, jewelry, and gloves. Many brides will choose to have a hair trial before their final fitting so they can also see how their bridal hair jewelry looks when their hair is styled and they are in their gown. After all, it is good to make sure that everything looks perfect all together, so you will be thrilled when you get dressed on the morning of your wedding.