Wedding Dress Fitting and Alteration Etiquette

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If your wedding plans are already underway, then it’s likely you already have an idea of the bridal gown you would like to wear on the big day.

However, having a rough idea of what you’d wish your dress to look like is different from actually shopping for a wedding dress. And it requires you to know some wedding dress fitting etiquette, which might make your dress shopping experience a whole lot different.

In this guide, we look at etiquette and 10 wedding fitting tips that can help you find the right bridal gown to wear at your wedding.

What to Wear to Dress Fitting

If one factor determines the success of a wedding dress fitting, it is the influence of undergarments. At all of your fitting and adjustment sessions, make sure to bring the exact clothes you will wear on your wedding day. This enables the optimal fit, tailoring, and overall level of comfort for your final appearance.

Some elements such as built-in shapewear, bra cups, a corset back, or a jersey lining are already present in your bridal gown. So all you have to do is to choose the right undergarments to bring to your dress fitting.

What to Bring to Dress Fitting

Bring the footwear and underwear you want to wear on your wedding day to your initial fitting since these can significantly affect the fit of your gown.

If you are wearing sky-high stilettos, the hemline of your wedding dress will need to be a different length than if you are wearing dazzling bridal sneakers or flats.

10 Wedding Dress Fitting Tips and Etiquette to Help You Choose the Perfect Gown

1. Make an Appointment

One of the best ways to ruin a day of wedding dress shopping is to enter a beautiful salon with friends on a whim and be turned away because you did not schedule an appointment.

Keep in mind that shopping for a wedding dress is not the same as spending on a party dress in a department store. It is a significantly more in-depth and serious process.

There are a limited number of dressing rooms in salons, and you cannot try out the bridal gowns on your own. Bridal advisers are on duty and allocated to each session to assist you in selecting dresses, retrieving garments from stock, and trying on the dresses.

So, call and schedule an appointment with the salon at least two weeks before you intend to visit. By doing so, you can create a memorable and enjoyable experience for your group.

2. Be at the Bridal Gown Salon on Time

You should never be late or miss your bridal gown fitting. The salon is allocating you to a specialist who is blocking off a portion of their day to work with you, and the shop may have had to decline other brides due to your appointment. Be mindful of everybody’s time and if you know you can’t make it let them know with enough time in advance.

3. Mind Your Dress Code

You will be changing into and out of bridal gowns in front of your adviser as you shop. So, ensure you are wearing appropriate, comfortable undergarments that will not show through some of the gowns.

Definitely avoid black, red, and polka dots to not ruin the effect.

Best for fittings are neutral panties, tights, and a bra (if it makes sense) akin to what you’ll wear on the big day. Bring shapewear with you if you want to wear it, as it affects the sizing as well.

4. Skip the Makeup

We understand that you may want to take a few photographs to remember your favorite sets, however many of these dresses might require headwear, so you don’t need makeup here. As usual with buying clothes you should avoid excessive make-up or go without any to avoid leaving it on the garments.

The same holds true for self-tanners, bronzers, and anything else that might potentially harm the gown like excessive use of moisturizers and such.

5. Schedule Three Dress Fitting Appointments

Typically, bridal salons and tailors recommend at least three bridal gown fittings. It depends if you’re losing weight and timing the dress shopping accordingly.

When should you get the dress altered? Schedule your first fitting around two to three months ahead of your wedding day, your second approximately one month beforehand, and your final two weeks before the big day.

If you are making major alterations, such as long sleeves or a train, you may require an additional fitting. Typically, you take your gown home with you after the final fitting.

Your tailor will do all that’s in their ability to ensure your dress fits perfectly, but you are the one who will wear it, so speak up if something seems off. Whether it’s a zipper pinching you, a strap falling off, or not enough support in the bust, speaking out will keep you from having to schedule further fittings.

6. Work with a Budget

It is crucial to be forthright and honest with your stylist about your budget at the outset of your consultation. If anything, you do not want to try on dresses and fall madly in love with one if they’re out of your price range, especially if you’re trying them on for fun. Again, you should not squander the stylist’s time by trying dresses that you simply can’t afford.

A knowledgeable consultant will be able to locate outfits within your pricing range, including the dresses that you would surely adore. By being upfront about your budget, your stylist will help you find a dress that will satisfy you.

Consider the cost of adjustments when determining how much you are willing to spend on a wedding dress. Depending on the dress and the sort of modifications, the price of modifications can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. However, the average bride spends around six hundred dollars. Remember that the more you customize a dress, the higher the price will be.

7. Mind Your Weight

Professional wedding dress designers advise against using a too-small outfit as an incentive to lose weight. Instead, choose a structured gown or any other one that can hide your tummy. Many feature corsets that a tailor can easily tighten or relax with ease. Remember, it is simpler to take in a larger dress than it is to let out a smaller one.

Also, inquire whether the designer can change the cups if your bust size increases or decreases.

Consider an A-line skirt, which conceals stubborn fat, if you cannot locate a corseted gown that you adore. The slinkier the gown, the more difficult it is to adjust the fit if you gain or lose weight.

8. Bring a Friend or Family Member to Help

Add a family member or friend who will cheer you on and bring positive energy to the wedding gown shopping experience.

They will help you feel more comfortable and calm, function as an extra pair of eyes, and take innumerable photos to capture the moments. Check out who should go wedding dress shopping with the bride.

And if the occasion arises, having them get you a much-needed celebration mimosa is a plus.

9. Try Veils and Hand Pieces

Try on many veils and headpieces while wearing the gown. If your face is tiny, have your hair up to make it appear larger.

Likewise, selecting smaller hair accessories worn close to the head will help. Consider wearing sections of your hair down and selecting larger hair accessories and veils to establish good proportion for large faces.

10. Be an Open-minded Bride

Don’t be shocked if your gown feels different at your initial wedding dress fitting than when you put on dresses during your shopping session. After all, some time has gone, you’re in a different phase of wedding preparation, and this is the first time you’re meeting “the one” in person.

Remember that the initial version of your wedding dress was likely an in-store sample which may have been a different size, colorway, or style variant. So, it may take some time to acclimate to the actual dress you’ll be wearing down the aisle.

As you reacquaint yourself with your brand-new gown, your bridal stylist will likely begin to inquire about the most crucial aspect of the wedding dress modification process, which is how the dress molds to your body.

Even if you’ve bought a wedding dress based on your dimensions and size, this is simply the beginning of the fitting procedure. The actual form and characteristics of your bridal gown should feature more personalization as you progress with the bridal gown alterations.

And as we’ve said before, fittings need between one to three sessions. Thus, it’s essential to arrange and express all your expectations properly.

Your bridal stylist and adjustments professionals are your friends when it comes to producing a flattering and unique fit. You may rely on them to provide the necessary attention and knowledge.

Discuss how distinctive, seductive, or traditional you want your wedding dress to be following the changes. This will assist you and your professionals in determining what is feasible and achievable within your budget and timeframe.

Who comes to the wedding dress fitting?

Of course, it can be the bride only as she is crucial, but she can have one or two other people to help out and provide second opinions. You can treat gown fitting in a similar fashion to wedding dress shopping, although it is probably a little less adventurous!

What is a wedding dress fitting session?

A wedding dress fitting is an appointment with a seamstress or fitter to have the dress altered to fit correctly and sculpt the gown to the body. Brides may need around three fittings before the dress is ready to be worn.

How tight should a fitted wedding dress be?

It should be tight, but not too tight. The last thing you want is a dress that either slips off of you or is uncomfortably tight on your body. If you are wearing a strapless dress, pay extra attention to how it fits around your upper body, so that you are absolutely certain that it is supported just fine.

How long before your wedding should you have your first dress fitting?

Your first dress fitting will happen 5 or 6 weeks before your wedding. You will need to make sure that by this point you have chosen your underwear and your shoes because your dress will be altered around these.

What do I do if I don’t fit my wedding dress?

Often, brides need to pull the gown up a little bit to get it positioned correctly on the body. Adjust your bust to sit in the cups to help everything feel better in the dress. In the event that the dress is actually too tight, zip it up a little bit, wear it for five minutes, and zip it up a little more.

How tight is too tight for a wedding dress?

How do you know if the dress is too tight or too small? You will spend a significant amount of time in your wedding dress. The wedding day is also very active for the bride and groom so you should be able to move comfortably and sit down in the dress. If you can’t, it’s too tight.


The wedding store checks your dimensions against a size chart and then picks the designer’s size that is closest to your measurements. However, it is quite unusual for a person to match the size chart exactly because designers employ their own sizing charts that aren’t always true to size, and vary greatly from one another.

In addition, the industry skirt length is often longer than the average bride’s leg height, thus the majority of dresses will need to be hemmed and will require changes in the bust or hips.

In conclusion, changes and fittings are required to get the perfect fit for your wedding day. So, make sure you observe this wedding dress fitting etiquette to get the right fit in the end and look perfect on your big day.

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