“Your Wedding Dress Fitting – What To Expect” is part two of a four part mini-series, entitled “Wedding Dress Alterations & Seamstress Guide – What to Know, Before You Have Your Dress Fittings.” Stay tuned for the next installment next week. If you are looking for part one of our seamstress series, click here!

Part Two – Your Wedding Dress Fitting – What To Expect

Congratulations Bride-To-Be… it’s time for your first wedding dress fitting! You have the perfect partner, the perfect dress, and now, the perfect seamstress. From here on out, it’s all magic wands and fairy dust. (Cue the small mice here!) Or is it? What is your part in all of this, and what should you expect at the time of your first wedding dress fitting?

Wedding-Dress-Fittings. What-To-Expect-At-The-First-Appointment.

Wedding Dress Fittings – What To Expect At Your First Alterations Appointment

Step 1. Be Prepared

At the time of your first wedding dress fitting, you will need to bring everything that you are wearing with your gown. This may include your shoes, bra, and any undergarments (spanx, tummy shapers, etc) that you might need or want. The seamstress cannot fit you to the gown, if you do not have all of your undergarments with you. Again, let’s read that together…if you forget, or do not have these items, the appointment cannot proceed!

For example, let’s say you have your heart set on looking like a Victoria’s Secret Angel, and just have to have the latest, greatest, push-up-bra. Maybe you are wearing 3″ heels, but you forget them at home, only to show up in your sneakers. Whoops! Let’s try this again! Try packing all of your essentials in an overnight bag, that you can leave with the gown the night before. That way, everything will be together, and be ready to grab in a hurry on the day of your fitting.

Remember – if it’s something that lifts, shapes, flattens, enhances, or tucks, it will affect the final measurements of you, and your gown. This is why accessories must be worn to all fitting appointments. If you forget, or do not have these items, the seamstress may have to reschedule a time to meet with you. This is a waste of their valuable time, and yours. Please be prepared!

On that same note, please do NOT change your mind about your undergarments or shoes without telling your seamstress! Once you have selected your accessories and had your first fitting, if you change your mind about something that you will be wearing on your wedding day, let them know as soon as possible. This may prevent the seamstress from having to do, or undo, an alteration that would effect the fit of the garment in that area.

Step 2. Two’s Company, Three’s A Crowd

When planning a wedding, it’s only natural to want to celebrate all aspects of it with family and friends. However, your wedding dress fitting appointments should be the exception to the rule. Plan on bringing only a close friend or acquaintance with you if that makes you feel more comfortable. Limit it to just one guest, in addition to yourself. You should never bring a small child with you to your wedding dress fitting appointment. Stray pins, and marking pens – items that are functional when used properly – are hazardous in an unattended child’s hands. Please leave all children at home – if you cannot find a sitter, it may be best to reschedule your fitting.

Step 3. Honesty Is The Best Policy

Are you pregnant? Maybe on a medication that causes you to lose, or gain weight? Are you trying to change your size before your wedding? Life happens, and change is sometimes unavoidable. Please tell your seamstress at the time of your first wedding dress fitting about any changes coming up that you are aware of. Detailed alterations are often hand work. It can be frustrating for the seamstress to have to redo work, and it will cost you more as well. If alterations have to be done more than once, due to a measurement change, the customer  would be billed for both services. Customers who have an open dialogue with their seamstress can often avoid these duplicate changes.

Step 4. Be Prepared To Leave A Deposit

Although you will not know the actual cost of your wedding dress alterations before you meet with the seamstress, plan on bringing a deposit with you. You will usually receive an estimate at the time of the appointment. This would be given after the seamstress sees you in the gown. The cost of the alterations is determined by many factors. These include the type of material being altered, the amount of embellishment on the gown, the number of layers in the dress, and the ease or complexity of the alterations themselves. All of these factors will go into determining the cost of the alterations. They will factor these things, along with the amount of time it will take the seamstress to make the changes. Deposits are usually given as good faith gesture, so that both parties may see that the other is committed. Many seamstresses, especially those working from home, will only accept cash or check for a deposit. Make sure to ask in advance, as everyone may not be able to process a debit or credit card payment.

HOT TIP: Please be courteous! If possible, take a shower before your appointment, or, if coming from work, remove any fragrances or makeup that you may be wearing. Seamstresses often work in small areas, and have multiple fittings in one day. Imagine smelling 20+ different kinds of perfume all at once! Also, as you are getting in and out of the dress, you may accidentally get makeup on it. Best practice is to remove it, or wear none, as the seamstress will have to charge you to spot clean it otherwise.

The opinions and information is this post is provided as a courtesy of Christine’s Bridal & Prom®, and may not be reproduced without permission. Christine’s Bridal & Prom® is independently owned and operated, and is Vermont and New Hampshire’s premiere destination for plus size brides and plus size wedding dresses. It is also home to Glitter Prom®, New England’s prom headquarters.