What to Expect From Your First Wedding Dress Fitting

While you’ll likely go to several dress fittings over the course of your wedding dress alterations, none will be so important as the very first. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re prepared for your initial appointment with your seamstress, and how to navigate it with ease.

When and Where

The first fitting usually takes place at your seamstress’ shop, of course, and six to eight weeks before your wedding date. The average bride will have three fittings over the course of the dress alterations, while a bride that just needs a simple size adjustment may need fewer, and a bride looking to create her own look from the dress she already has will likely need several more. Use this timeline as a guideline, but also be aware of what it is you want your seamstress to accomplish, and give her enough time to make your dream dress happen.

What and Who to Bring

Even though it’s your first—especially because it’s your first—you should bring every accessory you plan on wearing on your big day with you to your initial fitting. Both your undergarments and your shoes will affect the way the dress fits and falls, so you want to be sure those factors are added in from the get-go, while your other accessories—jewelry, veils, or headpieces, belts or sashes —will all inform the overall look of your wedding dress and, therefore, should be present at the fitting to help you and the seamstress envision the final look. Also, don’t be afraid to bring along a second set of trusted eyes.This can be an overwhelming process, so having someone you trust, like your mom or maid of honor, along to help you navigate the first fitting is a great idea.

How and Why

Many boutiques, like Nitsa’s, offer alterations in-house to brides that purchase their dresses from their store—making finding a seamstress a no-brainer. However, if you order a dress online or buy from a discount or small boutique, you’re often on your own when it comes to finding a local seamstress. How can you find a reputable alterations place? Check online wedding websites and look up the reviews. See what other brides experience and make an informed decision from them, or ask friends who have married in your area who they trusted their dream dress to. Reviews and recommendations are crucial when it comes to picking just the right lady (or gent) for this job.

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April Showers… Unexpected Wedding Changes

Though they say that it’s good luck, no bride wants to see rain on her wedding day. We can’t help you turn rain into shine, but we can offer you some tips for making an air-tight rain plan, and for weathering a wedding-day storm.

If you’re getting married in a church or indoors, a rain plan may still be necessary to get you from the room you’re waiting in to the ceremony site; however, it will be much less involved, and it’s something your day-of coordinator can easily accomplish last minute, if necessary. However, if your plans are to get married outdoors, a rain plan is essential. Three things that will help both logistically and emotionally:

Have a covered option.

Plenty of brides get married outside, but it’s important to have a covered option should the skies open up on your big day. When you’re choosing a venue, ask if they have a space for you to move the ceremony if it should rain. Depending on the size of your wedding, a room, an outdoor pavilion, or a gazebo could all be viable alternates.

Get your mind ready.

Possibly the hardest part of making a rain plan is wrapping your mind around the reality that your ceremony may not look just as you’ve planned and envisioned for months. One thing that will help you cope is committing to your decision, both verbally and emotionally. Once you’ve agreed to the rain plan, let go of everything that won’t be, and focus on the fact that you’re still getting married to the love of your life—whether that’s outdoors or inside.

Write it down.

It will be stressful enough to let go of the way you’ve dreamed your ceremony would be, but add in the confusion of last-minute communication with your vendors and you have a recipe for disaster. Once you’ve made a rain plan, write down alternate directions for all your vendors. That way, if you have to make a game-time decision, your vendors need only to hear what you’ve decided, and then they have their marching orders.

You’re Engaged! Now What?

Congratulations! You’re engaged!

Pop the champagne, call your girls, and get the perfect picture of your bling to accompany your “I said ‘yes’!” status.

The beginning of an engagement can be a whirlwind of attention, celebration, and excitement, but after the phone calls and pictures die down, there’s some real planning to be done. It can be hard to put off the more fun and glamorous bridal duties like dress shopping and honeymoon planning, but there are a few to-dos that simply must come first.

The first task is also the most undesirable to tackle: the budget. Every decision you make pertaining to your big day will depend on budget, so it is necessary to get some hard numbers set in the beginning. It is also important to discuss with both families how the wedding will be paid for. Tradition leans towards the bride’s family footing the bill, but in today’s world, anything goes. It is not uncommon for both families to share the cost, for the bride and groom to pay for everything themselves, or for a mixture of all parties to chip in. Have the budget conversation early and include everyone necessary so as to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. It is helpful to have an idea of what big-ticket items you want most. Is the dress the most important to you, or is it the photographer? The florist? Some light research into these items will give you a realistic idea of their cost and help you to distribute the budget accordingly. Remember, always leave a little wiggle room for the unexpected.

After the budget is set, the next major line item is booking the venue. Venues book up quickly, so if you have a place in mind, call them ASAP! Venues can dictate much of your wedding, so be sure to read the fine print when picking a place. First of all, your date is dependent on their availability, so be flexible if you have to have this place. Setting the date for a Friday or Sunday could help you get your dream location and likely at a cheaper price. In addition, booking in the off-season (November-March for most locations) can offer availability and discounts, too.

Secondly, your venue will dictate the number of guests you are allowed to have. Once you find out how many the venue holds, hammer down a guest list. This can be a tough task and feelings can be hurt, so take your time with this decision.

Lastly, many venues require that you use their vendors. For some brides, this is a relief— venue, caterer, florist, and photographer all in one. For others, this hinders plans and locks them into those vendors’ prices. If you already have vendors in mind, be sure to check with your venue about its policy.

If you are choosing your own vendors individually, they are your next step. Like anything good, reputable vendors are booked up quickly. Set your date and lock in your top picks as soon as you can. Be sure to discuss your budget with each of them and get a copy of all contracts on paper.

Now that all of that is done, it’s on to the fun! Grab the girls and head to the boutiques, discuss colors, and cake flavors, and watch your Pinterest wedding board come to life (eek!!), and just have fun and enjoy this exciting time.