So, you finally bring the wedding dress of your dreams home and hang it in your closet. You take a few minutes to admire it, slide your hand down the precious fabric, and wish it good night… Then you get busy with the next items on your wedding planning checklist.
You’ll want to be sure that your checklist includes timely alterations, checking up on the dress occasionally and introducing it to any new fellow clothes and shoes, and being smart about re-evaluating your decision. Here’s how you stay on track.
- Time your alterations wisely.
It may take up to 6 weeks to complete alterations, so start about 2 months before the wedding date. Bring your shoes, your shapewear, and your jewelry to your alterations appointments. After the alterations, try not to change your mind about which shoes, shapewear and jewelry you will wear.
- But if you’re like most brides, you will still look around for new shoes, underwear. shapewear and jewelry.
Here’s a great tip for buying shoes. Go shopping after you’ve spent a whole day in the office. Later in the day, feet get slightly bigger. As you are testing new shoes, try wearing them on tiles, on carpet, and on stairs. Once you buy shoes, get comfortable wearing them. Wear them at home for a couple of days, for at least a few hours each time.
If you are looking for new shoes after your alterations are done, ensure the dress is not too long (unless you have time for more alterations) and certainly make sure it is not too short. Check that the color matches, or that any mismatch won’t be too distracting for pictures.
How about new underwear? Maybe a bra with special straps? Well, put it on. Different bras might make your bust – and your back – and your dress – look different.
Are you going to use shapewear to tone your body under the dress? Excellent idea! As long as you’re under no misconception about what shapewear will do for you… It redistributes your volume, AND adds some volume of its own.
- Keep in mind that body changes over time.
You stress and eat more. You stress and don’t eat. You follow a great exercise plan and acquire dense muscles in unexpected places. You get pregnant… Life happens. If you wore your dresses every day like a Renaissance princess, you’d notice the fluctuation right away – but not with the stretchy clothes we wear these days. Check up on your body in time to complete any dress alterations. A wedding dress is a fairly architectural garment, so give your seamstress time. If your alterations were done earlier, start by putting the dress on six weeks before, then three weeks before, then a few days before the wedding. When you are trying it on, don’t just stand in front of a mirror and not breathe (although it’s tempting and we’ve all done it!). Sit down on a chair. Walk up a couple steps.
- Checking up on your dress allows you to re-evaluate your decision.
We’re not advocating buying wedding dresses to suit your every mood, but the last thing you want is a sinking feeling in your heart when you put it on. Maybe you went with your wild side and bought a dress that was just a little bit risqué, and then you talk to Grandma and realize that you need another dress. Maybe, as the season of the wedding approaches, you realize that you need more accessories to weather-proof your dress… raincoat over the delicate silk, or warm shawl over your shivering shoulders.
On the other hand, sometimes the waiting period provides a space in which you might get anxious or feel the need to add more accessories or to make unnecessary changes. Once you gathered everything for the complete look, put everything on, ensure the lighting is bright (daytime works best) and have head-to-toe pictures taken from the front, side, and back. Seeing that you have pulled together something really wonderful will help eliminate last-minute anxiety. If you notice that something is missing, you will be able to refer to your picture and only buy something that will go well with the ensemble.
Reconsider your jewelry selections. There is such a thing as too much. If your dress has embellishments such as seguins, rhinestones or crystals, consider jewelry deletions.
- Here’s the tricky part. You don’t want to overdo it, either.
Dusting off your delicate dress is always a risk. Dirty stain on the floor, oily cream on your hands, smudges of your makeup are always ready to attack. So, make time for it, and take some common-sense precautions.
Wash your hands or wear gloves if the dress is made of a particularly delicate silk. Ask anyone who will be helping you do the same.
Keep children and pets out of the way. In case of animal hair on the carpet, be ready with a lint roller.
Avoid putting the dress on over your head to reduce risk of makeup smudges. It is safer to step into it and then bring it up to your shoulders.
Don’t eat or drink anything in it. Stay out of the kitchen. Of course, don’t smoke in it – don’t test the combustibility of fabrics, especially artificial fabrics.
Unless your dress is made of polyester – but especially if it is made of silk – expect wrinkles and try to minimize them.
- Once you’re done with it, put some thought into how it is stored.
Storage tips are simple, but following them is not glamorous and oftentimes neglected. How long do you plan to store the dress? You may want to invest in a large, breathable garment bag and a cedar hanger. You definitely want to ensure that it is not left in the way of children or pets.