Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Step 82 - Make Arrangements for your Bridal Party Fittings
At about the 2 Month Period before your wedding it's considered the bridal party fitting period. There are in actuality, three separate fittings, one for the bride, one for the bridesmaid, and one for the groomsmen. You will want to set up an appointment for each of the fittings around a week in advance, call and be sure the outfits are ready and before you make the appointment you want to be sure all those they need to be fitted are available for the date and time of the appointment.
At all the fittings, you should expect about three appointments, the first is right after the outfits arrive, the second is to correct any mistakes and the third is to verify the outfits fit just perfect. The first appointment up is the bride. Make sure you bring your mother and maid of honor with you. If the mother or maid of honor can't be there, take along a bridesmaid or a close friend.
The brides first fitting should be about two months before the wedding. Make sure the seamstress or fashion designer has plenty of experience, don't be afraid to ask how much experience the seamstress has and determine if going to an alteration shop might be a better alternative. When you attend the alteration fitting, wear any undergarments you plan to wear the day of the wedding as well as any shoes. Matter of fact you need to find a couple of days that you need to wear your shoes, it might seem funny but you need to stroll around your house to break your wedding shoes in.
For your second fitting you want to include all accessories as well, and bring along a camera, the seamstress your mother and maid of honor should see what the wedding day look will be and allow the seamstress to determine if any addition alterations are needed. The seamstress should adjust your hemline to make sure your wedding dress has the right length while you are wearing your bridal shoes. Bodice alterations is another important alteration to insure that the dress fits well at your bust, waist, and hips. The seamstress also examines for any flaws in the lining and embellishments, and along with your mother and maid of honor does everything look all together and offers ideas id necessary.
A good seamstress besides making sure your dress is secure and that the dress has a neckline that sits properly and looks good on your shoulders. The top notch seamstress will also ask you to go through some of your wedding day paces, may ask you to walk, sit, stand, simulate kissing the groom, hug and dance, with arms lifted, the dress should feel comfortable and snug, especially if it's a strapless gown. The seamstress will also focus on the hemline, to insure it's set at a length to insure there is no chance of tripping. Many hems are set an inch shorter in the front than the back, lengthened gradually along the sides, when standing the tips of the toe's of the bride's shoes should peek out from the gown.
Once you have reached the time of your fitting, you want to maintain your weight level until after your wedding, try not to have any weight loss or weight gain so your wedding dress stays a perfect fit. It is highly recommended to have the maid of honor along to learn her responsibilities for the wedding day. In the event that any emergency should happen with the wedding dress, your maid of honor should know your wedding gown and she should know how to perform small alterations in a pinch, your mother should also know what to do as well as a backup plan.
If the bride plans to include a bustle in her wedding dress, let the seamstress know and come prepared with a photo with the type of bustle look that has captured your eye if it's possible. There are multiple ways bustles can be crafted, but you come to an agreement of a certain design, you need to consider will there be enough time to prepare it and someone to aid to put it together. The bustle may be created with buttons, hooks, strings, or ribbons and help provide lift to the wedding dress so it's raised from the ground. There are a number of bustle designs including one-point over-bustle, three-point over-bustle, the ballroom bustle, one-point under bustle, the french bustle, the double and triple french bustle, the austrian bustle, and the sash gown bustle.
It's helpful to the bride to take photos of the wedding dress during the fitting, so the bride can judge for herself the look of her dress and how everything fits all together including all the accessories from afar. Make sure the wedding dress photo is hidden from everyone except for the maid of honor and the bride's mother. One of the most important rules of the wedding, the wedding dress is suppose to be a surprise until the bride is walking down the aisle with her father or the one giving her away.
The bridesmaids except for the maid of honor, should not accompany the bride to her wedding dress fitting. They tend to get opinionated, become a distraction, tend to get out of control looking at wedding dresses for when their time comes. Plus, the store is concerned with having to watch their merchandise with dirt, stains, rips, and tears happening to the wedding dresses instead being able to focus on you, the bride. Also the store has to be watchful to be sure nothing is stolen out of an expensive store, you may trust your bridesmaids but your store may not.
The bridesmaids fitting should be about 6 weeks before the wedding. The appointment should be made when all the bridesmaids are available and when the store is not too busy, avoid Saturdays and Sunday appointments. Remember too, the bridesmaids should be wearing the undergarments and shoes they plan to wear at the wedding. The bridesmaids gowns don't have to be perfect for the wedding especially in the case of a tight budget. The key is that the bridesmaids look good in their gowns and they are comfortable with wearing them. The bridesmaid's first fitting should determine what needs to be taken in, let out, lengthened and shortened. Make sure the bridesmaid's dresses are the exact style, color, and the right size for each bridesmaid's order, and to examine the embellishments (embroidery, beading) to insure there are no flaws.
The second fitting which is usually 4 weeks before the wedding is to make sure every dress, the alterations have been done properly, don't forget to have all the bridesmaids wear shoes and any garments they plan to wear with the dress for the wedding day when getting fitted for their dress. Also consider if the bridesmaids will need to wear clothing over their bridesmaid dresses such as shawls, sweaters, and jackets so they look stylish if they have to wear the bridesmaid dresses in weather. If the wedding might be held in a hot weather environment also consider providing them with a parasol (designer umbrella that matches their bridesmaid gown).
Both the bride's and the bridesmaids dresses should be steamed, ironed, stuffed and bagged so they are travel ready. The bridesmaid's should receive instructions how to keep their dresses preserved for the wedding and generally take their gowns after the last fitting usually about 3 weeks before the wedding. The flower girl's dress needs to be taken care of to, if it the same dress as the bridesmaids, the flower girl should have her appointment along with the bridesmaids. If the flower girl's dress is different, she should have an independent set of fitting appointments. It is a good idea to do something fun with the flower girl, go to a shop, join her in an activity, or treat her to a special lunch.
For the groomsmen, generally it's more cost efficient for them to rent a tuxedo. Groomsmen also tend to get their first fitting appointment about 6 weeks before the wedding. Make sure their appointment is with an experienced tuxedo specialist or a tailor. Again, make sure their appointment is when the store is less busy. Very often the groom and the groomsmen are renting tuxedos at the very same place. Have the groom and/or bride accompany the groomsmen on their appointment. It's better if they both go so the bride is happy with the style of the tuxedos picked out. They also might pick out specific ties, cuff links and designer pocket squares.
Make sure all the groomsmen try on the entire tuxedo they will wear. First during the fitting, slip on the shirt to insure comfort in the neck area and the arms should be raised forward to check the sleeve length. Make sure the pants fit well with the shoes. The pant hem should break on top of the shoe at the 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch level. Make sure the pants don't look baggy and the waist fits comfortably. If there is to be a vest, make sure the vest is fit for size.
Your tuxedo jacket is the most important detail. Slip the jacket on and make sure it fits comfortably. The whites from your tuxedo shirt should show a little below the jacket sleeve approximately 1/2 inch or more. Make sure the jacket is not too boxy or tight. After the fitting, if it can work into the budget stop by a pub and by the gang a brew and maybe share a plate of hors d'oeuvres to show your appreciation for taking the time to be fitted. Don't forget to include a fitting for the ring bearer too.
Also don't forget to address shoes, determine if the shoes should match, if the groomsmen are told to wear their own of a certain color, make sure you inspect them a couple of days before the wedding and are they acceptable to you. Make sure new men's shoes are broken in, worn a couple of times before the wedding, worn around the house a day or two if not worn to a business office, not to a location where they can get dirty.
If the fittings are located at a distant store, consider meeting and carpooling, or even consider renting a limousine and making a little fun evening of it. The tuxedos are generally picked up a few days before the wedding and often are needed to be returned a couple of days after the wedding, many tuxedos stores charge fees for late tuxedo returns, and they make good money from late fees. Find someone responsible, hopefully the best man or maid of honor that will return the tuxedos for you in the event you are on your honeymoon right after the wedding.
Remember, when it comes to fittings, the more labor intensive the request, the more time and money it is going to cost for the fitting. Don't forget to plan for fitting expenses in your wedding budget. The costs will vary depending on how simple or complicated the wedding clothing will be.
Remember a bride pick's up her dress a week before the wedding, bridesmaid's pick up their dress at their last fitting usually 3 weeks before the wedding, a groomsmen pick up their tuxedos about 3 days before the wedding. Make sure all wedding clothes are inspected thoroughly on pickup, check for no rips or tears or any loose strings.
See you on the other side!