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A wedding dress fitting mannequin sits on the floor of one of the bridal shops Ottawa has to offer.

What You Need to Know for Your First Wedding Dress Fitting at Your Ottawa Bridal Shop

You’ve gone shopping at wedding dress stores in Ottawa and have found your dream wedding dress. Now you need to have wedding dress fittings to make sure it looks perfect on your big day.

A wedding dress fitting ensures that your gown is the right size, colour, and design. Fittings help make sure everything from the neckline and sleeves to the train and hemline fit perfectly.

It also gives your seamstress a thorough understanding of what alterations need to be made.

Make sure to have a vision in mind before going to your first fitting so you can be as specific as possible about how you want your dress to look.

Once you have the dress on, your seamstress will look for where the dress needs to be taken in, let out, shortened, lengthened, and altered in any other ways.

You first fitting at your Ottawa bridal boutique should be about six to eight weeks before your wedding day. Once you’ve booked it, keep these tips in mind so you can make the most of your first wedding dress fitting.

A bride's shoulders are covered by the lace back of her dress as she is fitted at a bridal shop.

Fittings at a bridal shop can help ensure every detail in your dress is perfect.

What Should I Wear?

Comfortable Clothes

Wear clothes and shoes that are easy to change in and out of at the bridal shop.

Bridal Lingerie

Your wedding dress will fit differently depending on what you’re wearing underneath. So you should wear the same undergarments you plan to wear on your wedding day. This includes your bra, underwear, slip, garter belt, stockings, and shape-wear.

Wedding Shoes

Bring your wedding shoes to wear while fitting your dress. If you don’t have these shoes yet, bring a pair of shoes with the same heel height as your desired wedding shoes.

The height of your shoes will affect whether the seamstress needs to adjust the hemline of your dress. You’ll also want to see how your dress looks while wearing specific shoes.

Accessories

To complete your look during your fitting, wear the jewellery, headpiece, veil, bag, and wrap you plan to wear at your wedding.

This will give you a more accurate picture of how you’ll look on your big day. It will also affect adjustments, such as how a necklace will look with the neckline.

Remember, a fitting isn’t the same as shopping for a dress.

What Should I Bring to My First Fitting?

A Notebook and Pen

Bring a notebook and pen to write down the alterations needed before your next fitting.

Look in mirrors to see your dress from all angles.

As your seamstress adjusts your dress, bring up specific adjustments you’d like. This should include which parts of your body you’d like to accentuate in the dress.

Keep an eye on the neckline and speak up if you want a fuller bust or not, and if you want to show more or less cleavage.

If you notice anything that you don’t like, bring it up with your seamstress as well. Your seamstress can tell you why the problem exists and how to fix it.

Don’t be afraid to speak up if you have concerns. These fittings are meant to make sure you’re completely happy with your dress on your big day.

Take note of the following details while moving around in your dress:

  • How does the dress fit while standing? Bending? Walking? Sitting? Dancing?
  • How does the fabric fall?
  • Is there any bunching, bulging, pulling, or puckering?
  • How well-sewn are the stitching, embroidery, and beading?
  • If your dress is full-length, does the hem skim the tops of your shoes or graze the floor?

Go over the desired alterations with your bridal boutique seamstress. She will give you an estimate for when the alterations will be completed. And you can schedule your next fitting appointment based on this time frame.

A Camera

Have your trusted companion take pictures or videos of you in the dress at various angles and while moving around. This will help you remember how you looked at your fitting and ensure you’re completely happy with your dress and overall look.

Hair and Makeup

Your hair and makeup on your wedding day will also influence how you look, which alterations make sense, and how you’ll wear your headpiece and veil.

If you plan to wear your hair down, then there’s no point in adding details to the back of your dress if your hair will only hide it. And if you plan to wear it up, make sure the veil and headpiece work.

Wear your hair up or down at your fittings, depending on how you plan to wear it on your wedding day.

Avoid wearing makeup that could easily wipe off onto your dress. If you do want to wear a bit of makeup, opt for smudge-proof eyeliner and mascara.

If you wear lipstick, eyeshadow, and foundation, you are taking a risk. You may need to clean your wedding gown before the wedding if you get makeup on it.

Bring the Right People

As with shopping for your wedding dress, the fewer people you bring to your fitting, the better. Invite one or two trusted companions to your fittings.

These people should be honest and offer advice that you trust. While your own instincts are what matter most, also listen to what your seamstress and trusted companions have to say.

One of these special people should be the person who will help you into your dress and also bustle your gown after your wedding ceremony. This could be your mom or your maid of honour. Your seamstress will teach both of you how to fasten the dress and bustle it.

A woman in a wedding dress stands before a window, silhouetted against the light.

By the time of your final fitting, your dress should look and feel absolutely perfect.

How Many Fittings Should I Have?

You should have a minimum of two fittings. But you might need three fittings depending on the alterations and timeline.

At your first fitting, your seamstress will determine the initial alterations that need to be made, such as taking in the dress, adding a bustle, and shortening the hemline.

Your second fitting will assess if the initial alterations fit well and determine if there are any other adjustments needed.

If the second fitting is your last fitting, it should be as close to your wedding date as possible, but with enough time for your seamstress to make any final adjustments.

Although going to bridal shops in Ottawa for multiple fittings may seem tedious, try to stay positive and be patient. These fittings are worth it to make sure your dress fits perfectly so you look stunning on your special day.