In the final months and weeks before your wedding, you can expect to have several bridal gown fittings. The last fitting usually takes place about a week or two before the big day, and it is the most important one of all. Here is what to expect at your final bridal gown fitting, as well as some tips to make sure that you get the most out of the appointment.
There are some common misconceptions about what is likely to happen at the final fitting. Will you see your gown 100% finished, with every last stitch in place? Highly unlikely. That is because the last gown fitting is one last opportunity for the seamstress to evaluate all of the alterations that have been made to date. If she puts the gown on you and determines that one side of the hem dips a quarter of an inch lower than the other, it is a lot easier for her to make a little tweak if the hem is basted. The actual process of completing the hem of a wedding gown can be very time consuming (in other words, expensive), so it is best if it does not have to be done more than once.
Another misunderstanding that many brides have about their final fittings is that they will leave the appointment with their wedding gown in hand. Unless you have made a special arrangement to that effect, you should plan on leaving your gown to have the final sewing done, as well as to have it freshly pressed in the last few days before your wedding.
Okay, so now you know what will not happen at your final fitting, but what about what will take place? This is your golden opportunity to try on all of your accessories with your gown to make sure that you like the way it all fits together. This is particularly useful for brides who did not have all of their accessories in advance; for instance, if your mother flew in the week before your wedding with her antique lace bridal veil or the pearl jewelry she wore to her debutante ball, this may be the first chance you get to try it on with your gown. It is far better to find out before the day of your wedding that your mother's pearl bridal jewelry does not look right with the modern chandelier earrings that your chose, or that her veil looks too brown against the white of your dress.
Definitely plan to bring your mother or a friend to your final gown fitting. You will want to have the seamstress give someone a lesson on how to tie up your bustle. Each one is different, and the last thing you want is to have your maid of honor and your mother fumbling around after the ceremony trying to figure out how to deal with your train. Also, it can be helpful to have an objective set of eyes to take a look at your gown to spot anything that needs to be adjusted.
Although your gown will not be completely finished by your last fitting, it should have only minor finish work remaining. If it is still mostly held together by loose basting and pins, you have the right to request one last quick check once it is all sewn. This is also a good idea if you find any major alterations that need to be made after the final fitting (pretty common when the bride drops a lot of weight right before the wedding). Other than those cases, the next time that you see your bridal gown after your final fitting will be when you pick it up perfectly pressed and ready to go for your wedding.