So you've done it, you've found the dress of your dreams and you can't wait to wear it on the big day. You may think you've ticked off this section of your to-do list, but there's still a way to go before you and your wedding dress are ready to hit the aisle.
Regardless of your shape or size, there's a good chance that you'll need to get your dress altered to fit perfectly. Having a wedding dress tailored to fit you can be all it takes to take your look from pretty nice, to absolutely stunning.
Good wedding dress alterations can help make the gown do what it was designed to do – enhance your best features, but in order to achieve this, you'll need to head in for a few fittings.
What to bring
Make sure you have all your wedding day accessories on hand before you go in to have your dress altered. This includes your shoes and wedding day lingerie – you don't want your dress too tight or an inch or two too short.
It's also a good idea to bring in your wrap, bag or hair accessories if you are planning on integrating them into your overall look. If you are going to be wearing a veil, bring this as well.
Another great idea, courtesy of The Knot, is to bring a Polaroid camera along to your fitting to give you an idea of how everything is coming together, although ask along a friend with a smartphone is another simple solution.
Speaking of friends, don't bring every single one of them to your fitting. Even if you have plenty of bridesmaids, better just to bring a close family member or the maid of honour, especially if she is going to be helping with your train on the day.
When to go for your fitting
It's good to be prepared well in advance when it comes to wedding planning, but for fitting your dress, you definitely don't want to jump the gun.
Being fitted too far in advance can mean that by the time your wedding rolls around, your dress may not fit as it should.
You should give yourself a good month or two from the first fitting to the last, allowing for enough time for the alterations to be made. Usually, brides will go for three fittings with their gown.
By the time you go for the second fitting, Wedding Bells recommends "making peace with your body", as most of the major adjustments will usually have been made with around a month to go before the big day.
Make sure you arrange to pick up your dress with at least two weeks to spare, to save you from any last minute panic.