The Ultimate Bridesmaid Dress Manual

Dressing for the Big Day

It's the big day! Your No. 1 priority is helping the bride get ready, but you've made an investment in your dress, shoes and accessories and want to look your best, too.

You should ensure that your dress is wrinkle-free before slipping it on. Most bridesmaids dresses are delivered to the store where they're ordered steamed and pressed, but they'll likely get a little rumpled when they're altered. At Bridals by Lori, you can pay for a press package, but Krystle and Courtney advise against spending the extra money if you'll be traveling for the wedding and the dress will be in a car or plane for several hours.

"Research dry cleaners in the area where the wedding is," Krystle says. "Or, ask the concierge at the hotel where you're staying if he or she can recommend a place." Be sure you know what kind of fabric you're dealing with before handing over your dress. Satin will have to be treated very delicately, and wrinkles in it are the hardest to get out. Taffeta is a little hardier and has a natural wrinkle to its style. Some fabrics melt when they're exposed to heat. Call the store where you bought your dress and inquire about the fabric if you can't remember -- your consultants will help you get the details you need to have the job done well.

Never attempt DIY steaming. You risk damaging the dress with water spots if you hang it in the bathroom to steam while you're taking a shower.

Minimize risks to your dress by washing your hands before touching it. The oil on your fingertips can stain some fabrics. And perfume, lotion and deodorant can take a toll, too. Give your skin time to absorb fragrance and moisturizer before slipping on your dress. And Krystle has a tip for avoiding pesky deodorant marks. "I swipe it on, then massage it into my armpits. It prevents those nasty crumbles and marks." Courtney advises experimenting with antiperspirants before the big day. "Find out what gets on your clothes and what keeps you dry."

Now, take a deep breath and get ready to walk down the aisle. You're dressed to impress!

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  • Personal interview with Krystle Arnold and Courtney Means. Conducted by Candace Keener. Telephone. June 30, 2011.

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