Much Ado About Alterations

Getting Dressed on the Big Day

Wedding dresses go over your head. It will take your mother and at least three bridesmaids to accomplish this feat without mussing your updo. But trust us -- it's the way to get dressed!

And even if you've got the most gorgeous dress in the world, it doesn't mean a thing if you can't get it on. Randy puts it simply: "You gotta get into the dress!" The best location for the dress's closure is on the back. Closures on the side make alterations challenging, since they begin on the side seams of the dress.

Plenty of dresses have zippers that are hidden by fabric or disguised by a row of covered buttons. "I love buttons down the back of a dress!" Randy says. "[F]ew garments [have] covered buttons -- they say 'bridal gown'!" If you're a purist and want real buttons and loops, be mindful that it's time-consuming to get into and out of the dress. Randy advises starting at the bottom and working your way up.

Another popular type of closure is the corset. This elegant lace-up look can spare you a few alterations since a corset can be cinched tightly to fit your body.

Randy offers one final piece of advice for "altering" the gown. Any accessories you choose will "elevate or depreciate the dress," he says. Style your bridal look wisely by choosing timeless pieces that complete the gown, not ones that compete with it. A little sparkle on the ears and fingers might be all a bride needs to finish off her fabulous and flawlessly fitted gown!

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  • Fenoli, Randy. Fashion Director at Kleinfeld Bridal. Personal interview conducted by Candace Keener. July 27, 2010.