Selecting a gown is only the first step toward wearing the perfect dress on your wedding day. Whether it's contemporary or traditional, a ball gown or a sheath, every bride should demand a perfect fit.

On average, a bride has three dress fittings; the first two involve major alterations while the third focuses on the details. Bridal-salon owner Michelle Roth uses the final fitting to stand back and evaluate the gown in its entirety before carefully appraising each of its parts. She notes that, ideally, a wedding gown should allow you to move with comfort and grace throughout the day, enabling you to easily dance, toast, and hug your guests.

To ensure that the dress is secure and the neckline sits properly, Michelle has the wearer sit, stand, and simulate the acts of hugging and dancing. With arms lifted, the dress should feel comfortable and snug, especially if it's a strapless gown. It is normal for brides to lose weight before their weddings, so at the final fitting, it is important to make sure any final alterations will be made.

The last, and perhaps most crucial, detail is the hemline. To keep brides from tripping, most hemlines are at least an inch shorter in the front than the back, lengthening gradually along the sides. When you're standing, the tips of your shoes should peek out from under the gown to ensure a smooth walk down the aisle.


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