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Wedding Wednesdays – Dress Rehearsal

WEDDING WEDNESDAY - wedding gown tips by jen vazquez photography

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This seems like a super silly thing to blog about but I always want to help my brides so that they aren’t caught off guard.  Many times, I write about tips to help my brides haven’t thought about, but these aren’t often thought about and super important to help you save time, stressed and a meltdown on the wedding day.  

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I am excited to share them with you so that YOU aren’t caught off guard and you can save time, hassle and stress on your big day! Just doing my little public service announcement LOL!

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Alterations – Timing

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When you get your dress altered and you are scheduling your final fitting, don’t do it two days before the wedding.  Often times, wedding dress stores want you to do it super close to the wedding. They have good intentions as they don’t want to take a chance that you change sizes before the wedding.  But, the problem is, if it’s not a good fit, there is very little time before the wedding and it can be VERY stressful! If your weight rarely fluctuates, even with stress then no worries.  But, if it does, I suggest to schedule it a week before — little chance of changing sizes but enough time to get your dress altered again if it doesn’t fit right.

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Alterations – The Type of Fit

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When you have your dress altered, make sure that you practice sitting down and raising your arms above your head.  You may have to pick what’s most important to you. Either you can move easily (including raising your arms above your head) but will then have to continuously pull on the top of your wedding dress all night long.  I have several pictures of brides doing that (but I’ll never share those hehe). Or you’ll have an issue raising your arms above your head and it will feel tight, but you won’t have to worry about pulling it up all night long.  So sight, raise your arms, having someone dip you at the alterations so you know what you are dealing with.

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If you have a gown that has a train, make sure you and your maid of honor and bridesmaids are with you at the alterations.  You’ll want them there to go over the ways that the dress can be “bustled”. There are three main ways to bustle a wedding dress.  American (hooks on the outside of the dress), French (hooks under the dress), Australian (looks like rushing where tiny ribbons are sewn on the dress – this is the easiest one), Ballroom (the most elaborate in my opinion with hooks near the bodice for ballroom type dresses. This is what I had at my wedding, and Trainflip (which is so cool as it doesn’t look like a bustle at all. It gives the impression that it’s a floor-length down with hooks under the dress.  

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With some of them, you may require a crochet hook, a tiny bit of alcohol, and maybe some cussing to complete them. And, give yourself extra time on the timeline to do this as it always takes twice as long as you would think! One thing is for sure! You should ALWAYS video with a cell phone as the seamstress shows you. I can’t tell you how many times, the video is necessary on the wedding day. I also may be an expert at helping with these. So if you’re my bride – I’ve got ya, girl!  Here’s a great article with expert info from

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Dress Rehearsal

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Finally, do a dress rehearsal.  Have your maid of honor, mom or bridesmaids (whoever will help on the wedding day) come over for some wine and a fashion show.  Have someone time how long it takes to get info your wedding day look (that includes undergarments too). Then you’ll have practice AND ensure that you know exactly how long it will take you on your wedding day.  Your photographer should be able to come a bit earlier if you find out that you gave yourself 15 minutes to “get dressed” and it will actually take you 30-45 minutes. Also, you can practice with your video on bustling to save you time after the ceremony to make your entrance.