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How to lace up or zip up your wedding dress

I want to teach you how to put on a wedding dress with many layers, fancy zips, lace-up backs and delicate straps. This can be a tricky task if you dont know how. Wearing a wedding dress is not quite the same as any other outfit.  This job requires help, so enrol 2 bridesmaids or mom and your MOH with the duty of helping you to get dressed. Here are some guidelines and tips to remember when getting into your bridal gown. If you have bought a Meliza Mary wedding dress, I go over this in detail during your alteration fitting to ensure you are not left in the dark. I have written a post of alterations and what to expect, so if you are interested in read that, follow this link.

Underwear and under garments

Underwear is an important part of your bridal wear attire. Although you want to look pretty, it must also be functional and flattering. It comes without saying that this is what you put on first. Most wedding dresses don’t require a bra, so nickers or spanks should suffice, unless your gown requires and allows for it. Underskirts and hoops can be used to add volume and support for your wedding dress. Lay your petty coat on the floor with the waist band in the middle.

Lay your dress over the hoop with the opening to your dress directly over the waist band. This is so you can step into your underskirt and dress as the same time. Before zipping up your dress, pull the hoop into place and secure it neatly. If there are any folds, undo them and make the waist as flat as possible.

Lining up the layers and straightening up

A wedding dress has an average of 6 layers of fabric. It is easy for these layers to get twisted, folded or bunched. Start by lining up the dress with the centre of your bust and the bottom of your back bone. This can sound a bit weird, but if need be, line up the bottom opening of the dress with the top of your butt crack (sounds ridiculous, but it is the easiest way to do it, haha). Check if all the layers are flush with the top layer by grabbing the neckline firmly with one hand and then pulling on each layer, one at the time, to remove any bunching at the neck line.

Zipped up

A zip, although it is easier to do up, needs to be handled carefully to avoid any popping. Have one lady push the dress closed towards the zip area; this will take the pressure off the zip teeth while it is being pulled up. Have another lady grab the bottom of the zip with one hand pulling down, while zipping up the dress with the other. As the zip moves up, shift the hands higher up to keep the pressure off the zip at all times.

The perfect lace up back

Start by clipping the modesty band in place. The string goes through each loop from the lining side (inner side) and out of the top layer of the dress (the outer side). Tread the string through the top loop on either side of the lace up (top left and top right). Check that the string ends are even in length.

Treat each line of loops as a pair. Lace up only one pair at a time. If you start with the left loop, then continue in this fashion with every row. Straighten out any twists in the string as you go.

When you get as far as the waist line, run your hand under the string to straighten the modesty band.

Then pull the string tight starting at the top and working down.

Continue lacing up the remaining loops. At the end, readjust the tightness of each row and smoothen out any creases in the modesty band. Secure the lace up with a knot and push the excess string into the dress.

If the string is dangling on the floor, either tie a loop knot or cut it to the desired length. If reading instructions is tricky for you, here is a youtube video on how to lace up a wedding dress. This is what your finished lace up should look like.

Final checks

Before you are all set to go, check the following:
– The stiffening on the lining must not be folded
– No bunching at the neck line (pull down on the respective layer, if need be)
– Ensure your train is neat and lined up

Have a happy wedding day! I am sure you will look amazing!

Meliza x

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