I’ve gotten incredulous eyebrows from more than a few people after giving this suggestion. Yes, I think you should practice putting your wedding dress all the way on a few times before your wedding day. And yes, even if it’s just a simple zipper situation back there.
Let me a tell you a story from a wedding day about five years ago. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding in Southern Maryland, and the bride & groom, lets call them Beth & Danny, had rented out the whole mansion to get prepared. Beth had a big, beautiful, pearl dress that both buttoned up and then laced up in the back, and finished with a white sash. It was a complicated procedure to affix that dress to her body, so Beth and her maid of honor practiced the week before putting it on and taking it off.
There was one thing they were forgetting though. Because the challenging part of the dress was the buttons and the laces, they never bothered to finish with the sash. When the wedding day came, someone had forgotten the sash altogether. A clever mother-of-the-groom came to the rescue and MacGyver’d one of the mansion’s bath towels into a sash. No one batted an eye, it came out beautifully. Unfortunately, it also cost them a couple of key photos we’d planned for since we lost about 20 minutes in the sash Chasse.
No one thinks about practicing something as simple as putting some clothes on. But you really should, and you should do it all the way. Short of hair and makeup, practice getting yourself photo-ready. You’ll get used to what comes next and on your wedding day you’ll feel more in tune if something is missing. It can also help you catch wardrobe disasters before they start.
For example, a few weeks ago, moments before we needed to be in a car on the way to the ceremony, the bride discovered that the zipper on the back of her dress was jamming. If they forced it, it might have ruined the dress in the 11th hour. But at the same time, the dress only halfway zipped looked very unflattering. The wedding party started googling the closest places to buy safety pins and the bride’s mother and maid of honor tried to gently work with the zipper. After only short delay, they were indeed able to unjam the zipper and we were on our way. But that was a near catastrophe as far as wedding day planning goes.
The time before your wedding is the most critical time to get right. Not only because you have a ceremony approaching and possibly hundreds of guests waiting, but because you’re more sensitive. Couple’s don’t seem to be so disturbed when something about their reception doesn’t go according to plan. But they’re usually visibly rattled when things don’t go according to plan before their ceremony. In our experience complications with the dress are almost always implicated in pre-ceremony delays.
You shouldn’t have to worry about any of this stuff on your wedding day, but many people do anyway. So among all the last minute questions from the caterer and double checks to seating charts, find an hour to get completely into your dress a couple times. Your flawlessly unfolding wedding plan will thank you.