Before You Get Married Be Sure To…

wedding dress fitting

Hello friends, I’ve been meaning to write posts about my wedding day for months now. I kept thinking I had so much time, but I can’t believe that it’s already been 8.5 months! I thought I should start documenting our wedding events before our one year anniversary comes, so, let’s get to it!

I’m starting with an important wedding dress tip which I learned the hard way. Brides – I hope you can learn from my mistake!

wedding dress romantic

I got engaged on December 4, 2012 and got married on June 2, 2013. Those 6 months were equally the most exciting and most stressful months ever. I had so much fun planning every detail of the wedding with my mom and relished the engagement season with Ryan.

wedding garden birdcage

Things were going pretty smoothly as we sailed toward our wedding date. My mom and I were highly organized, armored with countless spreadsheets and to do lists, trying to guarantee that all elements of the weekend would execute perfectly. It worked! All the tasks were getting done on time and every last detail was falling into place.

That was until 3 days before the wedding when disaster struck, proving that no plan, no matter how organized you are, is ever safe proof.

It was the Thursday before my Sunday June 2 wedding and my mind was in 50 billion different places. I was 60% excited to finally have this day arrive and 40% anxious about everything going off without a hitch. I left work mid afternoon and began hurrying around finishing up last minute items. I wanted to finish everything before my Maid Of Honor came over to learn how to bustle my wedding dress.

Ah the wedding dress. The main focus of the wedding. (Besides the lovely couple that is.)

wedding dress fairytale

I was head over heels in love with my dress. I searched high and low before I found it. I don’t even want to think of all the dresses I tried on. After awhile they all started to look the same to me and I just about gave up before a stylist recommended I slip on one more. At first glance I started to cry. That’s how they tell you you know it’s “the one”. My dress was the perfect combination of classic elegance and fairytale whimsy – perfect for my Secret Garden wedding theme.

garden wedding dress

I had been to three fittings and at this point the dress fit like a glove. I was excited to put it on again and show my best friend (and MOH, Kay) who hadn’t seen it since we first picked it out. My mom had drawn an intense diagram of how to bustle the dress. Apparently it was very complicated, I could never see anything going on back there. All I knew was that the dress was very heavy and the long train had to go somewhere once the ceremony was over or else I’d need Kay to walk around with me all evening carrying my dress.

lace up back corset gown

The three of us, as giddy as can be, started the process of getting me in the dress. A major operation in itself. My dress had a lace up back and I had to hold onto an open door, Scarlet O’Hara style as my Mom and Kay laced up my corset back gown.

lace up back wedding gown

I’d hold my breath and pray for my ribs as they tugged and pulled. Fifteen minutes later I was in my dress. We all ooohed and awed and I could barely contain my excitement as I started at my reflection. Everything still looked and fit perfectly! I was going to be getting married in this dress in three days!!! I started to feel all the emotions swarming in.

bride checking out wedding dress

Next, my Dad wanted to practice walking with me. He was more anxious about making a mistake than I was! We lined ourselves up and said out loud, “okay so it’s going to be right, together, left, together, right together and so on”.  We gave each other a little hand squeeze. We got this. My mom pushed “play”on her cell phone and Canon in D, my wedding march song, started to play. We started walking down the hall way, just like we would be walking down the aisle at my wedding in three days.

Until I realized I couldn’t.

Every time I took a step forward my foot would get stuck in the skirt of my dress. In order to walk without tripping over myself I had to left my leg up as if I was marching and kick out my dress a little before moving my foot forward. Underneath my layers of tulle I was performing the routine of a 70-year-old Rockette dancer. I looked over at my mom with wide eyes that said it all. This was not going to work. I am getting married in three days and I can’t walk in my wedding dress.

wedding shoes

There was no hope for a home remedy. The dress was going to have to be trimmed, one way or another. And yes, I did have three fittings. And yes, I had worn my wedding heels during the fittings. And yes, I walked around a bit in the dress during those fittings. But only a bit. The seamstress worked out of her home and I walked probably a maximum of 5 feet in one room.

Ladies, if you are getting married, you must practice walking, as if you’re walking down the aisle, before you leave your final fitting. Crucial. I wish someone had told me that.

It was 10 p.m. on a Thursday night. I was in full panic mood. I know I was past the point of anxiety because I didn’t even have the will to cry. I had two days to fix this, and one day was Saturday which was full of wedding  rehearsal events. My mom called our seamstress. She didn’t pick up. We left her an urgent message basically begging her for any kind of help. My mom also reached out a close friend who does a little sewing, she volunteered to help but was also very busy.

After months of careful planning and management, I went to bed that night not knowing how this crisis was going to be fixed. I could barely sleep and had visions of me cutting the layer of tulle off of the dress myself .

At 7:15 a Wedding Miracle occurred! My angel of a seamstress called at 7:20 a.m. to say that she was free anytime that day to fix the dress. Hallelujah. I re arranged my day and my maid of honor and I visited my seamstress on Friday afternoon. She took off about 2 inches and I spent 10 minutes practicing walking and dancing in the dress.

Everything worked out perfectly.

wedding sparkler send off

On my wedding day, my dress fit like a dream and no falls, trips, no hopeless Rockette dance moves occurred. Thank goodness for my miracle of a seamstress. So brides, be sure to practice walking, dancing, running, whatever you plan on doing in your dress, in the shoes you intend on wearing. This tip should be printed in every bridal dress shop!

Did you have any last-minute dress drama?

xoxo Katie


  • Ah! Wow you handled this so well, and from pictures you can’t even tell it was trimmed. beautiful!<3

    • kwalshmac

      Thanks – I was so shocked at my relative calmness. It was very unlike me haha!! It all worked out.

  • Oh my gosh- I can’t even imagine if that had happened to me. Luckily you had thought of practicing to walk! I thought it was bad when I had my first dress fitting, got measured, and then when I went for my final fitting (a little less than two weeks before the wedding) my dress didn’t fit because she hadn’t altered it enough (I stayed the exact weight too!). Glad it worked out for you!

    • kwalshmac

      Oh no! I hope your dress ended up fitting in the end! I’m so glad I thought to practice walking – or else I probably would have been in tears on the day of after I would have fallen on my face ha! Dresses are stressful especially since you are not in control of the alterations. I probably would have been trying on my dress every week if it was at my house (that probably wouldn’t have been good either…ha)

  • What a beautiful dress! You have a wonderful seamstress, you can’t even tell that anything was done. You are such a boss, I would have been a puddle of tears.

    • kwalshmac

      Thanks Meegan! I’m so surprised that I held it together, very unlike me. My seamstress deserves an award for stepping up to the plate so last minute. She didn’t even charge me!

  • Your dress is gorgeous! Thankfully I didn’t have any issues with mine, but we had SEVERAL snafus with the bridesmaid dresses, even up until the night before. I don’t know how I managed to stay calm!

    • kwalshmac

      Awe thank you! I still love it so much. Yikes! What happened with the bridesmaid dresses? I think that would stress me out even more so!

  • Ah! Such a good tip! Your dress is absolutely stunning…I love all the flowers!

    • kwalshmac

      Thank you – I wish there was some way to re wear your wedding dress!

  • Your dress is absolutely gorgeous, and you look amazing. And hey, at least you were smart enough to practice walking in it before the day of!

    • kwalshmac

      Thanks Amanda! True – I would have been a mess all day and so distracted if I was tripping over my dress all evening.

  • First off – your dress is beautiful!!! I feel like a lot of whimsical dresses are way too floaty, but yours it perfection!! I actually just had my first fitting done last week, and you better bet I’ll be walking/ dancing/ every movement ever at the next appointment. Thanks for the wonderful advice – I’m extremely clumsy and I can totally see this happening to me!

    • kwalshmac

      Oh thank you! I know what you mean about being too floaty or pouffy or over the top. That’s why when I saw this one on I knew it was the one. I can’t wait to see photos of you in your dress!!! My husband and I practiced are dance over and over but it was like a whole new game when I put that dress on ha! Good luck at the fittings and glad you found the tip useful.