The venue, the flowers, the catering, the color scheme, the guest list—all of that is important, but every bride knows that wedding planning starts and ends with the dress, along with everything else that goes into creating that gasp-inducing entrance. That means the shoes, the veil, and the jewelry all have to be taken into careful consideration, if not months of long and hard decision-making. What’s not at the forefront (and sometimes completely forgotten altogether until the last minute) but is every bit as essential as the dress itself, is what lies beneath—your bra.
“You have no idea how many girls call me or write to me, ‘I’m getting married tomorrow, and I need a bra,'” says Jenny Altman, bra guru and consultant. “There’s nothing worse than spending all that time, money, and effort into this amazing dress, and then having your bra stick out.”
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Obviously, the solution to the problem is to find a bra that works for your dress. But to do that means finding a winner early on in the process. “Most brides have their shoes by their second dress fitting, but they never bring their bra until the last one,” Altman says. “Bring the bra as early as possible, so you know if it’s too high in the back or too high in the cups.”
And once you find a bra that works, Altman encourages letting a seamstress do her magic and sew the bra into the dress, so that there’s no chance it could pop up from the sides.
“Some don’t need the lift and support of a strapless bra. If that’s the case, seamstresses can sew in a little cup to give you shape and no show-through,” she continues. “But if you need the full support of a bra, then you want it to be sewn in all around.”
If you’re reading this as a bride-to-be, and it’s rapidly sinking in that you fall in the forgetful camp, it’s not too late. Altman suggests locating the closest department store to you, get fitted, and buy three different styles to see which one works best. If that’s not possible, ThirdLove has an at-home try-on program and a bra range with half-cup sizes. And if your wedding is tomorrow? “Well, you can only hope that one will work,” Altman says.