How to Lace Up My Wedding Dress

Written by nikki van de walle
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How to Lace Up My Wedding Dress
Create the desired silhouette by tightly pulling the ribbon while lacing. (wedding gown preparation image by Paul Retherford from

Many wedding gowns have to be laced up, especially if they have a corset bodice. The lacing and corset will allow you to appear slimmer and create an hourglass silhouette by cinching inward at your waist. You will not be able to lace up your dress yourself, so you will need to appoint a member of the wedding party, friend or family member to lace you up on your wedding day. If you are nervous, be sure to have her practice lacing up your dress beforehand.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wedding gown

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  1. 1

    Insert the ribbon into the top two eyelets or holes. Make sure both ends of the ribbon are coming out of the holes away from the dress. The back of the ribbon should sit flush against the skin or fabric, if a modesty panel has been inserted.

  2. 2

    Align the ends of the ribbons so that each side has an equal amount of ribbon. The bride should position the dress on her body where she feels comfortable. Ask the bride to hold her back straight, keep her shoulders back and place her hands on her hips.

  3. 3

    Insert the left strand of the ribbon into the next available right-sided eyelet or hole. Keep the ribbon straight without twisting. Insert the right strand into the next available left-sided eyelet or hole. Continue alternating sides until you reach the bottom, creating a criss-cross pattern with the ribbon.

  4. 4

    Pull each ribbon tight. Start at the top of the gown, moving from side to side and tightening as you go. The tighter you pull, the more defined the waist will become. Do not pull too tightly; you want the bride to be comfortable and able to breathe.

  5. 5

    Tie the excess ribbon into a bow at the bottom of the corset.

Tips and warnings

  • Watch the bridal salon, alterations department or seamstress tie the corset first. This will give you an idea of what the corset should look like when finished. At this point, the bride can figure out how tight she wants the dress to feel.
  • If the bride is not wearing a bra -- a bra is not necessary with a corset -- a trusted friend should hold her breasts upwards while the corset is being tied.

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