Under-the-Dress Essentials: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Undergarments

by Katherine Callaghan

Shopping for bridal undergarments is tricky and can be an uphill battle for many women. I know firsthand how challenging it can be to find the right undergarments that make you look good and feel good on your wedding day! I decided to reach out Jenny Altman, a women’s intimates expert, to get a better understanding of how to successfully shop for bridal undergarments and shapewear!

What do you wish every bride knew about shopping for bridal undergarments?

Go for a bra fitting! You’ll regret it later on when you look back at pictures and see that you were clearly wearing the wrong bra size! Also, be sure to try on your bra before your wedding day. So many brides don’t realize how high in the back their bra comes or that the plunge in front is much deeper than the bra. You have to wear it before and you have to make sure you are comfortable while wearing it. Make sure to try all your undergarments a few weeks before the wedding, not the day before!

When should a bride-to-be start shopping for bridal undergarments?

You want to have all undergarments by your first or second dress fitting! If at all possible, have a seamstress sew undergarments into the dress. Let’s say you don’t really need a bra, but you want a little coverage or padding if the dress is sheer, most seamstress’ can sew a little pad in the front just to give you the coverage and then you don’t have to worry about a bra. However, let’s say you are a 32E and you’re wearing a strapless dress, obviously,  you need a bra, so the best thing is to have the seamstress sew the bra into the dress so you’re not picking up the dress the whole night.

Another good reason to sew a bra into the dress is to avoid having your bra peek out the top of your dress. There’s nothing worse than wearing a million dollar dress and all you see is a bra sticking out of your armpit (can you imagine?!). Take advantage and let the seamstress do whatever it takes to sew the bra into the dress!

Is there anything a bride should keep in mind when dress shopping?

In terms of undergarments and dress shopping, she needs to think is the dress realistic for her body type. For example, if she’s 32G and her boobs are a big part of her life, she really has to shop for a dress that is going to work for her and her body type. The same also applies to the rest of your body. If you’re really self-conscious about tummy, then you really aren’t going to pick a dress that targets that zone, it’s only going to make you feel more self-conscious. It’s all about knowing your body type and knowing what you feel good in!

What’s the best type of underwear for brides to wear under their wedding dress?

I always recommend a shaper bottom. No matter your size, everyone wants to look as flat and smooth in the tummy as possible, so I always recommend a lightweight nude shaper! Unless, you want to that to be your something blue, which I also love and it’s a good surprise for the groom!

Do you have any specific shapewear recommendations for target areas like a flatter tummy or a perkier rear?

Nowadays, for brides and members of the bridal party, there’s no requirement to wear shapewear the cuts off your circulation or restricts you from eating and drinking. There’s no need for that! This is your wedding! You should be able to eat and drink, and you’re certainly going to want to dance without getting indigestion from your shapewear! Shapewear should make you look better, but you should also feel good while wearing shapewear.

Everyone needs Journelle’s amazing Triumph High Waist shapewear bottom. It’s really lightweight! It’s a high waist panty that’s smooth across the tummy and a little bit of shaping across the tush. The edges are flat so you won’t get any panty lines and they come in nude!

BridalPulse: How to Shop For Bridal Undergarments | Photo: Journelle | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
Journelle Triumph Perfect Sensation High Waist Panty | $60 via Journelle

Speaking of color, do you recommend nude or white shapewear? 

Everyone should wear nude color undergarments, no matter your skin tone! If you’re wearing a slightly sheer dress, white undergarments will show as oppose to nude. Nude is tonal and it will never show no matter a woman’s skin tone!


 How do brides shop for bras for the following necklines: strapless plunge, deep plunge, halter, low back and plunge front? 

No matter the neckline, I love VaBien, they have an amazing size range and have an option for each solution!

Strapless plunge 

BridalPulse: How to Shop For Bridal Undergarments | Photo: VaBien | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
Marquise Strapless Basque | Shop via VaBien

Deep Plunge neckline

BridalPulse: How to Shop For Bridal Undergarments | Photo: VaBien | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
VaBien Marquise Plunge Basque | Shop via VaBien

Convertible Plunge (can be worn as halter, one shoulder etc)


BridalPulse: How to Shop For Bridal Undergarments | Photo: VaBien | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
VaBien Convertible Plunge Bra | $64 via VaBien

Strapless neckline

BridalPulse: How to Shop For Bridal Undergarments | Photo: VaBien | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
VaBien Lace Strapless Push Up Bra | $60 via VaBien

Low back 

(bustiers are great, too, becuase they give even more support)

BridalPulse: How to Shop For Bridal Undergarments | Photo: VaBien | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
Lace Hourglass Bustier | $64 via VaBien

Plunge front neckline 

BridalPulse: How to Shop For Bridal Undergarments | Photo: VaBien | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
VaBien Low Punge Soiree Bustier | $80 via VaBien


There’s nothing worse than going to a wedding and seeing a bride pull up her strapless dress all night. How can brides avoid this on their special day?

A lot of it is actually security. You think your dress is falling because wedding dresses tend to be very big and heavy. However, a lot of it is also the bra situation. You feel like the dress is falling because the bra is falling and you’re constantly pulling up the dress. A way to avoid this is having a very firm well-fitted bra. The band has to be very fitted, but not to the point where it is hurting. It should not be riding up in the back and it has to be parallel to the floor, which means straight across and you should not be able to stick more than two fingers under the band. If the bra is too big, it is just going to keep falling down!

Another important tip to keep in mind, if you’re wearing a strapless bra or a sticking bra, a lot of the reason they slip, other than wearing the wrong size, is woman often put on lotions, perfumes, and powder under where their bra goes and then the silicone from the bra isn’t adhering to your skin so it literally starts to slip! Minimize the amount of product you wear the day of your wedding to avoid your bra from slipping!