How to Deal with Wedding Dress Regret

“The thing I remember most, was that for the entire week before my wedding, I’d wait ‘til my mother went to sleep and I’d sneak out of bed and I’d put on my wedding dress, and my tiara and my gloves. And I would stare at myself in the mirror and think how very safe I felt.  How very right and wise and honored.”

– Gilmore Girls, “Red Light on the Wedding Night”

Don’t feel this way about YOUR wedding dress? Yeah, join the club.

Wedding dress regret is actually super common. With all the pressure put on us from “Say Yes to the Dress” and even “Gilmore Girls,” it’s only natural for wedding dress shopping to pale in comparison to how we think it SHOULD be. Many brides think that the dress they picked is not right just because they don’t cry happy tears whenever they try it on.

But the truth is, for most brides, that “movie moment” just isn’t realistic. We search and search for “THE ONE” and we never find it. And that’s okay! Most people have several dresses that they’d look and feel amazing in!

You’re welcome to go back to the bridal shop and browse and try on new dresses. But I would encourage you to look at this rationally. I don’t want you to drive yourself crazy running all around town to different bridal shops and never feeling like any dress is perfect for you.

You need to think about what the real reason is that you’re feeling regret.

If it’s for any of these reasons, you may want to get a new wedding dress:

1. The style doesn’t match your wedding.

For example, you selected a too-casual halter dress for your evening wedding, over an over-the-top gown for your outdoor summer wedding. Maybe the theme or date of your wedding changed, and the dress that was once appropriate no longer fits your event.

This is one of those times when you may want to sell your dress on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, Tradesy.com, Craigslist, eBay or a local boutique and find a new dress. It’s not that big of a deal and it’s totally doable.

2. You really don’t like it and you found one that you really DO like.

Who knows why you bought the first one. Maybe you felt pressured, maybe you an off day or you just changed your mind. In any case, if you’ve already found a dress that you love and you know that if you bought it all of your regret would be gone, just go for it.

3. It’s uncomfortable and you can’t move in it.

I totally get this one. I’m a dancer and one of the most important things to me was that I dance all night at my wedding reception. So I picked a gown that I could move in. So, if your dress is super impractical and you don’t want to buy a separate reception dress, maybe you want to go with a different style.

4. You lost or gained a lot of weight and your current dress does not fit or flatter you anymore.

There’s only so much you can do with alterations, and if you think getting a different dress in a different size and style would work better for you, go dress shopping and see what you find.

If you don’t fall into any of these categories, you may just be feeling nervous that your lovely wedding dress isn’t “THE ONE.”

Or maybe you’ve been looking at gowns on Pinterest and you feel jealous of other people who have gorgeous dresses that aren’t yours.

Another thing to consider is that when you add your accessories and have your hair and makeup done, you may feel differently about your dress. A lot of dresses can actually feel kind of plain until you put on a belt or jewelry or headpiece.

My dress had this super ugly flower on the belt. (I’m cringing now just thinking about it.) I also really liked dresses that had those blingy, sparkly belts. So, I lopped off that ridiculous flower and bought a shimmery belt from David’s Bridal and BOOM. I was done.

I should also add that I did NOT have a magical moment when I tried on my dress, and I put off alterations as long as possible. I just did NOT want to put it on. I felt silly and stupid. But when my wedding day came, I LOVED putting it on. So, sometimes when you’re not excited about your dress, it ends up working out wonderfully on your wedding day.

Also, just because you don’t like wedding dress shopping or don’t love your dress does NOT mean that you’re not ready to get married or don’t like your fiancé or anything silly like that.

Perhaps the worst part about that “Gilmore Girls” episode is that Lorelai not to marry her fiancé because she didn’t want to try on her wedding dress every night! Ay yai yai.

So, relax. The dress you have now is probably gorgeous! If you’re in doubt, you can always ask a friend (or email me, I’ll give you my unbiased opinion! 😉