- I worked at a bridal salon for over seven years and have seen some common wedding-dress regrets.
- Letting others influence your opinion on how your dress should look can make the process confusing.
- Lots of brides fixate on one element of the dress instead of honoring their original feelings.
During my over seven years of working in bridal, I've helped countless people find their dream wedding dresses.
Such a big purchase can offer a sigh of relief, and it's a big check off of the wedding-prep to-do list — but it can also come with unnerving feelings.
Here are seven of the biggest regrets I've seen people have after buying their wedding dresses:
Bringing too many people who can cloud your judgment
Wedding-dress shopping can be fun, but it's also a big, intimate purchase.
Though some brides thrive off the energy of their group, others may find it tough to weed out their own thoughts and opinions from the rest of their party.
This can make for a frustrating, overwhelming experience that leads to someone saying "yes" to a dress that might not have been their first pick had they come into the experience with a more curated — read: smaller — group who understood how to navigate the pressures of gown-buying.
Still shopping for a dress after you've purchased your gown
The temptation to continue looking at wedding gowns after you've said "yes" to your own dress is real. There are so many pretty dresses, lots of wedding-inspiration Instagram accounts and Pinterest boards, and reminders of the gowns your friends bought.
Plus it's not uncommon to think that there may be an ensemble that's more perfect than the one you bought.
If this is the root of your regret — feeling like there are so many other options out there — the best advice is to honor the choice you made. There will always be gorgeous gowns, but only one is your wedding dress.
Hyperfocusing on one area of the gown
You get home from the bridal salon after purchasing your dress and to your camera roll you go to review photos from the day.
While zooming in on a certain feature of the gown — whether it be a mesh V-neck, the color of the lace, or the presence or absence of sleeves — you fixate on it. In a moment, this makes you question the entire purchase.
Wedding gowns aren't something we purchase every day, so the hyperfocus on features you don't often wear, like a super-long train or a heavily-beaded bodice, is normal.
The best remedy is usually calling the store and asking to try the dress on again to determine if the scope of the "flawed" features was inflated and if you love the gown as much as you did when you bought it.
If you are still hesitant about certain aspects of your gown, talk to your bridal consultant about it as they may be able to walk you through other options.
Making a big purchase and then regretting it
For most people, a wedding gown is the biggest garment purchase they've made to date.
Having no precedent for swiping a card for that high of an expense can often lead to fraught emotions over the purchase itself. The entire wedding-planning process is filled with large-magnitude deposits, so it's normal to break a sweat over this.
If you feel you have gone over budget on your gown, you can ease your mind by trying to get your spending plan on track and looking at other areas of your wedding planning where you may be able to cut back or opt for more financially-friendly options.
Feeling you bought a dress too quickly
You visited one or two stores, said "yes" to a dress, and signed the purchase agreement for a gown that you loved at that moment. But now, you're feeling like you bought a dress too soon in your search.
If you've done what seems like minimal shopping, it's valid to feel like you may have committed too early.
But honoring your gut and the fact that you loved your dress so much when you bought it is a feeling you should go back to when this thought pops in your head.
It's truly wonderful to find a gown you love with efficiency.
Going with your head and not your heart
A wedding dress can be an emotional purchase, so for more logic-led brides, it can be tempting to approach it by looking for a gown that fits their mental checklist instead of focusing on finding something to wear that will make them happy on their big day.
If you know you have the inclination to do this, remember to lean into the fun nature of this process and purchase.
Buying what you feel other people want to see you in
The moment you get engaged, it seems like a million — perhaps unsolicited — opinions come your way, from what type of venues you should consider to who needs to be in your bridal party.
These opinions can just as easily spill over into suggestions for what type of wedding gown you should wear.
Your fiancé wants a fitted gown, your future mother-in-law wants something classic with lace, your sister who got married five years ago wants you to repurpose her dress and wear it — the pressure to indulge in these opinions can be weighty, especially when they come from such important people in your life.
Above all, the difference between seeing someone in something they felt forced or pressured to get versus seeing a bride wearing a gown that truly makes them happy is incredibly palpable. Wear what brings you joy!