Avoiding Dress Regret

Have you ever heard of dress regret? When it comes to wedding gowns dress regret is exactly what it sounds like and it is totally a real thing! Dress regret is when a bride regrets or questions her wedding dress after she has purchased it, but before her wedding day. Many little girls dream of the day they will get married to the love of their life and imagine exactly what their own gown will look like. When you begin to shop for a wedding dress you are overwhelmed with the idea that you should have this amazing, all-knowing moments as soon as you put on “the one” dress; add that to the shocking amount of money wedding dresses cost and you have a recipe for disaster. Feelings of doubt creeping in after you have made such a huge decision can be scary and daunting. We wouldn’t wish that on any bride! But how do you avoid it? How do you know if you’re getting the right dress? Keep reading to find our top five ways to make sure you don’t become a victim of dress regret!


We love this shot and this timeless dress. pc: Tamara Cole Photography

We love this shot and this timeless dress. pc: Tamara Cole Photography

  1. Have A Clear Budget

    You have to have a realistic budget! You must know exactly how much you are planning on spending on your attire all in. This means you need to take shoes, a veil, and jewelry, and any special undergarments into account as well as taxes and alterations (which can run anywhere rom $100-$500 depending on the dress and the seamstress). Figure out the total amount you can spend and then subtract an appropriate amount for all of the other aspects you will need to pay for to make your bridal look complete. Do not try on anything out of your budget. EVER. A good bridal salon will only show you dress in your price range and those are all you need to look at and try-on. Putting on a dress you know you cannot afford is only setting yourself up for heartbreak.  


2. Don’t shop until you are ready to buy

    I know this may seem like it would not be a big deal but with so much pressure and anticipation leading up to this purchase, it is best to not shop until you are 100% ready to buy your dress. You need to decide who is paying for the dress and how and figure out a budget before you even look in a dress shop. Going into a bridal store to window shop or just “try a few on” is a surefire way of being pressured into buying a dress you can't afford or may not love. Window shopping is perfectly fine, but do it online! Do some research on different styles and trends, so when you are ready to shop you have an idea of what you want without the pressure of making a purchase.


The blush tones and amazing detail of this gown are stunning. pc: Holly Von Laken

The blush tones and amazing detail of this gown are stunning. pc: Holly Von Laken

3. Start shopping as early

    This may seem a little contradictory to step number two, but don’t wait too long to shop! Wedding gowns can take anywhere from six months to eight months to come into the shop after you purchase one and then there are usually alterations that are required. Figure out a budget and get to shopping early if you can.

Bonus tip: be honest with the sales person assisting you about your timeline. They will have an idea of how long it will take to get a dress after it is ordered and they will only show you what works for your timeline and budget!

4. Know what you want- but be open to try a few different things

    Now you have set a budget and have a plan you are ready to get shopping! Know what you want, but don’t say no to everything that is a little outside of your vision. Maybe you want a ballgown, but you should still try on at least one mermaid style. You never know what will look best on your body type. Try a few different styles, colors and fabrics so you know you are 100% happy with what you choose! Another fun way to try different styles is let your loved ones who are shopping with you (mom, grandmother, or bridesmaids) pick out one dress for you to try on. Let them pick anything they think you will like or what will look good on you, and enjoy the memories.


Classic and simple: A truly winning combination pc: Brittany Leigh Photography

Classic and simple: A truly winning combination pc: Brittany Leigh Photography

5. A sales person should NEVER pressure you, if they do...run!

    Many sales people work on commission and will sometimes attempt to pressure you to make a sale. Things like trunk shows, low stock, and clearance dress can grab you and instill fear that if you don’t make a purchase RIGHT NOW your dream dress will be gone. Take a moment to step back and think “is there anywhere else I can get this dress?". Google search the dress brand and style number to find if another shop in your area carries the dress. If they do, then don’t worry! You should never feel any pressure to say “yes to the dress”’. 

And the most important tip of all…

STOP looking after you have purchased your dress-- yes, even online shopping

    After you have purchased your dream gown stop looking! Unfollow brands on social media, stop looking at dress boards on Pinterest and don’t you dare go into a bridal shop! Quit shopping once the purchase has been made. You found your dress! Finish planning the rest of your wedding and get ready to rock that gown.