Post # 1
I’ve seen so many “Dress Regrets” posts in my short time here. Not addressing this to anyone in particular, but I am truly intrigued by this phenomenon – I just really, truly do not get it. I mean, we make so many huge decisions in the planning process -each time we book a vendor or make any large purchase, we’re missing out on hundreds of other options. When you book that reception hall, you’ll never be able to get married in another one. When you choose that photographer, no other professional will be able to capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments. And yet, we don’t see “regret my venue” posts or “regret my florist” posts. What is it about dresses?
When you bought your dress, did you really think it was the best wedding dress for you IN THE WHOLE WORLD? I mean, there’s so many freaking dresses out there. No way you are going to find one #1 best one! Even if you go to 11 different stores, several times each, with an army of bridesmaids and relatives, you’ll only be trying on a fraction of what’s out there. It’s almost certain that a dress you’ll love just as much is in the next store or on the next rack In fact, there are probably dozens of such dresses in the bridal shops around the world.
When you start to regret your dress, what exactly do you fear? Do you think that your fiance will turn away in disdain as you walk down the aisle? That guests will laugh at you behind your back? Is ANYONE really going to think, “wow, she should have had some more lace on that one.” Or “yeah, a different silhouette would have worked so much better?” Unless it’s hideously ugly (and you wouldn’t have bought it if it was), no one is going to care.
You bought the dress. You booked your venue. You found your vendors. There are many equally good dresses and venues and vendors out there. Let me say that again: there are a hundred dresses out there right now as stunning as the one hanging in your closet. But you get one wedding. No matter which one you buy, part of you will wish you bought another one. Why not just pick one you like and move on?
Post # 4
Because the dress is one of the easiest things to change! Changing caterers or venues requires us to lose deposits on something that we can’t just sell to another person. We can’t sell our photographer or food from the caterer, but we can sell our dress! There are fewer consequences to choosing a new dress.
Plus, as stereotypical as it sounds, we’re GIRLS! Most of us change our clothes 4x before we go out- we don’t second guess what restaurant we’re going to. And to alot of people, what we wear is highly definitional of who we are. Some of us brag about our Gucci flats, some of us brag about where we’re volunteering this week, others find their self-worth in where they’re going to dinner that night. We like to look cute. So if we find another dress we feel cuter in, we start to second guess our original choice! It’s okay!
Post # 5
Being one of the “dress regret” ones, I’ll take the heat on this one and answer.
Don’t know if this is how it was with you, but I when I first saw my fiancee I thought “I want that one”. I saw something I was crazy about, couldn’t live without, and even though the circumstances were not ideal, I just had a feeling that he was the right one. Then with the wedding, everything else except the dress were easy for me. I booked the first photographer, florist, dj and officiant I met with. But for the dress, I had a vision. I wanted to look the best I ever did and I could picture what she would like. Except, when I set out to find her, she didn’t exist, not like I could see it in my head. The fact that most samples tried on were four sizes too big for me didn’t help matters. Maybe it was the fact I know nothing about sewing and couldn’t imagine the finished product after alterations, maybe it was the fact that I was doing most of the search alone and I missed my mom living 7000 miles away, but I couldn’t find the right one. And I had a short engagement so I was running out of time. So I picked one, because it looked better than others and the consensus from who I asked was that it was good. Still, to me, it wasn’t what I was looking for. It wasn’t perfect. I never had that “moment”. Does that make sense?
Further to complicate matters, I’ve been married before. The first time I walked into an off-the-rack store and fell in love with the first dress I tried on. Ten years after the fact, I have no nostalgic feelings about that short lived marriage but I still love myself and the dress in the photos. This time, I wanted something to top that, I wanted everything to be perfect, and I just don’t feel like it is. Even though I found the right guy this time.
Probably more emotional than was called for, but that’s my honest reply. To me the dress being perfect is what will make me feel perfect about the wedding. Like I won’t have any regrets after.
Post # 6
I think alot of girls dream about their wedding dress since they are little ( I know this is not ALL girls). For me I always thought about what kind of dress I would wear and dreamed of finding the “perfect” one. Another thing is normally when we buy a dress for a party or event we buy it only a couple weeks in advance or so. For our weddings we buy it 6months to a year in advance! Its hard to feel confident in your decision for that long and have to wait months to see again. While you are waiting you see other dresses and start to get nervous about your choice. Also there is a lot of pressure when shopping for a dress. We arent free to look as long and as much as we need. We have a limited time for an apointment and consultants want you to make a decision on the spot. I think alot of girls have the nervous feeling, but im sure it goes away once they try it on again. And I agree with KMSULL were girls were indecisive about our clothes! Ive almost never gone out and not changed my outfit more than a couple of times!
Post # 7
I’m a girl who had dress regret. While I did like my dress, I had the regret because I didn’t LOVE it. I chose it because I think I paid more attention to how much my family loved it and I was just glad to hear it because it was getting to be too close to the wedding and I just needed a dress already. And shouldn’t every bride just absolutely LOVE her dress?
Post # 8
I think there is a lot of pressure on “the dress”. Or perceived pressure anyway. I have not written a post on here about regretting my dress but I do empathize with the women who do. How many time have brides heard “it will be the most photographed piece of clothing you will ever wear”? That and plus you want to look your very best because as extreme cynical as it might sound, there are very judgemental guest out there. After the the initial misty eyeness, there is always the occasional “I always thought she would be a lace girl” or “I never thought I would see a ballgown in a destination wedding”.
In my case sometimes you want to wear a million dresses (I know I do) not because of indecisiveness but because there are so many different choices out there likeGirlWithARing said. I picked out a simple shealth but sometimes I dream of a lace dress, or a couture gown, or a … you see what I mean? And I am the kind of girl who knows what she wants. I met my wedding coordinator and immediate decided “she is it”. Within the first 5 minutes in my reception/ceremony hall, I knew this was the one I wanted to get married in. But there are not MILLIONS of reception halls out there within a persons budget in a surrounding area. But there are MILLIONS of dresses in my price point from which to choose from.
Did my explaination help at all or did it just confuse you more. I just word vomited on to the keyboard what was going on in my head. But it is 1.25am here…
Post # 9
my dress regret is not with the dress but the price LOL why oh WHY do they cost so much!?!??!
Post # 10
Okay, I can’t help but weigh in here – So there is a pretty well-documented phenomenon in social psychology (what? everyone doesn’t have to spend hours reading social psych lit for grad school?) that when you give people lots of options to choose from, they are less satisfied with their choice in the end. I think they did the original experiments with jelly, but the principal applies. Women that spend hours and hours researching have soo many options to choose from so they know what they are missing when they commit. That’s why you always hear people in dress stores tell you not to try on more than a dozen or so dresses in one day – if you’ve tried on 30 dresses, it’s much harder to pick just one because you start to debate the nuances of each dress.
Another thing that I think influences “dress regret” is continuing to look after you’ve already committed. If you continue to look at “what might have been” you will no doubt regret your purchase. Personally, I didn’t look at another wedding dress between when I bought it and when I picked it up, so I still loved it as much as I did the first day I saw it. I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but it definitely worked for me.
Post # 11
I have dress regret! And I’ve posted about it…but I have actually had venue regret several times, and have lost TWO deposits (so far) because we keep moving the wedding.
There are only so many options when it comes to venue, for example. (and I’ve already looked at all of mine) But there are a hell of a lot more dresses out there! And everytime I see one on someone online or on TV that just looks amazing, I’m like “OMG – I wish I would’ve tried something like that on” or “That looks so much better than my dress”
If new venues popped up in town everyday, I’m sure I’d be the same way with them!
And as far as thinking people are laughing at your dress, your FI turning away from you or whatever….my dress regret has nothing to do with what anyone else thinks or will think at the wedding. Because honestly, all they will probably see and remember is a white dress. It’s about what I feel like in the dress.
Post # 12
I think your post may help to put things in perspective for a lot of gals. I feel really bad when I see someone have dress regret. Each person’s regret seems to be of varying degrees but I think it should really help for them to understand that there are thousands of awesome dresses out there – a lot of which would probably look just as good or even better than the dress they bought! That’s why it’s so important to stop looking at other dresses once you make your purchase.
Post # 13
omg i am sooo afraid of this!! thank goodness every dress i think i want have the same sleek lines… i have picked almost the exact same dress that i’d love to try on in three different price ranges.
Post # 14
All of your replies have been so helpful for me in trying to understand different perspectives on wedding dresses. I totally understand now how buying a dress that you weren’t completely happy with in the first place (due to time constraints, family members’ influence, etc) can lead to valid dress regrets.
Regarding the “we’re girls, so we change clothes” reasoning, I don’t know if I buy that 100%. When I change outfits several times before going out, it’s a fun process that I usually enjoy (even if FI doesn’t 🙂 But dress regrets are usually stressful, not fun, so shouldn’t we be strong enough to just stick with our decision? Just because we’re girls doesn’t mean we have to conform to the stereotype of always changing our minds.
I guess what I meant to say with my original post is that I hate to see girls upset because of a decision that’s important, but not life-changing by any means.
@ honeybun: I wish I could afford to switch venues and lose deposits whenever I found something I liked better 🙂
Post # 15
Because there’s so much pressure on us to look perfect. And most girls put it on a pedestal because it’s probably the one aspect everyone has been thinking about before even meeting the FI. Also, most dress stores do a really good job convincing you the dress looks great in order to get your deposit, even if you seem unsure or if it’s really not the best dress for your body. It is so uncomfortable the high-pressure sales tactics they use it’s almost easier to just agree to buy it than walk out without something. Even GUYS talk about how the bride looked – all eyes on her!!
Post # 16
I’ve had moments of dress regret. I am not someone who has dreamed about my wedding dress for years, and I’m not someone who’s been dreaming of my wedding since I was a little girl. So it’s nothing to do with the dress not living up to my years-old expectations.
Instead, for me, it’s that I tried on dresses once over a two hour period at one boutique. I didn’t sleep on the decision to buy my dress because it was a 50% off sample, it was really pretty, and the price was right. I just bought it on the spot. And that is *so* unlike me. My fiance and I decided on our venue after going there annually for 3 years for a seafood dinner with his family. For our photographer, I did a ton of research ahead of time, called a bunch of different people, checked out her photos online and met with her in person, where she showed me her entire reel from one wedding. Weddings aside, I went to Starbucks last night and it took me three minutes to decide what to order, and that was after I narrowed it down to two drinks.
So my dress regret comes because I made a very quick decision after looking for just a couple of hours. I’m not a tulle person but my dress has tulle on it. It is a beautiful dress but I feel like maybe if I had looked longer, I’d be more confident in my decision. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful, and I will feel beautiful in it on my wedding day. But the indecisive part of me would feel better knowing I had done more comparison shopping.