Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock Explains How to Deal with Dress Regret

You said yes to the dress, had your measurements taken, put down your deposit…and, as you were walking out of the boutique, you suddenly wish you hadn’t. If this is you, don’t panic! I’ve worked with many brides who second guessed their choice and I understand how stressful it is. Purchasing your wedding gown is such a big, emotional decision and it can often come with some big, emotional reactions. However, once you start working to rectify the situation, you’ll feel better.

Here’s your way forward from dress regret to dress bliss!


Lindsay Madden Photography

Revisit Your Gown

First of all, call your boutique and ask them about your options. Since the majority of wedding gowns are made-to-order, your contract might stipulate that there are no exchanges or refunds. However, if you call right away, your boutique might allow you to select a different dress. If your boutique cannot offer an exchange, stay calm—schedule a time to revisit your gown when the store is quiet (weekday mornings often work well for this). Try it on again and see how you feel in it. Recall what you loved about it and why. With a clear mind and some quiet time with the dress, you might fall for it all over again!

Ask About Styling

Styling can be transformative! Are you thinking that the skirt of your wedding gown is too full? An alterations specialist may be able to remove layers of crinoline from the inside, slimming out the silhouette. Feel like you missed the chance to wear a puffy gown? Inquire about detachable tulle skirts that you can wear over your sheath or even mermaid dress. Is the gown sweet while you are a little more rock ’n roll? Go for a gunmetal belt or fringe necklace. With the right tweaks, you may just love your gown even more than the first time.


Retrospect Images 

Moving On

If you simply cannot live with your dress, you might want to begin your search again. It’s a good idea to look at new options in the same salon so you can compare them side-by-side with your first gown. Think hard about what you want in a new style and ask for an experienced stylist to help you hone your selections. As for your first wedding gown, you can try to resell it on a ‘previously loved’ wedding dress sale site or even donate it so a less-fortunate bride can have a gorgeous gown.


Tamara Gruner Photography

At the end of the day, don’t feel bad about picking the wrong dress or having to purchase another one. So many brides become “two dress” brides and that’s totally okay. The journey to your wedding day is full of surprises and you learn so much about yourself. Remember that the important thing is that you’re mrrying the man of your dreams—no matter what you’re wearing!  

xoxo, Desiree

Peek Back at Desiree’s Wedding!

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