Real Brides Reveal: How I Would Do Over My Wedding Dress

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

For BRIDES, by Whitney C. Harris.

Your wedding dress is probably the most memorable piece of clothing you’ll ever put on (as an adult anyway). You wear it on one of the most important days of your life, and it’s a significant investment both emotionally and financially. So you want to make sure you get it right. Many brides often look back on their wedding dress and wish they could have a redo — whether it be a small element like an accessory or rethinking the whole thing. What else do women walking down the aisle wish they had known before picking out their dress? Here are 14 former brides who reveal what they might do differently.

“I would have gone simpler, lighter, and more classically elegant and choose an option in that category that is price-friendly. If I redid my gown, I would try on a couple of simple silk or satin A-lines and see how I feel versus going straight to the bigger and frillier dresses. The last thing I would want is not to be able to dance the night away.” —Natalie N.E., Philadelphia

“Looking back, I would have loved a dress that didn’t require so many alterations. I went a bit over my original budget and didn’t realize that I’d have to spend nearly $500 to add French bustles as well. I was able to cut costs by ordering a veil online and sticking to ballet flats, but that only helped so much.” —Meghan E., Richmond, Virginia

“If I could do it all over again, I would have gone with a 1960s bohemian/beatnik style, which was just ahead of trend when I was getting married six years ago and not easily found. Something with long sleeves and an open back for my early spring celebration would have been supercool but practical at the same time.” —Maggie N., Sleepy Hollow, New York

“I probably would’ve allowed for a smidge more breathing room or a bit more stretch, as my dress was very snug. I did want a form-fitting silhouette, but it would’ve been nice to not have to suck in all night!” —April H., Honolulu

“I wanted a classic style that wouldn’t look too dated in pictures and chose a strapless piece in ivory satin with a boned corset and slight detailing and gathering at the hip. I had purchased a dress to change into for the evening function, however I never used it as I wanted to keep my wedding dress on and keep the fairy tale going! In hindsight, I wish I had chosen something a bit more ornate and detailed had I known I was going to wear it all day and night. Something with delicate lace on the arms/shoulders or maybe a matching lace over shrug that I could have removed for the evening to make the dress appear different would have been nice. I would also go for a sleeker style that didn’t restrict my movement so much, as the train and skirt on my original dress was quite heavy and it was difficult to dance in!” —Charlotte F., Manchester, England

“I would love to have a wedding dress with cold shoulders and ruffles, two trends that have taken the fashion world by storm over the past year! If I had done it when I had gotten married two years ago, it might have looked less traditional and even tacky, but today, I can see how it would have made the gown so much more chic!” —Pratibha V., New York City

“I would have made sure I tied the corset tighter. As I bent over to fill the unity sand bottle (we had a beach wedding), the audience got a great view of my ‘chicken cutlets’! Oh, to have larger boobs... “ —Jenn W., New York City

“I strongly recommend brides choose something classic that will still be in style for many years to come and avoid trends. I got married in 1988, which was just a horrible year for fashion. My dress was plantation style—I wish I had chosen something more formfitting so years later I could look at pictures and see what a great body I had. But the worst thing was the veil. I chose a veil that was designed as a giant bow. So in all my pictures, which really are lovely, I have this giant bow on my head. Everyone who looks at my pictures just laughs, and for this reason I took down wedding pictures that were hanging in my house. It was a trend then, but I so regret it now.” —Paige E., Woodland Hills, California

“I still think about the dress that I tried on two years ago and let get away. The dress fit like a glove and had enough embellishment that a simple veil would’ve paired perfectly. At the time, it seemed above my budget but honestly might’ve been worth all the time I spent second-guessing my decision. Also, by the time I finished altering my ‘cheaper’ dress and buying its ornate veil, the price wasn’t that much less than the other. For the record, I loved my ‘second’ dress and so did my husband, but it didn’t compare to the Romona Keveza. My advice to brides: If you see something you absolutely love and can’t stop thinking about—and aren’t above pinching pennies if you have to—go for it. For most of us, it’s the one time to wear an amazing gown and feel like a princess.” —Lauren W., Memphis

More From BRIDES:

Pippa Middleton's Wedding