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

Photo by Jessica Bordner Photography

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 13 former brides who reveal what they might do differently.

Keep it Simple

"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, Pennsylvania

Fewer Pricey Alterations

"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

Go More Boho

"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

Be Less Constricting

"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, Hawaii

More Ornate Details

"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

Experiment with Trends

"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, New York

Tighter Bodice

"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, New York

Go With Your Gut

"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, Tennessee

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.

More Support

"I would have maybe gotten a dress that had more of a corset to keep it up. I had thin, spaghetti straps on mine with a lowish back, and it dug into my shoulders all night because there wasn't enough waist support. I remember my shoulders had marks in them still the next day, it hurt so badly." —Lauren G., Sleepy Hollow, New York

Own Your Fitting

"I honestly do not have many regrets about my wedding dress...but I guess the one thing I would do differently is I would have spoken up more about my fitting and been more vocal about what I wanted. Luckily, I brought my sister and she helped, but at times I look at the pictures and think it could have been a little better tailored." —Ilana K., Manhasset, New York

Doube Check Alterations

"My silk gown was fairly heavy since it encompassed a full A-line skirt. The store where I purchased my dress was supposed to sew padding into the bust of the gown but forgot to, which we realized mere hours before the ceremony. I was wearing a strapless/backless bra, which didn't do much for my décolletage, so I wanted the extra padding to help me fill out the bust. In the end, my best friend drove to Nordstrom to buy some inserts which held up pretty well through the day. If I had to do it again, I'd still pick the dress I had but I would have checked the dress as soon as it was delivered to make sure the store followed through with the customization." —Beth Z., Rochester, New York

Take Advice Seriously

"I would listen to my mother. I only tried on four dresses at one store. I fell in love with the fourth one I tried on, and we got it. I loved it so much and still do but if I could do it again I would either not wear a strapless dress or tailor the neckline so it wasn't quite so low. When you wear a traditional, heavy, wedding gown like I did, it inevitably stretches out as the day goes on. I also, like many brides, lost weight right before the wedding, which didn't help things. My mother warned me." —Rachel S., Brooklyn, New York

Just Be You

"Is it tacky that I wouldn't change a thing? I think it's key to go with your instincts about what you want and what looks good on you. I honestly regret even trying on a mermaid dress when I knew I wanted the style I got from the beginning. Stop trying to be cool and just buy what you love." —Katy M., Yardley, Pennsylvania

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