In case no one has told you yet – when you enter a bridal salon, you must leave any expectations at the door. Your “street” size is not going to be your wedding dress size (sorry, ego, but if you think you’re a 6, you’ll probably be an 8 or 10), and the styles you love, or think you love, may not work for your body type. It’s just reality.
We don’t want you to have buyer’s remorse over, quite possibly, the most important dress you’ll buy in your lifetime, so we’ve rounded up the tell-tale signs that you’re about to buy the wrong dress. Because we’ve got your back, and would rather have you be hot, than a hot mess, on your big day.
1. It doesn’t fit.
This one is straight-forward enough, but you’d be surprised how many brides are left with ill-fitting brides because they purchased their dress using imaginary sizing (“I want to be a 4!”). If you got your dress more than 3 sizes too small, it’s unlikely you’ll lose enough weight to fit in it.
2. You had to mortgage your house to buy it.
Your dress can be a splurge – but should still pass the Suze Orman test. If you had to get a bank loan, borrow money from a friend or mortgage any of your assets to get it – it’s a mistake.
3. You need to forklift to get in to it.
If it takes 6 hands, some Crisco and fishing wire to get in to your dress – you’ve chosen the wrong size or style for your body type and are going to be extremely uncomfortable on your wedding day. Here’s a test: can you Tebow in it?
4. You’re afraid of a nip slip, or other waldrobe malfunctions.
If you’re afraid to do the electric slide out of fear that any one of your lady parts might fall out, it’s time to consider another style.
5. It’s a bikini.
Sure, you’re having the destination wedding of your dreams. That doesn’t mean your wedding dress should be waterproof.
6. It’s more “gently abused” than “gently used.”
If you bought a secondhand dress (either from eBay or one of the countless dress sites on the web) you should ask for several high-res images of the dress – and for professional cleaning to be included in the cost – before you buy.
7. You can’t breath in it.
Again, if you’re not comfortable enough to dance, pick up your flower-girl or breathe, you may want to check your bridal boutique’s return policy.
8. Your friends describe it as “interesting.”
“Unique,” “out there,” and “special” are also red flags.
9. It’s extremely trendy.
Sure, high-low hems (aka mullet dresses) are having a big moment now, but if you don’t looooove it, don’t buy it. Those wedding photos are forever – so, is your dress?
10. Three words: armpit muffin top.
If you have spillage in any place (the neckline, armpits, or upper back) it’s time to either let that puppy out (with a professional seamstress) or start over. This time, go for one that doesn’t make you feel like a stuffed sausage.
Looking for your dream dress part deux? Shop our guides to the best strapless wedding dresses, simple wedding dresses, and outdoor wedding dresses!