On several occasions I have worked with brides who experienced buyer’s remorse after purchasing their wedding dress. After they purchase it they realize that they wanted something different, or that they do not feel entirely comfortable in the gown. I have also worked with brides who fell in love with a gown that was out of their price range, and are later sad that they “settled” for a less expensive dress. The great news is that a good seamstress can work wonders to change the look and fit of your wedding gown. Even if you don’t love your wedding dress from the start, it can be customized or redesigned into something fabulous before you walk down the aisle.
A common issue that brides have is that they cannot find a dress they like with straps. However, it is really easy to add straps to a strapless wedding gown to completely change the look and feel of the dress. So definitely do not discount a strapless bridal gown if you like everything else about it. You can add spaghetti straps, a halter, straps that criss-cross across the back, or even a chic one shoulder strap. Keep in mind that you have tons of options for the look of the strap too, whether it is a fancy jeweled strap to match your fabulous bridal jewelry or a fluffy fabric flower corsage flowing over the shoulder of the dress. It may even be possible to redesign a strapless dress to have a classic illusion neckline if you have the right seamstress. One tip: if you think that you might want to change the neckline of a dress, find out if it can be done before you buy it if you can.
Sometimes a wedding dress doesn’t need a major redesign, just a little something to give it more personality. It couldn’t be simpler to add a sash to the waist of a gown. You could tie a velvet ribbon in your wedding colors around your waist for a fall or winter wedding. Or have your seamstress add a gathered taffeta sash with long flowing tails for a pretty classic effect. A jeweled sash or belt at the waist is often just what you need to jazz up a plain wedding dress. The right sash or belt will also do wonders to enhance your waistline and make it look slimmer.
It is also often possible to change shape of a wedding dress neckline. If it is straight across, you may be able to have it altered to a sweetheart neckline or a dipped neckline without too much trouble. Sometimes softening a neckline can really change the overall appearance of a dress. This is particularly true if you have broad shoulders; a straight neckline can make shoulders appear too square, and a simple change to a sweetheart or dipped neckline will soften the look of your shoulders. Another pretty option can be to lightly gather the center of the bustline and add a brooch. That is a good way to add the illusion of curves.
There are tons of other things you can do to alter the fit or appearance of your wedding dress. You could add a lace border to the hem or have your seamstress add crystal beading, which would be so pretty with crystal jewelry for the bride. Think of your wedding dress as it comes as the starting point; by the time you are done with it, it can be something completely unique.