If you’ve ever ripped your pants on the subway or spilled red wine on your new tan shirt, you may already know the panic of public clothing malfunctions. Of course, when it’s your wedding day and you’re standing in front of friends and family in a beautiful gown — a tear, spill, or zipper mishap can be a literal nightmare come to life. If you’re looking for some solace in your wedding planning stress, these wedding dress horror stories might be everything you need.
Of course, you will be a beautiful bride no matter what you wear. And if wedding planning may be taking over your life, once you’ve tied the knot and exchanged your rings, coordinating your vendors and checking your guest list will be far in the past. From seamstresses running behind schedule to natural body changes during your wedding planning, there are many reasons your wedding dress may be a source of some serious wedding stress.
But rest assured, these eight wedding dress horror stories are sure to make you feel a little less alone and a lot more calm in your pursuit for the perfect wedding — because if these brides made it through, you can too.
1. THIS GOWN THAT LITERALLY RIPPED IN HALF DURING THE CEREMONY.
I bought a dress for about $1200 that I loved. I also really liked the seamstress.
The problem was, she told me she would sew in a bra for me (I have a big bust and felt a bit uncomfortable in the strapless dress) and said that it wouldn’t significantly change the fitting if I had the bra on while trying on the dress, so when I got the final product I never actually tried on the dress until the day of the wedding.
Midway through the ceremony, just from taking a breath, half the back tore apart from the zipper. Pretty much ten minutes into the reception the entire thing was torn away from the zipper and my entire back was open. We pinned it and I lived but it was a bit stressful. I also noted at the end of the night there was another huge tear where the skirt had pulled away from the bodice.
2. THIS BRIDE WHO GOT SUPER SCAMMED.
I bought a wedding dress from a China-based store after watching YouTube reviews from small time YouTubers, who bought this same dress. Immediately after placing the order, I felt very stupid. They reassured me that I would receive the same dress in the picture. They didn’t.
I received the dress a month later and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was completely expecting it to be a well elaborate prank from my friends (really, this comforting thought crossed my mind) for about 30 seconds. But it wasn’t a prank. The dress resembles a Halloween costume. No appliqués, no trims, no pretty rhinestones, no embroidery, nothing – only cheap silver sequins all over. It is thick, stiff and it’s ripped in several places, and the sequins are also falling off. The lace isn’t cut properly and it looks nothing like the pictures they use to advertise it. It was completely misrepresented and it does not fit its purpose, unless the purpose is to wear it on Halloween.
On the seller’s website, they explicitly say that the exact address they provided PayPal with for me to return the dress to, was actually not available for product return (!!!). The deadline for me to send the dress back came and went, and PayPal notified me they had now decided the dispute against me because I didn’t send the dress back.
3. THIS BRIDAL SHOP OWNER WHO HAD NO CHILL.
I went to a small boutique that I had met the owner of at a bridal show. I like the idea of going to a smaller, locally owned shop for the more personal experience and to help the community. But the woman did a complete 180 change.
So, she gets this beautiful gown with great beading and lace. ‘This is a Lazaro, it retails at $3,000. We’ve just got it in.’ She doesn’t tell me the size or anything. But I trusted her, this is her job. She yanks it over my head, beading gets caught in my hair and my hair gets pulled out. Then riiiipppp!!! Everyone is freaking silent. I close my eyes because this did notjust happen. The owner yells for me to stop breathing (which is difficult as I’m already very over stimulated and on the brink of a panic attack) and she moves to yank it back over my head and it makes another huge rip down the seam. Now she bolts out of the changing curtain with the dress and I’m left, alone, naked, and horrendously mortified.
4. THIS D.I.Y. BRIDE WHO IS D.O.N.E.
10 days to go and my dress is still in pieces and I’m stressing. I have been planning my wedding for the last year and I am (mostly) confident I have done everything I need to for an amazing day. I am making my own dress with the support of my sewing teacher (formal bridal seamstress). I’ve been seeing a PT and have lost weight, not heaps, but enough to cause issues with the dress. I am beginning to have those moments of pure panic because I am terrified it won’t be finished in time even though I know my teacher won’t let it happen.
5. THIS DRESS WITH THE WRONG SLEEVES.
Friday before my wedding week (eight days out), the seamstress has put the wrong sleeves on the dress. On Tuesday, they had it mostly okay but hadn’t stitched anything. I went back on Thursday, it fit well but they still needed to steam it and press it to look pretty. The seamstress said she’d deliver it to my condo that evening once it was done. It was two nights before the wedding. She didn’t use Google Maps. Got totally lost. My parents are at my place discussing final details. Seamstress delivered the dress after driving around lost for 45 mins and calling three times. She insists I try it on and call her back if there are issues. My mom and I disappear to the master bedroom to try on the dress. My mom spends a good deal of time trying to get all the buttons done.
6. THIS DREAM DRESS THAT JUST DIDN’T FIT.
I found a dress. I fell in love with the dress. It wasn’t in my size and it was too expensive. My mom found the dress brand-new online for about half price. She bought it for me. I visited the dress every night and day on Pinterest while it was being shipped. This dress is the dress.
Dress gets delivered. I am ecstatic and nervous all at once. I make plans with my sister-in-law to try it on together in about three weeks. I can’t wait. I have to try it on myself. I just cannot wait.
It doesn’t fit.
It doesn’t fit by about two inches. I just cannot zipper it. I take the dress off and cry and cry. I text my mom who contacts the seller (Ebay) about a possible return…but it’s not happening.
7. THE WEDDING THAT BECAME AN IMPROMPTU FREE THE NIP! PROTEST
When I first got engaged, I showed a friend a picture of a couture wedding gown with a very deep V-neck. My friend was so excited for me, and said that her mom could make the dress and would love to do it for me as a wedding present. I gratefully accept, and am totally pumped.
In the rush of everything, I don’t have time to try the dress on until I’m putting it on for the ceremony. All my friends tell me how great it looks, and it does look great — if I’m standing absolutely stock still and standing straight up. However, as I go through our wedding day I realize that this does not fit at all/a big chunk of stitching comes undone during the after ceremony pictures.
During the first dance I flash everyone. Everyone. My grandparents. Godmother. Creepy uncle. In the video of our first dance, you can see my husband slowly figure out what’s going on and kind of clamp his hand to my chest towards the end to protect the remaining scraps of my modesty.
I got super drunk, decided everyone had already seen everything they could possibly see, gave up on caring and danced my *ss off.
8. THIS DRESS DESIGNER WHO WAS A LIAR LAIR PANTS ON FIRE.
So, today I found out that my dress designer lied to me on multiple issues about my dress. Also that she delayed delivering my dress till the last possible moment so I would be forced to take it despite its flaws. And after seeing it, I didn’t take it. It’s two and a half weeks until my wedding and I don’t have a dress. While that sounds like a fair bit of time to get an off the rack dress (which I’m not against) it’s difficult because my wedding is a full traditional Indian wedding, and I live in Perth, Australia — home of not that many Indian bridal stores. My wedding will also be here, and my fiancée has already had his Indian wedding suit made (beautifully in fact) in a color that was meant to match my dress.
From flashing your whole family to ripping an expensive gown in the store, wedding dress horror stories take many forms. Of course, when wedding planning gets to be too much, it’s OK to step back, take a breathe, and maybe have a glass of rosé while watching a cheesy movie. Wedding dresses may be stressful, but you’re an unstoppable force of amazingness and your wedding day will be literal #goals.