5 All-Too-Common Wedding Dress Disasters and How to Deal

Hopefully, your wedding day will go off without a hitch, a snafu, or a situation. But, more than likely, something is bound to go wrong (life!) so it’s better to be at least somewhat prepared than get blindsided—especially when it comes to your gown.

The following five dress disasters are all-too-common, but they can be avoided, or fixed, by having the right supplies in your wedding day tool kit. (And a trusted seamstress on speed dial!) Here’s what you need, and what to do, for each potential crisis.

Common Wedding Dress Disasters and How to Deal
Photo by Shane and Lauren Photography

 

1 You spill on yourself.

From champagne to face powder, there are a number of things you can accidentally get on that white gown before you walk down the aisle. Before the big day, ask your dress designer or seamstress what you should use on your gown’s fabric before stashing a stain wipe or Tide pen in your emergency kit (you might be surprised to hear that many swear by unexpected tricks, like lemon dish detergent and hairspray). He or she will know exactly what you should use, and not use.

If the stain won’t budge? Pose with your bouquet over the blemish, if you can, and just keep smiling. Everyone will be looking at your gorgeous face, not whatever you got on your dress.

2 Your zipper breaks.

Um, yikes! Depending on what part of the zipper decides to ruin your life, you have some options. If the teeth separate in the middle after the zipper has been zipped up, this is usually due to the teeth not lining up correctly—unzip and try again, or use pliers to straighten out the wonky teeth if needed. If the zipper gets stuck, rub a pencil or a bar of soap over the teeth to lubricate them. If the zipper won’t stay up, rips on the sides, or neither of the aforementioned solutions works, try using safety pins to secure the dress. And if all else fails and you have the time, call a seamstress—she can literally sew you into your gown or replace the zipper if needed.

3 Your strap snaps.

Luckily, this one is usually an easy fix: All you need is a needle and some white thread to get that sucker back into place. Have whoever sews it up use small stitches so they don’t show.

4 You step on your hem, and it rips.

Depending on how bad the rip is, and what kind of fabric your dress is, you can use a needle and thread, super glue, or fabric tape to repair the damage. Chances are, no one will notice even if the rip seems (or sounds) like a big deal in the moment.

5 Your fit is off.

This one is admittedly the hardest to fix. Save calling a seamstress to quickly alter your gown, you have some choices: If your gown is too big in the bust, consider wearing additional padding (or chicken cutlets, as they’re called) to give yourself a boost. If it’s too big in the waist, see if you can track down a sash or belt from a local bridal boutique or a friend. If you already have an adjustable belt, tie it up tight. You may be able to use safety pins to hide or tame some extra fabric as well.

If the dress is just a little too tight, turn on the AC in your bridal suite (or get a fan) and drink some water—you may just need to cool down and de-puff, especially if you’re having a summer wedding or think you may just be bloated. If you really, really can’t fit into it, consider only zipping your dress up half-way (add a pin for security) and wearing a bolero or light sweater over your gown. While it’s not ideal, it may be your only option. And, hey, a pop of color, if you only have a bright cardigan, could actually be super chic against a white dress.

Looking for a little more wedding day advice?

7 Things Your Vendors Want You to Remember on the Big Day

6 Undergarments You Might Want to Wear With Your Wedding Gown

How to Find a Ceremony Reading That Actually Means Something to You