A bride's dress regret led her to buy her $10,000 dream wedding gown just 6 months before she said 'I do'

A bride's dress regret led her to buy her $10,000 dream wedding gown just 6 months before she said 'I do'
  • Gina and Connor Love got married on November 10, 2023.

  • Gina bought a wedding dress soon after her engagement.

  • But six months before the wedding, Gina bought a different, $10,000 gown.

As exciting as it is to find your dream dress, it's not uncommon for brides to experience wedding dress regret.

After she bought a gown early on in her engagement, 2023 bride Gina Love wondered if she had bought the right wedding dress because she couldn't stop thinking about a designer gown that had a much higher price tag.

She ended up replacing her wedding dress with the $10,000 high-end gown just six months before the wedding — and she told BI she has no regrets.

Connor Love was on a date with someone else when he met his future wife.

A portrait of a bride and groom on their wedding day.
Gina and Connor Love have been together since 2019.Photos With Jill

Gina Love, 28, was hosting a Fourth of July party in 2019 when Connor Love, 31, arrived with a friend of hers.

Connor and Gina's friend didn't connect, but they did, as Gina told BI.

Around a week later, Connor and Gina went on their first official date, and they've been together ever since.

Today, the couple lives just outside Tampa, Florida. Gina is a marketing manager and personal trainer, while Connor is a dentist.

Connor proposed in June 2022.

A bride and groom kiss in front of a white wall.
They got married in November 2023.Photos With Jill

As they started planning their wedding, the Loves quickly knew they wanted to get married in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

"We knew we wanted to do it in St. Pete in general just because St. Pete is very near and dear to our hearts," Gina told BI. But the Loves didn't want their nuptials to feel like a typical beach wedding.

"I kept saying in the wedding planning process, 'We're getting married at the beach, but it is not a beach wedding,'" Gina said. "I wanted it to be more of a resort-style wedding but still have all the options for the guests to hang out and have fun."

They selected The Hotel Zamora as their venue, as it allowed their guests — many of whom were traveling from out of town — to access the beach, but it still featured the upscale feel Gina was looking for. Elle Gray Events planned the nuptials.

"It was supposed to be classy and elevated but still just a really good time," she said of her vision for the event.

They set their wedding for November 10, 2023.

Gina bought a dress soon after she got engaged.

A bride stands in a wedding dress in a wedding boutique.
Gina Love in her original dress.Gina Love

"I always knew I wanted something very timeless, very classic," Gina said of her vision for her wedding dress. "I wanted to wear something that I knew I was still going to love in 20 years in pictures."

She went wedding dress shopping quickly after she got engaged, purchasing an A-line gown for her ceremony and a shorter reception dress. She spent just under $3,000 on both looks.

Gina liked the ceremony dress, but she had been fantasizing about a Monique Lhuillier dress she saw online for months. Her daydreams about the gown didn't stop when she brought the other dress home.

Six months before the wedding, Gina decided to try on her dream dress — and she fell in love.

A woman stands in a wedding dress and looks over her shoulder.
Monique Lhuillier designed the dress.Photos With Jill

Gina tried on the Monique Lhuillier gown at The Collection Bridal in Orlando.

It featured a strapless neckline and a structured corset bodice. The dropped-waist skirt flared around Gina's hips and flowed into a train.

Every inch of the gown was covered in intricate lace.

The detailing and structure of the dress drew Gina to it.

A bride stands in a lace wedding dress with a bouquet of flowers at her side.
The dropped-waist bodice drew Gina Love to the dress.Photos With Jill

Gina told BI she has a shorter torso, and she loved that the gown's dropped-waist silhouette made her look longer than she is. A subtle scoop in the back added to the bodice's long look.

The corset bodice also made the dress feel secure, which was key because the skirt was heavy.

"It was very, very flattering, very dramatic, but it was still very classic and subtle at the same time," Gina said of the dress.

"The lace and the sewing work is just beyond," Gina said.

A close-up shot of the lace on the back of a bride's wedding dress.
The lace covered the dress.Photos With Jill

The lace formed a floral pattern on the bodice and the semi-sheer outer layer of the skirt, popping against the fabric.

As she stood in the dress, the gown she had already purchased became less appealing to Gina.

"It's really an elevated version of what I originally bought," Gina said.

As soon as Gina put on the dress, she knew she had to buy it.

A bride and groom hold hands in front of a white wall.
The dress was more expensive than the first gown Gina bought.Photos With Jill

The Monique Lhuillier gown cost $10,000, but Gina knew it was the one.

"I'm super blessed that my family paid for the wedding," Gina said of how she financed the dresses and her wedding overall.

She added that her mom encouraged her to figure out what she wanted in a dress rather than focusing primarily on the cost.

"I'm blessed that I wasn't within those restraints, which I'm very grateful for," Gina said.

She paired her dress with a floor-length veil.

A bride stands with a veil covering her face in front of a sunset.
The veil is one-of-a-kind.Photos With Jill

The veil, which covered her face during the ceremony, was designed by Monique Lhuillier. But Gina's mother and sister-in-law cut it slightly shorter than the designer made it because it ripped after getting caught on a zipper. Luckily, it turned out to be the perfect length with their DIY alterations.

Gina paired the custom veil with an updo styled by Nicholette VanBuren, which is often her go-to hairstyle.

"I always tell anyone getting married that it's not the day to play with your style," she said. "I always prefer photos of myself with my hair up."

"I just felt like it was giving 'Cinderella' vibes, and it just needed a really pretty subtle clean updo," she added. "I wanted it to look as clean and classic as possible."

Teardrop earrings from Etsy, a Tiffany & Co. pendant from Connor, and heirloom rings completed Gina's bridal look.

Gina said she didn't want to take her dress off when she put it on for the wedding.

A bride stands in front of a floral arch in her wedding dress.
The bride on her wedding day.Photos With Jill

"I was so excited to put it on," Gina said of her dress. "It was so, so dreamy."

"I felt like the queen of St. Pete Beach," she added of how the dress made her feel.

Gina revealed her dress to Connor during a first look ahead of the ceremony.

A bride laughs and holds hands with her groom in their wedding attire.
The couple during their first look.Photos With Jill

"We wanted to spend as much time at our wedding as possible," Gina said of why she and Connor decided to do photos ahead of the ceremony.

"I wouldn't have changed it for the world to have that moment alone," she said. "You really don't get time alone on your wedding day."

"To take 10 minutes by yourself beforehand with no one around, do private vows, and have that time alone was so special," Gina added.

Photos With Jill photographed the wedding day, and the Loves hired Kim Madrigal to be their wedding content creator.

The groom cried when he saw the dress.

A groom looks at his bride during their first look.
Connor Love got emotional seeing his bride's dress.Photos With Jill

"I think he would have loved anything I put on, but I had talked this dress up for so long," Gina said. "It definitely lived up to the hype."

She told BI the first look was a highlight of the wedding day for her.

Connor kept his wedding look simple — on the outside.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom and the groom flashing the inside his suit jacket.
The inside of his jacket was lined with a checkerboard pattern.Photos With Jill

Connor wore a black tuxedo from Balani to the wedding, complete with a black bow tie.

It looked classic, but the interior was lined with a black-and-white checked pattern for a hint of fun.

Gina loved her dress so much that she changed some of her wedding plans to fit the day.

A wedding with black table cloths and white accents.
The decor was mostly black and white. Photos With Jill

"I literally changed the entire theme of my wedding," Gina said, pointing specifically to the color scheme of their decor.

"Originally, I wanted to go with ivories and burnt corals and oranges to bring out the color of the beach vibe," she said. "Then I got this dress, and I was like, 'Nope, nope, not going to work.'"

"I changed it from more romantic soft colors to black, white, and ivory," she said, opting for a more classic look.

Gabro Event Services, Tampa Bay Staging & Events, and Posy Exchange provided rentals for the nuptials.

The wedding took place on the hotel's rooftop.

A bride and groom kiss in front of a floral arch during their wedding ceremony.
The couple during their ceremony. Photos With Jill

The rooftop overlooked the water, and the Loves filled the ceremony space with an assortment of white flowers from By The Bay.

A large archway framing them as they said "I do" was the centerpiece of the ceremony decor.

Although she loved her dress, Gina said it was too heavy to wear for her reception.

A bride and groom dance on a black checkerboard dance floor.
The bride wore a shorter dress during her reception.Photos With Jill

Because her wedding gown was so heavy, it wasn't practical to wear during the dancing portion of the evening.

"Dancing was a very big part of our wedding, so I needed something I could move in for sure," she said. "I wanted to be comfortable."

So Gina changed into a shorter dress with a plunging neckline, bubble sleeves, and a cutout in the back.

She bought the dress at Boca Raton Bridal.

Six months after the wedding, Gina has no regrets about buying her dream dress.

A bride and groom embrace in front of a floral arch.
The dress was crucial to the day.Photos With Jill

Although buying multiple gowns wasn't her plan, Gina is thrilled she followed her instinct to try on the Monique Lhuillier gown.

"I would wear that thing in every lifetime," she said.

But she also decided to sell it after the wedding.

A bride and groom embrace in front of a white building.
Gina Love sold her wedding dress.Photos With Jill

"I actually sold it pretty quickly after the wedding," she told BI.

"Originally I was like, 'I'm never selling it,' and then I couldn't stand thinking about it sitting in my closet," she said. "It just made me sad."

She took to TikTok to find a buyer, hoping someone in her community of followers would be interested in the gown.

Selling the gown has been gratifying for Gina.

A bride smiles over her shoulder as she leans on a railing in front of the sunset.
She's glad she sold the dress.Photos With Jill

One of Gina's TikTok followers, who she described as "the sweetest girl," ended up buying the dress for around $7,000.

Gina said it's been a joyful experience to see another bride love the dress as much as she did.

"She's been sending me updates with her alterations and stuff, and she looks so beautiful," Gina said. "I love that it's getting another life."

She still has her original wedding dress.

A bride and groom embrace in front of a white wall.
She didn't sell her original dress. Photos With Jill

Gina has yet to find new purposes for the first wedding dress she bought and her reception dress.

She told BI may sell them or give them away down the line, but for now, they're safe in her closet.

Gina advises other brides against wedding dress shopping too early.

A bride and groom dance during their wedding reception on a black-and-white checkerboard dance floor.
Wedding dress shopping doesn't have to be rushed.Photos With Jill

Gina said that wedding dress shopping was one of the first things she did after getting engaged, which she now thinks was a mistake because she didn't have as clear of a vision for her wedding as she did later in the planning process.

"Don't go too early, as excited as you're going to be," she advised. "Or if you go early, don't buy anything. Just go for the fun of it."

"Go to a shop that encourages you to try things on and doesn't pressure you to buy," she added. "I think if I would have waited, we would have spent a little bit less money."

"Connor is hands down my best friend on this planet," Gina said of her husband.

A bride embraces her groom's face in front of a floral arch.
The bride and groom.Photos With Jill

"No one holds a candle to him," Gina said of Connor. "We are always each other's first choice."

"He's the most supportive person that I know. We take care of each other," she added. "We're partners, but we're best friends."

If you wore an eye-catching wedding dress and want to talk to Business Insider for a story, get in touch at sgrindell@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider