There are very few things I regret in life. I’ve got a wonderful husband, two healthy children and albums filled with travel memories.

But there is one thing I regret daily here at my quarantined Budget Vogue desk: I wish I’d bought at least one of those brand new wedding gowns at the Rochester Salvation Army last month.

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David’s Bridal must have had an overflow of gowns; these gorgeous “Say Yes to the Dress”-worthy dresses were lined up and the prices were no more than thirty dollars each. They were clean and reflected fashion I’ve learned from hours of study at Kleinfelds: mermaid style, rushing, lace, empire, ball gown.

I kept looking at them, thinking, “What would I do with a new wedding gown?”

Well, my Budget Vogue fashionistas, this is what I would do with a gown or three during this pandemic:

#1: I’d wear one around the house, playing the bride of the day and whisk myself around the kitchen dance floor.

I’d request fabulous wedding songs: “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.

I’d dance and twirl and be careful that no errant dog hairs should embed themselves on my gown.

#2: I’d do my remote learning in a wedding gown. Why not? Students and I have been online for weeks now; why not up things a bit and perhaps have Wedding Dress Friday?

Currently, I show up for class in boring old jeans and a turtleneck. Some of those dresses had rhinestones! And who does not crave bling during a pandemic?

#3: I’d watch Netflix wedding movies in my gown. I’d sit on the couch and hog all the cushions with my skirt flared out and celebrate other brides in films like “The Decoy Bride,” “Jenny’s Wedding” and “Mamma Mia.”

I would eat potato chips, drink Diet Coke and allow Sir Luc, my ever present Best Man Lab Mix to eat the crumbs off my lap.

#4: I’d make my daughters witness my husband and I renew our vows — Dan in his sweatpants, me in my gown, every time I put a new dress on.

We’d make glorious toasts and my daughters could be bridesmaids should they so choose. We’ve got some prom gowns around that would be perfect.

#5: Finally, I’d just feel glorious in this quarantine. Enough with the pajamas and stained T-shirts, I’d dress up in that magical gown or three and, well, be Budget Vogue fabulous.

And, may you, fellow Budget Voguers, find your pandemic zen in ways that give you pause and delight and joy. And may you have no regrets in this lovely, lovely life.

Now, it’s time to dress up.

Susan Dromey Heeter writes and teaches on the Seacoast. Contact her at

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