Buying your Wedding Gown can be a daunting task; there are so many different styles, fabrics, and different embellishments to choose from. Some Brides would prefer to shop online for everything, rather than go into a store.
Budgeting is key and many Brides can't afford to spend as much on their Wedding Gown as they would like. However, somewhere out there is the Dress of their dreams, within their price range. It may or may not be found online.
A few things to keep in mind if you are thinking of purchasing your dress online:
- Reviews - If the website you are looking at is reputable, they will have reviews of their products posted. (You will still want to search on the web for more reviews on the company.) If they have had problems in the past, you can be sure that someone will have written about it somewhere.
- Sizing - If considering ordering online, have your measurements done by a professional tailor. This will ensure that the measurements you send to the website are accurate.
- Handmade/Etsy - Etsy is a fabulous resource for any Bride to use; sellers offer everything from invitations to décor and even beautiful handmade dresses. The reviews provided are from actual buyers, and will provide insight on the level of service and quality the seller provides.
There are many different Bridal Websites out there, and some are reliable while others are not. Here is a cautionary tale we found from Brittany, a Lethbridge, Alberta Bride who tried ordering her Gown online after finding one in Once Upon A Bride:
"When my fiance and I got engaged, I was very excited to shop for the dress of my dreams. I made an appointment with Once Upon a Bride and the girls there were so helpful. I found the perfect wedding gown on my first day out shopping. I wanted to show a friend of mine some pictures of the gown and I came across a website that had the dress for a much cheaper price so I decided to order my dress online rather than in the store. That was one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made! When my dress arrived it came in a small mailbag all crunched up and the bag was partially torn. When I opened the package I was beyond disappointed. The dress I was sent looked nothing like the one I had fallen in love with and nothing like the picture on their website! The color was wrong, the fabric was wrong and even the silhouette of the dress was different. They had asked for my measurements when I ordered the dress and was assured that it would be made to fit me. The dress that I got was way too small and I could barely walk in it. The beading and lace that were part of what I had fallen in love with when I tried on the original didn't even resemble the same dress. I was so upset and I knew there was no way to save this dress. I contacted the designer of the gown to find out what had happened and that's when I found out that I had been scammed. I was told that Designer gowns are not sold online, but only to authorized Bridal Boutiques and that the websites that claim to be selling the dresses are just posting the designer's picture and then selling a cheap imitation. The wonderful staff at Once Upon a Bride was able to help me get the dress I actually wanted to begin with to replace the one I was sent. Instead of saving money by ordering online, I ended up spending more than I had planned and having 2 dresses. I wanted Once Upon a Bride to share my story with you so that this won't happen to anyone else in the future!"
Shown below is a comparison of the dresses side by side.
Brittany isn't the only Bride to fall victim to these knock offs, there are many websites selling cheap imitations of Designer Gowns. This is not only unfair to the Brides, but also to the Designers who put time, effort and care into the making of these Dresses.
Bridal Salons will not only sell you a real Designer Dress, they will also help you sort through the many choices you have available to you. You may go into a Bridal Salon with an idea in mind, and walk away with something completely different because the experienced Sales Associates showed you a style that is perfect for you. They will also alter the dress for you, and be able to customize the style to suit you better.
Whether you choose to buy your dress from a Bridal Salon, online or have one custom made for you, please proceed with caution. Every Bride deserves the dress of her dreams.