Thinking about buying a wedding dress online? Don’t miss this post! We’re outlining seven of the most important tips to safely buy your wedding dress online. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss wedding advice posts like this one!
Hi, loves! Emma here and if you’re worried about how safe it is to buy wedding dresses online, you’re not alone! Today’s bride wants instantaneous results. You don’t have time to run from shop to shop; you want to see everything right at your fingertips — and I totally get it. It’s amazing how easy it is to buy anything online. This is coming from the girl who orders this in bulk online (and I’m not even embarrassed to admit it because it is so convenient). I buy amazing socks like these that I can wear all winter long because it keeps your legs warm! (They’re brilliant.) I stock up on k-cups so I don’t ever have a coffee outage.
Buying things for your wedding is the same way. I talked to a couple who recently got married and it was incredible the number of things they bought online, sight-unseen. Almost everything was ordered online, from the table runners to the votive candles to these invitations. Even the bridesmaid dresses were ordered online! Things like digital proofs, super-helpful product reviews, and two-day shipping have made buying wedding things online super convenient, so why should wedding dresses be excluded from the list? With resources at your fingertips like The Marketplace filled to the brim with handmade dresses and accessories, along with sellers on Etsy and Amazon unveiling new collections all the time, it’s easier than ever to buy everything for your wedding online…
Plus, every designer offers galleries of their newest wedding dresses, so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your sweatpants or pj‘s and favorite couch cushion to find your perfect wedding dress.
Before you say yes to the dress (or no to the dress), we want to give you a few pointers so you don’t get scammed. Here’s what you need to know about buying a wedding dress online so you stay safe AND you get exactly what you want. Feel free to ask questions at the end of this post, too. That’s what we’re here for! Enjoy!
Buying Wedding Dress Online: 7 Tips
1. Read reviews.
Read reviews first! It’s always helpful to do your homework. Places like Etsy offer reviews right inside a designer’s shop, so you can see first-hand what real brides have to say. You can also see reviews on Weddingwire, Ebay, Amazon, etc. Also, if you see a negative review out of many positives, don’t let it necessarily deter you: read the review and consider whether there was a simple communication error or perhaps a misunderstanding. If a majority of the reviews are glowing, it’s probably a safe place to buy.
2. Don’t cut corners.
One of the biggest mistakes brides make when buying a wedding dress online is trying to save money by cutting corners. Don’t cut corners, especially when it comes to your wedding dress. For instance, if you find a gorgeous gown out of your budget, don’t seek a vendor who will copy the style and make it for you. It’s not just because we think that’s wrong, but also because the result is almost NEVER what you expect. Plus, the designer who made the dress you love is an expert. You can’t just copy expertise. We’ve heard some horror stories and you know what? Many brides end up spending more money in the process (you know, like having to spend more money to scramble and find a new dress weeks before the wedding because theirs never arrived or was completely wrong? Yes, that’s (unfortunately) a true story from a bride.)
If the dress you found is completely out of your budget, do this instead: figure out what makes it the dream dress to you. Is it the romantically flowy chiffon fabric? The sweetheart neckline? The way the back has lace appliques? Once you identify what about the dress makes it a dream come true, you’ll be able to search for other dresses that have a similar feature that might be more within your reach.
3. Don’t buy the first wedding dress you see.
It’s tempting, I know! You’ve found the perfect dress and it’s only a quick click away. Instead, sleep on it. You might wake up tomorrow and think, what was I thinking? Or, you might wake up and decide to go ahead, at which case, congrats — that sure was fast!
4. Order well in advance.
If you’re ordering a handmade wedding dress, make sure you check the designer’s schedule to make sure you’ll have your wedding dress at least three months before the big day. This will ensure your dress will be ready for your big day, even if shipping takes forever or your dress isn’t completed on time. You’ll need to have it professionally fitted, too, and seamstresses have busy schedules, too. You will also enjoy the extra time to try on veils with your dress (to pick the perfect style), as well as any accessories (i.e. a sash, wrap, your jewelry, or shoes).
5. Take perfect measurements.
When you send in your measurements, make sure they’re absolutely correct. It’s a LOT easier to take a dress in if it’s too big than the other way around. Also, have someone else measure you, as you’ll get a more accurate measurement. You can even go see a tailor to have your measurements taken so you can be positive that the numbers add up. (Note: international sizing may differ, so be sure you check with your designer’s size chart.)
6. Ask for the remaining fabric.
When a dress is being made, there are extra swatches of fabric left over. You can ask for these materials (it may be included in the cost or an added fee) so that you can use it for other accessories (that will match perfectly). Some examples? We’ve seen brides use the remaining fabric to make a ring pillow, as a bouquet wrap, or incorporated into their wedding clutch purse. If you don’t ask for it, it might just get tossed anyway (so it’s worth asking about!)
7. Know the return policy.
You’ll want to know the return policy in advance, just in case the dress doesn’t work out. Some wedding dresses have a no-return policy, since they’re custom made. Others can be returned to a boutique near you. And some wedding dresses have a limited return policy. Be sure you read and understand the policy before you buy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, too — the designers work with MANY brides and are very familiar with dresses, styles, sizing, etc. Be sure to ask any questions before you buy.
Not sure where to start?
Go to a bridal boutique and try on unique wedding dress necklines. You might find the perfect dress there OR you’ll at least leave knowing what style works best with your body type. Plus, be sure to bring your mom or your Maid of Honor or your bridesmaids… it’s a REALLY fun + memorable part of wedding planning, even if you don’t find the dress that day.
Find handmade wedding gowns!
You can see new handmade wedding gowns, accessories, veils, and more in The Marketplace. We work with the best artisans!
Here’s your chance: tell us about your gown / ask questions / chat below! We’d love to hear from you.