One of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning experience is the search for the dress! Of course, in this age of commerce, many brides wonder why they can’t shorten the process by buying online. Thankfully, we at Custom Love Gifts, Events, & Prints have two former bridal stylists to run you through the risks of online dress shopping. Begin with our list below.
- Sizing. As anyone familiar with the bridal industry will attest, sizing is inconsistent across the board. Typically speaking, most bridal sizing guides are based on European size charts. As the art of the bridal gown was perfected in Europe, and so many designers hail from the continent, the couture process and size specifications became the standard for bridal gown regulations. It is not uncommon for most women to need a dress that is, on average, two sizes larger than their street clothes. When you buy online, it’s easy to forget to check the sizing chart and end up with a gown too small even for alterations to fix.
- Price appeal. One of the major factors that influences brides to look online for their gown is the high cost of most new wedding dresses in bridal boutiques, most of which can run upwards of $2000. When a bride, then, sees a perfectly beautiful gown online for $500, they believe they’ve beaten the system and found their dream dress for a dream price. However, the old adage still applies here that you get what you pay for. Sure, you may receive a dress in the mail (although this is not guaranteed), but the dress you receive will often fall short of the glory you expected. It may be missing a lining or crinolines, it could be poorly sewn, or it could just be a different dress altogether. Accordingly, you then have to purchase another dress under a time crunch after already spending the initial $500 on the first dress (and good luck getting a refund for it—or even a response, much of the time).
- Chinese New Year. Even if you do the work to calculate your correct size in the dress you want and buy it for a steal, Chinese New Year may still be your downfall. A twenty-three day festival, Chinese New Year is a massive cultural festival that essentially shuts down production for the better part of a month. As most wedding gowns are produced in China, this delay can be a serious problem if you haven’t figured it into your timeline, as no gowns whatsoever will be made until the end of the festivities, which could easily delay you receiving your gown by two and a half months, if not longer.
Long story short? Unless you have truly done your research, don’t waste your time buying online. Shopping local is the only way to truly ensure your peace of mind.