Shopping for a wedding dress is a tough part of the whole planning process – everyone’s eyes will be on you and, even though they might forget the food, odds are that they’ll definitely remember that dress.
One way to save money and make sure you get your dream dress is to shop online. There are tons of great options for wedding dresses (I’ve highlighted some of my favorites on the blog!) but you need to make sure to do your due diligence. Here are five very important things to keep in mind when it comes to buying a wedding dress online.
1. Street vs. Bridal Sizing – Just because you’re a size 2, doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll wear in your wedding dress. Many smarter websites list out the measurements, since brands have so many sizing options, from European or Italian to US or just plain bridal. Often, the number on the dress itself signifies nothing – go by the measurements! And if they don’t have them listed? Call or email for the numbers. This isn’t something you want to ignore.
2. Return policy – Maybe you love the photos of your “dream dress,” but when it comes, it’s a mess. Check for resellers or bridal outlets that will allow you time to try on and get a feel for the dress. This is crucial for making sure that you’re happy with your choice.
3. Damage – When you’re buying a used dress, occasionally you can come across a snag or a dirty hem. Are there enough pictures and details about any potential damage? Buying a used dress is a great option, but you need to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. Don’t go in blindly, and definitely do NOT buy anything that only has the stock photos from the designer. Look for listings that show the ACTUAL dress you’d be receiving.
4. Payment process – Someone wants you to pay for your dress by wire? Um… maybe not. I recommend Paypal because there’s a “paper” trail. Most online retailers have their own secure payment services, which is great – those aren’t the ones you need to worry about. Anytime you’re buying anything online, make sure you’re aware and practicing safe shopping – don’t give anyone your CC number directly, and make sure that the site where you’re inputting your information is secure (HTTPS instead of plain HTTP). It will save you a ton of trouble down the road.
5. Can you try it on in store first? This one is important, but not a deal breaker. You can frequently find the same or similar dresses at a bridal boutique near you. If you’re concerned about what you’re buying and how it will work on your figure, this is a great way to cover all your bases and look good doing it. Plus, use this opportunity to try on a bunch of dresses and see what really works best for you.
Are you thinking about buying your dress online like I did? Share your concerns and your excitements in the comments, and I’ll answer any questions you have!