Grandma used to tell you, if it looks too good to be true...well you know the rest. This philosophy doesn't only apply to the hot, tall, sexy, rich guy that’s giving you the eye at the bar, it applies to wedding dresses as well.
Every bride wants that perfect dress for her day, but lets face it wedding dresses can be very pricey. So I get it, I completely understand. When you see your designer wedding dress online for sale for only $150 USD it sounds like a deal. But think about it for a second… we all watch Say Yes To The Dress and we see these same gorgeous dresses from $1500 - $15,000 USD and much more. Why do you think you can get the very same dress for a mili-fraction of the costs? I believe that it’s next to impossible.
I know some of you will read this blog and say “well Sara, that’s all I can afford” and to you I say, buying online is going to cost you much more in the long run. Let me tell you why.
No Fittings: I don't even buy a pair of jeans without fitting them first. I could never dream of buying my wedding gown without fitting it or fitting a similar style at least once. I mean even at Bliss you can buy a dress from us without trying it on, but we always have our brides try on dresses that are similar styles, shapes and designs, so she can get a feel of what fits her body best. I would never send a bride to buy a dress blindly...what kind of “Fairy Godmother” would I be? :)
I tell my brides all the time, a dress on the rack and a dress on a woman's body are two completely different things. I can't tell you how many women tell me no when I pull a dress for them to fit, but once they put it on they fall in love. Ladies remember that when you look at these pictures online the models are edited and airbrushed. Think about your the areas of your body that you want to highlight and the ones you would like to minimize, does this model have those same features? If not, it may not be the right dress. But again, you won't know till you try it on.
Chinese Retailers: Most if not all online wedding and prom dress retailers that sell dresses at bargain discounts are Chinese factories/retailers. They are able to mass produce dresses at extremely low costs because they use inferior fabrics and inferior manufacturing practices.
Most designer wedding dresses use Swarovski crystals as their embellishments. The discounted dresses will use plastic flat back beads that they glue onto the garment. For example if the designer dress has 8 layers of tulle and and other 4 layers of crinoline under the skirt, the Chinese retailers may have 2 of each.
Long Shipping Times: Most of these retailers will give you a 6 - 8 week shipping time for your dress. But I will warn you I have had no less than 4 brides in the past month that have ordered dresses online and came to me weeks before their wedding because their dress just never arrived.
No Refunds: Please bare in mind that even though most of these retailers say they offer refunds, the really do not. Once they ship the item out to you it is very difficult to get in contact with anyone. And because they are all the way in China, you really have no recourse through the legal system. If you tried to take legal action, the cost of that action would cost more than the dress itself. These retailers are aware of the challenges their customers in other countries face so they continue being unscrupulous as there is little to no consequence.
Inaccurate Measurements: Let's not forget that sizing charts differ country to country. So when you order a dress online you will have to give them your measurements. Not just the standard bust, waist and hip, but also hollow to hem (how many of you know what that is?) armhole, bust to waist, across the back...shall I go on? How many of you are willing to chance that you get the measurements correctly? And even if you do, are you willing to trust that they will interpret them correctly.
Here's the deal, I’m not going to be the one to tell you what to do, but I am going to be the one to give you all the information. So you can make the right decision. Yes wedding dresses can be expensive, but I beg you, shop around locally before you decide to throw your money away. Go to shopping, talk to the bridal stores you might be pleasantly surprised. If you are honest with your bridal consultant she will try and work with your budget, any good bridal consultant will.
Just remember grandma's words…..’all that glitters is not gold”