You might not live in an area with many choices in bridal stores, or want to skip spending endless weekends combing through dresses in stores and opt to buy online. Before you commit to buying your wedding dress online, we wanted to take you through everything you'll want to consider first.
Buying wedding dresses online means that brides can often buy direct from the gown makers, which cuts out the fee that a bridal store will tack on to the overall cost to cover their overheads. Buying direct will bring the cost of your gown down and save you money.
The ease of online shopping allows you to shop from home and have your gown delivered to you, cutting out needing to spend hours trying on gowns in bridal stores just to find the right dress. Shopping in-store can be an exhausting process, not to mention having to find the flexibility to travel to different locations while staying within your allocated appointment time.
Buying wedding dresses online allows you to have access to brands you may not otherwise be able to buy from or would have to spend a lot of money traveling to purchase from for your wedding.
What are the downsides to buying wedding dresses online?
You'll have to pay for the whole amount of your dress upfront. Although for some brides, achieving their dream dress will require strict budgeting, maybe you'll be able to pay the deposit upfront and then pay off the rest of the gown on pick up, and in a case like that, buying online wouldn't work.
Buying an off-the-rack gown online, or even in a store, will require alterations needing to be carried out on the dress to ensure it fits your body perfectly, which increases the costs you'll have to pay.
Some brands may not offer returns, and if this is the case, you won't be able to try your gown on before you buy it. A 'No Returns' policy will also mean you may not be able to see how the fabric feels in real life, and this can be a hard sell for many brides.
Do keep in mind that some brands may offer to send out lace samples, or you can contact them and ask in advance for a lace sample to see how a gown feels on your skin.
Triple-check the sizing chart/size guide
For many brides, sizing can be a significant source of anxiety. Unfortunately, there is no worldwide standardised sizing, which means you can potentially run into an issue where a size 8 is typically a size 10 in reality. Therefore, it's essential to look past sizing numbers and focus on the brands sizing chart. We suggest measuring yourself (or asking a friend or dressmaker) so that you can find out your 'true size' - and then buy your gown to that size based on a brand's size chart.
When you're sizing yourself, make sure you start with the basic measurements, which are your bust, waist, and hip. For example, if you're a size 14 and measure yourself, you'll find a bust of approximately 100cm, a waist of roughly 80cm, and a hip of approximately 110cm. Keep in mind that sizing is for an exact size 14, you may be between sizes or slightly off the closest size, and that's almost always the case. However, this is where alterations will come in to make it fit perfectly for you. Just remember that if you're unsure, buy a size up. It's easier to bring a gown in than it is to bring a dress out!
You can size yourself using a tape measure. These can be purchased from places such as Spotlight or Lincraft.
(pictured: Euphorie Studios sizing guide)
We all know how boring it can be, but reading through terms, conditions, policy, and returns from a brand is essential. Therefore, it would be best to have all of the relevant information on the brand's return policy, sizing guide, terms, and conditions before buying.
Buy from a reliable, trusted source.
Wedding dresses naturally come with a higher price tag than most garments you'll purchase online, so trusting the brand you buy from to deliver what's been promised is essential.
Start by looking into the website, social media accounts, and reviews from previous customers. There are a few essential things you should look for to get a better idea of the brand's trustworthiness. Firstly, "are there any other real brides tagged (remember to check the 'tagged' section on Instagram) in their social media content?" It is a question you'll want to answer. Models are paid to model the gowns, but have any brides paid to BUY the dresses and wear them? That's an essential factor to consider.
Google reviews and reading comment sections on their posts can be another look at the things other brides just like you are saying about a brand.
Ask the brand to walk you through the process.
It's important to know where and how your gown is made for multiple reasons. For starters, you may be someone that wants your dress made locally (within Australia), so it's a great idea to ask for proof of the gown being made. For example, at Euphorie Studios, we take 'progress' pics of all dresses we create, from start to finish, to ensure a bride can see any aspect of the making process if she wishes to.
Another reason you'll want to know about the process is so that you can find out the logistics of your purchase and the lead time for the gown. Two main questions you'll want to ask the seller of your gown directly are:
- What country is my wedding dress being made in?
- How long does it take for my wedding dress to arrive?
Knowing the delivery time will be essential to ensure that your wedding dress will arrive within the time frame you'll need. While we have an industry-leading lead time of 3 months or less on online orders, some stores or brands may take anywhere from 8 months to over a year to turn the gown around. If the brand you're buying off makes their dresses overseas, turnaround times can be drastically increased compared to local brands.
Let us know in the comments below if you've got any other suggestions for brides when online shopping for a wedding dress. If you have any questions, ask away, and we'll get the answers for you!