People ask us all the time: "Can you really buy a wedding dress online? How am I supposed to know if it fits without trying it on?"
These are important and logical questions for any bride thinking about purchasing a wedding gown online. For many brides, choosing the right wedding dress is one of the most important decisions of her life. It can be stressful, chaotic, fun, nerve-wracking, overwhelming—and, often, all of the above!
As a bridal label that sells wedding dresses in our online store and in physical bridal boutiques, we understand the hesitation many brides have about buying a wedding dress online. With such a major purchase financially and emotionally, it makes sense to want to try your dress in person and make sure it's perfect.
But there are also many good reasons to buy a wedding dress online. For one thing, you won't find a better selection anywhere. Buying a wedding gown online means you have the entire internet at your fingertips. You can discover and explore brands and styles you might not find at your local bridal shop. This is especially true if you live in a remote location, or somewhere that's not, say, Los Angeles or New York.
Buying a dress online also means you have the luxury of time. Shopping at a boutique surrounded by family and friends can be fun, but for some brides it can also be stressful. When buying a wedding dress online, you can take all the time you want. Research the designer, share photos with your bridesmaids, and sleep on it until you're sure about your decision.
With all that said, there are definitely some things to consider before buying a wedding gown online. In this post, we'll share five tips for purchasing a wedding dress online. These tips will ensure you feel confident about your decision, both in terms of who you're buying from and what you're getting.
1. Do your research
As you probably already know, there are a lot of choices when it comes to buying a wedding dress online. How many? Googling "wedding dresses" returns over 100 million results.
Not all websites are created equal, however. It's important to do your research and be sure you're buying from a reputable source. Generally speaking, the more information you can find about an online store, the better. This includes product information and photos. Reviews can also be helpful if they're available. Avoid any online store whose content seems fake or otherwise sketchy.
You can also assess a store's reputation by reading about them on other websites. Remember that this may not always be the case for new designers or even established labels who recently began selling online. In these cases, try looking the brand up on social media to see what kind of following they have and how they interact with their followers.
The bridal industry, more than most industries, is a collaborative community full of different vendors. A good, trustworthy designer or boutique will communicate with their fans and followers in an open, honest, human way.
2. Ask lots of questions
Just because you're buying online and not from a physical retailer doesn't mean you should have to figure out everything for yourself. In the same way you'd book an appointment with a bridal shop or ask a sales associate if you have any questions, you should reach out to the online store with any questions you have about buying a wedding dress online.
Feel free to ask questions about the gowns themselves—how they fit, how and where they're manufactured, what materials they use, whether any customizations are available—as well as questions about the purchasing process, shipping times, and method of delivery.
3. Get information about sizing
You may not be able to try on a wedding dress online, but you should make sure to get as much information as possible about sizing.
Start by finding out your own measurements. Measure your bust, waist, and hips. If you need to, get a friend to help! These measurements will help you determine your size.
Once again, not all sizes are created equal. Look for a sizing chart on the designer's website that gives specific measurements so you know what to expect from a size 4, 6, 8, and so on. If you have any questions or want more information about sizing, get in touch with the store.
4. Find a good alterations shop
Unless you're buying "off the rack" from a major retailer like Macy's, your wedding dress will probably be made to order. For this reason, you shouldn't expect to be able to return it once you've completed your purchase.
If this sounds daunting, don't worry. Almost every made-to-order wedding gown requires alterations of some kind, whether it's purchased from a physical store or online. The best thing you can do to feel confident about your purchase is to find a good tailor or alterations shop in your city. They'll help make sure your wedding dress fits perfectly.
If you aren't sure how to find a good alterations shop, email us and we'll be happy to recommend one in your area. For more information about alterations, here's a great article about wedding dress alterations.
5. Order well in advance
This is important advice whether you're buying a wedding dress online or from a physical retailer: don't leave it until the last minute.
This is especially true when talking about made-to-order wedding gowns. Most bridal labels take 4-6 months to process, manufacture, and ship an order. "Rush" orders may be available for an additional cost, but you should aim to order well in advance of your wedding day to allow for any necessary alterations.
Ordering your dress in advance also gives you plenty of time to style your wedding accordingly. Once you know what your gown will look like, you can use it as a reference point for your bridesmaids' dresses, flowers, centrepieces, and other decorations.
6. Make sure the checkout is secure
For most brides, a wedding dress is a major purchase. Before completing your purchase, you should make sure the website's checkout is secure.
Start by checking that the URL in the address bar of your browser starts with "HTTPS"—the "S" is important, as it indicates a secure connection. You may also see a "locked" icon in the address bar, indicating that the website is secure. Don’t enter any of your personal or credit card information if the page is not secure.
Valid and comprehensive contact information is also a good indicator of a site's security. Emailing the site owner to make sure is always a good idea. You can also look for security badges displayed in the website's checkout area.
Our online store runs on Shopify, one of the world's most popular and trusted ecommerce platforms. You can feel 100% confident purchasing through our website.
We hope that these tips has given you confidence and peace of mind! Buying a wedding gown online can seem like a scary proposition, but if you follow our advice you should be able to find your perfect dress and feel confident, secure, and excited about your purchase.
Is there anything we missed? Do you have any additional questions about purchasing a wedding dress online? Let us know in the comments!