While most women are comfortable shopping online these days, many brides still stop short at the thought of buying a wedding dress off the web. Wedding gownsare certainly different to wear and to buy than regular dresses, but purchasing a gown online can be simple if you know where to start. If you're feeling ready to give it a go, read our tips below then start browsing wedding dresses on Lover.ly!
1. Use a try-on service. Some bridal designers, like Kirstie Kelly, allow brides to "borrow" gowns and try them on at home before placing a final order. For $35 (which includes shipping both ways) the designer will send you the dress of your choice to borrow for 48 hours. You can try as many dresses as you'd like and get a sense of the styles and silhouettes that suit you.
2. Get measured by a seamstress before placing an order. Most gowns aren't sized the same way everyday clothes are, so it's important to know your measurements before you place your order online. It's possible to take your own measurements, but a local tailor should be able to do it for just a few dollars -- and it's best to get it right the first time.
3. Try on gowns in a salon before ordering online. Trying on gowns at a bridal salon will help you get a sense of the styles and silhouettes that suit you best. Once you have a good sense of what works for your body type, browse the web for a dress you love.
4. Buy from a retailer with a solid return policy. There are a lot of websites out there that sell discounted bridal gowns with an "All Sales Final" policy, but since this is probably your first time buying a wedding dress, you might not get it right on the first try. We recommend shopping with retailers like BHLDN or Nordstrom Weddings that have solid return policies. If something goes wrong, you should be able to send your dress back without hassle.
5. Buy from a reputable source that offers a secure payment gateway. Skip the sketchy websites claiming to sell designer gowns at heavily reduced prices. The savings aren't worth it! You may end up with a half-finished dress or worse, you may never even receive your dress. Only order gowns from retailers you trust, or sites you've used before that offer secure payment gateways and accountability for products ordered.
6. Order a nontraditional dress in a style that suits you. You know your body and sense of style best, so consider buying a ready-to-wear dress from a brand you love, and wear that on our wedding day instead of a traditional bridal gown. You'll find great deals online, and there's no shortage of stunning non-bridal dresses available in white and ivory.
7. Buy a slightly larger dress and have it tailored. If you know you want a simple, streamlined dress, buying a slightly larger-sized gown and having it tailored to your exact shape can be a great way to get the dress of your dreams. Just keep in mind that this can be difficult if you opt for a dress with boning or lots of beading, so be mindful of the style of dress you purchase and talk to a tailor first.
8. Buy a custom-made dress. With so many talented designers selling their creations on sites like Etsy, buying a custom wedding gown is not as expensive as you might think! Read the designer's reviews and get yourself measured by a pro before placing your order, and you may find that buying a custom gown online is the best dress-shopping experience you've ever had!
The Lover.ly team