Look, we're all modern women here right? Online shopping is awesome - it's convenient, easy, and so much fun when that little gift to yourself arrives promptly on your doorstep! But we can probably all admit to having been caught out on occasion by a few of the pitfalls too. The sizing is wrong, it doesn't look like the pic online, and all of a sudden there's no way to contact the site for help.
Shopping for your wedding gown is no different, and there are a lot of designers selling online (sometimes exclusively), so what to do if you've fallen in love with a dress you can't take off the rack and try on before putting your hard-earned cash down?
It's one of the most important wardrobe purchases you'll ever make and fear not, I'm here to make it easy for you. Follow these tips and you can't go wrong!
1. Do a bit of sneaky stalking
Yep, jump online and start doing some detective work on the brand's social media. If they have no social media, then just stop, we're done here. There's no reason why an honest, reliable brand wouldn't have up-to-date accounts. Look for recent, frequent posts and feedback from previous brides. Next-level stalking involves sending off a message (perhaps a query regarding the dress you love) through their 'contact' button and waiting for a quick, informative reply. If they can't tick all these boxes then back away girl!
2. Check the T's & C's
Before purchasing from any online store, you need to thoroughly check the terms & conditions and make sure they work for you. I know, super-boring, but also super-helpful in times of crisis! Key points to read up on include delivery times, shipping charges, and the returns policy. If you're unsure about sizing, a flexible returns policy allows you to order two dresses and return the one that isn't right. While we're on that, make sure there is a good sizing chart available to you, and it's not a bad idea to have a good dressmaker measure you properly too.
3. Be prepared for alterations
If your dream dress arrives and it fits perfectly, then hurrah, pop the bubbles! If not, don't despair, remember that dressmaker who took your measurements? Go back and ask if she can now make the alterations you need. Even when buying off the rack, most brides have to get alterations done, usually to the length at least (hands up all my fellow short girls!), so it's nothing to worry about.
And now, a word about bridesmaids...
4. Bridal Parties must all order their gowns at the same time
I cannot emphasise this one enough ladies. If your bridesmaids are buying online, then please, order them all together. I know it can be tricky to organise and it will seem easier to let each girl do it at their convenience, but just don't okay? One order for all will mean your dresses are made from the same dye lot (avoiding slight colour variations), they will all arrive at the same time (making alterations so much easier), and there is no chance that someone leaves their ordering too late only to find the dress is no longer available. Disaster my friends!
Finally, what if you're expecting the pitter-patter of tiny feet...
5. Shopping for a pregnant bride or maid
There's no doubt this adds an extra layer of complication, but it's nothing that can't be dealt with fairly easily, and a new little one should be celebrated! The general rule is to jump up two dress sizes when ordering for pregnant women. This gives room for the lovely bump to expand without the mother-to-be stressing about how her dress will fit. A gown that is too big can always be taken in and fitted to suit, but a garment that is too small can be almost impossible to make work.
Do you have anything to add to these tips? I'd love to hear from you!
Also, if you'd like to get this kind of advice through all aspects of planning your wedding then please give us a call, drop us an email, or even better, fill out an inquiry form through the link on our Contact page. Speak soon! Emma xo