|Alika Circle Off White
$144 at Bettiepaige.com
So, I did exactly what David Tutera says NOT to do. I bought my dresses online. Yes. Not one dress, but two. And although I took a big risk, the pay off was amazing! I got two stunning dresses that fit me very well, even before I get them altered. In all, I paid less than $1000 for two dresses–Almost a 1/3 of what some brides pay for one white dress.
The best thing I like about shopping online is the price point. I saved almost $100 with coupon codes that I found online. Instead of buying traditional wedding dresses, I bought prom/pageant dresses–and both of them are more stunning that any wedding dress I’ve seen. I am completely satisfied.
I was worried about my mom not being able to shop with me for my dress, so I arranged with a local clothing store to let me try on both the gowns, as well as purchase a dress for my engagement photos. My mom and all my bridesmaids are coming, and my mom will see me in my dresses for the first time. I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds.
My suggestions for you if you are going to buy online:
1. Have a seamstress, your mom, or a friend take accurate measurements. A lot of designer dresses are made to their own specifications, so make sure you look at the sizing chart for THAT DESIGNER. All you have to do is Google the name of the designer and “sizing chart”, and most likely one will come up.
2. Make sure that the company is a verified dealer of the designer, or that their site says “Designer Dress Guaranteed”. You will see the difference when you put on a designer gown. No matter what size you are, they seem to make you look better. There are a lot of online places that sell knock-offs, so make sure if you are paying designer prices, you are getting a designer dress.
3. Make sure you have ample time (I’d say about 6 months) to order your dress. You may have to exchange it for a different size. Most sites seem to have an exchange policy where you can exchange in X amount of days for a small fee. Others charge you a restocking fee…usually about 25% of the cost for exchanges and returns, so make sure you read their exchange and refund policies before purchasing. Another reason you will want to give yourself time is because you probably will have to have your dress altered. Giving yourself time makes things so much better because you don’t have to worry if you need to make an exchange or you decide to change your mind and get another dress.
4. Look for coupon codes. Just go to http://www.retailmenot.com and look up the website of the place you are going to buy from. They may have a coupon code for free shipping or a percentage off of your purchase.
5. If you are having a spring or summer wedding, consider prom season if you are buying a non-traditional dress, (i.e. prom or pageant dress). Many of these items are on back-order because of proms. Some sites also have a lay-away program to reserve your dress.