We all would like to know how to have the wedding dress of your dreams, and not pay 5 figures for one night's wear, right? It requires time, a bit of thought, and research. With prices as low as $500 for a wedding dress and beautiful photos all over the internet, the option of buying online is pretty tempting, However, like everything else, you need to consider the pros and cons before making this decision.
Same as us, you have probably heard plenty of stories over the years. Sometimes it goes great, with over the moon results. Sometimes it finishes in lots of tears. Hundreds of tales of poor workmanship, ill fitting dresses, or simply receiving the wrong design. Brides searching frantically for a local dress vendor, at the last moment, to try to fix or adjust the dress. I guess this situation can happen with anything bought online. Without seeing, trying, or measuring it first, there's always a risk.... but the wedding dress can't just go wrong, can it?
If you're thinking of buying your wedding dress online then it's important to do your research. Below are a few tips that might help,
1/ Know whether the dress you're buying is used, off-the-shelf or custom made, and try to buy a style where it won't matter too much if your measurements aren't exact. (Basically, the more fitted the dress, the more exact the measures needed.)
2/ Make sure you know where the dress is being shipped from. Some sites that appear to be Australian or US based are Chinese companies. Take particular caution if buying on eBay, where this information can be even harder to ascertain.
3/ If buying from overseas, make sure you know the drill when it comes to refund or fix-it policies. You won't be protected under Australian (or United States or other country as applicable) consumer law if you buy from off-shore.
Courtesy photo above: Nathan Lapham
4/ Try to find out where the dress is made. Many Australian based retailers are just reselling Chinese made dresses. At least though, you'll have the protection of Aussie consumer law and the seller will presumably have checked the dress for quality before offering it for sale.
5/ Regardless of whether you buy your dress online, or from an overseas or Australian supplier, write down your body measurements at the time of purchase, and take a screenshot of the ones you submitted to your vendor. You wonder why...?Often brides try to loose weigh or get toned at the gym before the big day, and you may change your body shape over the months close to the wedding. If that's the case, and you bought your dress slightly bigger than needed, you may be able to find a local vendor to adjust it and make it fit. Losing weight can be great, but maybe not so much when buying a dress online.....and it's definitely not the vendor's fault. However, in other situations it could be, so writing down the measurements can help with certain disagreements. We have heard through our clients that some local suppliers buy their dresses overseas. No surprise or issue there... But sometimes they also receive the wrong size from their manufacturers, and try to convince you that your measurements have changed. Its not good at all., and hopefully is a very small minority of stores. Either way, write down your measurements and take a photo of the ones you submit to them. Online or not, if bought from an Australian business, you are at least protected by the Australian Consumer Law.
6/ Have realistic expectations. When you buy locally in person, you have several fittings for the dress to ensure it's comfortable and hangs properly. You miss out on this when you buy online and the maker has to simply go by the measurements you provide.
7/ Talk to others, read reviews before purchasing or read online about other people's experiences with buying dresses online. You'll gain valuable insight into the process and may save yourself money and more importantly, heartache.
8/ Allow yourself plenty of time. Whilst your body may change if training or dieting, it is best to know well in advance what you are getting. That way, if the dress is not what you expected, you can always purchase a second dress locally..
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