Tips for Buying a Wedding Dress Online

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Wedding dressesI might be dating myself here, but when I got married there was no way I would have purchased a wedding dress online.  Heck, I’m not even sure the Internet existed when I took the plunge!  But nowadays, as the Internet grows and matures, this practice is becoming more and more common because it allows brides-to-be to shop all over the world at any time, day or night.  It also helps facilitate comparison shopping.  However, you must be careful not to get burned.  Read on for 5 tips.

First and perhaps most importantly, only shop at reputable online stores.  Stick with brands that you’ve heard of, and always check out all the online reviews.  If possible, get one or more recommendations before you start your online adventures.  And if you receive poor customer service right from the get-go, shop elsewhere.

Second, always read the store’s policies, especially as it relates to shipping and returns.  You might find it difficult to identify an online wedding dress store that has a good return policy (or any return policy for that matter), so be super careful.  Additionally, if you’re going with a custom dress, many shops will require a deposit so do not move forward unless you are 100% certain that you’ll be patronizing that particular shop.

Third, make sure your measurements are accurate!  As I just mentioned, returning a wedding dress purchased online is pretty hit or miss, and if you order one that is inappropriately sized due to your own initial inaccurate measurements, there’s a good chance you’ll be screwed.  A good practice is to get multiple measurements from multiple people: mother of the bride, matron of honor, local tailor, etc.  There’s an old saying in carpentry – measure twice, cut once – and that same principal applies here.

Fourth, avoid waiting until the last minute.  You never know how long an order might take, especially in the case of a custom design, and you’ll also want to leave enough time for any alterations that might be necessary.  Plus, you’ll have shipping time tacked on as well.  So make sure online dress shopping one of the first things on your wedding planning checklist.

Finally, even if you plan to order your dress online, don’t deprive yourself of the physical shopping experience.  Before you start poking around online, visit a few dress shops with friends and family, and actually try on a few dresses to get a sense of what you might be looking for.  Doing this will allow you to enjoy the experience, even if you plan to ultimately order the dress online.

I hope you found these 5 online wedding dress shopping tips to be both useful and informative.  The bottom line is that shopping online has benefits, but it’s always a matter of ‘buyer beware.’  So be careful, and good luck!

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