(Closed) What were your experiences buying your dress online?

posted 4 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I went to stores to try on d r eases,  but I was also open to buying a dress if it ticked all the boxes.  None did since there were certain nonnegotiable modesty criteria and it’s incredibly hard to find that in a salon in Dallas,  like I found one at a consignment shop that would have been easy to add a lining to, but the silhouette was all wrong,  it was a sheath and I wanted an a line. So online I went.  It’s still in process with an expected completion date of Feb 23. I’ll update in the China wedding dress thread when I get the dress in.  

Ordering was easy, I circled elements from dresses I tried on and sent the dressmaker the pics and she spoke really good English and is going to incorporate the elements into the dress. I also ordered a pre-owned MoriLee dress for $20 off eBay and I really like it,  but it’s a little tight and not exactly what I envisioned.  Still I’m happy to have a backup if the other dress doesn’t work out. 

Okay,  I’ll admit I ordered a $30 eBay custom dress too,  mostly just to see what would come in.  It’s expected to be delivered by the end of the month lol.  We’ll see,  the custom designed one I’d $217 with shipping.

Good luck! Don’t rule out consignment shops,  I found some beautiful dresses there and quite a variety of designers and silhouettes.  If I didn’t really want a modest dress,  I would have snatched up one of the dresses I tried on in the consignment store and been over the moon about the dress and price.    

Post # 3
1815 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

We bought our grandmothers, mothers, maid of honour, bridesmaids and flower girls dresses online. The dresses arrived in less than a month then we took the dresses to a reputable seamstress for alterations. New York Dress was fabulous there was no delays and the dresses almost fit perfectly. I was really impressed 

Post # 4
999 posts
Busy bee

I was considering buying a dress online last year. I found an Etsy shop with lots of good reviews. They were in China, and quoted me 30 business days to make the dress, but the shipping time seems VERY low, they said “upto 7 business days”.

I’ve ordered things from China before, and 40-30 business days was what I experienced.

So I was not confident with the timeline.

However they did give me a very detailed breakdown on pricing which was good.

I decided against the purchase for other reasons.

Later I was looking on Amazon, and found several dress sellers, by different names, but they had identical product descriptions, so I suspect it’s all one person or one company advertising under different names. While the pictures looked nice, the few reviews I could find were not encouraging and a lot of buyers said “you get what you pay for, I went the cheap route and got something that’s obviously cheap, bad stiching, material problems, et cet”.

I have not encountered anybody who actually did buy a custom dress online and had a good experience, which made me decide against doing it.

Post # 5
3076 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

View original reply
ladyartichoke :  I purchased a preowned dress online and my experience was great! But, I did go to a bridal shop first to try on dresses to determine what I liked / looked best first.

Post # 6
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

I ended up with a $240 Etsy dress. It wasn’t a Chinese dress, and it wasn’t custom. I made sure it had a return policy first. That’s my biggest advice — don’t get something online without a return policy unless you can afford to potentially be out the money if it doesn’t work. That was what scared me about custom dresses. 

I ordered and returned 4 dresses from other online vendors before I settled on the “one.” The four I ordered and returned all came from sites like Neiman Marcus or BHLDN, so I wasn’t worried about getting screwed or not being able to make a return.

I did go David’s at one point, too. I would recommend that. Don’t feel bad about it; who knows, you might find something at the boutique and end up purchasing there! I thought it was a really helpful step because it gave me a much clearer idea of what to look for when shopping online. 

I’ll admit that the Etsy purchase made me a little nervous, but the shop was established and had lots of good reviews. She also had a decent social media presence, so it wasn’t a fly-by-night operation. 

For what I paid, I was thrilled with the dress. The quality is really impressive, and the only alteration it needed was a hem.  


Post # 7
2761 posts
Sugar bee

I bought my dress online, from BHLDN. It was purchased on a whim because it was about 70% off and there were only a couple left in my size, but it ended up being a keeper. I personally wouldn’t have bought it if it didn’t have a return policy, though. I actually ordered several other dresses (another from BHLDN, one from Lulus) before I decided on the one I’m planning to wear.  I had also gone and tried on dresses in person. 

Post # 8
707 posts
Busy bee

I bought a white by vera Wang gown from David’s bridal online. I went to David’s bridal to try on the dresses I was considering and i decided which dress i want later in the day. I decided to purchase online because it’s in stock and ready to ship online but ordering in store takes 6 months for the dress to come in. Furthermore, David’s bridal always have better deals that are exclusive to online. I ended up buying two wedding dresses and a veil for my pre wedding photo shoot. 

Post # 10
69 posts
Worker bee

View original reply
ladyartichoke :  

Personally, I have and will only ever buy from reputable preowned sites and stores that have an actual brick and mortar store such as BHLDN and Katie May, and from reputable Etsy shops with at least 99% 5-star reviews. 

I did not buy a dress made from scratch from an online store, but I bought a topper and a skirt separately. I am from UK too and bought from UK stores because I hate 20% custom fees. I tried senidey and wildernessbrides (both etsy). I was asked for measurements (I suggest you get these from a good seamstress, not your sister or yourself) and a toile was made and posted to me (not all shops make toiles, its like a cheap fabric mockup to test the fit) and after some adjustments, the real item was made and posted to me. I allowed much longer than needed, half a year as I was paranoid about things going wrong or missing but you could get away with 3 months. Or 2.

I was fairly happy with my custom pieces. But most people will have fit issues so allow budget for further alterations, make sure you already have a good seamstress waiting.

I went to many salons, some of them I went because I really like the dresses but just did not end up buying. I recommend that you still go because the consultants will talk to you and teach you a lot of things you never knew. It’s very informative! You may even end up buying from them even if you didn’t want to at first so I don’t think its that rude, but if you are concerned, PLENTY of London shops charge for appointments (esp higher end boutiques) so you can pay them for their time even if you don’t buy. I would suggest The Wedding Gallery, they have plenty of styles from plenty of brands and they charge £30.

Bring your mom to your local appointments so she can feel involved. Bring her to alterations after you got your dress. Allow her to specify one part of the dress if you like (the neckline, or the shape, or the length, or what kind of sleeves etc)

Post # 11
3379 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

View original reply
ladyartichoke :  I had an absolutely fantastic experience buying my dress from Etsy, I am so so happy with how the dress turned out. To answer your questions:

If you bought your wedding dress online what was the process like?  How much time did you allow? I ordered my dress from an American shop to the UK about 10 months in advance, so left myself a ton of time in case it didn’t work out. It took about 2 months to come. If you are in the UK and buying off Etsy from an international seller, get ready for a steep customs charge (mine was £92). My seller offered exchanges if you didn’t like the dress for any other dress in her shop, so I could switch it with another one if I really didn’t like it (unless you did any custom size or alterations), but did not offer refunds.

Were you happy with the dress? Absolutely thrilled. I love it way more than any of the 100 or so dresses I tried on in salons. I actually think the materials, especially the lace was much better quality than most I had seen. And for a great price!

What were your considerations when choosing an online vendor? Price was my main consideration. Also style, I knew I really wanted sleeves but I could barely find any sleeved dresses in stores! (this was about 1.5 years ago, it seems like my love of sleeves is coming back in style)

What did you do in preparation?  eg I am considering going to a salon to try basic shapes on but I worry this is rude. I went to 6 different bridal salons to try on dresses, please please do this! It is not rude in any way. Most of the salespeople absolutely did not expect me to buy a dress that day. And this is crucial to understand how styles really look on you. I also spent months on Etsy trying to find the perfect dress, comparing costs and contacting people who had wrote reviews for my seller. 

And a personal question: how should I get my mum involved if I do end up buying online? Take your mom with you to try on dresses in salons, and then keep her up to date on what dresses you are looking at online. This is what I did and it worked out great! 

Best of luck bee, I hope you have a similarly fantastic experience 🙂

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