If you’re like me and dreamed your whole life of getting married, then you probably have a lot of ideas about what you want the lead up to that experience to be like.
I bought my wedding dress online and there were a lot of ups and downs to doing it that way. I want to talk about them, so that if you’re considering doing the same you won’t have to go in completely blind and not knowing what to expect like I did.
There are things you miss out on doing it this way, but there’s a lot of good things too.
DRESS SHOPPING: Pro and Con
If you’ve watched any episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, you probably have an expectation of what this will be like. But whether you buy your dress online or not, it’s probably not going to be like it is on TV. That doesn’t mean it won’t still be wonderful, but just keep an open mind.
If you’re a size 10 or above, the chances you find a dress in store to fit you will vary widely based on where you go. But realistically, most places won’t have sizes to fit you in store. They order them once you pick your style. So you’ll be trying on a dress too small for you that may knock your confidence a bit. And potentially, make you feel a little ridiculous to try and come out to show your family a dress that’s too small for you.
However, if you order your dress online, especially custom made, you’re not likely to encounter this. You’ll (barring occasional disastrous outcomes that do happen no matter where you shop) receive a dress that will fit you already, even if it needs a little alteration. You’ll likely see more immediate results of how you look and they may be more positive right off.
When you go dress shopping at a store, you can bring family, friends, and make a whole event of it. It can be very exciting and a good way to make memories.
You don’t really get this when you shop for a wedding dress online. You don’t get to make an event of taking your family, friends, bridesmaids shopping. And this is really the weakest point of online shopping. To be honest, almost my only regret about the process of planning my wedding was that I didn’t get to involve my grandmother in picking out my wedding dress as much as I would have liked to.
There are still ways to involve your family, though. Personally, me, my sisters, and my mom would all pile onto the couch and look at inspiration pictures for my wedding dress, trying to find the best aspects of each that would look perfect on me. I was able to send all these to whatever friends and relatives and not be constrained by the timeline of a single appointment at a bridal shop.
One of the biggest pros in favor of online shopping is custom made dresses. You can find these elsewhere, but the price point is usually much higher.
Unlike any dress you’d find in a shop, you can create a completely unique design that no one else will have. The designer will usually give you an opportunity to get a draft image of what your design is (the one I got was detailed and cost about $50). By the way, for your own sake, actually make sure to do this if its offered. After I got my draft image of the dress design, I actually asked for a few changes, since I realized certain things needed to be tweaked slightly.
You can create the dress of your dreams, sometimes even without breaking the bank (depending on what your dream dress is obviously). I got my dream dress and it only cost me about $850 for the dress and the veil!
It depends on what you want as to which path is the best for you.
If you’re looking to have the experience of shopping with your family and trying on dresses, don’t shop online. Just don’t do it. You’ll break your own heart. If the experience is what you want and you’re more flexible on design, shop in person. This type of shopping is also easier if you’ve got a bigger budget.
Now, if you’re a bride with a very particular taste (possibly involving modesty requirements) or if you’d like a little more design input and a more unique dress, online is probably the way to go. I just advise still showing pictures of your ideas to all your friends and family, involving them as much as you can (or want to), just so you still have some of the experience that comes with dress shopping.
I’m personally a little biased in favor of online shopping, but it’s largely because it fit my needs the most. I just wanted to lay out some of the best and worst parts of each, to give you a way to make your own decision. I wasn’t really able to benefit from someone else’s prior knowledge when it came to online wedding dress shopping, so I wanted to spare others from feeling insecure about it.
Best of luck!