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Where to Shop for A Wedding Dress

Tuesday, October 19th

Where to Shop for a Wedding Dress

Choosing your wedding dress is an exciting time but can also be very overwhelming for a number of reasons. Whether your short on time, have limited local dress shops or have a strict budget there are alternatives to shopping from a traditional bridal shop. For those planning a wedding, the internet will provide several benefits in your dress search effort:

What to look for

There are a variety of features to look for when shopping for a wedding dress:

  • Comparison Shop. The internet allows you to quickly identify a number of wedding dress styles, materials, dress lengths and more, across several companies, with the click of a mouse. Dress shops have limited hours and often require an appointment to see their selection. Comparing dresses across several bridal shops would potentially take many weeks and would be a challenge to do. Online dress shops allow you to quickly refine your search to sheaths, beach wedding, long trains, off white and more. With the click of a few buttons you are you on your way to finding a perfect dress quickly and effectively.
  • No Sales Pitch. Wedding shop employees are often paid on a commission. You're going to feel that push and pressure when you're standing in their dress and their wanting you to buy the most expensive of the bunch. At that very moment you'll realize they probably aren't being truthful in how great you may or may not look. An advantage of shopping for a bridal gown online is that you don't have a salesperson anxious to make a hefty commission breathing down your neck. You can shop in the privacy of your own home, with no pressure. Let your imagination and your heart guide you as you examine each beautiful gown, not a sales person looking to make a dime and move on to their next bride.
  • Pricing. If you are driving around town and possibly even looking out of town for the best price on your favorite dress you will be wasting your time. The internet allows you to quickly identify your dress for the best price without leaving your home. Internet shops also have much lower pricing as a result of reduced overhead. No matter for how long or hard you search for a dress via your car you'll find local bridal shops can't compare to online prices.
  • Dress Selection. A traditional bridal shop has a budget to maintain and will limit the number of dresses they carry as a result of space and cost. Online bridal shops don't have to worry about space and this significantly increases their selection for shoppers. If you need a unique size, have a particular style you're looking for or simply want something that's hard to find shopping online will allow you the greatest selection to choose from.
  • Background Check. We've all heard of stories where a bride has put her money down to learn in a month the company has gone out of business and she's out hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Shopping online gives you the convenience of checking out a company's background and history before making a decision. Use independent product reviews to find a strong choice. These companies do a good job of narrowing down the competition and identifying customer service, selection, prices, return policies and more. Also use the Better Business Bureau website to help weed out potential problem companies.
  • Convenience. Many people have very tight schedules between activities, school, and there job. Working bridal salon appointments into your hectic schedule can be nearly impossible. The internet allows you to shop at midnight, at 8:00 am or on Sunday when it's more convenient for you.
  • Return Policy. Many internet companies provide solid return policies. Should you not like the dress that appears at your door step simply return it within the stated time frame and you'll get your money back. Whereas, most bridal shops have limited return policies and hefty associated fees. Either way, make sure you understand the return policy at any online store or retail shop before purchasing.

The internet is a great way to compare and contrast many beautiful wedding dresses in the convenience of your home with no pushy sales lady giving you harsh looks or insisting you buy the most expensive gown. The internet also provides the best pricing on wedding gowns and allows brides to choose from a large selection of designers that fit well within their budget.

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Wedding Dress Store FAQ

Congratulations! You can start looking for your dress whenever you like, but a good rule of thumb is to have your date and venue arranged first - so that you'll have an idea of the season, look and theme for your wedding. (For example, a beach wedding in August requires a very different dress from a cathedral wedding in January!)
Most off-the-rack dresses will fall somewhere in the $500-$3000 range, but you can find options priced much lower and much higher. You'll likely need alterations as well, so don't forget to factor in those costs (which will depend on which service you use).
In today's world, you can buy anything on the web - including a wedding dress! In fact, as many as 20% of brides in the US get their dresses online. If you've had a hard time finding one that you love locally, the internet may be your best option. Online retailers of wedding dresses make it much easier to find the right sizes, hottest trends, and all of the accessories to match.
That can be tricky, but almost every single online wedding dress store has a helpful sizing guide. You can usually reach out to the store's customer service team for extra help in taking measurements and finding several dresses to choose from that should be a good fit. Keep in mind that wedding dresses tend to be sized differently from regular clothes, often 1-2 sizes higher than what you wear day-to-day. (So unfair, we know!)
For wedding dresses, it's usually free. (Good luck finding anything else about your wedding that will be!) A few retailers have a minimum order requirement, but let's be honest: with as much as you'll spend on a wedding dress, you probably won't have a hard time reaching that amount!
That's probably the biggest fear brides-to-be have when buying their wedding dress online, but rest assured that most stores let you send it back - as long as it's still in new condition with all tags attached (no wearing it for your big day and then returning it!). Make sure you read the return policy of any store you're considering for your purchase, though: some don't accept returns under any circumstances!
When budgeting and planning for wedding attire, many brides forget that it's not just the dress. You'll need shoes, any desired accessories like a veil, gloves, and/or jewelry, and suitable undergarments!
Great question, because without preservation your dress may yellow or oxidize, experience mold or mildew, or be permanently creased in the wrong places. You can pay a professional to preserve your wedding dress; expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $700 for the service.
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