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House of Brides is an online wedding store that has multiple retail locations in the Chicago area. Unlike some of the lower-rated companies in our review that feature knock-off designer wedding dresses, House of Brides sells the actual designer wedding dresses at discounted prices.
Interestingly, online prices for House of Brides are much cheaper than their retail locations. This is important, because they don't honor the Internet prices in the stores. We found some poor reviews of the customer service in House of Brides stores, as well as complaints with delays in receiving wedding dresses when the stores had to order them directly. The owner of House of Brides was also in the news recently for pleading guilty to fraudulent sales tax returns. It seems that ordering online is a better option than buying in the store.
The website is an average looking website. The search for your wedding dress can be narrowed down by many categories including designer, price, neckline, waistline, fabric, sleeve length and much more. They do not offer alterations through their website and suggest that you try on the wedding dress at a bridal store before ordering to make sure the wedding dress is what you want. Of course, once you receive the wedding dress you can find someone locally who can make small changes for you.
Free shipping is offered on all wedding dress purchases. Unfortunately, House of Brides does not accept any returns whatsoever. Once the purchase is complete, the order cannot be cancelled or returned. That is a large risk, especially since some people may not be able to see the wedding dress in person.
Despite the good selection and fair pricing, House of Brides drops in our ratings due to some website functionality issues and the lack of any return policy.
Top Wedding offers a wide selection of wedding gowns, with more than 1,700 dresses in a variety of designs currently featured on their website. The site is easy to use, with left-hand navigation that allows brides to narrow down their options by price, silhouette, fabric, body shape, and several other categories. Customers can also sort by designer, but even their most popular one, Amaranta, didn't show up on any other retailers' sites; there are no dresses from more recognized names like Vera Wang or Oleg Cassini.
Top Wedding's customer reviews are a mixed bag. Some shoppers are very pleased with their purchase, stating that the dress exactly matched their expectations, was shipped on time, and that customer service handled any issues promptly. On the other hand, there are more than a few customers who had serious problems with getting orders delivered, with finding that the gown delivered was of much lower quality than what was pictured on the site, or that no help was offered by customer service until they posted a negative review online. Coupled with a discouraging F rating by the Better Business Bureau, these negative experiences make it difficult to know if a bride will receive the dress she wants in a timely fashion and if it will match what she saw on Top Wedding's website.
In fact, we suspect that Top Wedding is similar to other Chinese-based wedding retailers in our review that post images of dresses from high-end designers and then create copies to sell to their own customers. We found several dresses in the Morilee line by Madeline Gardner, for example, that are represented on Top Wedding's site with no mention of the designer, the line, or with any indication that the gowns sold are actually authentic.
Top Wedding's return policy is equally murky. On the return policy page, it says that there are no returns or exchanges on Dresses, unless the product received is incorrect (such as the wrong color, size, and so on). When reading through Top Wedding's detailed return instructions, it becomes clear that only returns that meet very strict criteria will actually be approved by their customer service department.
Although some customers have been very happy with their purchase from Top Wedding, their lack of accreditation and F rating with the BBB, along with seemingly sketchy practices (such as selling designer dresses with no credit given to those designers) leave us with a number of serious questions about the site's credibility. We strongly suggest that brides start their shopping with one of the more reputable retailers in our review.
Best Wedding Dresses
To help you find the Best Wedding Dresses, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of House of Brides and Top Wedding.
A wedding is one of the most special and memorable times of a woman's life. When getting ready for such an important day, every bride wants to feel attractive and confident. That all starts with a beautiful, well-fitting wedding dress.
Finding the right wedding dress, however, can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience. Driving from store to store, trying on different wedding dresses, and agonizing over limited selections can quickly turn the event into a nightmare.
Shopping for a wedding dress online can alleviate all of these frustrations. With the click of a mouse, you can browse through hundreds of wedding dresses from a variety of top wedding dress designers. You can find wedding dresses in all different sizes and colors, and often at a much lower cost than anything you can find in a local store.
However, not all wedding dress stores are the same. You should consider a few important factors when starting your wedding dress shopping effort:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best wedding dress stores available today. We hope this information helps you find that perfect wedding dress for your beautiful wedding!
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