Attire and Accessories

How to shop for your wedding dress

CMGragainCMGragain
10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
member
edited December 2015 in Attire and Accessories
Here are some hints to make this easier.

1.  Look at pictures of dresses on line.  This is NOT the way to choose your dress.  You can't possibly tell how a dress will look on you by looking at a photo-shopped, super skinny model in a tortured pose, who is probably standing on a stool to make her look taller!  You can fall in love with the photo of the dress and then find out it looks blah on you. Copy a few of your favorite pictures and bring them with you to your first appointment.

2.  Go into some real bridal shops and try on dresses that are in your budget.  Show the salesperson your pictures so she will get an idea of what appeals to you.  Be sure and try on a few other styles, too.  Don't be surprised if you can't find the dresses you copied down.  There are thousands of dresses, and a small shop cannot carry all of them.  Remember, most brides choose something very different from what they had thought would be the dream dress.

3.  When you go dress shopping, don't take a big group of your friends.  They will confuse you with their differing opinions.  You want the dress YOU love, not the one they love.

4. NEVER TRY ON ANYTHING THAT IS OUT OF YOUR BUDGET!  Nope, not even just for fun.

5.  Now that you have found your dress, do not sign anything until you have read the entire paperwork, including the fine print!  Unless you are under the age of 18 (Horrors!), you will be entering into a legal contract when you give them a deposit and sign the paperwork.  Most shops do not allow you to change your mind once they have placed the order.  Be sure you get measured properly.  Ask about hidden costs, like shipping and alterations.

6.  Never buy a wedding dress on line.  99% of on line bridal dress sites are Chinese knock-off sites.  They make cheap (and I mean cheap in the negative sense) copies of your dress by looking at a photo of the original.  Could anyone make a copy of a $1500 dress for $289?  Of course not!  Don't waste your money on junk.  There are a few places in the USA that sell authentic dresses at a reduced price.  They are not internet ordering sites.  They have brick and mortar stores, and you must telephone them to place an order.

7.  If you do go elsewhere to buy your dress, make sure that they are licensed vendors of that designer.  Any reputable store will be happy to show you that.

8.  If you have any doubts at all, don't buy the dress.  Go home and think about it.  Dress regret is a bitch.
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Re: How to shop for your wedding dress

  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited September 2014
    @KnotPorscha, @buttercup1958 ; Can we make this a sticky?
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    doeydoKnottie86507765
  • I second.  This would make a really good sticky.  It would save a lot of ladies a lot of time, money, and heartache.
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  • And watch for trunk shows!
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  • emanon321emanon321
    25 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    edited September 2014

    Good advice to make sticky here.

    Though I am quite guilty of trying on dresses way outside my budget. My mom and I had a really good time with it! And it helped me deciding on styles I liked and didn't like and would go from there looking for dresses in my budget. And I even got some great pictures of the inside of one that was amazingly constructed! (shhh! Don't tell. The seamstress in me had to do it)

    DeniseJPKnottie86507765
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited September 2014
    Never buy online unless you get a great deal from a reputable site. I found my wedding dress during Davids Bridal semi annual $99 dollar sale. I had not tried on one wedding dress yet as my appointment was set for a later date. The sale was going to end, and I knew I had to have this dress but did not want to pay full price. It is originally a $600 dress but has been on sale for $349.00 since I bought it at $99. I am so happy that I did not wait to order it.
    Oh, buying from the DB site is fine.  They do accept returns on most dresses.  Check to be sure before you order, unless you have tried it on in person.  There are a few other reputable sites, but they are the exception, not the rule, unfortunately.  It's those horrible online Chinese knock off sites that are a bad idea!
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    Knottie1452098987
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
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    From reading on here - I'm going to add a little too:

    BEFORE YOU BUY - Do not be afraid to ask to speak with a seamstress.  I've seen quite a few posts recently of ladies who bought a dress with a low back and now cannot find a way to wear a bra or add cups or do anything else to help 'the girls' out.

    If pictures are one of your top priorities for your wedding - try to take a picture of the dress before you buy it.  Some dresses look great on the hanger, great on you looking in the mirror, but they just do not photograph well.

    Sleep on it!  So many girls get caught up in the moment and buy a dress when they've never really 'SEEN' themselves in the dress, they just heard everybody around them. 

    Brides on a budget - if you do not buy right away, there may be other shops in the area that sell the same designer.  You can call and see if they happen to offer the dress any cheaper.  I know the shop I purchased my dress was $250 less expensive than another shop.  If you had a wonderful experience at your shop, cost might not be an issue.


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    CMGragainblabla89Knottie86507765sunflowersandcurls
  • I agree - I ordered a few inches bigger than my normal size (I went against the grain and ordered online but was fortunate) and the dress that I received has room for the seamstress to work with. 

    A friend of mine has a friend who ordered "her size" wedding dress online and was disappointed when it did not fit (too small and nothing to work with).  Sizes are not the same - my dress size is a 1 in Chico's dress (equals an "8"), a normal "10-12" otherwise, depending on the cut and style of the dress... I wish the companies would not show "Photoshopped" anorexic models for any kind of clothing.  Just my humble two cents. :-)

    Knottie86507765sunflowersandcurls
  • One thing I do hate to see is people promoting Chinese rip off websites and alizeedress.com is a prime example of a website loaded with stolen images and impossible prices. They go further and have a review with a picture of the happy couple. Only problem is that picture was stolen from the review page of a USA website. 

    I bought a beautiful wedding dress online and it cost me £420 (less than $700) but I never promote the website I bought it from as I don't think this forum is the place to do that. All I will say is that it wasn't a Chinese website. The only site I have mentioned in my posts is one that does not promote any particular vendor but gives great information and advice and it shows real examples of the so called "high quality" delivered by companies like alizeedress. @CMGragain has some great advice above and is well worth noting. I suggest to steer well clear of websites like alizeedress and check out www.BrideStore.info to get excellent impartial information. 
    bsiKnottie86507765KimberlyR1002
  • The first time I went dress shopping was on a whim with my mom just for fun and I ended up finding my dress.  The woman next to me had about 8 people with her and they were all giving different opinions and it was too much.  I liked just having one opinion I knew I could trust so I didn't get overwhelmed with what everyone is saying and not get the one I want. I brought my bridesmaids back to show them my top choices (even though I already knew which one I wanted) and got their opinion then.  

  • Also, sometimes it might be cheaper with a custom made dress. I'm having my dress custom made for about $600-700, however it doesn't have any bling or plans for bling, but will have some detail. Really depends on what you want to do and what the seamstresses charge. 
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  • Also, sometimes it might be cheaper with a custom made dress. I'm having my dress custom made for about $600-700, however it doesn't have any bling or plans for bling, but will have some detail. Really depends on what you want to do and what the seamstresses charge. 
    What if you aren't happy with the results of your seamstress made dress?  You'll be stuck with it.  Unless you are accustomed to having your clothes made for you, I don't recommend this approach.
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  • CMGragain said:



    Also, sometimes it might be cheaper with a custom made dress. I'm having my dress custom made for about $600-700, however it doesn't have any bling or plans for bling, but will have some detail. Really depends on what you want to do and what the seamstresses charge. 

    What if you aren't happy with the results of your seamstress made dress?  You'll be stuck with it.  Unless you are accustomed to having your clothes made for you, I don't recommend this approach.


    Very true, it is a risk. A major one too. Unless you know the seamstress, and trust their work.
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    Knottie86507765paulsenwedding2016
  • I really agree with this. You can't beat what you see (and feel) in the shop!! Same goes for bridesmaid and flower girl dresses....I ordered one from China. It took 10 weeks to arrive and when it did it was really cheap and very heavy - winter weight! My mum made me one in the end....

    Read my Blog at http://bridechiller.blogspot.co.uk/

     

    sivannKnottie86507765
  • Hey, brides! I'm selling my Vera Wang wedding gown. Check it out if you are interested! : )




  • Ordering online is great, but sizing is a big problem.
  • Ordering online is great, but sizing is a big problem.
    How is ordering online great?  You don't know what you will be receiving.
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    Knottie86507765
  • I mean, one of the best benefit is the price, if you are lucky, you can get really good stuff. But I seldom try new websites, sizing varies and sometimes you can't believe how can that happen. I once bought a cocktail dress in my own size online, which turned out a size larger. Terrible!
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited December 2014
    I mean, one of the best benefit is the price, if you are lucky, you can get really good stuff. But I seldom try new websites, sizing varies and sometimes you can't believe how can that happen. I once bought a cocktail dress in my own size online, which turned out a size larger. Terrible!
    You are comparing apples and oranges.  The Chinese on-line sites sell cheap copies of the dress.  USA sites like Pearls Place, which are not on-line ordering sites, sell the authentic gown.  Not the same thing at all!  In addition, many Chinese "factories" are simply crowded rooms where children are forced to work.
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    Knottie86507765KimberlyR1002
  • Maybe you are right but you are overreacted. I'm trying to say online shopping is great, I don't mean ordering from Chinese websites, or any specific online store.
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited December 2014
    Maybe you are right but you are overreacted. I'm trying to say online shopping is great, I don't mean ordering from Chinese websites, or any specific online store.
    Sorry, but I am not overreacting.  There are NO reliable online sites except David's Bridal, Target, or Penney's in the USA.  There are telephone discount sites, such as Pearl's Place, RK Bridal, Netbride, but these are not on-line ordering sites.
    Please don't encourage people to try those horrible on-line copy sites for the most important dress they will ever buy.  We have seen so many tearful brides post about what a horrible experience they had.
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    Knottie86507765
  • OK, you are right, but you have ignored something really important. These tearful brides are heartbroken because they are in need of well made dresses at affordable prices in the first place. They won't go cheap websites if they can afford better. So the point is not whether ordering online is bad, the point is how to tell good websites from bad ones. Asking people not to buy bridal dresses online won's solve their problems, right?
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  • There is absolutely NO WAY you have ANY quality control if you order from a Chinese knock off website.  None!  Go read some posts on this board.  There are some crying over this right now.  Refunds?  Forget about it!
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    Knottie86507765
  • OK, I know that's true, in fact, I'm looking for a dress for myself, that's why I'm here. So please any good idea or place where I can get a dress for around 500$?
  • OK, I know that's true, in fact, I'm looking for a dress for myself, that's why I'm here. So please any good idea or place where I can get a dress for around 500$?

    Davids, preownedweddingdresses.com, Mori Lee


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    Knottie86507765sunflowersandcurls
  • Thanks, I'm checking them now.
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited December 2014
    Easy!  David's Bridal should be your first stop.  Check out their website.  Note that some dresses on clearance cannot be returned, so be careful.  Here are nine pages of dresses in your price range.  About one out of three USA brides get their gowns from DB.

    http://www.davidsbridal.com/Browse_wedding-dresses-gowns-$200-$39999

    Now go shopping at a real DB store and determine how the gowns fit you. You will probably need a larger size than you would normally wear.   Be sure and look at discontinued sample gowns. 
    Check out dresses in other bridal shops, too.  Good designers for budget brides are Alfred Angelo, Mori Lee, DaVinci.  Remember, lace is expensive.  If you can find a simple, but elegant style, you will be more likely to find a good buy.   If you fall in love with something just above your price range, you could try calling Pearl's Place during their business hours.  They can take your order over the telephone, but all sales are final, like in most bridal shops.  They will order the dress for you and have it mailed to you when it arrives.  They do not like to sell you a dress unless you have actually tried iti on somewhere.  Savings average 30% to 40%.  No savings on Maggie Sottero.  You must find an independent seamstress to do your own alterations.
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    Knottie86507765
  • http://www.bhldn.com/bridal-party-guests-view-all-dresses/juliette-dress-and-camille-topper-blush

    Is BHLDN safe to buy from online? That dress style looks like a million bucks on me from trying gowns on locally, but everyone locally keeps trying to put me in white/nearly white/fancy white. First, ick, I am pale as pale gets, white dresses make me look like a corpse. Second, with my adopted daughters, white feels wrong. I can't wear red, but a softer pink is my friend.

    As for BHLDN vs David's. BHLDN has a good return policy, so if it's an unprecedented nightmare on me, I can return it. Their online sizing charts appear on reviews to be accurate or a little big. David's in person had dresses all over on sizes, I went from a size 4 in a mermaids to a 16 in a ball gown. Plus, their returns appear to be near impossible. BHLDN does have brick and mortar stores, I'm just not near one.
    Knottie86507765KimberlyR1002
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