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I Bought My Wedding Dress Online
Deciding to shop for my wedding dress online was easy. I was never that girl who dreamed of her wedding day, envisioning the beautiful white dress that would leave everyone in awe. Nope, not me!
In fact, I had it all planned out. It would be just me and him, a couple of witnesses, the closest family maybe. No fuss, no fancy arrangements and just a simple dress.
Well, that's not how things worked out! Family demanded a traditional wedding with all the bells & whistles, and that was it.
I decided at least to make the whole wedding-dress shopping experience easier on myself, though, by buying my dress online. And I'm writing about it for the future generations of online wedding dress shoppers too!
I have ordered my dress on April 4th, 2014, from the Chinese dressmaker: dressilyme.com
Waiting for the dress, update log:
According to Dressilyme, the site where I bought my dress, it takes 20-25 days to make it, and a few more days for it to be delivered by Fedex. I've ordered it on April 4th.
Update (April 6, 2014): The dressmaker started working on my dress!
Update (April 18, 2014): I've realized it would be more prudent to get the jacket in size 6 instead of size 4, and requested the dressmaker to make the change. They agreed.
Update (April 28, 2014): My dress was shipped today! According to Fedex, it's due on the 4th of May, just as I estimated when I placed my order almost a month ago.
Update (April 30, 2014): My wedding dress from China is finally here! It arrived earlier than expected, and turned out pretty good! Does need some alterations, but overall, I'm happy with it.
Update (May 15, 2014): Found a local seamstress and dropped off the dress for alterations. I have to take the dress in a lot in the chest area and a bit in the waist. Also, taking off the sleeve caps, as I can't fully raise my hands up wearing the dress. Cost: $70.
What I was looking for in a wedding dress
My shopping list is pretty simple. I want a dress that is lacy, figure hugging, full length, not strapless and with no train to sweep the floor!
Here are some lovely dresses that match my style:
Chances are, that wedding dress you found online is made in China. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but awareness is important when you make a big descision
How I chose my wedding dress
Choices, choices. So many choices for a dress!
In my country it's really common to throw out crazy money on a wedding dress. Even a rental for one night can easily cost you $3000. One of the reasons I preferred to buy my dress online, was to save some money.
So off to the wedding forums with me!
A short research highlighted several recommended Chinese websites with good reviews and convincing pictures. In those reviews, I found a site called Dressilyme which has great reviews as well as dresses that caught my eye.
After verifying with the site they could do the modifications that I wanted, I took the plunge and ordered my dress. It's being made right now and should arrive within a month. I spent a total of $295 for a dress, a jacket and the shipping.
You can see the dress of my choice from Dressilyme's catalog, on the right.
As soon as my dress arrives, I'll post pictures and conclusions of this experience!
How Chinese wedding dress sites work
taking a gamble with your dress
There are great many Chinese websites advertising beautiful wedding dresses for a fraction of the cost you'll pay in a bridal salon. But why are they so cheap? What exactly are you getting?
The dresses advertised on Chinese websites are gorgeous, but they are also imitations. The photos you will see are all of designer dresses ripped off designer websites and catalogs.
The Chinese dressmaker will create something similar to the advertised picture for you, but you can't expect it to be totally identical. This is something you should be aware of where buying online.
These Chinese dresses are not considered fake or illegal, they never pretend to be something they are not. They don't come with a designer's label. They're simply "inspired by".
Another thing you should know: the quality can vary wildly. You can order a dress based on a lovely picture and receive a cheap, lopsided rag. This is why doing your research and choosing a reputable dressmaker is super important.
The big color question: white or ivory?
My wedding dress is ivory. What's your color of choice?
Mistakes I made buying my wedding dress online
Not trying on dresses before making a choice - I knew right away this wasn't a smart thing to do, as I had no idea whether my chosen style would suit me.
On the other hand, going into bridal stores and trying out amazing dresses might have the unintended effect of making you buy one right there, disregarding the price. In any case, my dress luckily turned out alright.
Not hashing out all the details with the vendor before giving them money - I've communicated with the dressmaker about the changes in the train of the dress, and they agreed. However, I neglected to ask for pictures of the dress before shipping it, and after I've already paid, they refused.
When shouldn't you buy a wedding dress online?
Ordering your dress online is a serious gamble, which can be disastrous for some brides. I've made a list of reasons NOT to buy the dress online. If you fit the criteria - think twice before committing!
You NEED everything to be perfect - With a Chinese dressmaker, something is bound to go wrong. The dress might arrive with the wrong lace, be the wrong length or not look like the picture.
If these things will drive you crazy, it's best not to put yourself in the situation to begin with.
The big day is SOON - If you have less than 2 months till your wedding, buying a custom dress online isn't prudent, it might simply not arrive in time!
You're TOTALLY broke - While buying a dress online can be significantly cheaper than going to a bridal boutique, there's always the chance the dress will be really bad, especially if you go for the cheapest of the cheap.
There are other budget friendly options available, including wedding dress charities and second-hand dresses.
Would you buy your wedding dress online? - would you? wouldn't you? share it with me!
Would you buy your wedding dress online?
This page is a work in progress - I will keep updating as my dress-buying adventure unfolds