POPSUGAR Celebrity

The Hassle-Free Guide to Buying Your Wedding Dress Online

Jan 17 2016 - 8:22am

Shopping for a wedding [1] dress can be equal parts amazing and totally stressful experience. Trying on several dresses a day for a few solid weekends is enough to wear a bride out, especially if she can't find the perfect fit. While you could virtually try on thousands of gowns [2], thanks to Brides.com and TLC [3], your other option is to shop online for your dream dress.

Photo by Esther Sun Photography [4] via Style Me Pretty [5]

Don't think it's possible to find the perfect gown online? Emily Newman of the fabulous Once Wed [6] gave us tips and advice on how to do it right. Spoiler: it's easier than you think!

POPSUGAR: What should a bride know before starting her online search (i.e. measurements, the type of shoe she will be wearing, etc.)?


Emily Newman: The first thing a bride should know is what type of style she is going for on her wedding [7] day. The dress can really set the tone and mood for the entire wedding day and should coordinate appropriately. For example, if she is having an outdoor garden wedding, then a tea-length dress would be sweet. However, if the wedding is inside a formal hotel ballroom, then she might be better suited in a full-length gown. Of course, nothing is set in stone, and some rules are meant to be broken.

PS: What are some potential pitfalls when going online to purchase a wedding dress?

EN: Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there, so it is important to be cautious when it comes time to buying the actual wedding dress online. I always suggest using secure payment options when buying online. Never pay for a dress online with a check, wired money, money order, or cashier check.

PS: Once Wed is a great place to find hundreds of dresses, but do you recommend any other places to look for a gown online?

EN: You can check out sites like Preowned Wedding Dresses [8] or the classified ads on Weddingbee [9]. And, of course, there is always Ebay and Craigslist. All four have great options for designer wedding dresses for less.

PS: What kind of return policy should I look for on a wedding dress?

EN: It is common for sellers not to offer returns. In fact, you will find most sellers use policies like "All Sales Are Final." In cases where a seller does have a return policy, then it is standard for them to implement a five percent restocking fee. So, no need for alarm.

PS: Is it more difficult to find what you're looking for when you haven't tried anything on?

EN: Yes, I think the best thing a bride can do before shopping online is to try on some dresses in person. Get a feel for the type of style and fit that you prefer. Cap sleeves vs. strapless, or empire vs. A-line, etc.

PS: Do you have any additional tips for first-time brides who have never tried anything on but are looking to find a dress on a budget?

EN: Rule number one is be patient. When looking for a dress online, it takes time to find the perfect one. Eventually, the one you're looking for will pop up. And always be sure to use a secure payment option to purchase your dress online. Happy dress hunting!

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