Online vs Custom-made vs Bridal Shop for your Wedding Dress
Feeling a lot of pressure in finding that perfect wedding dress? We know the feeling! While this moment is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with so many dresses to choose from, it can be very overwhelming. And yes, it can be stressful. Just imagining how your wedding dress sets the tone of the wedding as a whole and how it will remain forever in your wedding photos, can add to the pressure.
Now, where to start? Where can you find that perfect wedding dress you are aiming for? With your budget to consider, as well as your timeline and personal style, where is the best place to shop for your wedding dress? Let’s discuss three major options and think about the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Nowadays, almost everything can be bought online. Whether it’s stationery, food or, yes, even your wedding dress can be ordered online. It may be surprising to hear, but a lot of brides actually do order their wedding dress online. It may not appear to be your cup of tea. But these factors are some of the reasons why a lot of brides today choose to order their dream wedding gown online.
- Budget – If you are on a tight budget, buying your wedding dress online is a great choice. They are typically cheaper dresses than those displayed in physical stores. In addition, you can easily do a price comparison. It is easy to narrow down your choice by selecting dresses according to your body type, dress style, budget range and even types of a neckline. Not only that, a lot of online stores offer discounts that can add up to your savings.
- Shopping Experience – Not all brides have the luxury of time to go from one wedding shop to another. That’s why online wedding dress shopping has been saving a lot of brides in the recent years. Brides no longer need to beat wedding shops’ opening hours just to see a few wedding dresses. They no longer have to spend long hours to go over racks after racks of wedding dresses just to end up empty handed. Shopping online gives the luxury of flexible time for busy brides because they can shop anywhere, at any given time. It can be during a short lunch break or for hours. Moreover, it’s easier to go back, view dresses and make comparisons with offerings from different sellers.
- What you need to watch out for – You still need to be careful where you buy your wedding dress online. Be wary of scam and misrepresentations of the products and services provided. Always look for customer reviews before you click the ‘Buy’ button. You should also try to contact the seller directly so that you know how to contact them in case something is wrong with your order. Don’t be afraid to ask for more information and clarification to convince yourself that the seller and dress are right for you. It is also important to know the timeline of how long it takes to make and/or deliver the goods to you. Check on any extra costs for shipping, especially with regards to return policies in case you’re not happy with what arrives on your doorstep. This will not only save you money, it can also save you from a lot of stress if anything goes wrong because you are not fully informed. And like with all online purchases, exercise due care when paying for your dress. For example, make sure that the payment portal is secure and always check your bank statement to make sure only the right amount is charged.
- Disadvantage – Remember that you cannot try the fit of the wedding gown before purchase. So it is best to know your measurements as well as whether a dress style is suitable for your body shape. Some brides can be sentimental and would kill to experience bridal fittings on several occasions. But if you are a less finicky, straight forward, less drama kind of bride, you can go ahead and click that ‘Buy’ button.
Some brides can be a little unsure of what they really want for a wedding dress. That’s why they make time to visit wedding dress shops not only to check out a wide selection of wedding dresses but also to find a little help from a wedding dress consultant and a little support from mom and yes, the rest of her entourage. Are you the type of bride who will purchase her dream wedding gown in a shop? Before saying yes, check out the following.
- Budget – Wedding shops can offer a wide array of selections depending on the bride’s budget. Of course, with a bigger budget, your chances of finding that perfect wedding dress are much higher. Don’t worry, brides on a budget, you can still find yours with the help of a shop consultant. They can lay down all the possible choices depending on your style and budget.
- Shopping Experience – As a bride, you must expect that this will never be easy, especially if you don’t know what you are really looking for. There can be disappointments. It can be overwhelming. But unlike shopping online, you can actually see and feel the texture of the wedding dresses. You can also fit all the wedding dresses you like if you have the time and patience to do so! And best of all, you can actually see yourself wearing the wedding dress and have a feel if that is ‘The One’. If you have any questions, then there are experts who can answer them.
- What you need to watch out for – Do not hesitate to ask help from your wedding dress consultant/shop consultant. Don’t just pick a wedding dress because you like how it looks. Ask for an expert advice. What is my body type? Will this wedding dress suit my body type? Does is accentuate the best part of my body? What are the trends like? Also, don’t be shy to ask about the last season’s rack or the discount rack. You might be surprised that after all the racks and racks of wedding dresses, your dream wedding gown is just at the back waiting for you (not to mention cheaper too!). Also, you probably will need to set aside a considerable chunk of time to visit the shop(s).
- Disadvantage – Because of the number of wedding shops a bride can go to, brides can be indecisive and end up cramming and end up in even more visits because they haven’t found ‘The One’. That’s why it is best to do your research first, what may work for your body, what would go with the theme of your wedding, your budget, and your personal style. This way you’ll avoid spending too much money on gas and wasting time, going from one wedding shop to another, from one weekend to another.
Custom-made Wedding Dresses
If you’re the kind of bride who wants to be original and unique, then a custom-made wedding dress may work for you. But take note, there are certain factors you need to consider before having a custom-made wedding dress.
- Budget – Expect that a custom-made wedding dress can be expensive. The price depends on the type of materials used and the complexity of the design. Is it made of lace? Does it have a lot of bead work? How long is your bridal veil? Remember that this wedding dress is designed and made only for you for your big day. Remember that it takes a lot of time to develop the design and pattern that will suit your personal style, body type and the theme of your wedding.
- Shopping Experience – Finding the designer to work with you for your dream wedding dress can be a little tricky. Do your own research by looking at their creations, their style, the materials they are using and of course, their price range. The moment you start working with them can be exciting. Take note that their design is like an artwork, one-of-a-kind and unique. So be open-minded and consider their inputs and suggestions. Keep in mind that this collaboration of ideas is something you can be proud of from years to come. You know that your wedding dress is created especially for you.
- What you need to watch out for – Don’t forget to inject your individuality. It is very important that people can see you in that dress. Yes, designers can create couture wedding dresses that you often see on wedding magazines but, is this you? Is this want you really want? Always talk to your designer if you feel like something is not right. After all, you are paying for this wedding dress. It has to be your dream wedding dress, not anyone else’s. Also, take note of the timeframe. Custom-made wedding dress takes time to finish.
- Disadvantage – If you are a bride getting married 2 months from now, then this option is not best for your situation. Custom-made wedding dress takes months to make. It will require a number of fittings and alterations to make it ready for the wedding day. Another factor to consider is, a majority of custom-made wedding dresses are expensive.
All images by Picture Perfect Photography
A lot of brides would agree that one of the best parts of their wedding preparation is shopping for the wedding dress. Yes, it can be stressful and tiresome. But the pure joy of having to feel the moment of finding ‘The One’ is irreplaceable. We understand that the choices can be overwhelming. But no matter what your personal style is or your budget or your timeline, you can find that perfect wedding dress of your dreams, and 20 to 30 years from now you’ll look back and see your old wedding photos and say, you’ve made the right choice.
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