The traditional way to buy a wedding dress is to personally attend a bridal appointment in a boutique with family, friends and high expectations of finding “The One”. However, thanks to the wide range of online retailers, this is not the only option. Shopping online can offer ease, variety, and even savings. Bridal designers whose boutiques are not geographically close to each other are now available at the push of a button. By going through the movements virtually, brides can try on dresses from the comfort of their own homes with no time limit or entourage – unless they want to drink champagne and model their dress via Zoom.
When buying a wedding dress online, we encourage you to be open and patient. According to Terry Hall, director of retail at Amsale, “a lot of brides end up buying something very different than what they think. Choosing a wedding dress is about how you feel in the dress, and it’s difficult to know until you do to try it.” The whole process of choosing a wedding dress can be overwhelming, but over time you will develop a good understanding of what you like and find the perfect dress.
Before you start looking, here are seven expert tips to help make your online shopping experience a little smoother.
Create a mood board
Having a solid understanding of what items to wear – neckline, fabric, embroidery, and silhouette – before you go shopping can only benefit you. “A consultation with pictures of the brides you admire helps with choosing a dress,” said bride and celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger. “It really helps to imagine how you would like to look or feel on your day.”
Sourcing images from high fashion magazines, Pinterest, and Instagram is a good place to start. When you’ve found some inspirational photos, save them either in a digital folder or on a mood board to remember what you like. As important as it is to know what attracts you, it is just as important to know what you dislike. “Maybe you are not allowed to show your arms for religious purposes, or you are open to print and color. If you have a list of things that you want to highlight and are not comfortable with, your search becomes easier,” explains Erlanger said.
Familiarizing yourself with wedding dress terminology will help you refine your search while collecting images. Below are some popular keywords that you will see.
Fully lined: the dress has an extra layer of fabric on the inside that prevents it from becoming see-through.
Partially Lined: Indicates that some areas of the dress are plain. Be sure to ask for more information when you see this.
Built-in cups or full bust support: ideal for total coverage.
Silhouette: The cut of the dress, often known as the outline. You’ll see: A-Line, Ball Gown, Empire, Sheath, Fit-and-Flare, Mermaid, and more.
Neckline: the shape under the neck. You will see: one shoulder, bateau, halter neck, high neck, strapless, scoop neck and spaghetti straps.
Choose a fabric
“When it comes to manufacturing, think about the climate,” advised Hall. For weddings on the beach and outdoors, choose lightweight fabrics. Heavier fabrics like duchess satin and mikado should be reserved for cooler months or more formal occasions. Hall noted that “silk faille or radzimir can be worn all year round because they are light but still have a little structure.”
The time of day your ceremony will take place can also be a factor. “Maybe you are getting married at the golden hour and want something bare to draw the light on, or you are getting married in the evening and need a little more glamor,” said Erlanger.
Below are common fabrics used for wedding dresses.
Chiffon: Sheer or sheer fabric, ideal for draping.
Satin: For more textured styles made from silk, rayon, or a mixture of both.
Silk micado: mixed silk that is usually heavier than 100 percent silk.
Taffeta: A crisp, rustling fabric, usually woven from silk or polyester. Warning: this one wrinkles easily!
Tulle: Fine mesh mainly used for the skirt of a ball gown.
Find out your budget and schedule
Whatever your budget for the dress, you need to consider tailoring, accessories (veils, jewelry and shoes) and delivery costs. If the dress is made to order (most dresses are) you will likely need to see a tailor which will cost extra. According to Hall, the average production time for a dress in a boutique is six to eight months. Allowing yourself enough time and money to make changes can eliminate potential stress.
Choose the right online retailer
Once you have a general idea of what you are looking for, you need to choose a dealer. Hall recommends that you be clear about the services you need. “Do they have a full-time styling and support team at your disposal? Do they offer online tools to help you research and select? Do they have relationships with resources in your area to help you with special needs? Can.” You rely on this? ” Fit, quality and on-time delivery? Do they design and manufacture products in-house, or do they rely on the performance of others to deliver the products sold? “Weeding out the answers to these questions can narrow your list of retailers to buy.
Erlanger recommends Net-a-Porter, Moda Operandi, BHLDN, Hayley Paige, and Over the Moon for robust collections and flexible delivery options. A couple of other retailers to investigate are ASOS,
Grace loves lace, goes with fashion, arcade vintage boutique and Shona Joy.
Know how to take your own measurements
Most boutiques will send you a tape measure and size chart so you can take your measurements and send it back. Although it varies from retailer to retailer, you will likely need to measure your chest, hips, and back. Erlanger recommends that you measure in inches, not centimeters, and send in your bra size, jeans size and dress size. “Having multiple measurements gives me a sense of [the client’s] Hips and curves for me to imagine, “she said.
Dafra Sanou, bridal designer and founder of the JoSaBi Mariées wedding platform, recommends wearing the underwear and shoes that you plan to wear on the special day you are taking measurements: “If you wear heels on your wedding day, be sure to take your measurements with you Heels on. You will want to think about your daily height versus everyday height. Whether you prefer padded bras, braless or spanx, you want to measure yourself against all of that. “
Use social media to your advantage
Sanou talks about bridal companies who tricked brides into believing that their dresses would be delivered on time, of a certain caliber and quality, only to disappoint customers in the end. Because of this, her number one tip is to browse social tags to see what the dress looks like on real brides. “Understand the website’s reputation. Read the reviews and make sure they are from real people,” Sanou said. As a rule of thumb, if a website looks too good to be true, there is a good chance. Take these measures as additional security and protective measures.
If possible, try before buying
Erlanger was pleased to find many stores that offer virtual advice. “Every business is different, but in my experience, the wedding specialists still serve clients through Zoom or FaceTime. They go through the collection and meet brides face-to-face,” she said. In some cases, retailers can even send dresses to customers to try on, or personal appointments are set with social distancing measures.
It is important that you call these retailers in advance to find out about the guidelines. JoSaBi Mariées sends bridal pictures and videos of the creation of her dress from start to finish. “We send updates when the bodice or beadwork is done to create excitement and confirm that it is what the bride wants,” said Sanou. Amsale has a virtual try-on tool that brides can use to upload a photo of themselves, select a silhouette, and see what it will look like on their bodies. Amsale also sends out swatches upon request so that “customers can feel the weight and texture of various fabrics to get an idea of how it compares to being photographed in person,” Hall said.