This week's wedding woe comes from "Dressaphobic", who read my mind about this topic. I'd just watched the video below and was looking at some dresses online when her email came through like some kind of weird wedding juju witchy coincidence.
I loved your Lady in Red blog when you did it and picked up heaps of ideas from all the comments made. We were also working hard to get out of debt (and still are) having had to close a business that wasn't paying its way - we think we lost about $200k in 2 years.... anyways, that another story.
On NY Eve he asked and I said yes, having thought I would never get married. We've been together for years so there's no point waiting around and it will be March next year - the only delay being for my side to come from Ireland. Our budget is tight - see above! - and I am looking at getting a dress online. I did post a comment on your Trying on the Dress but I may have been late.
I would love to know what experience people have had with online purchases.
Dressphobic #75 01:53 pm Mar 22 2012
Greer, I am so interested to read this article. I have never dreamed of a white wedding - never thought I would get married but there you go. It's a year from now and friends dragged me (almost literally) dress shopping as it "would be so much fun". I HATE shopping at the best of times so wedding dress shopping was my idea of hell. The first shop the lady was lovely and kept bringing more and more dresses - none were the one but it did give me a good sense of what worked on me and what didn't. My mother (overseas) saw one on one of the hundreds of websites out there and sent the link to me. It looks like everything that did work on me, all in one dress. And for USD 177.00 - Wow. But then, how do you trust that you can get the dress? There are some reviews good, some bad - all from all over the world. Part of me thinks, what's there to lose, made to measure, delivered to the door for under $250 and within 6-8 weeks. If it's terrible, there's still time. Then the bad reviews kick in and make me think I'd be daft to be sucked in by the website. I'd love if you could get people to write in with firsthand experiences of their online shopping and which website they used. Some comments above rave about a great experience buying online but don't mention which site. Do you think it would be worthwhile inviting a discussion?
So what do we think, people?
I've been entertaining this idea as well. I've done a bit of research and spoken to some brides who did order their dresses online.
Much like Dressphobic, I hate shopping at the best of times. I've been known to order from EziBuy just so I don't have to hit the shops. Lazy, unstylish me. But my bridesmaids, one fashion-forward one in particular, are starting to put the pressure on and luckily she's overseas because she's threatening to drag me around every bridal store known to man. The thought of ordering a dress online seems like the perfect solution to me.
Also like Dressphobic, I find it hard to entertain the idea of spending thousands on a dress. I kind of wouldn't mind if the dress was technically worth that much - as in could be resold for that figure - but that's not how the wedding dress industry works.
Then I watched this:
It made me cringe, and it was what my gut told me. A dress is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it and I don't doubt that there are some beautiful and amazing hand-made and -designed dresses out there worth every penny.
But then there are the dresses that are charged out at thousands and made in bulk in a factory in China, with mark-ups that'd make your eyes water. I object to women being made to feel anything less than amazing because they choose not to spend thousands on a dress.
As Caitlin Kenney, who featured in the piece, said: "Most people suck at buying wedding dresses. We don't have as much information as the people selling us the dresses. We generally buy one dress in a lifetime so there's no chance to practise or learn from past purchases.
"It's not just the dress you're paying for. You're paying for the message you're sending. 'I love my husband. This is a really big deal. This is a memory I'll have forever.'"
One bride I know ordered three wedding dresses online from China for a few hundred dollars each (I think the most expensive was NZ$800). She was so happy with all of them that she actually had a hard time choosing which one to wear on the big day.
The extra she sold on Trade Me, and the dress she wore? Ended up selling for a couple of hundred more than what she paid for it. (Her tip: only buy from online sellers who have good feedback. Read the comments and if there's a trend towards certain issues, steer clear.)
This dream scenario isn't always the case, though. Read through any reader feedback on these cheap sites and you'll see there can be issues with quality of fabric and finishing. But for the sake of a couple of hundred dollars, could the risk just be worth it?
I'm curious. I want to know what this is all about. I'm going to order one or two online to find out. If they're rubbish, I'll have some new tablecloths. If they suit me, sorted. All in the name of research! I'll keep you posted.
(FYI: Sites I've been looking at include: DHGate, LightInABox, WeddingDresses7, PeriDress, FashionLande, GoWeddingDress etc... the list goes on! Know of any more?)
How much did you pay for your wedding dress? What advice do you have? Have you got any experiences to share from buying wedding or bridesmaid dresses online?
ALSO: In the market for a dress? There is a "Bride Rush" event on Saturday, April 21, At Vic Park markets in Auckland "where more than 200 overseas designer wedding dresses will be sold for at least 90% off their usual price, strictly on a first in, best dressed basis".
More details of the event here.
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