Internet dresses – delight or disaster?

Internet dresses – delight or disaster?

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Stories of Wedding dress fails quickly surface but are these fact or fiction? With Internet shopping a trusted everyday experience that has drastically shaped our shopping habits, it has given way to an increase in fake copies, which is having a negative impact on the bridal industry.   The ease of just clicking a button added to the huge temptation of saving money mean that many brides take the risk of receiving a terrible wedding dress. This really can happen if you are looking to buy a designer copy at a fraction of the price.


Wedding Dress Fails

Brides Beware  

The reasons brides buy a dress from the internet are varied, some just simply do not have the budget for a £1000 plus gown. Some brides feel it is a rip off and they can source it cheaper.  Occasionally it is simply fear of the whole wedding dress shop experience. Of course sometimes it is as simple as seeing a picture if a gown you love, not knowing who the designer is or where to source it.

The rise of wedding dress fails is highlighted all too often on Bridal Beware. If you do fall into this first camp then the advice really is not to do this.  Many gowns sold from obscure far east websites are copied designs. Customers are at a serious risk of losing their money, not receiving their goods or receiving a dress that resembles nothing like the image they clicked on.  Unfortunately sites steal pictures of the genuine designer dresses and use them to advertise their own wedding dress fails!

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Wedding Dress fails

Wedding Dress Advice:

  1. On the whole the picture you see will be directly ripped from an original designers website. Email the company and ask to see a picture of an actual gown they have made in that style. If they refuse, or make excuses then move on to another company.
  2. If the gown normally has beading using high quality Swarovski crystal and pearls, then they will simulate  this effect with plastic beads, pearls and sequins, can you live with that?
  3. Accept that if the gown has boning in it, this will be of a flimsy inferior material or left out altogether.
  4. A gown that is supposed to be made of silk, probably wont be! If it is supposed to be high grade taffeta or duchess satin it will be a substituted cheaper fabric.
  5. Accept that if it should be made of lace that normally retails at up to £100 per metre, it certainly will be a much cheaper alternative.

How to buy your wedding dress online

If you can accept all the above, then go on to ensure you purchase from a company with reasonable feedback.  Make sure you correctly measure yourself and allow extra time for shipping or potential delays at customs.  Also beware that you may incur possible extra duty charges levied by customs, worse still goods may never arrive.  Allow for the inevitable alteration costs, which to be fair you would have with an off the peg gown. 

Wedding Dress Fails

Genuine Online Retailers

Many popular retailers sell genuine wedding dresses online Dorothy Perkins, ASOS and ETSY are just a few examples and all have beautiful wedding dresses for sale. 

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As a bridal specialist seamstress I have altered , saved and salvaged many internet wedding dress fails. In fact it was the numerous occasions I would return home from the studio and my daughter would ask what I had been doing, and many times the answer was fixing an internet dress. She would say “mummy did you save the day?”  and so my alteration, salvage and customization service is called “Save the Day.”

The usual rant on blog posts is just don’t do it! However, if you really are restricted price wise consider your options.  Visiting local shops and searching the sale rails can often reveal a gem as well as checking out pre-loved options such as Still White

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You need to weigh up the pros and cons.

Ensure you have a reliable seamstress lined up to fix any problems such as replacing plastic sequins. Often boning needs adding or correcting.  Don’t be surprised that extra beading is needed or particularly disastrous trimmings need replacing with higher quality ones. Zips often need replacing which will be a cheap one and usually not the correct colour. (I recently had pink bridesmaids dresses brought to me with white zips!) Sometimes the hems will be particularly badly finished and need redoing.
fake dress
If after you weigh up all these potential issues, the related costs to correct them and added to the purchase price from the internet dress website, and it still seems like a plan then go ahead.

Wedding Dress Lottery

I have seen many, many internet dresses and they have ranged from very good to extremely dreadful. It is a bit of a lottery to be honest.  If you are the type of person who can happily deal with the stress and organization needed to have a successful end result, then you can potentially save a little cash. However, you could instead buy from a local bridal boutique or high street store and save yourself a possible headache.

Wedding Dress Fails

Often the reason brides buy from internet sites is not just cost, but finding what they want. It can be frustrating trailing from shop to shop, especially when you and your bridesmaid’s time is limited.

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I ask my brides to email me their ideas or Pinterest boards so I can advise them in advance.  If I can not supply them with a close match I suggest a high street alternative or UK based website. Many times I can customise an off the peg dress to make it exactly what they are looking for, without the risks of buying from a potentially risky source.

For more information contact:


Daily Mail Online

Have you ever bought an online dress or have any disaster stories?

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