The wedding gown can be a big ticket item, and we all want to save as much green as possible, especially with a wedding budget that’s almost always too tight and an economic recession not helping matters.
Like everything else wedding, finding that perfect gown to complement and highlight you on your big day is an emotional experience for most nearlywed brides. When the perfect gown comes along–with that not-so-perfect price tag–wedding tech can come to the rescue. There are online bargains to be had, and you should be aware of them…as high as 80% off retail, in fact. But there is definitely a right and a wrong approach to the online bridal stores.
First of all, leave the online bargain hunt to the end. This may be obvious to some, but others may misinterpret the topic and think that finding an online bargain means shopping for and purchasing a dress over the Internet without trying it on. Don’t start with the online stores at all, in my opinion. Look, you’re generally not going to find your gown by browsing online; you’re going to find it by visiting local shops and trying the dresses on. You can definitely get some initial ideas by browsing the web: wedding portals big and small, as well as gown designers’ websites, are chock full of galleries with the various styles and current fashions. So are bridal magazines. But when you’re looking for an online bargain, you basically already need to know exactly what you want, meaning: designer, product/style number, size, and so forth. You’ll find this information out by visiting local shops and trying the gowns on.
Do some research in your favorite bridal rags and online portfolios first, taking note of any designers and styles that jump out at you. Call your local shops and go in for try-ons, just as you normally would. When you narrow your search down to “The One”, or a couple competing potentials, then–and only then–see if you can get your online bargain on.
Check the online shops for your gown, and see what their discounts are. Run the designer and style number through Ebay. Any hits in your size? You’d be amazed at the discounts you can find if you’re lucky enough to have the right shop carrying your choice.
And finally, the most important consideration: How much would you be saving by ordering it at the online shop? Factor in shipping, the hassle and cost of finding a seamstress or tailor to make alterations (you will need them), and the cost to press your gown when it arrives (it will arrive packed into a box and wrinkled, so make sure you’re cool with that). With this information on hand, make your final decision to go with your local shop or to take the online bargain.
The Online Shops
There are plenty of online bridal shops on the web, but be careful who you’re dealing with. Look for shops who are authorized dealers of the designs they feature, meaning that they work directly with the manufacturer. And be sure they accept returns and will refund payment if you’re not satisfied. Below are four of today’s better shops; some carry used gowns as well, which you might consider for even more savings. Don’t forget to check out Ebay and Craigslist, as well!
PreOwned Wedding Dresses
Good luck with your bridal gown hunting, and hopefully you can find a sweet online bargain to help out!
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