Alfred Angelo Gives Thumbs-Down To Online Gown Sales

Alfred Angelo 2010 Bridal Collection

Alfred Angelo 2010 Bridal Collection

This month, popular gown designer Alfred Angelo opened six brand new retail stores across the country, partnering with BRIDES magazine to hold grand-opening bashes in all the new locations. The new stores are located in: Arlington, TX; Baltimore, MD; Birmingham, AL; Dayton, OH, Knoxville, TN; and Richmond, VA.

It’s a move that continues to expand the presence of the leading designer, in the old-fashioned brick-and-mortar way. Which is a good thing; more shops mean more places to try on gowns, and brides in these cities now have one more (excellent) option available to them. Alfred Angelo is certainly one of the best; book an appointment with them, and they will take care of you.

As a denizen of the online tech world, I couldn’t miss the fact that the company used their announcement of the openings to take a bit of a shot at the online bridal market. Vice President of Marketing for Alfred Angelo, Denise Wash, emphasized the company’s pride in its traditional approach in a statement last week.

“While some manufacturers and retailers are moving to on-line bridal sales,” Ms Wash said, “Alfred Angelo still believes that the one-to-one connection between a bride and her bridal specialist, in a bridal boutique, is irreplaceable.”

Ah, the war between the high- and low-tech hemispheres of the wedding industry…an industry heady with rich, old-tyme tradition. The thing is, wedding planning as a whole is moving in a totally unique direction that unites both the old traditions and new technology. I agree with Ms. Wash on this: nothing can take the place of the boutique experience and being waited upon while physically trying on a variety of gowns, and only in trying on those gowns will you be able to find the one that suits your body and preferences best. But anyone thinking that online gown shopping means finding, selecting, and purchasing your gown all online–with no shop visits or physical try-ons–is nuts.

The fact is, once you’ve isolated “The One” by visiting one or more boutiques, some brides are then going to find that same particular gown at a potentially jaw-dropping bargain online. Some won’t. Some will find that after the cost of alterations and shipping, the savings to be had by buying online aren’t worth it. But the point is, nothing will ever replace the physical boutique experience, and I don’t think anyone’s really advocating that. Now some may say that drawing on a boutique’s resources to settle on a gown and then turning around and buying that gown from an online discounter is akin to betrayal. That’s a matter of personal opinion. Mine is that it’s not personal at all, nor betrayal; it’s business. Weddings are expensive, gowns are expensive, the economy sucks, and nearlywed couples need every break they can get. That’s where the online advantage comes in and that, dear reader, is why the online bridal market is so popular.

For more of a discussion on how an online gown bargain should really be factored into your planning, consider my previous post. And have a great weekend!

Photo Credits: Bridal collection photo from Alfred Angelo, Inc.

You Might Also Enjoy

avatar About Jason

Enthusiast of traveling, writing, cinematography, all things tech, good coffee, and craft beer. Founder of Mediasoft Technologies, Inc. & Author of "e-Plan Your Wedding". Follow me at @jason_melendez and check out my blog.

Share Your Thoughts! Leave a Comment: