When you start planning your wedding in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, you might realize rather quickly that your choices for wedding dresses is rather limited. Fortunately, today’s bride has instant access to a whole planet worth of bridal gowns and dresses through the power of the Internet. But the real question is: should you trust the purchase of the most important dress you’ll probably ever wear to a website for a business that you’ll probably never visit in person?
The number one argument for purchasing wedding dresses online is that there are more options. Whether you live in a small or large town, depending on the type and style of bridal gowns you are interested in, you might need to expand your reach. Even brides that live in big cities might find their local options limited to the styles and fabrics that are popular to the local area or region. So if you want to have a tropical themed wedding in the northeastern states, your best bet might be to check bridal gown ideas and online stores located in Hawaii or other tropical regions.
Have you ever gone to a store and found the perfect outfit only to realize that they had it in every size but yours? That’s happened to all of us, but for brides who are looking for the perfect wedding gown, it can be even more frustrating. When you buy a wedding dress online, even if its from a large national chain that has a store in your area, you get access to more sizes than you would at your local store in Hopkinton, Milford or Providence. They can send you whatever you need in advance of your wedding so you can get it checked and fitted to your specifications.
Let’s face it, a lot of brides are going to be on a tight budget this year. The days of extravagant spending are behind us, and most brides are looking for a good deal. The best way to stay on budget without sacrificing what you want in the area of wedding dresses, is to purchase online wedding gowns through major retailers, outlet stores or even second hand options, such as eBay. Unless you are having a huge celebrity wedding that will be pictured in all the tabloids, there’s no reason why you can’t save thousands of dollars simply by choosing “last year’s” dress over a very similar version that is considered “this year’s dress.”
How to Safely Buy a Wedding Dress Online
All the advantages aside, when purchasing online wedding gowns, exploring bridal gowns or doing anything else online you need to know how to determine whether the purchase you are making is a good one – or not. Here are some tips that will help you spot a fraudulent website or potentially problem wedding dresses:
- Contact Information – There are a lot of knock-off wedding dresses and scam e-commerce websites out there. One of the first red flags to look for on any website that sells anything is the contact information. The contact for the customer service or website owner should be email@example.com, not firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Also look for a way to reach out to someone over the phone, such as a toll-free number or at least a local number that you can look up and call. Do your due diligence and investigate the company a little bit before making such an important purchase. Conduct a quick search on Google for reviews of the company as well to see what other brides’ experiences have been.
- Amazing Prices – We all want a good deal, but we’ve all seen deals that were simply too good to be true. A thousand dollar designer gown on sale for just $99 may seem like the deal of the century, but it just might be a clever scam. While you might be able to buy a wedding dress at that price, once you receive it – if you receive it at all – it may be a very poor quality knock-off that looks nothing like the designer version. Look for fair prices and don’t be dazzled by these insanely cheap prices. If you’ve done your homework and know how much a particular designer gown should cost, you should be able to spot someone working a scam from a mile away.
- Bad Spelling – It’s sad, but true. You can still spot out a fraud simply by looking for spelling errors, grammar issues and just outright bad syntax. You would think these people would invest in spell check or bother to hire a translator that works better than some free program, but they don’t because people still fall for their scams every day. Look at the contact and about us pages for the most glaring examples. Often times the scan website steals the descriptions for the products from a real website and just does a quick cut-n-paste to add legitimacy to their pages. So make sure you take the time to look at pages where they couldn’t have possibly copied the information from somewhere else.
- Overnight Delivery – This is another red flag, particularly if you are ordering a custom dress or a specific hard-to-find size of wedding dresses. If you were ordering a custom design right here in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the seamstress would not be able to get it to your specifications the same day and have it delivered across the state or even across town on an overnight basis. Why would you think some company in another state could do it – even if they have what you need in stock? Specialty wear, which is what wedding dresses are considered, should take a minimum of a couple of weeks to get to you – if they have it in stock – or several of weeks or more, if you need custom work or sizing done.
Tips for Safe Purchase of Online Wedding Gowns
When you start looking around for bridal gown ideas, getting an idea of what’s available and the price range that everything is in, your best bet is to start with an authorized dealer before you even start looking for lower priced options. An authorized dealer is a retailer that is authorized by the designer or the brand to sell their wedding dresses, so you know it is completely legit.
If you like a particular designer, visit their website and look for a link to an authorized dealer that carries their designs. You can buy a wedding dress online directly through one of these links without worrying that it might be a scam. You will probably also find a list of stores within the northeastern states that carry the designers dresses in-store. If there are any stores near you in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, you can visit them, try the dresses on and get an idea of what to expect if you end up ordering it online at a later date.
Whether you buy a wedding dress online or in a retail store, make sure to ask about the return and cancellation policies. Because this is a special dress for a special occasion, you will want to make sure you find out what, if anything, can be done in the event that you change your mind or no longer need the gown.
Find out if there is an actual, physical store location that you could visit, even if you never plan on going. Online wedding gowns are available through nationwide retailers, such as House of Brides, Best Bridal Prices and David’s Bridal, allowing you to call or visit an actual store to make sure everything is as good as it seems online. Speak to a real live human every chance you get so you can ask questions, assess the validity of the situation and find out if there are any guarantees offered when you purchase one of their online wedding gowns.