There’s nothing more stressful than picking the wedding dress. So many brides dream about walking down the aisle from a young age, wowing their guests in a gorgeous dress that makes them feel amazing and beautiful. Traditionally, you’d grab a few friends, schedule a bunch of appointments at local boutiques and away you went! Today, there are new opportunities that make the experience a bit more complicated.
You’re able to spend days scouring wedding dresses on Pinterest, wondering whether it is safe to buy a wedding dress online, wanting to still do the boutique days with friends, and then going back and forth between all the options. But let’s be realistic for a second, since you buy everything else online, why not pick up your wedding dress virtually and save the mental and physical exhaustion of hiking from place to place every Saturday for months?
That's why this post is focused on buying a wedding dress online. Today there are many awesome options for brides who want to buy directly from wedding dress websites. We've rounded up the best online wedding dress shops to help you get creative and even provide some wedding dress shopping tips we hope make things a little less stressful.
HOW SAFE IS IT TO BUY A WEDDING DRESS ONLINE?
This is the question we hear the most when the topic of wedding dress shopping comes up in conversation. The reality in this day and age is that it is very safe to buy a wedding dress online. As always though, the same rules for buying anything online apply including:
Make sure you shop at reputable retailers who you know and trust. If you find a dress on a small, boutique site you're not sure about make sure to research them and look for reviews from real brides.
Check out the return policy and delivery times. Most online wedding dress websites will have clear outlines of how long it takes to get your dress as well as their policies on returns. You don't want to be in a situation where you buy a dress and don't love it when you try it on, only to not be able to return it. Even if the store allows returns you don't want to be stuck with a time-situation counting down to your wedding.
Overall, there are tons of high quality wedding dress websites from both big retailers to little boutiques online. Set your budget, book your venue, and keep the season and site in mind when picking your gown.
5 CAN'T BREAK RULES FOR BUYING YOUR WEDDING DRESS ONLINE
Here are five important tips for making sure your online wedding dress shopping goes well.
Know the Lingo
The industry (like many others) has its own language and as an outsider it can be uncomfortable coming in as a newbie. To avoid being overwhelmed Team Wedding recommends that you prepare by first learning the key parts of a wedding dress. Check out this cool Wedding Dress Lingo cheat sheet.
Know Your Measurements
Know your measurements and don't do it yourself. Go to a seamstress and ask her to measure you properly. Also, check to see if the website you are checking out has a size chart to help you figure out the right size for you.
Read the Fine-Print
Make sure you get to know the store's policies, especially around returns and shipping. We've seen sites that charge insane amounts for delivery and don't accept returns. That may be okay with you, but if it isn't then it probably isn't the place to buy your wedding dress.
Read Product Descriptions
Most brides see a picture of a wedding dress and fall in love. Though quite technical, dress descriptions help you understand exactly what you're buying so make sure to read it. If you aren't sure, then ask an expert to help you figure it out.
Know Your Fabrics
In-store, you can run silk through your fingers — but online, you must know just how each fabric will fold and flex. We recommend that you find an expert or friend who can help you figure it out. Again, a great return policy is helpful in case you buy a fabric that isn't what you expected in person.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES TO BUY YOUR WEDDING DRESS ONLINE (NEW)?
While we'd all love to be able to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a custom, uber-brand name wedding dress the reality is that we all have budgets. With that in mind and the fast-growing world of wedding dress shopping being directly online, we decided to create the ultimate list of best places to buy your wedding dress online.
We’ve researched and vetted each of these spots whether they have generous return policies (unlike bridal salons), free return shipping, or amazing designer sales, these are the most reliable, and highest customer-rated dress sites on the web. If your idea of fun is not schlepping from one bridal salon to another for weeks on end, then this is the list for you. Sit back on your iPad and lose yourself in a sea of wedding dresses.
Classic all the way—and the largest collection. All gowns are under $3000.
A small but special selection, all under $1000. Modern and stylish options.
Sample and consignment dresses at deep discounts.
Smart, stylish and simple, the collection at Ann Taylor looks amazing at reasonable prices.
Basic styles, but all gowns are unbelievable value at under $500 in most cases. Great for the budget bride.
While they only have a small selection, at under $1000 their wedding dress selection if worth looking at.
Offers everything from Stella McCartney to Self Portrait gowns.
A huge selection from brand names like Reem Acra and Monique Lhuillier.
No longer old-school. Has exclusive collections by Vera Wang and Zac Posen.
|Saks Fifth Avenue
Online wedding shop features a wide range of contemporary and higher-end designers.
Dresses with a bohemian and vintage bent that one would expect from Anthro. Most dresses are under $2000.
Small selection of wedding dresses available to purchase online. The rest are available in-store.
Sustainability experts help you find an eco-awesome wedding dress for under-$500 price.
|Kite and Butterfly
Los Angeles based bohemian women's clothing line perfect for brides looking for Romantic and feminine.
|Lace and Liberty
Mix & Match bridal tops, skirts and dresses to create a look that's uniquely yours. Made to measure.
Topshop is a British multinational fashion retailer that stocks all the must-have wedding dresses.
A signature home try-on experience. Get a number of dresses delivered with a home try-on kit. Next generation.
Full-length maxi style wedding dresses that are designed to make guests heads turn. Thousands of options.
|Stone Fox Bride
The self-billed “anti-bridezilla showroom” in downtown Manhattan that offers Skype calls if you aren't local. Cool.
Calling all brides who don't want to blow their entire salary on a dress: the quirky, ready-to-wear brand now does bridal.
Mainly focused on bridesmaid and prom dresses but occasionally has an appropriate wedding dress.
|The Castle Prom And Bridal
The Castle carries a solid collection of wedding and prom dresses all available with worldwide shipping.
For die-hard, need-to-have-it-before-anyone-else types, Moda Operandi has gowns straight from the runways.
LUXE in a BOX service give your three gowns of your choice arrive at your door. Tried on in the luxury of your own space.
|FWRD Wedding Shop
In addition to high-end heavyweights you'll find picks from edgier labels and unique designers.
|Fame and Partners
Self-dubbed the “modern woman's personal atelier,” Fame and Partners allows for a totally customization.
Modest selection of affordable wedding dresses. On-trend dresses that are very reasonably priced for those on a budget.
Some of the most gorgeous designer pieces available at the click of a button-including shoes & accessories. Always on top of the trends.
|Show Me Your MuMu
Bohemian styles, fairy-tale accents, and rompers are included in this on-trend mix of affordable options (for brides and bridesmaids).
The Queen of eclectic has a host of budget-friendly and quirky options for fun-loving brides.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES TO BUY YOUR WEDDING DRESS ONLINE (USED)?
Whether you don't want your pricey gown collecting dust in your closet or you're looking to recoup some cash after your wedding, check out our reviews of the best websites to buy or sell your preowned wedding dress.
One of the original sites to connect buyers and sellers of used dresses, with a broad selection.
A tasteful site and blog with a lovely selection of used designer gowns.
Our pick for used bridesmaid dresses.
This website has gowns worth checking out. Beautiful gowns and easy to use website make it super easy to find what you want.
Great selection of wedding gowns on eBay. Just don’t get caught up in the bidding, and make sure to check return policies.
The place to turn if you’re after the cheapest wedding dresses (and we mean price, not quality). A bit sketch, but the advantage here is that it’s local, so you can go try on the gowns in person, and negotiate the price to your advantage.
Beautiful dresses and great website make this a great way to find a second hand dress. You can search used wedding dresses by label, or browse listings in the coveted “Editor's Picks” section.
A marketplace specifically for used wedding dresses. Offers a wide range of used wedding dresses, from Vera Wang and Pronovias to Essense of Australia and Maggie Sottero.
|Rent the Runway
It's not the most common way to find a wedding gown but technically these are used dresses and renting is now totally acceptable.