Planning a wedding requires a healthy budget. There are numerous expenses including the venue, catering, flowers, music and so on. Not the least of which is the wedding dress. In fact, for most brides, the No. 1 item on her budget is the wedding dress. After all, she has dreamed of this day all of her life, and she wants to walk down the aisle in the dress of those dreams.
However, sometimes it proves difficult to find that dream dress in the price range that meets the bride’s budget. So when she comes across that dress on an online wedding dress site for a very reasonable cost, she can’t help but jump at the deal. Unfortunately, more often than not, when that dream dress arrives, it turns out to be quite the nightmare.
In fact, the purchased dress doesn’t even come close to resembling the designer dress advertised online. Investigations by Good Morning America and Inside Edition show just how prevalent – and damaging to the bridal industry – these fake wedding dresses can be. For instance, in the “Inside Edition” investigation, bride Candace Burch thought she ordered a $4,000 Justin Alexander wedding gown for just $300 from Peridress.com.
The dress from the online retailer (left) is vastly different from the designer gown advertised on the site.
However, the dress she received looked nothing like the original dress. Instead of elaborate hand beading on the bodice, the dress featured plastic silver sequins. Plus, the gown material was cheap and thin, and felt like “a white trash bag,” according to Burch. When contacted, these online sellers either ignore the customer’s inquiry or flat-out refuse to return the purchase price to the bride.
To combat these scams, the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association sued a number of online retailers that were allegedly selling counterfeit dress. A judge sided with the industry and ordered more than 1,000 sites to cease all sales and to shut down. FYI, when you go to Peridress.com, it now goes to IDreamMart.com, an online retail site based in China that also sells wedding dresses.
The best way to make sure you get the dress you want is to shop at an authorized bridal retailer.
This is why it’s SO important to shop for your wedding dress at a brick-and-mortar store. Seeing the dress firsthand, trying it on for friends and family, and having an actual salesperson to speak with provides not only reassurance that this dress is the dress, but also peace of mind that you will get what you pay for.
Plus, savvy shoppers can still find good deals when it comes to shopping for their wedding dresses at brick-and-mortar retailers. For instance, many wedding boutiques offer special savings for dress purchases during a designer trunk show. Others offer discounted or even free accessories with a gown purchase. Talk with sales consultants to see what incentives they can offer before closing the sale.
Although it may be cliché, when it comes to purchasing wedding dresses online, if the deal looks too good, it probably is not true. Think twice before hitting “send” on that payment button.