Don’t Buy a Wedding Dress Online, Here’s Why

It’s my 1 year wedding anniversary this weekend! Can you believe it?

In honor of this momentous occasion, I would like to publicly embarrass myself with a never-seen before photo of me in a horrible online wedding dress. Joy!

Contrary to most posts, there will be no style advice given today. The take-away here is to simply never buy, or even entertain the idea of, ordering your wedding dress from an ‘overseas designer.’

Backstory: I tried on several wedding dresses (mostly just for the fun of it) and honestly could have worn all three of my favorites. One would have been gorgeous if I was having a seaside soiree (my dream), the other, if the reception was in a swanky New York City hotel—in the winter, and the third, would have been delightful if I was getting married in the mountains of Montana; picture a tall grass field shot. But our scene wasn’t going to be any of those, so I opted out. My dress, which I adored, was a little bit of everything. I took a corset top, fit & flare skirt and beaded belt and voila(!) there was my dress. (The top and skirt were from the same designer, Monique Lhuillier.) I had a feather half veil made—which may have been my highlight.

bridal feather half veil Lena Porter

ivy background wedding picture Lena Porter

As any bride will tell you, there’s a sort of expectation (you usually set upon yourself) when embarking on dress shopping. Who should I bring? (if anyone at all) Am I supposed to go nuts when I find ‘the one.’ Do I have to try on X number of dresses or check out X number of shops? Will a small perky man named Randy be present?

I had an idea of what I wanted my dress to look like…I just needed to find it. I described the vision to my mom, who soon after, ordered a similar silhouette from a very random site. Her thought was, it might work as a pattern for a custom dress to be made.

There’s something very wrong about one of the most special dresses you’ll ever wear, arriving rolled up in a FedEx box.

Wedding dress aside, this is why ordering apparel online is such a crap shoot. Clothes are very tactile. You have no idea if the material will be itchy or see-through, or just cheap looking, based on a web image.

My favorites of this catastrophe: the Little Mermaid sea shell-like boobs and the skirt’s material, which looked and felt like the plastic table cloths you see at high school graduation parties.

imitation wedding dress

* professional wedding photos by Heather Saunders Photography (a picture of a picture- please excuse the low resolution in this post)

This entry was posted in Custom Creations, Stories, Style Advice, Weddings and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Don’t Buy a Wedding Dress Online, Here’s Why

  1. Thank you for posting. My daughter is getting married in November. The “dream” dress is a Justin Alexander Signature #9700 size 14. Only $1,958. Plus alterations $400 t0o $600 average for that dress, plus vail $357. Wedding on a budget? So I thought I would get creative and look online. Found it…3 different online sites, ebay $1,049, a site in Utah $340, a site in UK $289.98! I’m thinking BONUS! Then I looked for reviews. “No reviews for this site”. My “spidey” sense kicked in as I pondered “should I take a chance or should I fohget about it!” No reviews was a red flag. So, this morning, I googled “Don’t buy your wedding dress online!” and found your post. You have helped a well wishing “papa” hoping to be a “hero” from becoming a “zero”! I’m so sorry for your experience, but, I’m so glad you posted about it to keep me from placing my daughter in a similar circumstance.

    • Lena says:

      Whew! I’m happy you (& your daughter) were saved from a tragic online wedding dress! The Justin Alexander ‘dream’ dress is a sweet & simple silhouette. If you can find a dressmaker in your area, that might be your best bet (definitely from a fit perspective and most likely less in cost too.) She will already have the pattern. The most expensive part will be the lace material. Also try Etsy for the beaded belt or make it yourself. Good luck & CONGRATS!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *