You’ve dreamed about your big day for many years, but could you be left broken-hearted? And all, says Susi Rogol, because you thought you were bagging the bargain of a lifetime…
You’ve started visiting bridal boutiques – either just to see what they have on offer, or to make an appointment and start trying on. This part of the planning process is incredibly exciting, cloud nine material, and an experience you will never forget. But not every bride gets to experience this, sadly, as the lure of online ‘bargains’ leads them down a devastating path.
Doing it the right way
You have your family in tow and head off to your nearest bridal boutiques in the search for your dream dress. In a bridal boutique, not only will you be made to feel a million dollars, but the staff in specialist shops are real professionals who can give you a quick glance-over and know instinctively the style and colour that will bring out your bridal glow. Their advice is invaluable and often their ideas are inspirational. Once you’ve been measured for your dress, it will be made just for you (including any tweaks you may want) and alterations to ensure a perfect fit will be scheduled.
Going to the experts pays off a zillion-fold and will keep stress levels down. And when you buy your wedding dress, you are also buying into the talents behind the label, from the design force to the team that source the most wonderful fabrics and trimmings, to the production experts who will ultimately make your dress.
Shortcuts don’t pay off
Now, think about the outcome if you used your online search time to bargain hunt, and came across a website that promised the moon – or at least a designer gown – at a silly price? Go on that route and be assured of this: it could cost you, and cost you dearly, in tears, heartache, and also in the pocket, as you will almost certainly have to head to the shops and see what you can find at any price, at short notice. Is it worth putting the most important day of your life so far, in jeopardy? No way!
There have been horror stories aplenty in recent year of brides-to-be awaiting the delivery of that beautiful dress they saw online for just £100. They soon found that instead of the big box and tissue paper wrappings, their ‘dream dress’ was stuffed into a jiffy bag. Crumpled, rumpled, and bearing little resemblance to the image shown on the internet. Could they get their money back? Unlikely. Scamsters are clever, and make a lot of money from those wishful thinkers who fail to see what’s blindingly obvious.
Officialdom is wising up now, but as fast as copy-cat websites are closed down, more spring up with a different name, different web address and different offering. Don’t be fooled when you see photos of gorgeous gowns on these sites – you can bet your bottom dollar those images are being used illegally to tempt you into believing that the best buy ever is coming your way.
Top tips and advice
If you’ve fallen in love with a dress, visit the website of the designer to find their official stockists. For more stories and tips, see bridesbeware.com.