That's a lot of money to get scammed...
September 19, 2011 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Help my fiancee not get scammed when buying her wedding dress!

My fiancee has chosen a very beautiful dress (which I haven't seen yet, as are the rules), but it's out of our price range. We had talked about going with an online retailer for less money, but we're worried about getting scammed. She had found (not Ann's Bridal) for close to half off. Is it safe to buy from this site? If not, have you found a reliable online discount wedding dress?
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Most of those sites most likely are chinese knockoffs, and can be found for even cheaper than half off. My advice: if you have the time, go ahead and order one of the 120 dollar dresses. If it works, great. If it doesn't, you're only out 120 bucks.
posted by CharlesV42 at 9:03 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Their testimonial page has testimonials for a business under a different name ("The Wedding Shop"), and those testimonials show up on a few different websites. Their return policies are shared by 50-odd nearly-identical sites. Those that I checked that didn't have whois privacy turned on are registered in China even though all of the testimonials are from Minnesota.

And there's no contact information anywhere on the website other than a gmail address.

Those alone would make me keep looking.
posted by mendel at 9:04 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm with Mendel regarding the sketchiness of this website.

I bought my wedding gown online from a another website and had no problems with them. They sell authentic dresses of all sizes from a number of different designers, and have access to styles that might not be offered in the sites catalog. Their customer service was fabulous and pricing was reasonable. I've actually ordered 5 dresses from them already.
posted by mrsshotglass at 9:17 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Check Pre Owned Wedding Dresses and Once Wed - they have a variety of designer used dresses, as well as samples and even some brand new dresses.

Some of the Chinese knockoff sites are legit (except for the fact, obviously, that they sell knockoffs), but I have heard a few horror stories of not receiving the dress until a week before the wedding, etc. That's the last thing you'll want to be dealing with right before the wedding, and if you are, you'll be wishing you just spent the extra money to get the real deal. If she's dead-set on this dress, and you can't find extra room in your budget, I'd check the above sites for a sample, or see if there is a local dressmaker who will make a similar design.
posted by melissasaurus at 5:34 AM on September 20, 2011

If she's not dead set on that dress, consider looking for a vintage dress. It'll be one-of-a-kind, and better-made than a modern dress. Dresses from the 40s and 50s and still fairly easy to find, and usually gorgeous.
posted by nonasuch at 7:20 AM on September 20, 2011

This forum thread might be useful on her hunt for a discount dress. It's 300 pages of pure knockoff wedding dress goodness, with real bride reviews and dress pictures. (I'd tell her to start at the end, rather that beginning, to get the most relevant information.)

This site was awesome when I was planning my own destination wedding -- even if you're planning a wedding on local ground, it'll still give your bride-to-be lots of info when it comes to designer communication styles, fabric quality, shipping expectations, measurement exactness, etc. (Or everything that's uber important when buying a dress unseen.)

As you can see from reading some of the reviews and seeing some of the photos, it's VERY possible to get a beautiful dress at a great price -- you just have to do your research. (And if all else fails, she has a great "trash the dress," dress.)

Happy nuptials :)
posted by Cat Face at 7:47 AM on September 20, 2011

I used LilyWedding to get mine custom to my measurements in 15 days for $300. It shipped from China, but was well-reviewed and has lots of available options.

While I had to do some modifications (probably for measurement error), it was almost perfect the first time and I was able to pick some options like train length and zipper vs. lace-up. For a bit more, they'd custom design it to your specs.
posted by bookdragoness at 8:32 AM on September 20, 2011

I bought my dress from craigslist for half price. Once wed was an option that I looked at too. If you are in a big city they apparently have wedding dress rentals if you want to go that route.
posted by ibakecake at 1:54 PM on September 20, 2011

I bought, uhm, several dresses for my wedding because I wanted three different ones. I bought a few knockoffs and at best, they resembled the dress they were trying to knock off. Awful, but a cheap lesson. Found better dresses with less designer aspirations.
Buy used. Or something simpler. A poorly made dress is obvious.
posted by Jezebella at 6:14 PM on September 21, 2011

fewer aspirations, even. arg.
posted by Jezebella at 6:14 PM on September 21, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all of the suggestions! My sister in law suggested, which is what my fiancee went with. The dress has arrived in fine condition, I'm told. Hooray!
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 1:34 PM on October 20, 2011

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