The Complete Guide to Buying a Wedding Dress Online
Considering shopping online for your wedding dress? Check out these retailers where you can buy your wedding dress online!
If you love shopping for everyday pieces online because you can avoid the hassle of visiting stores in person, there’s a high chance you will want to search for your wedding dress in the exact same way. After all, nothing beats browsing from the comfort of your couch. But wedding dresses are different.
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There are simply more styles and designers and fits to contend with, so is it possible to not shop in person? Will you still have the same experience? Can you even find the one from home? The short answer to all of this is YES.
Below, we’re answering all of your burning questions about shopping for a wedding dress online. Plus, we’re sharing where to search. And we have to say we’re feeling pretty confident you just might find the dress of your dreams from one of the 16 online retailers that top our list of places to shop. Let’s dig into the fun stuff!
The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Shopping for a Wedding Dress Online:
Before we tell you all about the great places you can purchase your wedding dress online, we thought we would start by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about the process. From why brides opt to shop on the Internet to what to do if the dress you ordered doesn’t fit, these are the nitty-gritty details you need to know.
Why shop online?
Brides who choose to buy their wedding dresses online may simply prefer shopping from home. You’re able to shop whenever you please, you can avoid any and all crowds, and you can flip between retailers without ever getting in your car. Plus, there’s the fun fact that there can be more options available online because not every dress is carried in-store. Not to mention, there’s also the not-so-obvious fact that not every bridal boutique is located in every city. So, shopping online actually gives you even more options at your fingertips!
How do I get the best fit?
Almost every retailer on our list has tips and tricks for taking your measurements at home. This part of the process can also be helped by two additional factors: a second opinion and a stylist. When you’re taking your measurements, try to take them with someone else at the ready to act as your helper. It can be a little difficult to measure and read what the numbers say when you’re alone. Plus, many of the retailers we suggest also offer virtual stylists and plenty of customer service. When in doubt, ask for help! Dress professionals are more than happy to offer advice.
Can I try it before I buy it?
We haven’t come across any retailers who will send you a sample gown to try on before you officially spend some amount of money. However, many retailers have an option to try on dresses that you choose and they ship to you for a nominal fee (think: $25/dress). This allows everyone involved to experience the best of both worlds: You’re able to try on the dresses you like, and the brand can have a little bit of assurance you will care for them well because you’re spending a slight amount to see if you like them.
What if it doesn’t fit?
There are several options if the dress you purchase doesn’t fit. First, a number of the brands we suggest shopping with allow you to return a dress that doesn’t fit properly. But the key with this allowance is the dress you order cannot be a custom creation. As long as you can return it, the retailer will provide return instructions (i.e., how to ship the dress back to them) for you to follow, just like you would any other online purchase. If the brand doesn’t openly state how to return an ill-fitting dress, contact their customer service team!
On the flip side, another school of thought if a dress doesn’t fit is to visit your local seamstress. Most dry cleaners have a seamstress on staff who is happy to help and very knowledgeable about wedding dresses. Many dresses will seem a bit too big, which is totally fine because they can be altered to fit you perfectly.
Pro Tip: Always size up if you’re in between dress sizes. A dress that is too small often cannot be let out because there isn’t enough fabric available for a seamstress to work with.
The Best Places to Shop for a Wedding Dress Online:
There was once a time when brands would launch a few styles online and then carefully hold back the rest as an “in-store only” perk. But now the opposite is happening. There are plenty of occasions in which there are more dresses online than there are in stores, which means now is a great time to shop for your wedding dress from home. Because we know the internet is vast (to say the least!), we thought we would create a curated list of the exact retailers we recommend. So, here are the 16 stores that make up our shortlist!
Pricing: Every dress is under $600.
ASOS is a great source for everyday styles and dresses, especially if you have a wedding to go to as a guest. The prices tend to stay in a relatively affordable range, so why not look to the retailer for your wedding dress? They have a complete variety of styles, and they’re all fashion-forward just like you’re used to seeing from the brand.
Pricing: Almost every dress is below $600 with many below $400.
Azazie specializes in bridesmaids’ dresses, and they also have a great selection of wedding dresses! They organize their site by style, so you can easily find modern, boho, classic, and glamorous gowns. Plus, each one is hand cut and hand sewn, according to the brand, so your dress will look and feel custom made. But the best part? Azazie has a unique home try-on program that allows you to have dresses shipped to you for just $15.
Pricing: Most of the prices tend to hover below $2,000.
If you love the curated bohemian vibe of Anthropologie dresses, you will likely adore BHLDN’s collection, too. After all, they’re part of the same company! BHLDN launches new romantic collections every year, and there are plenty of vintage-inspired, modern, and garden frocks from which to choose. The retailer even has sections for jumpsuits and ready-to-ship gowns for brides that are on tighter timelines.
Pricing: While there are dresses that are more than $1,000, there are also a lot of options that are priced around or below $500.
If you’re shopping for bridesmaids’ dresses, pop over to Cocomelody. While you’re there, take a peek at their wedding dress collection, too! The retailer has a fun Style Finder quiz (find it at the top of the webpage) that allows you to narrow in on which dress style might be right for you, and they offer a home try-on program that’s similar to other brands. Plus, there’s a huge variety of dresses for you to shop, and the retailer has accessories at the ready just in case.
Pricing: There are gowns at just about any price at David’s Bridal. They start as low as less than $100, and they go up to $1,000 (and beyond). This is one retailer where they’re truly is a dress for every budget.
When we say tons (and tons) of brides have found their wedding dresses at David’s Bridal, we’re not kidding! But something that is not as widely known about the retailer is you can shop from home rather than visiting a boutique in person. You can choose to browse through all of the available dresses, including some you might be hard pressed to find in stores, and you can also shop by price point. Plus, you get to ease your mind along the way by knowing you’re shopping with a brand that’s been around (and online) for years with dresses from designers you adore.
Pricing: This can completely run the gamut! There are separates you can buy for a few hundred dollars, there are full dresses that can cost the same amount, and then there are designs that can run thousands. This is a moment when you will need to choose your own adventure!
Etsy can feel like a true treasure-trove of great finds, but the key is knowing how to search and what to look for. The first step is to narrow down your search to the site’s selection of wedding dresses. From there, you can continue to shrink your pool by clicking on specifics, like embroidery, macramé, or minimalist.
While you’re browsing, look for “star seller” or “Etsy pick” notes and pieces with plenty of reviews (at least a few hundred if not a few thousand) to offer hints about which makers to trust and which makers to avoid. Also, take a peek at where the seller is located! Shopping with U.S. sellers will help with shipping, but you can also prepare to shop with an overseas maker too.
Fame and Partners
Pricing: Dresses range from $269-$389.
Fame & Partners is an eco-conscious brand that makes custom clothes. While that might make you think it’s out of your price range, you may want to think again! Fame & Partners’ goal is to reach the mass market, so its wedding dresses are priced below $400. Each dress is thoughtful, simple, and well-made. Plus, you get to experience your wedding day knowing you’re helping the environment while wearing a semi-custom piece.
Grace Loves Lace
Pricing: Ready-to-wear gowns start at $1,600.
Comfort, quality, and price are at the heart of Grace Loves Lace. Though the brand was launched in Australia, it ships worldwide, and it even has showrooms in the United States (just in case you want to break away from your computer and shop in person). While each gown is slightly different, they all share the same handmade bohemian aesthetic — and we love them all.
Pricing: Wedding dresses range from $299 to $699, and Kennedy Blue is also known for its sales and discounts.
When you visit the Kennedy Blue website, you will notice several bridesmaids’ dresses first. That’s because ‘maids are the brand’s specialty. But the retailer also has a great selection of wedding dresses! You will find everything from A-line to mermaid, and nearly every fabric and detail is represented, too (think: plain satin, lace, beading, and more!).
Pricing: Many of the dresses are priced under $100, which is a win!
If you’ve shopped for a wedding guest dress recently, or you’ve wanted to find a more unique piece for everyday wear, someone has likely mentioned Lulus to you! The brand is known for its fun and affordable take on dresses, and many brides turn to the brand for bridesmaids’ dresses. However, like so many other retailers, Lulus has wedding dresses, too! You will find everything from short boho dresses to classic long frocks, and you can even find jumpsuits. Keep in mind, Lulus is a great source for bridal shower, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner dresses!
Lyra Vega Bridal
Pricing: Wedding dresses are priced from $600, and the most expensive gown is $1,200.
Lyra Vega Bridal prides itself on being “the best-kept secret” in the wedding industry. It’s little-known fact? The retailer sells wedding dresses at wholesale prices! Plus, if the idea of searching through a seemingly endless number of gown listings overwhelms you, Lyra Vega Bridal has you covered because its selection of gowns is carefully curated (there are 20 dresses on the site). The only thing to keep in mind if you choose to order from this retailer is they don’t have a home try-on program. You’re asked to measure yourself, submit your measurements, and try on your final custom piece when it arrives at your doorstep.
Pricing: Wedding dress are priced from under $100 and go up from there.
If you’re nervous to purchase your wedding dress from a retailer that’s not as known to you, allow us to point you in the direction of a retailer you do know: Nordstrom! The brand is known for its collection of styles that have everything from budget-friendly finds under $100 to designer frocks that cost much more. You will find brands you know as you scroll, and you will also have Nordstrom’s simple shipping and returning policies backing your decision.
Pricing: Gowns range from $278 to $698.
If you’re interested in sustainable clothes, Reformation should definitely be on your radar! The brand makes all of its own clothes in a factory in Los Angeles, and it even releases a quarterly sustainability report. Take a peek at Reformation’s offerings if you’re in the market for a sleek gown for a modern fete or a less formal frock for a backyard soiree. These pieces are fun and funky!
Pricing: Sale prices start below $50, and regularly priced gowns go up to just under $2,000.
Fashion-forward is the name of the game for Revolve. The retailer proudly sells brands you’ve heard of (and a bunch you have not) in order to constantly share what’s new in the fashion industry. Reformation doesn’t specialize in wedding dresses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find your wedding dress by browsing through the site! It has an expansive selection of white dresses that are definitely ready for a wedding day, so take a peek.
Pricing: Dresses start at under $500, and they go up to just over $1,100.
Tadashi Shoji’s goal is to create fashion that’s flattering for all body types. The designer has a line of everyday clothes, and he also dips his toe into the wedding day waters with wedding dresses, bridesmaids’ dresses, and flower girl dresses. Every dress is meant to feel “uncomplicated,” which we love, and there’s also a more limited selection of gowns available to prevent you from endlessly scrolling through too many options. Plus, it’s a chance to wear a designer dress!
Pricing: Dresses range from $300 to $1,950.
Many wedding dresses are produced in factories, and Vow’d orders from the same places as many of the designers you’ve heard of. The difference is the retailer doesn’t mark up the price of its gowns. Plus, Vow’d creates a unique experience for brides shopping from home because the team can pair you with a virtual stylist to help you. The Vow’d goal is to make shopping for a wedding dress fun, whether you’re browsing online or at one of their stores in person. P.S: You can also shop by trend, which means you can filter wedding dresses by things like “rustic bride,” “beach bride,” and “sparkly details.”
Shopping for Your Wedding Dress Online is the Savvy Way to Shop!
If you decide to shop for your wedding dress from the comfort of your home rather than at a dress boutique, know you’re not alone! There are plenty of other brides doing the same thing, and you can also still have a fun experience with help from a virtual stylist or your friends and family you invite to help you browse. Plus, there’s still the moment you try on dresses at home to look forward to, so make sure to have fun cocktails or mocktails on hand for the moment you officially find “the one!”
Are you shopping for your wedding dress online? What questions do you have about the process? Have you made any great discoveries you would love to share? Let us know!
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