Bridal online is big business. For a fraction of the price of retail shopping, a bride can order her bridesmaid dresses for under $200 from the comfort of her own home. More often than not, this seemingly stress free experience becomes its own snow ball of disaster. Here are some realities;
– First of all the fit is the most obvious. Bridal websites offer great prices, but not great fit charts, so typically not only does the hem have to be done, but extra fitting must be done for each dress. The most difficult situation is when the dress is too small. To rectify this is a complex process, that requires new fabric sourcing and extra fittings, as well as a considerable alteration fee.
– The next issue is styling. While the picture on the web site looks quite beautiful on their size 2 model, the reality is that their polyester creation often disappoints and the unassuming bridesmaid often feels a bit frumpy beside the perfection that is the bride, creating an atmosphere of resentment.
– Another issue is timing. I can’t begin to recount how many last minute and hysterical bridesmaids I get calling me, complaining of just receiving their dress a few days before and with the wedding a week and a half away, they need to find someone to help make it presentable.
With all these issues, my tip for brides and bridesmaids is know what you are buying. A custom made gown can be made of more affordable material, in a very flattering style that the bridesmaid can be proud to wear for the bride, and then look forward to wearing it again. A happy bridesmaid is a helpful bridesmaid.
If timing is an issue and the dresses are arriving close to the wedding date, to avoid rush alteration fees, have a set appointment with the alteration professional standing and the project accounted for. No surprises is a good thing in planning a seamless wedding day.
If budget is the concern, discuss the alteration fees with your alteration professional before you buy, especially if you have bridesmaids of extreme sizes, as some dresses may suit the silhouettes of some bridesmaids and not of others, leaving your bridal party looking unfinished. Alterations, while effective, can become expensive and a serious issue, if unaccounted for. Do your homework. Is the cheapest way, really the inexpensive route, or the beginning of a huge expense?
In looking forward to a beautiful day, focus on what matters to you most and ask questions to the professionals. We know our stuff and are here to help