You're planning your wedding and any down time from your job, family, friends, phone calls to vendors and general life, is spent searching for the elements that will make YOURS the wedding people talk about and want to copy. Not an attention junkie? Not so much look at "ME, ME, ME"? Then you're searching for the elements that are more personal and memorable to you and your partner. Either way, at some point, if you've decided to wear a wedding gown, and you'll need one that is perfect FOR YOU.
When we research in the 21 century, we go online. Period. We Pin items on Pinterest, we go to all the usual bridal-related media outlets: magazines, websites and designer sites and we hunt for our dress while relishing in the options available.
[CASUAL ASIDE] Even if you don't love a particular style, don't you just love looking at ALL styles of gowns? Admit it? It's pretty stinking fun. It's like "I HATE it, but I can't look away!!" At some point, though, it's time to think about really looking and making a purchase.
At BT, we hear the online purchase Tales of Woes almost weekly. Of course, our bias is for a brick and mortar experience, but there is a good reason for this. In fact, here are 7 excellent ones.
When you shop in a boutique like Bridal Traditions, you get expert advice/suggestions (if you will let us help you! We kinda know what we are talking about!) We can walk you through the process and hold your hand when necessary.
It's free therapy. We care about what our customers are going through (even when it has NOTHING to do with a dress purchase or BT at all) and we are often a shoulder to cry on.
When you shop at a boutique, you can see quality/material first hand. When you look online, you're hoping that the picture is a true representation of what you'll get.
We provide customer service AFTER the sale. I believe we not only provide service after the sale, it's good service. We listen, problem solve and make sure that you get what you want, to the very best of our ability.
Brick and mortar boutiques support the local economy and create jobs. You may not be thinking about this when you buy your dress or even think you care when you have so many other things that you're trying to do in preparation for your wedding. But it matters. We promise.
You can actually see if it fits and we can guide you on ordering the right size. Nothing fits the way your expect it to until the fabric hits your body. Let us guide you through this and provide counsel.
Buying from a boutique means that you won't get stuck with a style that looks horrible on you even if it looks amazing on the model in the pic.
Now, we all love shopping online. Perfumes, contour sticks and sheet masks from Sephora, Disney movies for nieces and nephews, exotic culinary ingredients and cookbooks you saw on FoodTV, out of print books from your childhood, inexpensive pashmina scarves,
..... but your wedding gown?
Some things to consider when you buy online:
YOU are a number. You are a sale. THAT'S IT. They have your name, size and payment info.
An online wedding gown purchase could very well be supporting unethical people who employ people in sweatshops and breaking child labor laws, assuming that you're purchasing your dress from a country with regulations. We do not direct this comment to reputable online retailers, but there are so many shady one out there sometimes it's hard to tell which is which.
Additionally, the gown you order online could be hazardous to your health (watch this video shared by another boutique owner and what happened to her client) This is for real people! Watch Video
1-3 should be enough, but ...
There is no follow up after the sale. You have to do your own mental inventory of what is wrong, what doesn't work, fit, why your heart isn't pounding with joy and then explain it, package it, drive to the post office and wait to see what happens. As if you don't have enough to do. That's insult to injury.
Your dress may not arrive at all. It happens. And sometimes, when the dress does arrive, it turns out to be, in the words of one of our clients, an overpriced dishrag.
We want you to be happy. That's one of our core values - customer joy. So before you move from online research to online purchase, consider the pros and cons and then stop by our boutique, or one near you, and get a sense of what you'll be missing if you decide that you'd like your dress to arrive like an Amazon delivery.
To sum up we are not saying all online stores are bad, in fact there are many brick and mortar stores that accommodate the online shopper, who knows, we may be one ourselves soon. Just be aware of where and from whom your gown is coming.
Store owner, Kelly has been in the bridal industry since 2000, when at the ripe old age of 20 she opened her first little store front on a wing and a prayer. She is a certified wedding planner (no, she does not plan weddings), and everything she knows about bridal and formal wear has come from, gut instinct, trial and error, and watching LOTS of What Not to Wear.