The ongoing battle against websites offering wedding dress copies has been more apparent than ever over the last few months. Brides are lured to buying a wedding dress online — copies of designer bridal gowns they have tried on in bridal boutiques.

I have lost count of the times we have rescued a bride from a fake wedding dress dilemma. I have also seen many articles both online and in our national press covering stories of brides who have fallen prey to these scams.

Factory Copies

These factories (predominantly in the Far East) simply steal images from famous designers’ websites and post them to their own website, eBay or Facebook pages to try to convince you you’re buying an identical dress.

Woman using laptop computer

Some of these factories are open about the fact these gowns are copies, but some try to convince you they are the real thing and they’ve acquired them cheaply. Either way the result is never what you are expecting. When buying a wedding dress online you simply cannot pick up a genuine designer wedding dress for £50 + postage. The bottom line is it will look like it cost you £50!

Cheap Fabrics

The fabrics used are cheap polyester and thin and scratchy lace. Also, the dresses often have ill-fitting necklines and hems, not to mention terrible colours and a lack of fullness in most of the designs. These are just a few of the issues we have come across in our time, but the list is endless.

Disappointment Road sign

To see some shocking examples of fake wedding dresses which look nothing like they should, take a look at this article from The Daily Mail.

The Most Important Outfit You Will Ever Wear

Buying your wedding dress is special. It’s not just a nice day out or an excuse to meet with friends and drink complimentary fizz for the day (although this is lovely and another reason to buy local). It’s the most important outfit you will ever wear.

Bride having wedding dress adjusted

You’ve probably dreamed about your wedding day from a very early age; where it will be, what it will look like, and, most importantly, what you will wear. Your wedding dress is so important — how you feel on your wedding day will remain with you forever, as will your pictures.

Better, Safer Alternatives

A wedding dress doesn’t have to cost the earth to be perfect. With most independent bridal boutiques in the UK starting with designer collections from around £600 and reaching to over £4,000, the scope is massive. Work out your budget and call a few boutiques to see how they can help you.

Detail on wedding dress

Boutiques often have bridal sample sales where you can buy a designer gown for a fraction of its original retail price (in our last sale we had gowns from £150 that had been £1,200). You still get to see and try on the gown, so you’ll know you’re making the right choice.

Enjoy the Experience

Finally, you deserve a better experience. Whatever your budget there will be a dress out there for you, stocked in one of the incredible independent wedding boutiques of the UK, or even your local dress maker. You owe it to yourself to have a lovely experience, so support your local retailers and get a dress worthy of your investment at the same time.

Buying from a boutique will ensure a level of aftercare, like alterations and gown preparation. You simply cannot get this when buying a wedding dress online.

Article by Hayley Hoyle of The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

Images from…

Woman Typing and Road Sign: Pixabay

Bride and Dress Detail: Neil Walker Photography