It's engagement season and dress shopping is right around the corner. January in the wedding business is commonly referred to as "Bridal Christmas." Those who work retail know the craziness of the holiday season. As things start to calm down from the holidays is when bridal salons begin their busiest time of the year.
The next few weeks we are going to have guest bloggers from designers, consultants and more offering you dress shopping advice. Today we start though with "BUYER BEWARE."
On the Huffington Post recently there was a feature on online wedding gown disasters. Upon reading this article I learned that many of these gowns coming to brides are coming through the UK so that brides believe they are getting a high quality product.
I contacted Rebecca Hock and ask her to write a brief advice segment for brides and she did.
The BBSA (British Bridal Suppliers Association) set up the campaign Brides Beware over two years ago to help raise the awareness behind the risk of purchasing wedding gowns online. The main message is that if you see a gown in a boutique for £800 and then see it online for £150 there will be a catch. The result is more often than not a substandard gown in poor quality fabric, a lack of underskirts and structure and dreadful beadwork.
The main issue with copycat websites is they are using photography owned by bridalmanufactures and designers, claiming that this is the dress the customer is purchasing. When really they are simply creating a substandard copy from the photograph.
The campaign is helping to inform brides before they waste their precious wedding budget on a copied wedding gown. There has been an overwhelming positive response from brides and retailers and the number of followers is growing each day. The campaign currently has a Facebook page with over 20,000 followers, as well as twitter and Instagram.
Brides Beware have exhibited at many bridal retail fairs across the UK over the past two years, which has had a fantastic response from the public. Also great support from the bridal industry press, with a number of features written about the campaign and even a feature on popular BBC television program Fake Britain.
Advice for brides –
Please don’t buy online, after all who wants to purchase the most important garment they will ever wear from a photograph. Anyone that has been to try on wedding gowns will know you need to try on a number of styles before you find a style that suits you and you need the expertise of a trained sales assistant to advise you.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you are buying the same designer gown online that you have tried on in a boutique, for a fraction of the cost just be it’s the same photograph or they are claiming it’s the genuine designer by using their name. These Chinese factories steal the images from designer websites and use them to sell inferior copies. You are not cutting out the middle man by buying from these sites. Genuine Bridalwear designers and manufacturers never sell online in this way.
Please think about how these gowns are being manufactured at these prices and how much the workers are actually being paid. Who is regulating the factories that these gowns are being made in and who is actually making them.
Designer and manufacturers spend money and time sourcing factories and making sure the workers are well paid and fairly treated.
Watch out for .co.uk websites, they are almost always still Chinese based. Also some bridal shops are ordering in cheap copies, be careful. Don’t rely on just sending it back and getting a refund if you don’t like it. Most brides never get a refund or have to pay a fortune to return the dress to China themselves. If they have a UK postal address, be careful, some of these are fake too.
If you are at all unsure just contact us on Facebook and we can give you some advice.
Fake Britiain - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VL9JnI7dgs
PLEASE feel free if you have a question about a knock off dress or are considering ordering from over seas ask BBSA.
We at IDoWED encourage you to shop local. Use one of our preferred bridal salons. DON'T ORDER YOUR WEDDING GOWN ONLINE!
Be sure to check out our preferred bridal salons.