Buying wedding dresses on Etsy is becoming a trend as more brides turn towards convenient, practical and more budget-friendly ways of finding their dream dress. Not every bride wants to march into a bridal boutique store with an entourage and try on expensive dresses. Some just want to browse online and find that perfect dress from a world of options.
But there is inherent risk involved in shopping online for your wedding dress and even though there are amazing wedding dresses on Etsy, should you take the risk?
What if the dress doesn’t fit you, the color is all wrong or the material isn’t what the photos suggested? Can you return the dress? Who takes care of alterations? And how can you pick the right retailer?
We hear your questions! In this guide, we walk you through the steps to buying your wedding dress on Etsy.
- First Things First – What is Etsy?
- How to Find the Right Etsy Seller
- Once You’ve Found Your Seller….
- Etsy Sellers We Recommend for Your Wedding Dress
First Things First – What is Etsy?
Just in case you’re an absolute newbie, Etsy is an e-commerce platform (much like Ebay or Amazon) but one that’s dedicated to artisan, handmade and vintage items. You’ll also find a lot of craft supplies here.
Because anyone can sell on Etsy, you have the benefit of finding wedding dresses from all across the globe, in places you would otherwise not be able to access for your bridal dress, like Poland, Ukraine or the Philippines. While this is a benefit, it’s also the disadvantage because this means that you need to vet the retailer by yourself.
Each retailer on Etsy has their own store policies and fine print, so it’s important to carefully find a wedding dress designer that you can trust and rely on throughout the process. Not all wedding dress designers are the same and some are better than others.
The benefit of buying your dress on Etsy is that you’ll be purchasing from an independent seller who can personalize the dress to suit your needs.
How to Find the Right Etsy Seller
When looking for the right Etsy seller to make your dream dress, consider the following steps.
Research, Research, Research
This is the most important step because it’ll ensure that you find a quality designer who knows what they’re doing. Your seller should be an expert in their field and not only provide a beautiful design but should also provide excellent quality, honesty, transparency and open communication throughout the process.
Here’s what to check for:
- Customer reviews – what have other customers said about their experience purchasing from the seller? Carefully read the reviews and look for photos. You can also get in touch with these past customers and ask all your questions. Most people are happy to share their experience sometimes even sharing photos. The higher the customer rating the better.
- Number of sales – Etsy lets you see how many sales each retailer has had overall. The higher the number of sales, the more experience the retailer probably has dealing with online orders. There are many first-time sellers on Etsy sometimes with gorgeous dress designs. Do you want to take the risk of being the first customer? It’s up to you.
- Communication – some retailers take the time to respond to reviews and to try to rectify situations where the customer wasn’t satisfied. This shows interaction and communication with the customer, which is what you’re looking for.
- Location – as I mentioned above, Etsy sellers are located all around the world. This means that your dress could be coming from the other side of the world. This can impact delivery times as well as shipping fares. Take this into consideration before you begin your order.
- Response rate – Etsy lets you know the frequency with which the seller communicates with customers. Look for a seller who responds quickly, within 24 hours or less.
- Age of the shop – if you navigate to the profile of the shop, you’ll see how long it’s been running on Etsy, just under the name and description of the shop. The older the store, the more credible it is, as you know they’re not going to take your money and run. They have a reputation to protect. s
Look for Quality
Don’t accept everything at face value. Be critical of what you see on Etsy. You might find a gorgeous-looking dress that looks a million bucks for a $100 but when it’s delivered to your door, it could be the ugliest, cheapest looking dress you’ve ever seen.
To avoid this disappointment, know that there are many ‘sellers’ offering great bargains and discounts on Etsy that are too good to be true. There are many scams like this so do your due diligence.
Again, this is why it’s good to purchase from an established seller rather than one just starting out. You often get what you pay for, so if you’re looking for timeless class and quality, it’s better to loosen your purse strings a bit wider instead of getting disappointed with a cheap, low-quality dress.
I cannot stress how important this is when looking for your Etsy seller. The last thing you want is to commit to a dress design and then not hear from your Etsy seller or worse, not have them listen to what you want.
You need a seller that responds quickly, takes your concerns and questions on board and incorporates your vision when making your dress. When you initially get in touch with the seller, be critical of how they respond and communicate with you. This will give you cues about their communication style.
Always be clear and upfront about your expectations for your dress, the vision you have for it and be aware of their timeline for the dress.
Once You’ve Found Your Seller….
Once you’ve found the right seller, it’s time to get the dress of your dreams created. Here’s how the process would pan out:
Step 1: Express Your Vision and Customize Your Dress
Whether you’ve found a dress you like, or two dresses with elements you would like to combine, be honest with your seller and ask them what they can do for you.
You might already have a piece like a veil or bolero that you want to add to your ensemble, in which case the designer would need to take these into account. Don’t hold back but ask every relevant question you have.
You can set up a skype call or some other preferred method of communication and make sure you’ve clearly described what you’re looking for.
Step 2: Measurements Are Key
One of the most important and often challenging steps is getting the right measurements for your dress. Your seller should be able to help you find the right measurements and provide you all the information you need for this.
It’s always a good idea to get someone else to measure you for the most accurate measurements. Check the sizing charts and if in doubt, ask your seller for help.
If you’re buying a readymade dress on Etsy, you may have to factor in the cost of alterations which you’d probably have to do at a local tailor’s. It’s not always practical to send the dress back to the seller for alterations.
Step 3: Trust Your Seller
While it can be difficult, sometimes you have to trust the judgement of your seller and let them do their magic. It can get annoying when someone tells you how to do your job, especially if you’re experienced and you know what you’re doing. Have realistic expectations and know that sometimes certain things you want may not be possible.
Step 4: Receive Your Dress
If all goes to plan, you’ll receive your dress within the stipulated timeline, with enough time before the wedding for alterations. Hopefully the dress is all that you dreamed it would be and makes you feel beautiful!
Etsy Sellers We Recommend for Your Wedding Dress
To take a little of the guesswork out for you, here are top 10 Etsy sellers that we recommend based on their experience, reviews and gorgeous designs. Of course, what works for one may not work for all, which is why it’s important that you get in touch with the seller before you commit to see if you can have a good working relationship.
Based in Ukraine, Mywony Bridal offers made to order dresses for the modern, minimalist bride. Soft pastel colors, 3-dimensional embellishments and flowy fabrics are some characteristics typical of a Mywony wedding gown. The dresses are often non-traditional but gorgeous, classy and timeless.
Based in Lithuania, Wardrobe by Dulcinea features beautiful bridal separates and wedding dresses made to order in custom colors. Pastels, ombre and whites are some of the colors you’ll find here, with designs that hold an ethereal, airy quality. Take a look at their gallery of designs for inspiration.
Based in China, Lace Marry offers custom made couture wedding dresses to suit every bride. They have a range of designs on offer, varying from sleek and sexy sheath dresses, to cute, princess ballgowns.
Based in the US, Dreamers and Lovers features beautiful bohemian dresses for the dreamy bride. The dresses typically feature lace, cotton gauze and silk. They even offer a Try Before You Buy service and a personalized shopping experience.
Based in the UK, Gibson Bespoke offers luxury bridal items at reasonable prices. They specialize in bridal accessories but also have a good range of dresses on offer. Get in touch for a bespoke service to find exactly what you’re after.
For the height of fashion in designer wedding gown styles, look no further than Milamira Bridal, based in Russia. There is a range of bridal dresses on offer, in a range of styles, colors and at various price points offering something for everyone. Check out their Sample Sale collection which features reasonably priced bridal dresses.
You’ll be looking at your wedding photos for years to come which is why it’s so important to make sure you look and feel your most beautiful on your wedding day. A killer dress can give you that feeling so getting it right is important. With all the choice on Etsy, you’re bound to find your dream dress there. Say yes to the dress online and wait for it to show up at your door!