By Anna Novak
Kathryn’s Bridal & Dress Shop, McHenry, IL
How can you find the perfect wedding dress at the lowest price? Should you look online? Should you purchase from the bridal salon that promises you they discount all their dresses? With so many options, you may wonder why some shops offer savings and others do not. This is the magic question all brides on a budget ask. The answer is actually very simple and can be summarized in the phrase, "you get what you pay for…”
Your wedding day is the single most important event in your life, and you want it to be perfect. There are many premier salons that are committed to ensuring your gown is exquisite, appropriately fitted and delivered as promised. This is the type of business you should work with, one that is trustworthy and an authorized retailer of your dream dress. Before you buy, be diligent about checking the reputation of the shop by talking with friends, looking at online reviews, perusing their Facebook page and blogs. If a salon extends an unbelievable discount to you, beware! “You get what you pay for!"
Bridal salons have contracts with their designers to honor consistent pricing. Ignoring these agreements is an ethical violation that is frowned upon within the industry and erodes the shop’s ability to rectify discrepancies. A manufacturer is unlikely to resolve issues that arise with a shop that values a quick profit over a long-term partnership with the line. To a bride, this means if there is any imperfection or error with the dress (which often occurs), you are unlikely to receive any cooperation to remedy the situation, because the gown was purchased "as is.” Ultimately, you end up getting what you paid for, a "discount version of an original design” a.k.a. a “reject.”
In some situations, a salon may not even sell you a dress made by the designer, but a "knock-off" without disclosing this fact to you. This is how a salon can guarantee a lower price, by swapping an inferior product for a cheap copy. Most knock–offs do not follow the same sizing standards as the original designer, so the fit is inaccurate. Since these gowns are often produced in low wage factories, the arms holes, lengths, beading and hems are often uneven, which creates an expensive alteration nightmare. The few dollars you may have saved upon ordering will be spent later to fix the multitude of problems. In addition, many "knock-offs" arrive in a different color, an imperfect pattern or an inferior fabric. If a bridal shop is willing to promise you an exact duplicate of your dream dress at a huge savings, be prepared to pay.
Do your homework in order to spend your money wisely, since your bridal gown must be perfect when you say " I do.” Work with established bridal professionals who have earned the trust of their vendors, and who value the relationships they build with you. Your wedding is not the time to make a costly mistake.