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Changing Shopping Habits
Times are changing and in recent years, more and more brides are turning to the Internet to buy wedding dress. So, let's take a look at this and outline some of the Pros and Cons with this very important purchase.
We understand that buying a wedding dress online is not for everybody so we are in the process of compiling a Bridal Services Directory which will include a list of bridal stores in the USA and other countries - click the link above or at the bottom of the page. While it's not a complete list, it will give you some ideas of where to buy wedding dress in-store in the USA. Remember that most of the wedding gowns you will see a bridal store are of similar quality to what we have on offer. But there are a number of differences as you will discover.
Expect a wedding dress price in the high street shop to be at least double our wedding dress online prices. Remember, our wholesale division supply bridal shops all around the world and the gowns you see on our web site that range from $400 to $1,500 typically sell in-store for $1,000 to $3,000. You will find similar wedding dress style, same high quality, just a different brand name. But as we said, some brides are more comfortable shopping in a bridal store and in a bride is happier shopping in-store, then that's what she should do.
Bridal stores carry a limited selection of wedding dresses. First of all, they usually carry a number of wedding dress brands and since there are so many brands, they can't possibly stock all the bridal brands they would like to stock. Our online bridal store does not have that restriction. Because it’s not physical stock, we have almost no limit on how many wedding dresses we can show in our online bridal store.
Going back to the higher prices high street bridal stores charge, when you realize that even carrying a stock of only 200 or 300 wedding dresses would mean they have to tie up hundreds of thousands of dollars, in bigger stores, it’s millions of dollars in stock. When you add in rent, heating, lighting and wages, the high street is very expensive to run.
3 Discontinued Designs
The nature of the fashion industry is that styles change every year dictated as they are by the infamous fashion trends. It’s this constant changing of styles and colors that helps drive the fashion industry with billions of dollars being spent every year, just to keep in touch with the latest fashion trend. Not so with bridal gowns. While there are some small changes in trends, the changes are minimal. Hair styles change more than wedding dress styles but every year top designers launch their new wedding dress collections with all the razzmatazz they can muster. Not because they’re inspired but because it’s in their interest to launch new collections, create a buzz about the brand keep their name in the public eye on TV and in print media and maintain prices. In reality, many of the new wedding dress creations are clever re-working of previous designs and this goes part of the way to explaining why dress designs are considered a “useful article” and not protected by copyright laws in the USA.
Sometimes in a bridal store you might be lucky to be offered a wedding dress from the previous season but with a discount of 50% or more. Even with a big discount like that, the bridal store is still making money. Makes you think! Taking into account what we said above about wedding dress designs not being protected by law in the USA, an online bridal store like Monroe Bridal can in fact provide a solution if that gown you loved is no longer available. Vera Wang, Maggie Sottero, Mori Lee, Pronovias, Alfred Angelo, Aire Barcelona have very talented teams of designers and every year, they roll out their new bridal collections. So what do you do if the design you like is discontinued and no longer available? Your high street bridal boutique can’t help you but maybe we can.
A good example from 2013 was a customer in Pennsylvania, USA, who found her dream dress in-store – a stunning Maggie Sottero dress with clusters of Swarovski crystals. There were two problems. First, it was a dress that was discontinued almost a year earlier. The second problem was that this was the only one left in the store and it was the wrong size. She decided to sleep on it and came back a week later to find her dream wedding dress was gone. So she contacted us and asked if we could help. She also asked that since she was planning a beach wedding, could be make some additional changes to make it more suitable for a beach wedding. We were happy to oblige and what this bride ended up with was a customized version of her dream wedding dress at less that 50% the cost of the original.
Was she happy? Bearing in mind that she had actually tried on the original and this is what she wrote: “I really like all the beading and it's a perfect match to the pictures! I'm extremely impressed that your factory was able to duplicate the dress and also customize using the lighter underlining fabric which is awesome!” We think her comments say it all.
4 Customized Design
If you buy a wedding dress in-store you can choose from what’s available and that’s it. In some stores, they can and will customize a dress for you but this is very limited. The wedding dresses in-store are standard sizes and if you, like most people, don’t fit exactly the industry standard size, the wedding dress will need to be altered to fit you. What happens if you like a dress but maybe the neckline is not to your liking or you want a longer train? You will find very limited solutions in-store but because all Laila Monroe wedding dresses (and prom dresses) are custom made, we can make many changes so that your dress is made to your specific requirements. A simple example of this is illustrated in the section above. Almost every day, we are dealing with customization requests so if you have a specific request, talk to us.
5 Plus Size Wedding Dresses
If you are a Plus Size bride, sadly most stores offer a very limited selection. Once again, as we custom make all our dresses, we can make most designs in Plus Size also so please contact us.
6 Limited Shopping Times
There are thousands of brilliant bridal stores but a small number still have an arrogance about them and insist on “appointment only” and in some cases, very limited opening hours. We can understand that shopping for a wedding dress can take time and a store doesn’t want too many brides in at the same time as it’s difficult to serve all of them properly. But some of these stores give the impression that you should be grateful they agreed to allow you into their store. The "times they are a changing" and online wedding dress shopping is 24/7 and 365. You can shop at a time that suits you, not the bridal store.
CLICK HERE FOR OUR GUIDE TO BRIDAL SHOPS