7 Wedding Dress Buying Mistakes to Avoid

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7 Wedding Dress Buying Mistakes to Avoid

From the moment a woman agrees to marry her new fiance, she has dozens of things to plan which include anything from the season of her wedding to the main course for the reception. Wedding dress shopping is both a fun process and a tricky process in the wedding preparation phase. Buying a wedding dress is a special moment because this is the gown the bride wears when saying "I do" and going from a Ms. to a Mrs. With everything that can go wrong in the wedding planning process, there is quite a bit that can go right with the correct research and logic. Buying the wrong size or style wedding dress seems logically incorrect, yet millions of women do it each year. They buy for the body type they want, the theme they want, or based on the entourage they bring to help. However, they should buy rationally while still shopping with their heart because they should love the wedding dress and not just settle.

Mistake 1: Buying the Wrong Size Wedding Dress

A woman naturally changes sizes throughout each month depending on what she eats, where her menstrual cycle is, and even how much she sleeps. If the bride-to-be shops for her gown when she is severely bloated or even slightly overweight, the size will not be accurate. Taking the opposite perspective, buying a smaller dress because she realises she is temporarily bloated is also counterproductive. A woman tends to think she can lose large amounts of weight before the wedding and may have the best of intentions. However, in addition to the invitations, planning, preparations, and everything else the wedding commands, losing weight is another stressor and might be forgotten or simply unattainable. The typical woman does not change her size dramatically.

Most boutiques offer fitting services so if a bit of weight is lost or gained the fitting accommodates the weight change. If a woman gains or loses a stone or two, a whole new dress needs to be purchased since the amount of work to tailor the initial gown would be too costly.

Mistake 2: Buying the Wrong Style Wedding Dress

There are several body types that women have ranging from boy shape to pear shape or from bottle to hourglass. One size does not fit all, and the same holds true for style. Broad shoulders do not lend themselves to a strapless wedding gown, instead a halter wedding dress is more suitable. For the woman with larger hips, a dress that cinches at the waist hides the hips and brings attention to the most slender section of the body. A busty woman looks better in a full-coverage bust gown, while a more flat-chested woman benefits from a halter style with added cups. The style and variations of wedding gowns are endless. Small alterations here and there provide the bride with a more perfect fit within the style.

Mistake 3: Buying a Themed Wedding Dress

Some couples like the idea of a themed wedding. Whether it is Dowton Abbey themed or a tribute to old England, there is a dress appropriate for most themes. The mistake in buying a themed dress is not staying true to the theme because the bride falls in love with the wrong dress. It is easy to rationalize purchasing a wedding dress because the bride likes it, rather than fit it into the overall theme. A Victorian wedding dress or one that looks like Catherine, the Dutchess of Cambridge's gown, for a Downton Abbey themed wedding is terribly inappropriate. In some cases it is best to purchase a dress before selecting a theme or bring an unbiased audience to remind the bride of the theme and ensure the theme and dress are aligned.

Mistake 4: Buying a Wedding Dress With an Entourage

Buying a wedding dress is fun and exciting for friends and family. Typically the mother and even sister or sisters of the bride join in on the shopping. Friends or maids of honour join in the shopping festivities as well. However, too many people helping in the selection process can make the bride choose a dress she is not totally set on. Personal opinion matters when purchasing a gown, but hearing the opinion of a conflicting audience is counterproductive. Losing sight of the style and type of gown that the bride intends to buy is not beneficial to the process either. Conversely, if a bride is set on a gown that is not perfect for her, the same crowd needs to remind her of the intentions of the dress.

Mistake 5: Buying the Wedding Dress Too Early

Depending on the length of engagement a lady should time her dress purchase well. If the wedding is scheduled a few weeks after the proposal then shopping for a dress immediately is essential to account for alterations. However, if the engagement is to last a year or two, it is wise to wait about nine months before the wedding to select a final dress. The bride-to-be can shop for her dress immediately so she has an understanding of what looks good and what does not look good. However, she should buy the dress when she knows the wedding is closer rather than farther. Additionally, several life events can happen within a two-year engagement which can nullify the need for the initial wedding dress.

Mistake 6: Buying a Wedding Dress Based on Price

As with most weddings, there is a budget to keep in mind. If the bride is budget conscious, she will fall into the price trap. Sample wedding dresses are often discounted because several women have tried the gowns on. But with the handling of the gowns comes wear and tear. Although speciality cleaners remove common stains and re-attach embellishments, these dresses are still not brand new. Further, some mass merchants produce high quantities of gowns and are able to offer a discount on the overall price. Sometimes these discounted dresses are made with quality, but there is also a chance that the dresses may fall apart shortly after walking down the aisle. Some merchants offer free alterations with the purchase of a dress, so although the fancier dress might cost $1,000 quid, the alterations are gratis. This is in comparison to a less expensive dress that costs $500 quid with alterations that amount to another $400-500; then the cost is actually the same as the fancier dress.

Mistake 7: Settling for a Wedding Dress

With trying on dresses and shopping for wedding items the bride runs the risk of wedding fatigue. She might be so overwhelmed by everything and just wants the planning to be over and done with. If this happens while shopping for a gown, she might make the mistake of settling for the wrong dress because it is conveniently available.

Buying a wedding dress is not a rushed process; it is one that should be weighed smartly. Whether settling on a dress because of price, fatigue, or perhaps being rushed, the bride-to-be will not be happy with the result. Wedding planners around the world agree that there is a moment when the bride is supposed to fall in love with just one wedding dress, just as she fell in love with her fiance. Although the special moment might seem like a fairy tale, it is something to aspire to. Buying a wedding gown is not as easy as going to the market; it is complicated and involved.

How to Buy a Wedding Dress on eBay

Buying in stores permits the bride to try on several styles in one sitting. However, browsing online on websites like eBay lets the bride see several thousand options and filter on price, condition, and geography of the seller. If the seller is close in proximity you might be able to visit the establishment to try the dress on. When searching on eBay you can simply type in the style or type of wedding dress within the search bar and almost immediately see hundreds of options. General searches for a wedding dress result in more results. Specific wedding dress searches might result in fewer options returned, but they are in line with your particular requests.

Seller Feedback

As you browse the wedding dress options, you will see the prices, small thumbnail pictures, and sometimes a small ribbon appears next to the sellers post. The ribbon indicates the seller has received positive feedback from several buyers over the previous six months. After each transaction buyers are encouraged to leave feedback about their experience.


Buying a wedding dress is one of the highlights of wedding planning. With so many details to consider from start to finish, it is easy to overlook important dress buying tips. Making mistakes is typically never the intention, but it does happen. Reviewing the mistakes above and learning how to mitigate against the mistakes helps you determine not only the best dress for your body, but the best dress for your theme, budget, and overall comfort level.

Researching various styles on eBay provides several thousand options to sift through without waiting for a sales attendant to bring them to you. Although you cannot feel the fabric through cyberspace, you can ask the seller to provide information on the fabric, feel, weight, and overall wearability of the gown. Being aware of the questions to ask and details to look for will only help you in the quest for the best dress for your wedding.

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