It has all the makings of a genuine nightmare; except there’s no waking up in a cold sweat from this one, Fairies. Some Brides are left without a dress just months or even weeks before the wedding!
*Laughs nervously, reaches for stick of raw cookie dough*
Don’t panic, girl. We’re here to prepare you for the worst. And if it all comes crashing down, we’ll tell you exactly how to fix this little situation without breaking the bank. No dress? No stress.
Before You Buy…
Before you go dashing into a Bridal salon with your entourage in tow, here’s a few things to bear in mind.
1. Pay by Credit
Although your parents have probably spent their whole lives telling you otherwise, it’s actually best to pay by credit card when it comes to Bridal gowns. Sounds weird, right? However, credit cards come with insurance on purchases, which means if your Wedding gown doesn’t arrive, or if the company suddenly goes bust, the bank or credit card company will generally refund you any deposit money.
2. Find Alternative Stockists
It’s always wise to make a list of all the stockists that have your dress on hand or could get it in at short notice, just in case of an emergency. You’ve probably already done this while you were In the process of searching for different boutiques who stock the dresses you’d like to try on, so keep this list handy somewhere, heaven forbid you may ever need it.
3. Read the Fine Print
Once all the details of your purchase have been finalised in writing, it’s always good to read and re-read the fine print. This is especially relevant in terms of cancellation policies and whatever else life throws your way. Better to be safe than sorry, Fairies.
After You Buy…
So, let’s imagine you’ve found the perfect dress. Whether you plucked it straight off the rack or designed it yourself, let’s imagine you’ve paid for your gown and all that’s left to do is take that baby home. Except… you can’t. Maybe there’s been some sort of mistake, or there’s been an oversight in the bookings and your gown can’t be ready in time. Or the brand goes into liquidation. Or the boutique burns to the ground with your dress in it! Yes, we have a flair for the dramatic but, you get the point. The Bride is left without a dress and there’s no time to get another one made.
Your options are as follows:
1. Buy Off the Rack
Fortunately, most Bridal salons update their off-the-rack stock just as often as their made-to-order gowns. However, variety and sizes may still be limited. Work with a Bridal consultant because even though the dress cannot be made to your specific size, they may have some invaluable advice on altering for a better fit.
2. Buy Second-Hand
Buying a second-hand Wedding gown could also be the perfect solution for you. I mean let’s be real, they’ve literally only been worn once! This is even easier to do online through websites which offer an online market place for girls to offload their loved, barely worn Wedding dresses. Who knows, you may just find a dress that’s better than your original.
3. Buck the Trend
Wearing a white dress you already have on hand is a decent option at this point, especially since alterations wouldn’t be an issue. And who said a Wedding dress had to be a dress anyway? Why are we writing off jumpsuits, pantsuits, overalls and skirts? It can literally be anything you choose to get Married in! Get your hands on a style you’ll feel fabulous in, or start a new trend and rock it like JLO in a sexy jumpsuit with some killer heels.
4. Rent a Gown
Every girl deserves to feel amazing on her Wedding, and there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be able to do so even at short notice. If you’re willing to forego the option of altering for a perfect fit and being able to hang that sparkly number in your closet for memory’s sake, you’d have no dramas renting a dress online.
5. Mix and Match
Why not get creative with it and mix and match your own outfit for the big day? Think lacy crop tops, textured skirts and embellished belts. This Bride looks stunningly chic in her tutu skirt and laidback denim shirt. Get inspired and rock a bridal two piece like a pro.
Gown by Riki Dalal
6. Look For Sample Sales
If you’re one of those lucky Brides who can slip into a sample size with ease, there may be hope for you yet. Be sure to keep an eye out for sample sales at surrounding Bridal salons. They usually crop up at the beginning or end of the year, especially when salons need more storage space for new stock. Be prepared though Fairies, do some homework.
- Make an appointment if necessary. Some sample sales are huge and numbers are limited
- Understand what kind of gowns are usually stocked by the retailer
- Don’t expect an attentive staff member to provide one-on-one service
- If a dress requires altering, factor in whether that’s possible within your timeframe
- Inspect the gown thoroughly before you buy, as any damages are your responsibility
7. Keep it in the Family
You may have been desperately avoiding wearing a relative’s Wedding gown but if you do choose to go down this path, the result can actually be incredible. Obviously this option would only work if alterations could be completed well before the Wedding date, and that might be impossible due to the amount of work required. If done well though, revamping an outdated dress could potentially leave you with a stunning, sentimental keepsake that can be passed down for generations to come. It may actually be a blessing in disguise!
Main image from Nicky Hilton’s Wedding. Credit: Harpers Bazaar.