This isn't an FAQ, exactly, as brides don't typically ask us this question, but we know that a lot of you are wondering… So we thought we'd try and help you out!
We know that there are wedding gowns sold online for one tenth of what you find in the stores, and it's definitely tempting to save that money. You're probably wondering, "why are they so expensive in the store and so cheap online!?" The answer is, the cheap online wedding gowns are fakes. So here's a little more info about those direct from China gowns:
- They are knockoffs (and technically illegal and may be confiscated in customs)
- The Chinese wedding dress makers are making gowns based on photos. The results are pretty sad (see photos below)
- It's not the same quality fabric, construction or embellishment.
- Sometimes the dresses don't arrive on time. Sometimes not at all. Be sure to read reviews of the website you're trying to buy from–but not on that website itself. Google "reviews lightinthebox.com" and you'll see some scary stuff.
Now, the fun part! We have a friend with a bridal store in Kewlona, Canada who paid $300 for a knock off of a bridal gown in her store. She sent us side by side comparisons of the two gowns. See if you can spot the knockoff wedding dress between these two:
If you guessed the gown on the right is the real one, you'd be right. It can be hard to see without closeups, so here you have two pictures of the wedding gown bodice detail. See if you can figure out the fake and real wedding dresses:
Wow, yah. The top one isn't even close to looking like the real gown. It's laughably cheap and lacking most of the beading that the real gown has. Here are two close up shots of the beading on the skirt; which one do you think is the online knockoff wedding dress?
The bottom one is the fake, of course! Was that too easy? You can see that on the top wedding dress the embroidery is thicker, richer, and done on a backing (looks like tulle underneath). The knockoff wedding dress is embroidered directly onto the satin, which causes puckering.
Finally, here's a comparison of the corset backs in both:
Some brides tell us they don't want to spend a lot of money on their wedding dress because they only wear it once. But ladies, that one time is the biggest (and happiest!) days of your life. You may only wear it one time, but you'll look at the photos for the rest of your life. Please consider getting the best gown you can afford because, as you can see, there really is a difference in quality and construction, and the "real deal" will fit and flatter you better than any ol' Chinese knockoff wedding dress!