It's really easy to become an "Authorized Retailer". Okay ready. Step one go to http://www.dessy.com/dresses/lelarose/lr111/?colorid=123&acolorid=114 and right click on the picture and copy it. Step two: type the words "Authorized Retailer" into your word processor. Okay you can do those two steps and so can anyone in China who wants to pretend they are an authorized retailer.
So how do you know that you're dealing with an actual "Authorized Retailer". Well first one, us actual "Authorized Retailers" we are not allowed to sell online. Really though, that should be a given. Go ahead order a book or music online, but really a gown for such an important event? So if you ever do see gowns being sold online, it's not the real deal. "Authorized Retailers" should be listed on the companies website under the section, where to buy. So go check it out. If you don't see a company or store there, they are probably not legit.
Okay, some of you might still be thinking, who cares if they are an authorized retailer, I'm saving money here. WRONG THINKING! Let me tell you why..
Buy a cheap dress and you will spend hundreds in corsets, bras, crinolins, etc. to make it look good enough to wear.
You are getting a knock-off that has usually been copied from the picture and put together in a factory in China. You are again getting plastic beads, polyester fabric, no built in corset, and you have absolutely NO recourse if the dress is not what you thought you ordered. In fact, sometimes your gown doesn't arrive at all; sometimes they arrive at the last minute. And when you're concerned about your dress not arriving, you're going to be looking for another dress, but: your wedding gown budget has already been spent, and just in case it does arrive, you don't want to be struck with two gowns.
You have no one to help with things like alterations, steaming or guaranteeing it's arrival.
You cannot guarantee the proper sizing. I had a bride bring in her wedding gown for her October wedding. She bought her gown online. The stitching was the worst I have ever seen. It looked like an arts and crafts project. It was also about a foot off the floor in the front of the gown (it was suppose to be floor length). (More on sizing coming next week)
Now, I'm all for saving money and all for do it yourself projects. But not when it comes to your wedding gown or bridesmaids gown. You don't want to look back at your pictures and think if only I had just bought a gown from a bridal store. In fact I have tons of money saving tips if brides are interested in them. But on this one area, your DRESS, please, please, please just buy from a reputable company.
I will leave you with this quote from recent bride, Cassie,"Erin, Thanks for all the help with my beautiful gown and all... its probably one of the best highlights of my big day.. :) .. I will always put in a good word for your business.. its been a pleasure! See you soon to pick it up." This is YOUR day, don't make any decisions that could jeopardize how your day looks and feels!