The Best Places to Buy a Wedding Dress Online – TIME

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These days you can buy almost anything online. There are people—including 20-somethings who may be getting married—who don’t remember what it was like to go and cruise the mall in search of a good deal or go to the one formalwear store in town for a prom dress. For these people, as well as those for whom the idea of standing on a podium in a gown in the middle of a dress shop surrounded by their family simply isn’t appealing, buying a wedding dress online may seem like a no-brainer.
Indeed, shopping online for a wedding dress has additional perks. You aren’t limited by the inventory of the store you choose to go to or the set length of your appointment. You can try on dresses in the comfort of your home without worrying about whether or not you brought the right underwear. And many online bridal retailers offer wow-worthy dresses at prices considerably lower than a traditional atelier. 
Read on to discover all our top picks for the best places to buy a wedding dress online. 
Anthropologie’s in-house bridal line is known for offering chic and trendy styles at prices accessible to most brides. On the site, you can sort by categories like “boho bride,” “city hall bride,” or “beach and destination bride”, plus access exclusive styles made by popular designers. 
Perfect for the bride on a budget, fashion-forward online retailer ASOS offers a variety of styles, from classic to out-of-the-box, most of which cost under $300. Brides looking for a mini dress that gives fun party vibes (perhaps as a reception dress) will find plenty of picks to choose from.  
For the bride who’s not quite sure what she’s looking for, Revolve is a great place to start a search. While there are a plethora of slinky, fitted dresses, you’ll also find fun mini-dresses, lace dresses, and gowns with full skirts. Just make sure you’re paying attention to what sizes are in stock and when the dress will arrive, as this varies greatly from dress to dress. 
If your budget is under $500 but you want a gown that truly screams “bridal,” Lulus should be your first stop. Their gowns look and feel like they came from a high-end atelier in person and in photos (once you choose the best wedding photo album), yet the prices are within reach of even the most frugal brides. We love how you can sort by style, neckline, and sleeve length. And did we mention they also have over 100 bridal jumpsuits as well? Shopping tip: Lulus also made our list of the best places to buy dresses online, if you’re browsing for other occasions. 
One of the best parts about Nordstrom is their super flexible return policy, and they have a surprising number of bridal gown options to boot. We recommend looking at Little White Dresses, which are perfect for a courthouse wedding or more casual affair, or Designer Bridal Shop, where you’ll find some higher-end gowns in unique styles. You may also be able to find your best wedding shoes and accessories, if you’re looking to get everything in one place.
For Love and Lemons was founded by two women from Wyoming and specializes in dresses and lingerie. Both the country roots and the lingerie-inspired styles are very present in their bridal collection, so if this doesn’t sound like your speed it may be best to pass. But if it’s appealing, you’ll find plenty of lace, exposed bodices, and delicate details in their unique gowns. Shopping tip: For Love and Lemons made our list of the best lingerie brands, in case you’re looking for something extra for the honeymoon. 
While most of Oscar de la Renta’s bridal collection is only available through their boutiques, there are a few select timeless pieces, and some surprising ones, you can purchase online. From lacy and elegant to flirty and sophisticated, it’s a great way to get your hands on a designer gown if you can’t make it into a store. 
Inside The Outnet’s designer dresses section is a surprising variety of white dresses fit for a bride. If you’re looking for a more demure style or a hemline hitting  around the knee, this luxury discount retailer has plenty of options for you. And when you factor in the impressive sales, you can get an exceptional deal on gowns from designers like Jenny Packham and Monique Lhullier.
For fashion-forward looks fresh off the runway and tailored pieces that scream luxury, Saks has you covered. Whether you’re looking to stay covered up or hoping to show a little skin, you’ll find a wide variety here, as well as a surprising number of dresses for just a few hundred dollars. 
This British designer department store offers a slew of classy bridal looks that are available for shipping to the U.S. From embellished dresses to gowns with capes to crisp white trousers and blazers, the bridal pieces at Harrods are pricey but stylish and of the highest quality.
For the bride with a retro look, Unique Vintage offers plenty of retro and vintage-inspired gowns, including midi swing dresses with full skirts, beaded flapper dresses, and 50s-inspired fitted jumpsuits (you can even filter by era!). What’s more, almost all the dresses come in plus size, with sizes going up to 5X.
For the casual bride who is planning a wedding on a shoestring budget, why not rent a dress? Rent the Runway has a variety of cute and classy bridal outfits, though they do skew towards casual. The picks are also seasonal, so it may be tricky to select a dress too far in advance.
From fun and flirty to sleek and sexy, casual to more dressy, you’ll find something adorable at Petal & Pup. The best part: Almost every dress is under $100. While most of the dresses are made from more casual fabrics which allow for the lower prices, you wouldn’t know it thanks to the timeless and flattering silhouettes. 
Even if you have no idea what you want your dress to look like when you start shopping, you likely know what your max budget is going to be. Quickly surf a website to make sure there are options within your price range before you start shopping —so you don’t fall in love with a gown you can’t afford. 
Similar to price range, you don’t want to go head over heels for a dress that doesn’t come in your size. Many of the retailers on this list sell dresses ranging from at least 0 to 16, but keep an eye on this as you shop. 
If you know what style wedding dress you want, you may want to go straight to a designer specializing in this look. If you’re not sure, it’s smart to start with a retailer selling a variety of designers and styles so you can get a feel for what you might like before you start making decisions. 
It’s smart to check a retailer’s average shipping times before you begin shopping, especially if you’re working with a tight timeline. The average shipping time for the shops on this list is less than a week, but this may change if dresses are out of stock and you never want to cut it too close. Likewise, thoroughly read the return policy before you hit the purchase button. You don’t want to be caught with more dresses than you need. 
Buying a wedding dress is a big deal and we wouldn’t leave that purchase in just anybody’s hands. To compile our list, we looked for retailers considered reliable, trustworthy, and have an impressive variety of gorgeous dresses, as well as independent designers and boutique shops. We chose retailers offering something special and unique you wouldn’t find at a traditional bridal atelier, but with large selections and reasonable shipping and refund timelines.
If you’ve ever watched a show on TLC, you likely know wedding dresses can cost anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. That said, most brides don’t dip into their retirement accounts for their wedding dress. According to The Knot Real Weddings Study of couples who got married in 2022, the average wedding dress cost was $1,900.
January is the best month to shop for a wedding dress. The holiday season is the most popular time of year for engagements, a stat of which designers have taken note and stocked their inventories accordingly. Plus, if you’re getting married in late summer or fall, it’s prime time to pick your dress and start checking things off your wedding planning list.
This is going to vary by the family and the bride. Some families have traditions, such as the parents of the bride buying the dress, while in others it is on the bride to determine her budget and pay for her wedding day look. Before committing to a purchase, it’s smart to know who will be handing over their card before you start shopping. 
We recommend choosing your wedding dress at least eight months before your wedding. If you’re planning on purchasing several  and then making your selection, the purchase should happen even earlier so you have “the one” by the eight-month mark. This gives you enough time to complete alterations, which typically require at least two rounds of fittings, shop for accessories and shoes, and plan your hair and makeup.  
Even if it seems like your dress fits well, it’s a good idea to take it to a seamstress for a fitting. They’ll make sure it’s snug in all the right places. Also, if you’re unsure of your size and the company has a flexible return policy, you can order the same dress in multiple sizes to make sure you get the one closest to a perfect fit.
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