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After one of the engagement rings you likely hinted about is on your finger, shopping for one of the biggest purchases of your life is on the horizon: the perfect wedding dress.
From tulle trains to luxurious lace, finding the best wedding dress for you is also a personal decision. With so many styles — mermaid, A-line, boho, oh my! — it’s an exciting thing to shop for, but can also be somewhat stressful.
And, while we’ve all dreamed about trying on wedding dresses in a bridal shop, the times have certainly changed as more retailers and companies are offering some of the best wedding dresses online for you to choose from. Not to mention, buying online usually helps you save a pretty penny and we don’t even want to get into the total cost of a wedding.
If you’re opting to skip trying dresses on IRL, we spoke with a couple bridal stylists and an expert at The Knot to find out everything you need to know about shopping for wedding dresses online.
Ahead, discover the seven best places we vow to deliver your picture-perfect wedding dress online — all of which we would lovingly say “I do” to, and our FAQ with the wedding dress experts. If you’re in need of some bridesmaid dresses or wedding guest dresses (including cocktail dresses) to share with your friends (or, to purchase for an upcoming event), we also have you covered.
Not to mention, we spoke to a wedding planner and experts from The Knot and Zola to curate the only wedding registry guide you’ll need.
Click to jump to an online bridal shop:
Click below to jump to our FAQ with the wedding dress experts:
At Lulus, you can find wedding dresses for less than $300 — a huge win considering all the expenses that come with planning a wedding. We adore the Awaken My Love Long-Sleeve Lace Maxi Dress ($89) for a sweet budget option and the Taliana White Lace Button Back Maxi Dress ($99) for a dainty style that screams bridal.
For fashion-forward looks across an array of styles, Revolve has the most perfect wedding dresses that are well under $1,000. We can’t get over the chic backless (and button) detail of Elliatt Aisle Dress ($190) along with the princess fairy-like look of For Love & Lemons x REVOLVE Willow Gown ($618).
And, whether you want a midi-length dress for a more casual wedding, your engagement shoot or rehearsal dinner, we’re truly in love with the bestselling Line & Dot Samara Dress ($212).
Known for its relatively affordable boho styles, BHLDN has some of the most swoon-worthy bridal designs we’ve seen. From the Willowsby by Watters Whitney Gown ($1,595) to the Cameron Gown ($1,298) from the same brand, we love the delicate details of ruffled sleeves and drop-down lace.
Plus, BHLDN offers a wonderful size range, including plus sizes. If you’re more into the wedding-white blazer trend, too, the brand has a lovely Ronny Kobo Aime Silky Bridal Blazer Jacket ($548) that’s worth considering.
Couture Candy has that glam factor that landed it a prime spot in this edit. From the graceful Da Vici Bridal Spaghetti Strap Embroidered Bridal Gown ($798) to the plus-size Elizabeth K Embroidered Deep V-Neck Trumpet Gown ($256), the retailer offers a deck of designers with exceptional options.
Oh, and can we spotlight Da Vici Bridal’s Embroidered Strapless Mermaid Dress ($850) that’s slimming and sexy, as well as the Elizabeth K Bridal Dress ($649) with stunning lace applique details on the off-shoulder sleeves? Yeah, we love this place.
Of course, the decked-out-designer retailer, Saks Fifth Avenue, has a dreamy selection of bridal styles for you to shop for. From simplistic flows — like Sachin & Babi’s Aubrey One-Shoulder Trumpet Gown ($795) — to less traditional, shortened numbers — like Amsale Satin Trapeze Midi-Dress ($895) — you can find stellar steals for less than $1,000.
Plus, for timeless classics, you certainly can’t go wrong with the feminine-forward Mac Duggal Jersey Asymmetric Gown ($358) or Markarian’s Circle Floral Jacquard Arm Bow Gown ($3,595), the latter more of a splurge.
Known for its classic catalog of simplistic styles with a bohemian lean, Reformation is a lovely place to shop for your dream dress (and other dresses, too).
Not only are its selections sustainable but we find its Ronda Silk Dress ($748) and Shae Dress ($428) especially breathtaking. Not to mention, the simplistic styles can render all attention on your blossoming bouquet.
ASOS is the hidden gem serving up wedding dresses. From Marilyn Monroe-minded gowns (see the ASOS EDITION Nia Embellished Drape Side Maxi Wedding Dress; $305) to the pretty-in-white runway-inspired style (see the ASOS EDITION Curve Constance satin wrap; $225), we so want to play dress-up right now.
And, if you want to step it up a bit, we stand by the ASOS EDITION Etta Crepe Sculpted Bandeau Dress ($275) that’s made with head-to-toe sequins. There are even more wishlist-adding styles to browse, too.
FAQ with the wedding dress experts
What should brides know before they start browsing online?
It’s tempting to want to dive right in to shopping, but before you start adding dresses to your cart, bridal stylist Julie Sabatino of The Stylish Bride says to go into your closet first.
“Look to your closet for inspiration on style and shape, rather than social media,” Sabatino told The New York Post. “If you take a critical look at what you buy over and over you will start to see trends in shapes, necklines and skirt styles that lend themselves to wedding dresses.”
Once you have an idea of what shapes and styles you like, Lauren Walley fashion editor for inclusivity and beauty at The Knot says it’s time to do some online research on “the different types of wedding dress fabrics” as it will give “a better sense of how they will look and feel.”
All of this will provide somewhat of a guide when narrowing down the types of dresses you’re looking for.
Budget will also play a major part in what wedding dress you end up with some sites starting as low as $250, according to Sabatino. Once you have a budget you’re comfortable, it helps to use the price filters sites have to stay within your price range.
How to know if a brand is trustworthy
Avrumson recommends keeping an eye on whether the photos are grainy or if the retailer is listed on the brand’s site when browsing the store’s selection.
“It’s also best to take a look at their FAQ and make sure that they stand by their product and have a reasonable return policy.”
Sabatino also warns to make sure the dress can be returned before purchasing it.
“Dresses look so different in person and on the body — make sure you purchase pieces somewhere that you can return them if they don’t work.”
Materials to keep an eye out for
You’re going to be wearing this dress for the better part of your wedding day and it will be the spotlight of all your wedding pictures — so it not only needs to look good, but feel good. The last thing you’ll want is a scratchy dress that leaves you itching — or worse, easily rips.
That’s why Jackie Avrumson a bridal stylist and consultant in New York City suggest checking the silk contents of a style as it’ll also simplify alterations.
“You want to look for are high silk contents and low synthetic fiber contents,” she said. “The higher quality the fabric, the easier your alterations will be.”
Other factors Walley says to consider are the venue, season your wedding is occurring and the weather.
“A light chiffon or batiste will best suit a summer destination wedding, while a silky Mikado has a high-shine finish perfect for a glamorous black tie affair,” she said.
How to ensure the fit is right
One of the downsides of shopping online is not being able to try the dress on for size before purchasing. This is where sizing guides and reviews come into play.
“One of the most common mistakes people make when shopping for wedding dresses online is
not taking accurate measurements,” Walley said. “Bridal sizing differs about two to three sizes from street
sizing, so while a bride may be a size 8 in their regular clothes, they might be a size 12 in their
wedding dress. Each bridal designer and brand has their own size chart, so it’s important to
follow the brand’s measurement instructions as closely as possible to find your most accurate
For sites that have reviewer photos, Avrumson advises to look at those and not just pictures with models.
“It will give you a good sense of what the dress truly looks like and how it can possibly fit,” she said.
For more content, check out the New York Post Shopping section.