This post was originally written in September, 2014.
One of the best books I have read about planning a wedding has been Bridal Bargains – it was a no nonsense guide to planning a wedding and navigating the waters of vendors and services that seem like they’re out to bleed you dry. In their chapter about dress shopping, they mentioned online vendors to buy your wedding gown direct from China and had a no B.S. guide to getting your wedding dress direct.
Dressilyme.com was one website they recommended, so I started to do my due diligence and went online to research wedding dresses direct from China, as opposed to going to a bridal chain store and getting my wedding dress from a third party.
I heard horror stories, but started to see on wedding boards like WeddingBee, that there were plenty of brides who ordered their dresses from sites like Dressilyme.com and were thrilled with the results. Here’s the kicker- they were getting dresses direct from China for $200 as opposed to $900+….cha-ching!
I had a lackluster experience at one of the bridal chains and was really frustrated to realize that the dresses were all well over $900, and I wasn’t impressed with any sort of “superior” materials or craftsmanship. PLUS, what really irked me, was the usage of the word “custom” that the salesclerk threw around to describe a dress that was going to be ordered, and six months later, show up in a “off the rack size” that would still need $400 in alterations.
Not one dress I tried on IN MY SIZE was going to get by without some sort of pricey alterations, so having heard “Your beautiful custom dress,” no less than 200 times during my visit, was really agitating. It’s not a custom dress if you can only buy it in standard sizes….apparently though, they thought I was born yesterday? I left the boutique feeling like I was being swindled, and out of frustration, I was willing to give a direct from China bridal dress source a try.
So- I started browsing on Dressilyme.com and found some gorgeous dresses in a variety of price points, but many were around $200 and totally beautiful. I was curious if the dress I’d get would look like the dress photo on the website (which was one of the biggest complaints I heard brides vent about when ordering a dress on a website and not in-person).
I pitched Dressilyme.com for a review, placed my order, and waited a whopping three weeks to get my dress. Yes, three weeks. Not six months… I digress.
I found the dress I wanted and placed the order. I held my breath and hoped for the best!*
*Unfortunately this dress is no longer available, but here’s a similar one.
When the dress arrived, I turned on the camera to capture my honest reactions during unboxing.
Here’s my first look at my wedding dress…
My Dressilyme.com Experience:
- The dress was under $300 with shipping and the $34 “rush” fee… yes, I couldn’t believe it either.
- The dress arrived cleanly packaged via DHL and was at my door in 3 weeks.
- It is custom sized to my measurements. I tried it on after the video and it fit perfectly…I just can’t gorge on too many doughnuts, it was a perfect fit.
- I wasn’t super thrilled about the lace to be honest (I’m very picky about texture), so I wish they’d had some other options or closeups so I could have made a better decision about the lace. If you’re going for a dress that isn’t so textured, like satin, taffeta or tulle, you should be fine.
- The stitching was very clean, the interior had boning and the corset and crinoline were well done.
- The dress arrived double sealed, carefully packaged and came with a dust cloth for a nice presentation.
The verdict? I had a great experience, the dress is gorgeous & it’s very affordable- but be sure to ask for pictures!
I was really happy with this dress and would recommend Dressilyme.com. Your dresses can be rushed to arrive in a month, not 6 months like with many retailers, so if there *is* and issue (like weight loss or gain, or who knows what else) you have time to reassess your dress.
The dress was custom fitted, saving me $200-400 in even basic alterations (like the length and the sleeves were too big on all the dresses I tried on locally). It arrived quickly, and the quality was really good- good stitching, attention to detail and I didn’t have a single problem with ordering or while wearing it.
I will say though, one of my only complaints about the dress is that I wasn’t in love with the lace that was chosen. I am very picky about materials, and while the inside of the dress felt good (satin, no pokey stitching) the outside of the dress was not the type of lace I would have chosen had I gotten a look at it.
I had a good experience with Dressilyme.com, it can save you a LOT of money- and luckily for us budget brides, saving money doesn’t have to mean headaches.
Feel free to reach out if you have questions about my experience with Dressilyme.com, but if you’re feeling frustrated with your local options and you have some time to explore, I would recommend this site for bridal dresses.
- Custom fit to order, unlike dress shops that make you wait months to get your dress, then you still have to pay a few hundred to tailor it from an off-the-rack size.
- The dress is really cost effective, and the stitching was well done.
- The dress arrived quickly but you can also have it expedited.
- Customer care emailed me when they thought my shoulder measurements seemed off…sure enough, I had made a mistake when measuring and they caught it.
- I never had to deal with pushy salespeople who kept trying to upsell me on things I didn’t need. For things like veils and crenolines, you do not need to pay an arm and a leg!
- I didn’t like the lace that came on the dress. I should have asked for close up shots of the fabric being used.
- The website doesn’t do a good job of showing you close-ups of the dress, can be stressful to order. Some dresses have closeups, others don’t. Ask for fabric photos.
- The dress came packaged really well to be shipped direct from China (to avoid damage) but that being said, if you want to feel like a princess with the bells and whistles, you’re better off going to a boutique to get a more glam experience than a vacuum sealed box!
- It can be challenging to communicate with Dressilyme.com- with a time difference and a language barrier, patience is key, but it can save you hundreds.
Other Helpful Wedding Items
1) Bridal Bargains 2) Tailor Measuring Tape 3) A Practical Wedding 4) The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer (written by my dear friend Jessica over at The Budget Savvy Bride) 5) Handheld Clothing Steamer 6) Body and Apparel Tape
UPDATE: Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of me in the dress. I had taken a few mirror selfies in it when it arrived, and it fit like a glove. As most of my readers know, I called the wedding off, so I don’t have the happy update with pictures as I’d hoped.
While I’m very happy I didn’t walk down the aisle, I’m very sad I don’t have pictures to share with you so you could see just how it fit. In the end, it was personal and painful to have the photos of the dress, so I deleted them, and the dress was donated to charity. Not a happily ever after, but it’s what happened to the dress.
My friend Erica though- did get a similar dress from Dressilyme based on my recommendation and she has better photos of her dress! Congrats Erica!
Further Reading and Helpful Links:
- How to Save Big Bucks on Your Wedding Dress
- 5 Ways To Make Your Frugal Wedding Better
- 5 Wedding Necessities You Don’t Need
- From A Bride Who Knows: How to Save Money On Your Wedding
- The Surprise Wedding Costs That Can Totally Bust Your Budget
- Frugal Wedding Planning: A $20,000 Wedding Budget Is Considered “Low Budget?”
- My Plans For A DEBT FREE Frugal And Beautiful Wedding
- Is It Bad To Not Have A Wedding Registry? Questions I Have When Planning Our Wedding