Shopping for a wedding dress can be exciting and a bit overwhelming if you’re on a tight budget. While it can be an anticipated part of the wedding planning process, for me it was frustrating.
When I was planning my wedding, I was on a tight budget and very anxious about saving money where I could. For that reason, I looked for frugal alternatives in every category possible. That being said, I’m very excited to share my Dressilyme review with you!
One of the best books I have read about planning a wedding has been Bridal Bargains. It’s a no nonsense guide to planning a wedding. As I was out dress shopping, I gave this book a read and it really helped reframe my thinking as I found a wedding dress.
When I was wedding dress shopping, I visited a well known bridal dress chain. During my visit, I had a really awkward experience. While I understand the salespeople work on commission, I felt very pressured to put in my contact information, and had been warned ahead of time of their marketing tactics.
I wanted to shop some of the cheaper dresses, but was directed to look at the regular merchandise first. I was really frustrated to realize that the dresses I was being shown were all well over $900. For that price, I wasn’t impressed with any sort of “superior” materials or craftsmanship.
During my visit, I tried on several dresses with one of their employees. What really irked me, was the usage of the word “custom” that the salesclerk kept throwing around. “Custom” was used to describe a dress that was going to be ordered for me, but not be custom at all.
I was told, that after up to six months of waiting, my dress would still show up in a “off the rack size.” So, my “custom” dress would still need $400 in alterations. That’s not custom.
To top it off, several the sales people kept bringing up my mother, whom had recently passed away. At first, I mentioned she wouldn’t be involved, then by the third time it happened, I simply said she was out of state. The fact it kept coming up felt really phony and made me uneasy.
To save money, you absolutely can shop sales and clearance racks at the chain bridal stores. That being said, even if I had shopped a sale, I found my whole experience to be uncomfortable. After my first visit, I decided I wouldn’t be back. Between the price tag and constant questions about my mom and bridesmaid also needing dresses, I felt exceptionally uncomfortable.
Depending on where you shop for a wedding dress, you may experience some frustrating sales tactics like I did. Brides on the message boards I frequented were vocal about slimy tactics and grey areas when ordering a dress.
Fortunately, knowing this, you can skip the slimey salesmen and take a chance on buying your dress directly. No matter what you decide, make the best choice for you.
In Bridal Bargains, there’s a full chapter dedicated to side-stepping pressure tactics while dress shopping. In it, they mentioned online vendors to buy your wedding gown direct from China. For some brides, this is a route to get a wedding dress directly from the manufacturers.
One website they recommended was Dressilyme. Intrigued and scared by my experience at the chain store, I started to do my due diligence to give Dressilyme a fair review.
In my research to put together an honest dressilyme review, I read a fair share of horror stories. But for every upset bride on WeddingBee, that there were plenty of brides who were thrilled with what they purchased. Here’s the kicker- they were getting dresses direct from China for $200 as opposed to $900+….cha-ching!
After reading a variety of posts on various wedding forums, the jury was still out for me. I wanted to give dressilyme a review for myself and after my experience at the big chain store, I was open to ideas.
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 for a wedding dress review, placed my order, and waited a whopping three weeks to get my dress. Yes, three weeks. Not six months… I digress.
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). My dress arrived in a few weeks, jammed into a tiny box, but don’t let the lackluster packaging fool you.
It arrived quickly, and was made to my measurements, so unlike the retail chain- it truly was custom. I would highly recommend a friend helps you with your measurements. After sending in my specifications, my contact at Dressilyme asked me to check once again. Turns out, I had made a mistake in measuring my shoulders and she caught it. We made adjustments, and my dress was off to be produced.
*Unfortunately this dress is no longer available, but here’s a similar one.
After a few weeks of waiting, my dress arrived via DHL. The box was taped up completely, and you’d be surprised a full wedding gown fit inside! The dress came inside out and bagged thoroughly, so there was no damage from being shipped in a box. Yes, with a bit of steaming, the dress looked great!
Before I even tried it on, I inspected the stitching. My aunt is quite the seamstress and also took a look. Overall, we were very happy with the quality of the work put into this dress. Not only did it fit perfectly, but the stitching was solid.
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 better look at it.
I am very, very picky about fabrics. I wasn’t in love with this lace, and I wish I would have picked an off-white instead of a pure white. I believe you can message the site and ask for swatches to be photographed and emailed over, so if I were to do this over, I absolutely recommend you familiarize yourself with what materials are available.
If possible, spend some time getting familiar with wedding dress fabrics such as tulle, taffeta, organza, satin and chiffon. You’ll also want to see wedding dresses in person so you really know what shade of white suits your wedding. Are you really certain you want a blindly white dress? Maybe an eggshell or even a blush?
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: