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.
*Unfortunately this dress is no longer available, but here’s a similar one.
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.
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: