I’ve worked in the world of weddings for many years and it wasn’t too long ago that experts actually warned against buying your wedding dress online? A purchase that important merited the full bridal boutique experience, they argued. Fast forward to 2016 and more and more brides are planning their entire wedding online! No site helps brides pull of the big day of their dreams quite like Etsy, which is why we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to chat up Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy Trend Expert, to get the scoop on emerging wedding trends and her best advice for brides buying a gown online.
SHEfinds: Etsy has so many great items for weddings–would you recommend brides consider Etsy for their wedding dress?
Dayna Isom Johnson: With over 35 million unique items in the marketplace, Etsy allows shoppers to create a wedding that is completely their own. Shoppers can connect directly with sellers to personalize, customize, and/or add a special touch to many items, including their wedding dress. Brides can discover trends ranging from draped silhouettes and dropped shoulders to modern jumpsuits and every take on lace imaginable. There’s truly something for every kind of bride on Etsy.
SF: Are there any designers on Etsy you think brides should check out?
DIJ: There are so many talented wedding designers on Etsy. Here are just a handful of sellers that create unique, customizable bridal wear:
– Amanda Jennings of MinkMaidsCollection loves to design for the woman who doesn’t see herself in the usual white wedding gown – she designs for the woman who wants to show her personality on her wedding day and is ok with stepping out of the box with color and pattern, rather than just wearing what everyone expects from a bride.
– Rebecca Schoneveld creates original, unique bridal wear that is truly one-of-a-kind. No design is a duplicated!
– Yanique Barnes of Dreamers and Lovers likes to think of herself as Cinderella’s fairy godmother, ensuring that every woman receives a custom made dress that makes her feel beautiful, comfortable and confident on her special day.
– Mother-daughter duo Lana and Kat, the sellers behind LankkaBridal, specialize in simple, timeless and affordable wedding dresses, which are fully customizable.
SF: What are some of the top wedding gown trends you’re seeing on Etsy?
DIJ: This season is all about blush tones, and we’re seeing it as an emerging trend translating from wedding to decor to bridal fashion. We’ve also been taking note of floating embellishments, which is using materials like silk flowers, rhinestones and illusion lace to create a “floating” effect.
Brides-to-be can also peruse our Editor’s Picks pages, which are curated by Etsy Editors, to discover unique finds and emerging trends in bridal fashion.
SF: What’s the best advice you can give brides considering buying a wedding dress online?
DIJ: Choosing a wedding dress is one of the most exhilarating choices a bride makes, and deciding on a custom gown can raise the stakes. Here are some key tips for brides considering purchasing a gown online:
– Brides should take a peek inside their own closets to learn about what they already own that fits and flatters them, and what makes them feel pretty.
– Everyday looks can be a great touchstone for finding a wedding dress. The gown shouldn’t look like a costume–it should be an extra-special version of the bride.
– Good communication leads to the winning dress, so there should be an open dialogue between designer and client, especially when designing a custom gown.
– The key ingredient for purchasing a wedding dress online is to take the right measurements. If the bride can’t or doesn’t want to go to a professional for measurements, they should be sure to ask their designer for a measurement guide and have a trusted friend to help them.
– Adding custom details to your pre-owned dress, like vintage lace, silk flowers, hand beading, or adding buttons down the back, can really set a dress apart without too much time and expense. Adding or changing straps is another simple alteration that can contribute a lot of custom flair.
– In the end, it’s really all about the fit. No matter what your budget, it’s really worth it to invest in a dress that matches your measurements. A dress that fits you beautifully will always look dynamite.
SF: How can brides ensure they are getting a quality wedding gown when buying online versus in a bridal boutique?
DIJ: Etsy provides a variety of tools to help shoppers verify that a seller is reputable. Buyers can use Etsy’s five-star review system to review feedback and check out purchase images from other customers.
Also, the best part about Etsy is that shoppers can connect directly with sellers at any time by using Etsy conversations (“convos”), so brides should be sure to reach out to their designers to ask questions or clarify any points of confusion.
SF: There are a ton of sellers on Etsy – what’s your best advice for sorting through all options?
DIJ: With over 1.6 million active shops, Etsy helps shoppers find one-of-a-kind products, and these tips can help brides navigate the marketplace, and discover bridalwear amongst all of the unique options:
– Brides should start by searching something they know they like. A search for “lace,” then filtered by category such as Wedding Dresses, will narrow a search down.
– When planning for your wedding, it’s especially important to keep organized by adding all the dresses you like to a Favorites list. To add something to your Favorites List, just click the heart-shaped Favorite button then select Add To for a menu of lists you’ve created.
– Etsy’s Wedding Dress Guide is a great resource to help pinpoint and shape a definition around a bride’s unique style–be it by silhouette, color, trend or mood. The guide acts as a jumping off point into ideas with added shopping tips, letting brides pick up the lead from there.
– Can’t settle on a single style with all of the exciting options? Why decide! We’re seeing brides plan multiple looks for the big day, allowing more flexibility and fun.
– Sign up for Etsy Weddings email blast to stay on top of all of the emerging trends and curated unique items from Etsy’s editors.
SF: A wedding gown isn’t complete without accessories–what are some great accessories trends/shops on Etsy?
DIJ: Accessories are a great way to help define style through finishing touches. In addition to seeing trends in blush tones, metallics and floating embellishments, we’re taking note of brides choosing unique accessory alternatives like boho-style headpieces, unconventional earrings, and Juliet-style cap veils are making new wave.
Brides can also check out Etsy’s Bridal Accessories Guide to source inspiration and discover new trends in wedding accessories.
Be sure to check out the best workout for your wedding dress and mistakes brides make when planning a daytime wedding.
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