How To Purchase A Wedding Dress from Etsy || Tips From Real Brides

Leanne Marshall Lace Wedding Top Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Elandra || by Leanne Marshall

Can you believe that Etsy is in it's 11th year as the home to all things vintage, handmade, and one-of a kind finds?  Etsy was born in 2005 in a Brooklyn apartment and had many upgrades.  In 2013, Etsy allowed sellers to sell manufactured goods as well as handmade items.  This was a huge moment for Etsy, with sales growing from $895 million to $1.34 billion, according to Statista.  Although some thought this would ruin the community of small businesses and talented artist, it actually did not effect Etsy and today the company continue to grow it's membership of 22.4 million.

Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods.
— Esty.com

So what does this mean for brides?

This means that Etsy is a great option where brides can say "yes" to a dress with out ever meeting in person.  Etsy is the heart and soul of a global e-commerce for creative entrepreneurs and designers.  Brides who search on Etsy are dedicated to finding things they can't find anywhere else.  Brides can find great wedding finds including invitations, wedding cake toppers, jewelry, and wedding dresses. 

Purchase Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Photo Credit: Fetography Portraits

A wedding dress?! On Etsy?!!

It is hard enough to purchase a pair of jean or heels online and get the right fit, let alone a wedding dress. 

  • How does a Bride trust a seller and the product listing?
  • How will I know it will fit, even if the seller makes the wedding dress "to my measurements"?
  • What is the quality of the wedding dress?  


Real #CEBrides and their Etsy Experience

Two real #CEBrides share their experiences with purchasing "made to measure" wedding dresses from Etsy.  Although these two brides' dresses and style were drastically different, they were uniquely beautiful in their own way -- which is the beauty of Etsy.  

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Photo Credit: Bride Sara, Fetography Portraits (left); Bride Samantha, Oh Snap Photography (right)

What should brides be aware of when ordering on Etsy?

Sara shared:

Google everything! I searched wedding boards for real brides' feedback and experiences with specific shops.  Not only did I stalk reviews, but I also sent private messages to recent commenters to verify their review.  I ended up purchasing a dress that used photos of their dresses on a studio dress form.  I avoided shops who used stock photos.  Etsy allows you to see how long the shop has been in business, where they are located, and even how many sales they've made so far.

 

Also, leave yourself time and budget for bridal alterations.  Even if you are professionally measured before ordering your dress, I can guarantee you will still need alterations.  When I received my dress, the fit was terrible.  The dress was pulling in all the wrong places creating unflattering bulges and lumps.  The dress' overall fabric quality and look matched the Etsy listing, but the fit was not ideal.  Having a quality bridal seamstress to fix the ill-fitting garment and make it fit my body made it my dream wedding dress.  My Etsy experience was not perfect, but I was happy with my decision to order my wedding dress from Etsy.

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Photo Credit: Fetography Portraits 

Samantha shared: 

The seller's star rating and feedback from real buyers are extremely important.  Make sure that the seller seems involved and passionate about their product.  A great Etsy store will follow up with exceptional customer service after the sale.  If the product does not fit exactly how you imagined, like my dress, it is essential to have an bridal expert like Caitlin Elizabeth.  She was able to fix the fit and did not compromise the style of my wedding dress.

Purchasing a Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing a Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing a Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing a Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing a Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing a Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Photo Credit: Oh Snap Photography

 

Pros of purchasing on Etsy

  • "Affordable price tags for custom, one-of-a-kind wedding dresses that are unique."  - Sara
  • "A huge benefit of shopping on Etsy is finding something incredibly unique and individual without paying an arm and a leg for a custom designer dress.  You can browse through hundreds of options easily and conveniently without committing time and money to traditional dress shopping." - Samantha

Cons of purchasing on Etsy

  • "The anxiety.  I have never been so nervous in my life.  I was so scared I made a bad decision and was going to get a sack of fabric." - Sara
  • "Sizing issues and potential design flaws that are not evident from the listing's photos and description. To purchase a wedding dress on Etsy, you have to be flexible and able to 'roll with the punches'. " - Samantha

 

Purchasing a Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations Jillian Fellers

Above Photo Credit: Everlasting Love Photography; Designer: Jillian Fellers

 

More Etsy Advice 

  • Don't be shy.  Send the store owner a message and ask any questions you may have about the dress. Unfortunately, there are lots of shady sellers, but they can be avoided with some careful research. 
  • Pay close attention to not only the ratings and feedback from buyers, but also the Etsy store's return policy.
  • Give yourself a 'waiting period' before purchasing. There are so many unique designers and options on Etsy.  If you absolutely love a particular dress, you will find yourself coming back to that listing over and over.  
  • Give yourself plenty of time to order; especially for a dress that is shipping internationally.
  • Make sure to measure yourself correctly.  If you have the opportunity, get measured by a professional bridal seamstress. 

 

Caitlin Elizabeth's Top 5 Bridal Designer Picks on Etsy

 

1. Jillian Fellers - Omaha, NE

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Photo Credit Everlasting Love Photography; Design: Evangeline Gown

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Design: Juliette Gown

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Photo Credit: Everlasting Love Photography; Design: Gigi Gown

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

 Above Photo Credit: Everlasting Love PhotographyDesign: Vivien Gown

 

2. Leanne Marshall - Yes! THE Leanne Marshall, winner of Project Runway - Season 5

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Design: Eveline Gown

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Design: Isabella

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Design: Colette

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Design: Lea

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Design: Danielle

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Design: Rowan

Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchasing Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Design: Silk Chiffon

Purchase Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations
Purchase Wedding Dress from Etsy Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

Above Design: Fontaine Half SLeeve

 

More Etsy Designers to check out!

Rebecca Schoneveld

 

Ca'Rousel Fashion

 

Saint Isabel

 

Sharing my bridal expertise one blog post at a time. As always, thanks for reading. 

-Caitlin Elizabeth

Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations