As a bride on a budget, you are always on the hunt for a bargain. If you are looking to save a ton of money, buying your wedding dress online is one way to cut costs. But where do you go to buy an online wedding dress? Amazon.com is typically the place to start, followed by eBay and Etsy. But have you heard about AliExpress.com? In this Aliexpress wedding dresses review, we'll be walking you through the pros and cons of buying your wedding dress online through this inexpensive international market.
What Is AliExpress.com?
AliExpress is a Chinese online retailing subsidiary of the giant company AliBaba. AliExpress is challenging online giants like Amazon and eBay by providing affordable products to the world. Unlike Amazon.com, Aliexpress.com is a trading platform, not a supplier. Technically, when you buy a wedding dress through Aliexpress.com, you are purchasing from a specific seller, not the site.
Aliexpress Wedding Dresses Review
The wedding dresses we selected for this Aliexpress wedding dresses review were listed and offered by different suppliers. Overall, most of the wedding dresses are manufactured in small- or medium-sized factories or family-owned workshops. The wedding dress manufacturers are mostly located in Suzhou and Guangzhou, China. These two cities alone make up the manufacturing center of wedding apparel in China.
So Many Choices
Another thing we discovered in our Aliexpress wedding dresses review is that the range of styles featured on the site is extensive. You could never find this wide a range of wedding dress styles in a brick-and-mortar store. A search for wedding dresses at Aliexpress.com resulted in over 455,000 gowns! So, whatever style you are looking for, you will easily find it on Aliexpress.com.
The Chinese wedding dress brands we researched in our Aliexpress wedding dresses review are traditional western wedding dresses and are designed to appeal to a worldwide audience. More than a few of the styles took their inspiration from world-famous designers. What is unknown is whether this is intellectual property theft or just a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.
An Important Note On Sizing
What we do know is that for a hugely discounted price, you will receive a custom-made dress, tailored to your measurements. The only hazard we discovered in this Aliexpress wedding dresses review was the sizing element. Please, please,please make sure you are conforming to the supplier's sizing standards before you place an order.
The professional sellers on Aliexpress.com often offer European or American sizing standards, but there are others who used Chinese sizing standards to make the dresses. So remember to measure twice before you hit the buy button because you don't want to receive an improperly sized dress for your big day.
Our Aliexpress wedding dresses review uncovered a range of prices for wedding dresses—from about $20 up to around $1400. This means you can find a wedding dress to fit any budget.
Free shipping is only available on select items and often lasts for a limited time only. You can use the “free shipping” filter on the top of the listing page to display only the wedding dresses for sale that include free shipping.
We found one hidden cost in our Aliexpress wedding dresses review: import taxes. There are import taxes for all items purchased overseas and shipped to the United States. It's your legal responsibility to pay import taxes. So be mindful that your $20 wedding dress will cost you more than $20, and make sure you budget accordingly.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar wedding dress suppliers to see how they compare to AliExpress.
Ease Of Ordering:
Our Aliexpress wedding dresses review revealed that ordering from Aliexpress was as not as easy as selecting the dress, picking a standard size and color, and then clicking buy. There were lots of measurements to take and more conversation with the seller than what is often encountered with suppliers like Amazon. However, all the extra work on the bride's part delivered a custom-made wedding dress. So, in the long run, the extra time, effort, and contact with the seller was a good thing.
Order Fulfillment Time:
Shipping is typically 60 days and could be more if your package gets flagged by customs.
As a third-party seller, Aliexpess.com has no way to control the quality of any product listed on the site. Our Aliexpress wedding dresses review flagged this as the biggest disadvantage of buying wedding dresses online. The quality standards all depend on whether the sellers are honest with their product descriptions or not.
To confirm the quality of the wedding dress you've picked out, you have no choice but to do more research on the seller through their customer reviews. However, you can take some comfort in the fact the whole transaction process is under the supervision and financial protection of Aliexpress.com.
Aliexpress.com offers a full refund only if the item is not received. A full or partial refund may be given if the quality of the wedding dress is not as described. Refunds on custom-made wedding dresses are given only if the product received isn't as it was described. Return shipping is paid by the buyer. Our Aliexpress wedding dresses review found that, in the cases of deeply discounted wedding dresses, the return shipping could easily exceed the cost of the item.
Lightinthebox.com is a global online retail company that delivers products worldwide. The company was founded in 2007 and specializes in three core categories: apparel, small accessories, and gadgets for the home and garden.
Ease Of Ordering:
Lightinthebox.com conforms to the standard method of online purchasing. Pick a wedding dress, pick a size and color, press buy. There is also a tailor-made option, which lengthens the purchasing process by requiring the bride to have her measurements on hand. However, the custom measurements are submitted by checking a box labeled "Custom Measurements" and typing in the numbers. No direct contact with the seller is required.
Order Fulfillment Time:
Expedited shipping is available for many of the wedding gowns we reviewed in our Aliexpress wedding dresses review. Tailoring was also done within 9 to 15 days on the gowns we selected. However, what was advertised was not always a reality. Delays in production and especially in shipping were common. Was this the fault of the manufacturer, shipping company, or customs? Impossible to determine, especially as the communication from the company regarding these issues was either non-existent or untimely.
The wedding dresses we selected in this Aliexpress wedding dresses review all looked gorgeous in the pictures. However, a glance at the online reviews for these products revealed that the materials used to make the gowns were often not what was advertised. On many occasions, the design, while still beautiful, differed greatly from the website description.
Before ordering, read their FAQs and return policies so you understand any items you need to exchange or return will have to be shipped back to China at your expense. There is a short timeframe in which to initiate a cancellation, return, or exchange. Also, their policies vary depending on the products you order.
For wedding dresses, our Aliexpress wedding dresses review found that wedding dresses, whether standard size or custom-made, that do not fit properly but are in accordance with the specifications you ordered, cannot be returned or exchanged. Your only option is to look for a local tailoring service at your own cost.
Bridesfamily.com was founded in 2009, and they launched their exclusive brand of gowns in 2014. They have over 1500 wedding gowns featured on their site. If you cannot find the style you are looking for, you can have it custom made by sending drawings or photos of the gowns to Bridesfamily.com.
Ease Of Ordering:
Bridesfamily.com conforms to the standard method of online purchasing. Pick a wedding dress, pick a size and color, press buy. There is also a tailor-made option, which lengthens the purchasing process by requiring the bride to have her measurements on hand. However, the custom measurements are submitted by checking a box labeled "Custom Size" and typing in the numbers. No direct contact with the seller is required.
Order Fulfillment Time:
Shipping is advertised to be 3 to 5 days. We could not find any evidence that there were significant delays in the shipping of items from Bridesfamily.com.
The wedding gowns featured were beautiful, and the reviews were overall positive. Buyers were pleased with their gowns and stated that they were exactly as advertised.
A very complicated but comprehensive refund and exchange policy is listed on their website. Returns must be arranged within five days. Refunds are only offered for products that are defective or sent by mistake. And if your dress doesn't fit, your only option is to take it to a tailor for alterations at your own expense.
Founded in 2008 by Albert Feng, Milanoo.com is a leading online retail store based in Chengdu, China. Milanoo.com specializes in men's and women's clothing, wedding and special events items, cosplay costumes, and a wide variety of other products. Milanoo.com takes pride in the high quality of their products.
Ease Of Ordering:
Milanoo.com conforms to the standard method of online purchasing. Pick a wedding dress, pick a size and color, press buy. There is also a tailor-made option, which lengthens the purchasing process by requiring the bride to have her measurements on hand. However, the custom measurements are submitted by checking a box labeled "Tailor Made" and typing in the numbers. No direct contact with the seller is required.
Order Fulfillment Time:
Shipping to the United States on the gowns we reviewed in this Aliexpress wedding dresses review was cited to be 24 hours up to a week, depending on the style. The only exception was if the dress was tailor-made. In the case of tailor-made dresses, the bride would need to add approximately 25 days to the process. Unfortunately, a quick perusal of Milanoo.com reviews revealed that although a short shipping window is advertised, many items were received far past that timeframe. It's unknown if that was a delay in shipping at the company or whether the items were held up in customs.
Milanoo.com states that their manufacturing teams are handpicked and all of their products go through strict quality control checks. A perusal of the online reviews for purchases made through Milanoo.com does not seem to support their statement, and some buyers have noticed their products have an odor, the colors could be faded, and the gowns wrinkled.
The return policy at Milanoo.com is complicated and frustrating. One must submit a return or exchange application and then wait for the company to respond. If the company doesn't respond within seven days, they may have closed out the claim without addressing the customer's concern. Also, return shipping is paid by the buyer and subject to a restocking fee. Our Aliexpress wedding dresses review also uncovered an extensive list that Milanoo.com recommends buyers take into consideration before requesting a return or exchange.
In our Aliexpress wedding dresses review, we have determined that you can save big dollars by buying a wedding dress online. The huge selection and deeply discounted pricing are the two main reasons Aliexpress is rated one of the biggest online destinations to shop for wedding gowns. Whether you want a super-cheap wedding dress or a luxury wedding dress, the site has an amazing variety of styles but there is no room in this online store to be a Bridezilla.
Our Aliexpress wedding dresses review discovered the most important point regarding buying a wedding dress online: you are doing business with a foreign country. There are language barriers when dealing with sellers and customer service. Shipping is often out of the manufacturer's control. The item may be shipped as advertised (a breath-taking 24 hours in some cases) but could encounter significant delays going through customs. There is also a hidden cost—that pesky import tax on items purchased overseas, which will affect the cost of your purchase.
And last but not least, when ordering from any of these wedding dress suppliers, you cannot simply walk into a local store and try on the gown. If that discount bridal gown doesn't fit, returning it may not be an option. So, keep in mind that the gown may need last-minute alterations, driving up the cost of that inexpensive wedding gown, and budget accordingly.