Earlier this week, I had a very nervous bride asking me about how to safely buy a veil online. Have you ever had any of these same thoughts?
"Looking for a veil is overwhelming for me. It’s impossible to fish through the spam accounts online that are peddling cheap stuff. I’m old-school when it comes to planning my wedding and I’m nervous about purchasing things on the internet rather than a brick and mortar salon where I can try on my veil with my dress before purchasing. I am just so lost and blindly looking through pages and pages of veils and don't even know if these companies were legit or just going to send me some tablecloth!"
Have you had any of these same thoughts and fears? Your questions are totally valid. After all, we have all heard the story of our friend who was ripped off after making a purchase online. I’ve had it happen to me before too.
So what is the problem? Well, not all brides have the time to drive from salon to salon in search of a veil that they love. And sometimes, the salons don’t have the specific style of veil that you are looking for. Other brides live in rural areas where bridal salons are at too much of a distance.
As a veil designer who has been in the industry for 10+ years, I will share some top tips that will keep you from wasting your money and your time. You can confidently order a wedding dress, veil and accessories online without worrying that you will be disappointed in the quality.
Time-Saving Tip #1 for Busy Brides: Request Samples Before You Buy the Wedding Veil or Dress
Many brides will try on veils at the salon when they are shopping for their dress. This gives a general idea as to what style and length they like best. Then, they will shop online for a veil that is similar to what they tried on so that they can save on costs and support small businesses at the same time.
This is where it gets tricky – you have a basic style of veil in mind and you do a Google search for it. But SURPRISE!
You can find veils online starting from literally as cheap as $20 from stores like Amazon and ranging as high as a couple of thousands of dollars. So what’s a bride to do?
Do you really get what you pay for when it comes to wedding planning?
The main difference in veils comes down to the quality of the materials that are used. Have you ever walked through a craft store and seen the scratchy tulle that is a bit rough against your skin? You do not want a veil like this that will irritate you and catch awkwardly at the beading or lace of your wedding dress.
My suggestion is to request samples from the designer before you buy. This way, you can feel the quality of the materials in person and you will also get a better idea as to what color will work best for you (remember… there are literally hundreds of variations of “white” in the bridal industry). Not all fabrics are created equal, and seeing photos online can only do so much.
Bridal Designers want to send you samples
Reputable sellers will want to send you swatches of their fabric because they are proud of their materials! They will take delight in hand-selecting only the finest fabrics that flow and drape beautifully. The best news is that most quality designers will want to send these samples to you free of charge if you ask. By sending you samples, the designer is cutting down on the chances that you will have to return the accessory because it doesn’t match.
Just the other day, I had a bride reach out to me saying that she had already purchased 3 veils from online designers and had not been happy with the quality of any of them. She was now over-budget for her wedding accessories and she still did not have a piece that made her feel beautiful.
This does not have to be you though - you can get it right the first time.
TAKEAWAY IDEA FOR BUSY BRIDES: Request free samples so that you can make sure that you are happy with the feel and quality of the materials of your veil.
Tip #2 for Stressed Brides: If You See Any Signs of Glue in the Bridal Accessory, don’t buy it!
Most brides want to be able to preserve their dress and veil and pass it on to future generations. But just imagine that 30 years from now, you open your carefully preserved wedding day ensemble to find that it is disintegrating and yellow!
The fastest and easiest way to avoid this is to make sure that your wedding veil and dress have no glue. I have been inside high-end salons where the veils are glued to the hair comb or where the lace is glued onto the tulle rather than stitched. We want to avoid this at all costs since the glue will weaken the fabrics and cause yellowing over time.
Years from now, when your daughter wants to try on your dress and veil, I want your wedding day outfit to be pristine and ready to go! Unfortunately, glue will ruin this even if you have the dress and veil professionally preserved.
The one exception is some flatback rhinestones that must be glued. In this case, make sure that they are glued with E-6000 as this preserves well.
TAKEAWAY IDEA FOR BRIDES: Send the designer a message asking if any glue was used in the making of your wedding dress, veil, and accessories before you purchase it.
Expert Tip #3 for Overwhelmed Brides: Has the Wedding Vendor Earned Your Trust?
Excellent customer service & a good return policy are key, especially when that special something that you’ve been eyeing has a price tag over $100. They need to earn your trust before you do business with them.
"These days, 35% of brides look online for at least part of their wedding attire online"
The online trend continues to rise post-pandemic because online shopping gives you more options. And let’s face it – it’s pure fun and more convenient to shop online!
That being said, the main objection to shopping online is that you don’t have a physical brick-and-mortar location where you can go if you run into any problems. There is an extra feeling of security when you know that you have a physical location that you can go to IF something were to go wrong.
That is why it is so important to be extra sure that you can trust whoever it is that you are purchasing from online AND that you ask about their return policy before purchasing.
TAKEAWAY IDEA FOR BRIDES: Send the designer a message or email asking them about the details of the veil or the dress that you are interested in. Their response will tell you a lot about their level of customer service and professionalism.
Tip #4 for Organized Brides: Chat with the Vendor Live
Do you ever wonder if the vendor is actually located in your country or if they are just chatting from a call center halfway across the country? Whether you live in the US or in another country, there is a sense of security in knowing that the vendor is in your same country and that you would easily be able to get ahold of them. Remember that international shipping can be quite pricey and can involve significant time delays.
TAKEAWAY IDEA FOR BRIDES: I recommend asking to talk with the vendor or designer via phone. A 5 minute phone call helps you understand their communication style. I have found that reputable sellers will be more than happy to do this. If they’re like me, they cannot wait to talk about all things wedding!
Wedding Tip #5 for Savvy Brides: If you want a custom accessory or dress, ask to pay a deposit up front with the remaining balance due after completion.
Paying a deposit up front with the balance due after you approve the design protects you and the designer from misunderstandings. The designer will be more willing to make edits and changes if they still have a balance to collect from you. It's just human nature!
Don’t worry – most designers are fine with this! It protects them too as it allows them to make sure the design meets your needs before they suddenly have a big hunk of change hit their wallet.
TAKEAWAY IDEA FOR BRIDES: Start with a deposit and pay the remainder after it is completed and you have approved photos.
Bridal Tip #6 for a Stress-Free Wedding: Request photos and videos before your accessory, dress, or veil is shipped.
Before you commit to the designer, ask to see photos of their previous work that is similar to what you are requesting. This way, you will see if your styles mesh. Most designers are thrilled to show off their past work and will love to send you photos.
If you are commissioning a custom dress, accessory, or other wedding item then make sure that you also request photos and videos of the finished design before it is shipped to you. This way, you don’t have to ship it back for a small change that could easily be done before shipping.
This saves time and money for both you and the designer! And it is so fun to see the photos of your bridal veil being designed. It builds the anticipation! The below photo is a product photo I just sent to my bride to get her approval before shipping.
TAKEAWAY TIP FOR BRIDES: Request videos of the wedding vendor's previous work. Make sure to also ask for videos of your custom commissioned piece if you are having a one-of-a-kind accessory made.
Top Tip #7 for Smart Brides: Look at the vendor’s reviews and research what others say on Reddit or Facebook groups.
Learn from other brides’ experiences with the vendors. Previous customers will tell a more complete story of what it is like to work with a bridal vendor.
You don’t need the added stress of an uncommunicative or incompetent vendor.
Although the vendor’s years of experience plays a part in your decision to hire, the customer reviews are even more valuable. If customers are saying negative things about them online, then it is better to play it safe. You probably will have a similar experience.
TAKEAWAY IDEA FOR BRIDES: Do research into Facebook groups, Reddit, and other review sites like Google and the Knot to see what previous brides say about working with your vendor.
I know that you have a million ways that you can spend your money on your wedding. And whether you purchase online or in person, I fully believe that your hard-earned money should go towards making you and your groom feel special. But if you do buy online, make sure to do it right.