With the COVID-19 pandemic still on a roll, it can be difficult, or sometimes downright impossible, to get any of your wedding shopping done. Not only is it unsafe to stroll around looking for rings and dresses, but it is also often exhausting, time-consuming, and costly.
The solution? Shopping online, of course! With the sophistication that e-commerce provides nowadays, shopping for your wedding is easier, faster, and sometimes more affordable than doing it the traditional way. However, there are still several tips that you should know before you embark on this task, and here are some of the best ones:
1. Start very early
Shipping may be fast thanks to modern logistics, but there are a lot of things to buy for a wedding and some of those things need time to be made. If you can, start shopping at least six to nine months before your wedding (your shopping list and mood board needs to be made earlier than that). If you need to have some things customized like your wedding gown or ring, you may have to place your order at least nine to twelve months before your wedding, depending on who and where it is going to be made. Moreover, you also have to make room for alterations, shipment delays, and other things that can take up more of your prep time.
2. Scrutinize photos
When you’re shopping for anything online, photos play a big role in your decision whether to buy an item or not. That said, many wedding shops employ jewelry photo editing and other post-processing services to ensure that their photos are perfect. With that in mind, you have to be extra critical of the photos you see online. When looking at a particular item that you want to buy, scrutinize it from the multiple angles that the store provides (if they do such a thing). Look at extra close-up shots to check out the texture. If the store doesn’t provide photos from multiple angles or close-ups, it may be better to look somewhere else as you wouldn’t have a good idea of what to expect.
3. Go on social media
Don’t limit yourself to wedding websites. There’s also a multitude of online wedding boutiques, service providers, and retailers on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Search up a keyword and you’ll find a lot of online stores that can cater to your needs, and what’s more intresting is that these stores are often affordable.
Moreover, there are social groups on Facebook that cater to wedding swaps and sales. If you want to save money on your wedding, you can buy or trade used items with brides and grooms that are already done with their wedding and want to sell their stuff for prices that are lower than the market. Who knows? You might be lucky enough to find a newly-married couple that’s willing to give away their wedding leftovers for free.
4. Ask connections for suggestions
When looking for the best suggestions for a wedding, crowdsourcing can be a great way to do it. Ask your mutuals for websites or online shops that sell the items you need. You will likely have someone on your friends’ list who has gotten married before and can offer you a list of sources.
5. Shop from reputable stores only
This should go without saying, but a lot of couples still fall for not-so-reputable stores and their not-so-ethical business practices. These types of stores are the ones that have unclear return policies, overedit their photos to the point of deception, make false claims about their products, and post false feedback to make it seem like their products are the best. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine if an online shop is legit or not, but it is still very possible with adequate due diligence.
If you want to know if a store is worthy of your business, check out feedback outside of their website. See what other people are saying about them in places where they can’t censor comments. Furthermore, you can also ask in online wedding forums if anyone has ever done business with that store before. If a store is too obscure or ‘new’, you may not want to spend a lot of money there in case you want to give them a chance.
The beauty of online shopping is that you can find almost everything online these days, including all the essentials for a wedding. However, if you want to make the most out of your budget, keep these tips in mind when buying your wedding necessities online.