All of our RBA members sell original bridal gowns sourced directly from the corresponding designer.
Although these dresses may be supplied from many different sources, they all have one vital thing in common. They will have been made and designed to not only look good from the outside but to include the the necessary boning, lining, corsetry and underskirts that a 'proper' bridal gown needs to give it shape and fit.
In addition, they will be subject to a professional manufacturing process in which quality control is paramount. Each detail on the dress must tally up to any description made about it on publicity, including the fabric, beading etc. The designer will have had the dress professionally photographed, often at huge expense, and will have presented it to us the retailer in the form of fashion and trade-shows, where we will have had a chance to inspect the quality and finish of the gown before ordering our shop stock. As retailers we are also expected to adhere to UK laws about how we describe our goods, deal with our customers and how we deal with complaints.
Because over the last few years, following on from the tidal-wave of fake goods (watches bags etc) arriving on our shores, from a host of foreign factories, we have seen a huge rise in the number of fake wedding dresses being offered for sale on the Internet, and Facebook. Many of these copy sites use original designer pictures to make you think that you'll be getting exactly the same dress that you tried on in your local bridal shop the week before, but at a fraction of the price.
If they turn up at all (and many never do) these dresses are often poor copies of the original designer gown, and will be made from inferior fabrics and often will be poorly cut, unboned and badly finished. As copies they are also infringing copyright and by selling them to you as a designer original, they are breaking the law.
In addition, such sites are not subject to UK trading legislation and promises regarding returns, refunds and quality complaints and often do not match current UK high street expectations if put to the test.
Sadly - what seems like a bargain often finishes as a nightmare as, by the time you have waited for this dress to arrive, you've often used up the ordering time you'd need to get an original made for you. There are of course genuine internet sellers selling second hand and end of line/ex-sample dresses - but please be careful - if it seems too good to be true then it probably is!
Reputable bridal designers don't deal with home traders - it's that simple. There are wonderful dressmakers working from home, that's a completely different thing, as is the practice of selling on end of lines and ex-samples, but outside of this, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is!
Find out more about Internet sellers in these first-hand stories.