Where to Buy a Wedding Dress Online So It Actually Fits

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We get it: Shopping for wedding dresses online can seem daunting given the Wild West that is the internet. But with a little know-how of how to get your own measurements (more on that later) or which online retailers will actually match your needs, there's no reason not to say “yes to the dress” with a tracking number. Here are a few of our favorite tips for shopping for a wedding dress online from bridal boutique experts, seamstresses and former brides, plus 20 virtual retailers offering incredible bridal selections, right at your fingertips.

How To Shop For Wedding Dresses Online

Focus on these key things while you browse the web, and you will be golden.

1. Your measurements: Get accurate measurements with the help of a friend or a trusty tailor and write them down. Though it's likely you’ll still need to take your dress in for some alterations at some point before the wedding, you can keep costs down by knowing your sizing from the get-go. It’s also important to note that standard sizing for wedding gowns runs smaller than run-of-the-mill formal gowns. Compare your measurements to the retailer's sizing guide to ensure the dress you order matches your own numbers.

2. Budget: It will actually be easier to stay within your budget shopping online since you can sort by price. Know your maximum limit for spending going into your shopping quest so you don’t fall in love with a dress that's thousands of dollars more than you can afford. (BTW, keep in mind alterations can cost anywhere from $50 to $1,000, so you will need to account for that when creating your bridalwear budget.)

3. Reviews: Looking solely at online reviews opinions can get a little dicey, since everyone’s style preferences are different, so take them with a grain of salt. One trusty takeaway you can usually trust is how the dress sizes run. Note if multiple reviewers remark that dresses run true-to-size, small or large. And finally, you'll want to take notice of the customer photos and thoughts on the quality: Is the material nice? Are the seams intact and even? Does the color and design match the listing photos? These types of comments are great to reference to know what you'll be getting before you press "place my order."

4. Return policy: Read the fine print! Before you click that buy button on a pricey gown, make sure you understand the parameters of the store's return policy. If you don’t know the ins and outs of it before you buy, you may end up with a dress you don’t want to wear down the aisle, but can’t return. If you’re considering multiple shops online, screenshot key portions about their return requirements and keep them in folders on your desktop, so you can easily reference them if you need.

Online wedding dress retailers at a glance:

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Moda Operandi

1. Moda Operandi

Best for the Chic Bride

Moda Operandi has wall-to-wall gorgeous bridal looks. These trendy options go from simplistic styles to romantic ones, and we're obsessed with the range. Dresses aren't the only bridal essential they have to offer, though. You can find stunning heels and jewelry on the website too.

Return policy: Return costs are covered by the brand and you'll be supplied with a paid return label to ship your gown back. For a full refund, your order must be sent back within 28 days of receiving it.

Shipping information: All U.S. orders are shipped via FedEx, and standard (for $15) or express (for $20) can be selected. Orders take 24 to 48 hours to process and then are shipped. You can track your order on their website once the order is placed.


2. Loveshackfancy

Best for the Beach Bride

The light and fun designs of LoveShackFancy are stunning for a beach wedding. The vibes of these bubbly, flirty bridal looks read more informal than most, which is perfect if the traditional ballgown silhouette isn't for you—think ethereal mini dresses to lacy maxi gowns

Return policy: To receive a full refund, returns need to be shipped within 30 days of the delivery postmark. Tags must be intact and you are able to take store credit if you're planning to purchase a new dress.

Shipping information: All orders ship via FedEx and have free shipping if your order is over $200, or a $10 fee for under $200. Alternative shipping methods are available and there are stipulations based on your location. Orders ship within one to two days of purchase and then can be tracked to see date of delivery.

bhldn tryp

3. Bhldn

Best for the Boho Bride

If you love everything you see at Anthropologie, chances are you’ll feel the same at BHLDN, the bridal extension of your favorite boho chic flagship. From short city hall dresses to long ballgowns, you will find hundreds of high-quality gowns from designers like Watters, Jenny Yoo and Riki Dalal. The price range starts at $260 and reaches $2,500, which definitely makes it a more affordable option considering the designers on tap. Sizes begin at 0 and go up to 26W. BHLDN offers online consultations via email for expert fit and styling advice.

Return Policy: In order to get a full refund for your gown, you have to return it in-store or via mail within 30 days of arrival. This return policy does not include dresses that were marked as “final sale” upon purchase. Learn more about the return policy here.

Shipping times: There are shipping costs that range from $5 to $25, depending on the method, but luckily, dresses can be shipped within two business days if you're in a pinch. You can choose from standard, express, overnight and UPS gown-specific shipping. Learn more about delivery time here.

davids bridal tryp
David's Bridal

4. david’s Bridal

Best for the Bride Who Wants Options

David’s Bridal is one of the most expansive shops on the web to buy a wedding dress online. With its vast in-house collections and thoughtful collaborations—like Galina Signature—David’s Bridal not only has pages upon pages to scroll, but it also has a super handy search bar for the picky undecided bride. Filter by silhouette, price, color, length, size, brand, neckline, strap style and more. If you need your dress in a hurry, David’s Bridal has a “ready to ship” section of gowns that will be promptly shipped out—just try to leave in some time for the alterations you’ll probably need.

Return policy: You'll have seven days to return your dress—with the tags still attached—once you’ve received it. There are certain items not eligible for return which you can read more about here.

Shipping times: Customers can select standard, expedited or express shipping methods and each method takes three days to process before sending it out with a maximum seven day delivery after processing. Read more about each here.


5. mytheresa

Best for Designer Taste

MYTHERESA has a slimmer option of gowns to choose from, but if you are looking to go designer, this is the place to shop. Labels include Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Simone Rocha, Ellie Saab and many more. It’s also a one-stop-shop for bridal, as you can find accessories, shoes and even outfits for your honeymoon.

Return policy: You have 30 days from the time you receive your dress to return it unworn and in brand new condition with the tags still attached. If you are returning multiple items, they must be sent in one package. Once the returned pieces are reviewed, a refund will be promptly issued. More on the policy here.

Shipping times: Shipping costs for orders over $500 are free. Below that, there is a flat fee of $25 for DHL express and FedEx express. Find more on MyTheresa's shipping information here.

reformation tryp

6. reformation

Best for the Sustainable Bride

Reformation is known for its romantic, streamlined-but-sexy gowns. And lucky for us, the price range caps out at $650. The dresses are sustainably made in Los Angeles and each one lists how much water, carbon dioxide and waste were saved in production. The fits are typically slim-cut and column style, so if you're into more of the ballgown or A-line options (or run a bit bustier) this may not be the brand for you.

Return policy: You have 30 days from the receiving date to return your Reformation gown. The tags must be attached and once it’s received you will get a full refund to your original payment method. Return shipping is free on U.S. orders. See the site for more information.

Shipping times: Standard shipping is free for Reformation orders and ranges up to $40 for next-day delivery. You can also choose ground, expedited and express delivery as well. Your order can be delivered in as soon as one business day to up to ten business days based on the method you choose. You can find more information about the shipping costs and delivery times on the brand's website.

Saks Fifth Avenue

7. saks Fifth Avenue

Best for a Wide Range of Styles

From flirty Zimmerman mini dresses to elegant Monique Lhuillier floor-length gowns, Saks offers lots of traditional and non-traditional picks curated by the smart, fashion-focused eyes behind this luxury department store. You can also take advantage of the brand's virtual shopping option via video chat with a stylist and then pick up your order at a store near you

Return policy: To qualify for a free return, you will need to send back your dress within 14 days of the ship date. If you return within the next 14-day window (30 days) you will have a $9.95 shipping cost deducted from your refund. Read the fine print here.

Shipping times: Standard delivery is free and will be delivered within seven to ten business days. Beyond that, shipping costs reach up to $25. Customers can select premium, express and two-day shipping. More information on rates and delivery times can be found on the Saks website.


8. nordstrom

Best for Impeccable Customer Service

We love wedding dress shopping at Nordstrom for two reasons: 1. Its wares tend to be reasonably priced and 2. You can actually wear them again for another special occasion (just not your friend’s wedding, OK?). If you purchase a dress from Nordstrom and aren’t sold on how it looks, you can mail it back or return it to a store near you. Nordstrom offers responsive customer service to make sure you are getting the attention you deserve to enhance your shopping experience. You can book a virtual styling appointment here or book a slot for in-house alterations if your dress needs fitted.

Return policy: Nordstrom’s return guidelines are processed on a case-by-case basis. You can file for a return on their website and they will determine your refund based on the state of the dress. You can also take the gown into a Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack location to process a return. Learn more here.

Shipping times: Standard shipping is free on Nordstrom orders, but expedited and store delivery vary based on contents in your order and your location. Expedited shipping costs $12 for two-day delivery or $20 for next-day. To learn more about the process check out the store's shipping page.


9. lulus

Best for the One-Stop Bridal Shop

Lulus has everything from loungewear to stunning wedding gowns, and its take on bridal is all about effortless glam without going broke. Yeah, we’re talking gowns under $400 with intricate patterns and detailing. (Yes, you read the correctly.) That means you can add more than just one to your cart to try on at home…or wear at the after party?

Return policy: Lulus offers free returns within the first ten days once you receive your packages. If you can’t make the ten-day return period, no worries, you have 30 days to return your dress(es) for $7. Learn more details about the policy here.

Shipping times: There is free standard shipping available for United States orders of $50 or more or a $5 flat fee if it's under $50. They also offer three-, two- and one-day shipping with varying prices that you can find here.

net a porter

10. net-a-porter

Best for Something Totally Original

Net-a-Porter is all about high-fashion. Pick a dress here, and we have a feeling you won't have to worry about Jessica from high school wearing the same dress at her wedding. Consider utilizing the site's fashion consultants as a resource to help you choose a dress that matches your style. The company also has a selection of items like shoes, bags or jewelry below each dress that are handpicked to match to make your browsing experience easier.

Return policy: You have 28 days from the arrival of your package to return your products to Net-a-Porter. If you are in the U.S., returns and exchanges are free of charge. You must return your package via the same courier who delivered it. Learn more about their return policy here.

Shipping times: Shipping costs begin at $10 and vary based on your location and order time (up to seven days). Take a look at the brand's website if you need to get your order in a certain time window.


11. shopbop

Best for the Courthouse Bride

Head to Shopbop to chase your Carrie Bradshaw courthouse nuptial dreams. While the dress collection varies in styles, they are geared more toward dressy-casual designs and simple silhouettes. You’ll have quite a large selection to choose from, depending on the wedding day vibe you are looking to accomplish.

Return policy: If you return your product(s) within 15 days of receiving, you are eligible for free shipping. Returning within 30 days will require a $10 shipping label provided to you via ShopBop. Your return will not be accepted if it’s sent after 30 days. Read more here.

Shipping times: Ground shipping is free and deliveries will arrive one to three days after processing. You can also choose two-day, next business day and Saturday delivery up to $30. Find out more on the company's shipping procedures here.

needle thread
Needle & Thread

12. needle & Thread

Best for the Ethereal Bride

Needle & Thread mixes ultra-feminine materials and delicate detailing with vintage tropes, like flapper-length hems and Victorian necklines. The result? Drop-dead gorgeous dresses that are a bride's dream come true. With fabrics that are mainly tulle and lace with off-white to blush coloring, this site would be a great option for a nontraditional bride, or even one that's looking for a fun rehearsal dinner look.

Return policy: Returns must be sent within the first 30-day window for a $10 fee. Tags and labels need to be intact and the gown should be unworn. Needle & Thread does not offer exchanges. Read the fine print here.

Shipping times: Standard shipping is free but is $10 if the order is under $350. You can also select express shipping for $15 to get your order in one to three business days. You can find more information on the shipping costs here.


13. revolve

Best for the Non-Traditional Bride

Getting married in a microwedding on the beach? You’re probably not in the market for a mermaid gown with a 15-foot sweeping train and intricate bustle. But if you are looking for something that can you can slip into before saying your vows barefoot on the sand then taking shots in the bar, Revolve might just be where it’s at. The non-traditional bride looking to spend $1,500 and under will have a field day with Revolve’s selection of trendy, au courant styles. (Just look at this mini feather dress. Swoon!)

Return policy: U.S. customers receive a prepaid shipping label via Revolve for return of products within 60 days. If you miss the 60-day mark, you can exchange your product within 90 days. If the item you bought was marked as “final sale” it is not eligible for return or exchange. See more here.

Shipping times: Two-day shipping is free for Revolve orders and price varies based on order size for other shipping methods. You can receive your order as soon as noon on the next business day for as little as $30, but for orders with more than one item, the prices increase. See more here.


14. amsale

Best for The Classic Bride

Amsale offers that classic wedding dress shopping experience, but, of course, online. From its selection of more traditional bridal gowns (think: ball gowns, appliqué details and dramatic trains) to the way you can confer with a remote stylist, Amsale is best for the bride who wants all things old school, except, ya know, the in-person contact.

Return policy: Because of the enhanced try-on and shopping process, bridal gowns are ineligible for return, but you have the option to return any selections purchased from the Little White Dress and Evening collections within 14 days for a $25 restocking fee. Read the full policy here.

Shipping times: Shipping is free for orders over $75. Other orders will have shipping costs calculated upon checkout. Most dresses ship within six to eight weeks, but the dresses on the "ready to ship" page ship immediately. See more about the site's shipping here.

fame and partners
Fame and Partners

15. fame And Partners

Best for Custom Options

Fame and Partners offers a customizable dress tool to create the exact style you are looking for. It’s literally a choose-your-own-adventure wedding dress experience: Pick your silhouette, color and length to design your dream dress. You can also select from 20 color swatches for $2 a piece to see them in person before you click “buy.” The made-to-order option is the best way to get what you want, down to the last hem.

Return policy: To receive a refund, your dress must be returned in resalable condition with tags attached within 30 days. These dresses are made-to-order, so there is a $35 zero-waste fee per item. Get more information here.

Shipping times: If you're in a rush, this shop may not be for you. Orders can be rushed in two to three weeks at special request, but will be shipped between eight to 12 weeks for a standard order. United States orders are free, but international orders are $30. Find more shipping information here.


16. cocomelody

Best for the Glam Bride

The dresses from CocoMelody are stunningly extra. The tulle skirts and detailed beading are to die for. The company offers a “try at home” feature that ships three gowns to test at home for three days, skipping the annoying and expensive order-return-refund process. While you surf their gowns online, you can also save ones you like to your “showroom” to keep them in one place.

Return policy: If you’d like to return your dress, you have seven days to contact CocoMelody’s customer service to process your return. Any returns without tags, original packaging or not sellable condition will not be accepted. Read the full policy here.

Shipping times: Like Fame & Partners, these made-to-order dresses take weeks to make. Once made, they ship between four to eight days. Shipping costs are calculated at checkout.


17. azazie

Best for the Cinderella Bride

We’d describe Azazie’s selection as royal-wedding chic—these gowns are fit for a princess. Plus, we appreciate that you can view photos from real customers wearing the gowns. They also offer customized sizes, which is nice for people who just know traditional sizing won’t cut it. But there’s also the “ready to ship” section if you’re all about that shotgun wedding. Yes, these are final sale, but with many styles here going for less than $100, that’s a total steal. And if you’re concerned about that final sale, order a few dresses from the same designer in the “try at home” section to check out the fit. You can grab one to three dresses to try out and then send them back within one week.

Return policy: It’s important to note that any customizable orders aren’t eligible for return. Other than that, you have 30 days to return your standard orders, and seven days for headpieces . You will be given one return label, so Azazie recommends returning multiple items at once. Read the rest here.

Shipping times: All shipping methods, costs and times vary based on your location and the size of your order (up to ten business days). Check out the fee chart before you order.


18. etsy

Best for the Bride Who Wants to Shop Small

If you want something you’re not seeing on the other sites, head to Etsy. Just make sure to do your due diligence before adding to cart—for instance, you’ll want to make sure your measurements are 100 percent correct and that you’re dealing with a reputable seller. So check out sales histories and reviews before saying "yes" to a dress. For example, StylishBrideAccs has made nearly 30,000 sales and gets rave reviews—the seller offers romantic gowns, from two-piece sets to tulle ballgowns. BlushFashion has more than 18,000 sales from its array of simplistic boho wedding dresses.

Return policy: Return options will vary from seller to seller.

Shipping information: Shipping costs and delivery times vary from seller to seller.

nearly newlywed
Nearly Newlywed

19. nearly Newlywed

Best for Designer Names at a Discount

Nearly Newlywed specializes in pre-owned and sample floor (aka pre-worn) gowns. Translation? You can buy a like-new wedding dress for a fraction of its retail price. You can even resell your gown to the site after you wear it—don’t let it sit in your attic forever! Just note you'll probably have to do some ample alterations and tweaks to get the dress in "I do" shape.

Return policy: You have five business days to return your dress if you aren’t loving it, and there is a $50 fee that you are required to pay. You will be refunded once the Nearly Newlywed team reviews the condition of your returned item. See the full policy and instructions here.

Shipping times: Nearly Newlywed covers the shipping costs in the contiguous U.S., but there are varying fees for international buyers. The brand guarantees a maximum delivery time of three weeks, but states that orders usually come within seven to ten days of purchase. If you need your dress ASAP, you can let the store know and they can calculate if you will need to pay for expedited shipping for delivery just a few days after ordering.


20. asos

Best for the Budget Bride

ASOS is known for its super trendy products and quick shipping. The store's wedding section has styles for almost every kind of bride, from delicate details to simple and sleek pieces. Better yet, the variety will allow you to order multiple items for your big day for a fraction of the usual prices.

Return policy: Free returns are available for a full refund when made within 28 days through UPS. If you return within 45 days, you will receive a gift card in lieu of a refund to your original payment method. Get more information here.

Shipping information: Standard shipping is free for United States customers when the order is over $50 and $4.99 when it's under $50. This option will be delivered within three to six business days. Express shipping (which takes two business days) is another option and is a flat fee of $10. If you're in a rush, you can choose next-day for $15 to $20 depending on your location. Enter your zip code to get information on your shipping costs.

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Commerce Editor

Olivia Dubyak is PureWow's Commerce Editor and textbook Capricorn. She studied journalism at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has gone from New York City to...