There are some beautiful, first-rate e-boutiques that offer premium, couture services without the customer facing. Like with most emotionally driven and pocket emptying purchases, buying online can be frightfully daunting, so we’ve compiled a list you should consider before buying a wedding dress online.
 Study the size chart
Some e-boutiques will have a different method of measuring your extremities. If you’re not confident in your measuring abilities, ask a professional seamstress, dressmaker or atelier to do it for you. It also pays to be aware of the various size conversions depending on where the website is located. Generally when buying your wedding dress you’ll need to know the following measurements:
Bust: Measure around your chest, rest the tape on the fullest part of your bust (not underneath).
Waist: Measure around the natural waistline. In most cases, this will be the smallest part of your waist.
Low hip: Standing with your feet together in a natural position, measure approximately 20cm down from your natural waistline.
Shoulder: From shoulder tip to shoulder tip.
Wear shoes with a similar heel height to those you’ll be wearing on your wedding day.
 Be mindful of the colour
Although retina and high resolution computer screens are almost flawless in translating conceived colours, there’s the off chance ‘ivory’ or ‘oyster’ may not be as you initially anticipated (after all, there are so many different shades of white). If possible, ask for a colour swatch before purchasing to ensure the dress is the right colour. Consider skin tone, style colour pallet and your bridesmaids dresses.
 Select relevant additions to your dress
Some high-end, couture labels will offer additional hem lengths, train lengths or sleeve options. This will generally incur an additional cost as variations to the standard size will be made during the production process. It’s important to note that very few bridal e-boutiques will provide alterations after purchase. If you’re buying a dress in a set size consider the cost of taking it to a dressmaker if it’s not 100 per cent perfect on arrival.
 Understand the exchange and refund policy
Become acquainted with the exchange and refund policies of each luxury online store you browse. Some e-boutiques will allow a refund, however most will only offer an exchange and strictly if the product is faulty or damaged. Don’t proceed to the checkout without knowing your rights.
Let’s go shopping . . .
Confused and utterly overwhelmed by the never ending throng of online boutiques?
For an ultramodern collection of Australian made designer wedding dresses visit Suzanne Harward.