This morning, the BBC’s ‘Fake Britain’ focussed on the illegal and counterfeit sale of wedding dresses on the internet. This is an issue close to London Bride’s heart. We hear countless horror stories from brides who have been lured in by promises of reduced costs and quick delivery but end up out of pocket and with an unwearable dress for their impending wedding. The BBC explains;
“Brides think they are buying what they see in the pictures, but they are not, these dresses are only available from official stockists of the particular designer…The fake dresses are made for pennies from lining material or something equally as cheap, seams and stitches are often unfinished and they mostly arrive with no underlay; meaning it falls like a sack.”
Just take a look at the images below to see how awful these dresses can be!
This is just one example; there are thousands out there, just take a look on any bridal forum; the stories are harrowing some upsetting others downright dangerous; dresses falling apart on the aisle and others causing serious allergic reactions!
To see the full BBC peice please click picture below.
The most important thing for brides to understand when they are looking at wedding dresses online is that reputable wedding dress designers ONLY sell their dresses to OFFICIAL Authorised wedding dress retailers. NONE of the wedding dress designers we have ever dealt with have or will sell online without a bridal consultant’s assistance. Paloma Blanca explains why;
“We are committed to selling our products through “brick and mortar” establishments for your benefit and protection. Your wedding gown will be one of the most important purchases you make in your lifetime and it requires the expertise of an experienced bridal retailer. Our accounts are chosen very carefully, and they have the knowledge and experience necessary to make sure your dress not only looks beautiful on your wedding day but also fits you perfectly as well.”
Paloma is highlighting the legally protected guarantee you get when buying from someone like us! As an authorised retailer we only sell you exactly what you ordered in the right size for you, we guarantee your dress arrives in time for your wedding and we will ensure that your dress is fitted by one of our professional and experienced alteration hands. When you buy online you will not receive any of these services or guarantees and you most certainly will have no legal entitlement to any refunds or exchanges.
We want to stop you lovely brides from being so callously conned so have joined the ‘Brides Aware’ campaign helping to name and shame illegal websites and give you all the advice you need to avoid future heartbreak! Take a look below for some hints, tips and a extensive Name and Shame list of websites are known to be acting illegally….
How to avoid buying a counterfeit wedding dress
- Take a look at your designer’s ‘Authorised Retailers’ section on their website (If you cannot find it call them direct). If the supplier of your dress is not on this list your dress is most likely a counterfeit and the company is acting illegally.
- Reputable wedding dress designers do not sell directly to brides online or directly from China if you are being offered this service be suspicious!
- If you are asked to supply more than the standard bust, waist and hip measurement be aware! This indicates they are making the dress themselves rather than working with a designer.
- Just because the picture on the website looks beautiful does not mean the dress will! These websites are using copywrite protected images to advertise the gowns and lure brides in, they do not have the permission or capability to reproduce what you see in the images.
- Sadly we have heard of a few boutiques which are also selling counterfeit gowns; check reviews online before visiting the store and if you have more concerns contact the manufacturer directly.
- IF ITS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT USUALLY IS!
For more information, or if you are worried about your wedding dress take a look at the Brides Aware website or contacting BIS (Bridal Industry Supplier’s Association) may help.
To see our full, beautiful and completely legal collection click here!