Wedding Dresses from China – can you trust them?

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Is it a good idea to buy a Wedding dress from China – Can we trust the quality and sizes?

Buying wedding dresses online from any supplier in any location will have its difficulties simply because you're not trying it on before you buy and as with all clothes bought online this will be very hit and miss re sizes and quality. When it comes to buying any item of clothing from China specifically we need to bear in mind, many of the High Street clothes we buy locally from are also selling clothes made in China and so we know we can find quality items made in China.

The difference is though that we can see the quality and try on the garment once it is available in a local store and we can't do either of those things when we buy direct from China. Buying direct from China though is increasing in popularity due to the massive savings we can make. We can save hundreds of pounds on wedding dresses buying them off the shelf and even custom-made from China based sellers, via eBay or websites like DressilyMe and AdasBridal.

What if I don't like it, it doesn't fit – can I return it?

If we are buying clothes online generally the only way to obtain a refund is to return the item. Many merchants insist we pay the return postage and shipping fees before they will even consider a refund and in many cases they do not cover the cost of return postage. That is even when they are in the wrong. This is not the case for all however and this is why it is all important to read the ‘returns policy' before ordering. If it costs you more to return the item than it cost for the item itself – is it worth it? In many cases we write bad purchases from abroad off to experience. It's not so easily to do this with wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses as we are often restricted by time constraints and of course lack of alternative options.

We don't though, want to avoid overseas sellers due to these hiccups.

MANY do offer a great service and great products at prices we can afford as their testimonials (on social networking sites) show.

So what do we do?

How to safeguard your online purchase

  1. My advice would be to order early enough to allow for returns or hiccups so you have time to make alternative arrangements and do not leave yourself panicking last-minute about shipping delays and other problems. If you do decide to order early, keep a regular eye on your own measurements so they don't change! Last thing you want is to gain or lose so much weight the dress doesn't fit on the day due to ordering too soon. The same of course applies to bridesmaid dresses ordered from China.
  2. Read the sellers returns policy – if it stinks, move on.
  3. Take your OWN measurements and check them against their measurement charts – do not rely on UK, USA etc. dress sizes when ordering from China or other overseas sellers. Here is a handy video demonstrating how to take your own body measurements accurately.
  4. I have found a few times the fabric used in the China made garments is different to that shown in the picture on their website with the result that how the garment ‘falls' and fits around the body differs from that in the photo. Familiarise yourself with different fabric types and their appearance. And read the details re what the clothing item you're buying is made from. If it isn't made from a  fabric that appears to have the qualities of the fabric in the image, then you will know to expect differences in how the garment looks on you compared to the model.
  5. Read the sellers feedback and reviews – do they look genuine? Check the dates – are they all the same day or spread out over a period of time.
  6. Has the seller  been trading long?
  7. What is their communication like – you may want to test this by emailing them for advice before making a purchase. If you're ordering an expensive item like a wedding dress you may need advice about sizes, customizations and more, so good communication is essential. Trust your gut, if it's poor, move on.
  8. There are some great social networking sites where brides share details of their China wedding dress purchases. If they report a great result ask to see their own photos of the dress and the sellers promotional photos. Then you can see for yourself if there are any marked differences in quality though it's still only a photo – bear this in mind at all times.

All online clothing purchases come with a risk. Are the savings worth it?

I myself buy clothes from China for my regular wardrobe and make regular savings and it is a bit hit and miss even when using the same seller. Overall … I have found the savings worth it. You however need to make your own mind up re this one. I hope these guidelines go some way to helping you.

Please do share your China wedding and bridesmaid dress reviews below so brides can benefit from great savings and quality!

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Are you a Yoga bride? Stress free wedding planning

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Why Yoga for Brides?
By Melanie-Lee Anderson

“A seamless, free flowing series of events, leading up to and beyond, the most perfect day of our lives so far – our Wedding Day” M-L.A

My intention for our Wedding; which I repeated over and over continuously for the best part of 12 months. It was to be a simple Wedding – small, intimate, carefree and relaxed with only immediate family and best friends to join us. This was a reasonable expectation considering we were to be married on a remote tropical island in Fiji…

Looking back, I cannot express enough just how vital my Yoga practice was during this time. Despite my best intentions and most delicately laid plans, at times I found myself overrun by emotion. It was after all, the realisation of a life-long dream and it was the most important day of my life so far. There are very few women I know that didn't start dreaming of the day they would marry from a very young age. The stakes are high and regardless of the individual circumstances surrounding your big day, inclusive of the size of your support network, for some reason ALL of the responsibility feels owned by you – the Bride. The truth of the matter is no one can possibly care about this day more than you do.

It is an extremely vulnerable and at times overwhelming position to be in, some days you are floating on air at the prospect of your special day getting closer and all that the day symbolises for you and your fianc�; the next day an otherwise harmless comment from your mother / mother-in-law / brother / sister – whomever it may be, surfaces an over-reactive and irrational response followed by an emotional melt down which has you questioning all of those delicately laid plans you were so sure about only the day before. Again, this is an extremely vulnerable time in your life and every Bride will encounter some type of emotionally charged stress or anxiety before her Wedding arrives.

In our modern-day society, often we focus primarily on those things that are superficial; in the sense that we give our attention to how things appear on the outside without much thought to what lies beneath the surface. This is a habitual occurrence that has culminated over time from our existence as physical, material beings. However, what lies beneath the surface directly and indirectly influences and affects everything that we see as a physical manifestation. It is safe to say that in general, through this habitual practice that most humans have become accustomed to, a Bride will spend much of her time focussing on not only her outward appearance, but the appearance of all things that make up her special day, without much consideration to how she is coping on the inside – her thoughts, emotions, stress, anxiety – and the physiological responses occurring as a result of these.

This is why YOGA is an integral companion to any Bride-to-be. Yoga's power lies in its ability to approach a person as a whole being, not just focussing on the outer shell but working from the inside out. This is what is referred to as a holistic approach – encompassing all components of body, mind and spirit to achieve a state of total and lasting well-being. Yoga for Brides can include regular Yoga Classes; Mindfulness Meditation and visualisation techniques; personal coaching and lifestyle advice; a therapeutic Hen's Retreat; even a de-stress class the morning of the Wedding – and let's not forget the Honeymoon option which allows the opportunity for your new Husband to get involved!

It is my personal experience that a regular Yoga practice can and will make the lead up to your Wedding as seamless and carefree as it can be. The Wedding itself will be met with a calm composure and surety otherwise overlooked by modern day Brides. It is the best possible gift you can offer to yourself; it is your Wedding day after all and it is ALL ABOUT YOU.

Written by Melanie-Lee

Destiny-Rose Yoga & Lifestyle Consultancy is predominately a mobile-service covering the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland Region on a consultation basis. Skype and phone sessions are available at request.

To join the Destiny-Rose Yoga Community visit and sign-up to receive the free monthly newsletter.

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Wedding Venue booking checklist

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16 Things a Bride and Groom to Be Need to Ask Their Wedding Venue

By David Thurston

wedding venue checklist

Is the wedding venue available on our wedding day?

Sounds like an obvious first question doesn't it, but you really need to ask it first. There is no point visiting a potential wedding venue, falling in love with the idea of getting married there and not being able to make your dreams happen because another bride and groom got there first.

If you've already chosen your special date, then we suggest you telephone the wedding venue ahead of the visit and state you can only make that date, if they are already booked up then get back to the list and find another fantastic wedding venue.

How many guests can be seated for a meal at the wedding venue?

Save on Wedding Favors @ Beau-coup.comThis is fairly crucial, you don't want to book a wedding venue that have a seating area for 250 people if you're only inviting 60 to a sit down meal.

In turn you also want to ensure your guests can sit comfortably without being crammed into a small venue, or even worse, being left to feel as if they're shoved in at the back, and can barely see the top table. Once you've got a rough idea of how many wedding guests are being invited, you need to make sure your chosen wedding venue suits your requirements.

Request to see a sample seating plan, ask about whether they have round tables, maybe even ask to see photos of previous wedding meals and how the tables are laid out. This will give you a good indication of whether you can seat your wedding party and ensure everyone is happy.

How many guests can the wedding venue accommodate for the wedding reception?

Some couples prefer to have a small and intimate wedding ceremony, and then follow that with the mother of all parties in the evening. If this is your plan, be sure that the wedding venue can accommodate this. You don't want to have 200 evening guests descend on your wedding and find them all squeezed in, or unable to get to the bar.

Again, the flip-side is that you don't want to find out your wedding venue has a separate dance floor and bar area that resembles a barn – the single easiest way to have zero-atmosphere at your wedding reception is to find the wedding DJ or band playing to a half empty hall, with your wedding guests sitting around the edges not mingling.

What time can we access the wedding venue?

“Exclusively yours for the entire day!”… says their website. But what does that mean exactly? Each wedding venue will have their own rules of when you can access the building on your wedding day.

Simply confirm what time you can arrive ahead of the wedding, you don't want to be left standing outside waiting for the cleaner to turn up.

Can the bridal party get ready at the wedding venue?

Maybe this is something the bride would prefer, instead of rushing around in the morning, why not ask the venue if they have the facilities for the bride to prepare for her wedding day in the comfort of her wedding venue.

Obviously you'll want something nicer then a conference room, or a ladies changing room at a golf club, but if the wedding venue has a nice quiet comfortable room for the bride to arrive and perhaps have her hairdresser, make-up artist and the rest of her entourage help her prepare for her wedding day then all the easier.

Can we give you a CD of our wedding music for the bride's entrance?

If you're having a civil ceremony performed in an approved premises you won't be able to use any music that has religious references in the song at all. By this we mean, terms like: Angels, Heaven, God etc etc. So no Robbie Williams ballads. The wedding venue will be fully aware of this and may have a CD of acceptable music, which is fine. However, if you want to make your wedding entrance to music of your choice you need to ensure that the wedding venue does actually allow this.

Assuming they are OK with you bringing along your own CD with your favourite song on it to play at the bridal entrance, it's well worth dropping it off a day or two in advance to the wedding venue and asking them to test the CD on their player. You don't want for them to try and play it as you're nervously standing there only to find out your old CD is scratched or your CD-R won't work on their machine.

The registrar will have to approve the songs you've chosen ahead of the wedding, but they should clarify all of this when you meet them.

Can we agree a timetable of the day, or are we set to your times?

Obviously a good wedding venue will suggest times to you, they'll know how long each stage of the day will take. Ensure you can discuss the day's timetable, agree when the ceremony will start (you'll also need to approve that time with the registrar), plan how long the photos will take, agree the start time of the meal, decide what time to invite the evening wedding guests, and when the cutting of the cake and first dance will take place.

Can we bring our own drinks to the wedding venue, if not can we see the bar prices?

This is an interesting one, and well worth asking the question. Even if a wedding venue has a licensed bar available they still may agree that you could bring your own drinks along – even if it's just fruit juices for the kids, it could save you money.

If you're hiring a marquee at a venue, they will have a temporary bar for your guests – ask if you can stock the bar yourself, maybe even do a deal with someone who'll buy all the booze for you and manage the bar for the night.

Should the wedding venue insist that you must use their bar facilities, ensure you ask to see the bar prices first, whether you or your guests are paying, no one wants a huge bar bill. Also check about wine served at the meal, and champagne for toasts.

Do we have to use your caterers, or can we instruct our own?

Some wedding venues insist that you must use their caters. This may be a restriction, however their own caters obviously have the knowledge of the venue and their kitchens, and would of catered for many weddings before – so maybe it's not a bad thing.

However, it's worth asking the question as if you are not committed to their caters you can shop around, and enjoy plenty of food tasting along the way.

If it's raining, where would be the best spot to take our photos?

It won't rain on your wedding day, surely not. Hopefully not. Maybe.

If the sun lets you down on the most important day of your life, you need a back-up plan. Have a good look around the wedding venue and ask where photos are normally taken during rainy days.

You really want to avoid having an awful backdrop indoors, when you were planning lovely photos out on the lawn. Most wedding venues are beautiful places anyhow, so they'll be used to the British weather letting down brides before, and no doubt have a proffered beauty spot indoors to act as the back-drop for your wedding photographers to take your photos.

Is there a sound limiter on our wedding DJ or band?

invitationsNot a question most brides or grooms would consider asking, hence we threw it in the mix.

The thought is that if you've paid up to 500 for a wedding DJ, or potentially even more for a wedding band, then you want to be able to hear them at the back.

Unfortunately a lot of wedding venues in residential areas will be restricted to acceptable noise levels – this may mean your live entertainment loses some atmosphere on the dance floor. If you are planning a huge party for your wedding – check this first.

Do we need to order the full amount of guests for the buffet?

If you have 100 wedding guests in the evening, do you need to book a buffet for 100 people? You know that your mates will be more interested in the bar, most people who ate the wedding breakfast won't be too hungry, so why not ask the wedding venue if you can just pay for 80% of the expected guests.

This way you're saving some more money, and potentially saving wasted food at the end of the night.

Is there accommodation available at the wedding venue?

Maybe the wedding venue has a honeymoon suite available? A lot of weddings have visiting relatives from far afield, this means they'll need somewhere to stay.

You need to check in advance where you are going to spend your first night as a married couple, and if the venue has accommodation available then this could be your best option.

Even if you chosen wedding venue happens to be part of a hotel complex, you'll still need to book accommodation for those who need it, so get your bookings in early.

Do you have a wedding cake stand we can use?

Your wedding cake needs to sit on something, it's a focal point of your wedding day, and will set you back a fair few quid. No doubt the wedding cake maker will offer you a cake stand and knife for hire, but quite often the wedding venue will have a top quality cake stand ready for you.

If they do, it's another little saving and one less thing to worry about.

Will there be any other weddings on at the same venue?

Why have we left this one so late? Well, it's a personal choice whether you want a wedding venue entirely to yourself for the day, or whether you mind having another wedding party on the same day.

Whether it makes much difference or not depends on the size of the wedding venue. A small wedding venue may not have the space, or the different rooms for two large weddings.

You may find yourself sharing facilities, do you mind bumping into another bride?

Large hotels or golf clubs or private manor houses are often designed in a way that they can easily accommodate more then one wedding. Lets face it, weddings are big business so they want to attract as many as possible. If your chosen wedding venue will be playing host to more then one wedding on YOUR wedding day, ask to see where the two parties take place and ensure you're comfortable with the idea.

What time does the bar shut, and what time do we have to leave?

Surely the most important question, what time can we party until? A good wedding venue will not go around at the end of the night throwing guests out of the door, however they will expect your wedding guests to leave at an appropriate time. Clarify with the venue what time is last orders at the bar, and what time does the music have to be finished by.

You'll want one big farewell and send-off at the end of the night, so ensure your DJ is aware of the closing time and that he is prepared for the last dance and farewell to the new Mr & Mrs!

Essex Wedding specialise in wedding venues in Essex. Essex Wedding also have an excellent choice of Wedding DJ's in Essex and wedding florists in Essex to help Brides and Grooms to be with the planning of their special day.

Here are some more pages on weddingdesignchic you may find helpful when planning your wedding.



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