The French aren’t the only culture that likes to discuss philosophical esoterics. Americans do too. As the internet age continues to mature the question is often asked, ‘which is better….. online stores or offline shops?’ That debate applies to the wedding industry as much as any other.
Weddings are a big business. That’s for sure. They never were exactly ‘cheap’ but in today’s tight and uncertain economy, although people haven’t stopped getting married, it shouldn’t be any surprise that the question of, “Which is better…. local specialty wedding shops or online wedding stores?”
While that’s a reasonable question, the answer is that it’s nowhere said that one has to choose between one or the other. Smart local, regional and national wedding-oriented merchants today are developing their online component… many quiet aggressively and successfully.
The fact is, each method of shopping can complement the other. The ultimate objective in a capitalistic economy is to bring the best value to the consumer and if you’re shopping wedding gowns (for example) you can have the best of both worlds, online and offline, simply by understanding each better.
Certainly everybody is looking for a bargain nowadays and very few people actually enjoy shopping as detail oriented as shopping for wedding gowns and related paraphernalia.
For a lady getting married for the first time, she doesn’t know her exact size and she certainly wants to get a precise fit to ensure she looks her absolute best on that very special wedding day. To accomplish that, there’s nothing like being able to go into a real store, stand up on that little stage by the mirror and let the professional seamstress take her exact measurements.
Once that is accomplished, it’s also nice to have the actual fabrics in her hands so she can experience to feel of it, the up-close look of it, and accurately envision whether or not ‘it’s her’. So far, it sounds like the specialty shops win, doesn’t it?
The same advantage extends into and through the gown production process and into the fitting. Nothing beats getting all those things done in one place.
That being said, if a lady is partially or primarily concerned with saving money, there are oftentimes considerable savings in shopping wedding gowns (and other wedding-related items) online. The key in doing ultimately making this decision successfully is knowing precisely what you want. That’s why it’s wise to do local shopping simultaneously with online shopping. Often finding local shops can prove to be a challange, but with modern wedding store directories like The Perfect Wedding Guide the task is quite simple.
You should shop local where the advantages of ‘shopping local’ is paramount… i.e. with gowns (and suits for the groom). However… what about those other items that need to be taken care of in wedding planning…? What about the flowers, invitations, gift registries (if you want to use one), limousine service, travel arrangements? Each of these are things that are easier to shop online.
The point is that specialty wedding shops and online stores both serve their purpose and have their proponents and opponents. It’s not one or the other. If you’re getting married, shop offline and online, find what you want and then drive the best bargain you can. If you don’t like ‘going out’ to shop and you know what you want, then online is the smart way to shop for you. If you insist on have everything done ‘just-right’ the first time, then shopping locally and dealing face-to-face with the skills provider is the better way to go.
Either way, you’re going to look great. Best wishes for a great ceremony and a long and successful marriage.
Wendy F. a blogger at the Local Business Review. Wendy specializes in wedding and party planning tips and offers great money and time hacking insights!