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Brides Say ‘I Do’ to Online Wedding Gown Shopping

Online dating has changed the way couples meet, so it should come as no surprise that online shopping is altering even the most romanticized retail experience: wedding gown shopping.

New data from retail data firm Edited confirms how the internet has “overhauled the entire process of getting hitched.”

Digital meets luxury

Along with booking vendors online and using photo-sharing sites to source style inspiration, Edited found that consumers are becoming more comfortable with making big ticket purchases, such as designer wedding gowns, online.

While the availability of mass-market bridal dresses online is on the downturn, luxury is rising. As the average age of brides climbs, and online returns and delivery are made easier, Edited said brands have greater potential for bigger online sales. Case in point: online luxury purveyor Net-a-Porter increased its bridal offering by 110 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Median price points grew 33 percent to $1,935, according to Edited data.

Men’s wear remains an untapped opportunity for online, be it luxury or mass market. Edited said few retailers are creating “engaging edits” for grooms and guests with suiting needs.

All the accoutrements

Beyond veils, footwear and jewelry, Edited said there is a new crop of bridal items for retailers to consider. Data found that bridal jumpsuits are up 109 percent this year. Meanwhile, customizable items like bridal nightwear and swimwear are growing in popularity, as brides want to share every moment of their big day on social media.

Aisle or runway?

Bridesmaid dresses are proving to be gangbusters for the mass market. In particular, Edited said consumers are favoring blush tones, all-over lace and Grecian-style silhouettes. Modest, sleeved bridesmaid dresses are also in demand, up 560 percent in the past three months compared to last year.

As the largest wedding event—Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week—wraps up this week, Edited identified several bridal trends for Spring ’19. Expect to see risqué designs like plunging necklines, barely there lace and embroidery and sheer upper bust paneling, coupled with ’90s minimalism, ruffle hems and non-traditional color palettes.