I had always been a little bit apprehensive about online shopping. That is, until I started to plan our wedding.
Online shopping was just so much easier and efficient than hunting for something in a dozen physical stores and it offered so much more choice than was available in Perth. In addition, at the time the Australian dollar was strong which meant that purchasing goods from overseas was good value. I made the majority of purchases for the wedding online, from invitations to table decorations to garlands to hair accessories.
My first and perhaps my favourite online wedding purchase was my Kate Spade “Dreamer” shoes which I purchased through Amazon. I am definitely a shoe girl and knew that I wanted to find some special and unique shoes to wear. I initially bought them half a size too big but it was surprisingly easy to exchange them for the right size.
My beautiful hairpiece and the hairpieces worn by my bridesmaids were custom designed by Tessa Kim. I bought a shrug from Bhldn and a cardigan from the Alannah Hill online store. I found my vintage pearl earrings through etsy. I stopped short of buying my dress online although I did toy with the idea for some time and definitely gained inspiration from dresses I saw in various online stores.
Our personalised ring dish and dishes for our mothers and the bridesmaids were made by Paloma’s Nest.
I even purchased some vintage items to use as decorations such as an old spice rack and metal tea pot from The Fox and the Spoon. Although it can be fun to go searching through local antique stores, sometimes it’s easier to find what you are after online in a shop where only quality pieces are sold.
I bought lots of other little bits and pieces for various wedding-related projects such as rubber stamps and ribbon from Etsy.
My other favorite purchase was the hand painted canvas we used as our ceremony backdrop which I bought from Kara Melwood.
I found that postage was surprisingly affordable, especially when purchasing several items from the one seller.
I have definitely been converted to this new way of shopping and have picked up a few tips to make your online shopping experience easier and more successful:
- 1. Make sure you do your research. If you are looking to buy, try to read as many reviews of the item as possible. This will help you to determine whether the quality of the item is as you expect and is especially useful for clothes or shoes where reviewers often describe the fit (eg runs small or large).
- 2. Check the store’s return/exchange policy – many will allow you to return or exchange on the provision that you pay to post the item back to them. Postage can be costly, especially if you are opting for tracking, so consider this when deciding whether to purchase.
- If buying something directly from the designer don’t be afraid to ask them to customise the item if it’s not exactly what you are after – most are happy to do it and actually enjoy custom orders.
- Use sites such as Amazon, Shopstyle and Polyvore to compare prices from different sellers on a specific item to make sure you are getting the best deal.
- Check postage timeframes. If you need an item by a specific date it is often worth paying the extra for express post. I found that there were inconsistencies in the time it took for items to arrive – sometimes an item posted from the USA would arrive within a week or two whilst other times an item posted from the same area would take a month or more. Communicate with the seller as they may know from their previous sales whether there are normally delays when posting to your particular area.
- If purchasing items such as wooden ornaments it’s a good idea to check with the seller and with Australian customs whether there are any issues. Most items are fine as they have been treated, but the last thing you want is to purchase something and then have it confiscated by customs.
- Set up a Paypal account. Paypal makes it so easy to make payments online from whichever bank account you choose, and allows you to avoid handing out your credit card details every time you want to make a purchase.
- Be careful! As I discovered, it’s really easy to get carried away with your online shopping habit as it’s accessible anytime and from anywhere you can access the internet!