Money

4 Wedding Dress Scams That Could Ruin Your Wedding

It's no secret that weddings are expensive, and a lot of people look for ways to cut corners for a manageable price tag, especially when it comes to a major expense: the dress.

One way to save cash is to purchase a wedding dress online since many sites may offer huge discounts and slash prices. While this might seem like a deal, it's often too good to be true.

Women can fall prey to wedding dress scams, which are more common than you may realize, according to the popular online community Bridal Beware, which shares posts about dress fraud from people who claim to have been scammed. BuzzFeed News has recently reported on dress scam sites that operate in China, which target both wedding gowns as well as regular dresses.

Here are some bridal dress scam stories that will make you think twice about paying up online. In fact, you might want to read the online reviews of your specific seller before you pay up and consider an in-person purchase instead. Many people use websites such as SiteJabber and Facebook groups dedicated to exposing retailer scams to avoid falling into this trap, ABC News reported last year.

1. A dress that comes with stains.

A Facebook user named Kelsey Green, a San Diego woman who works at Agentology for Real Estate, recently wrote about a negative experience she had trying to order a dress from prombelle.com on the public Facebook page, "SCAM ALERT & Real Customer Reviews." The site features many bad reviews on business review site, SiteJabber.

Green posted a photo of what the dress was "supposed to look like" versus the dress she received:

Dress scams

Green instead received a dress that had a giant, red Sharpie mark on it:

Dress scams

"[T]o my dismay not only did it look NOTHING like it did in the picture - it was poorly constructed with CHEAP material - but there was a GIANT RED SHARPIE MARK on the back of it!" she wrote. "I immediately contacted the company (with pictures) because their return policy states that if a product arrives damaged they will honor a full refund... I had to reach out to them 4 times for them to respond."

After she apparently sent them photos of the dress twice, she claims she was told to "wash it off" or send it to a dry cleaner.

"I requested a chargeback from my bank, but I should have known it was too good to be true for the price," she wrote.

Out of 30 reviews on SiteJabber, 27 of them have just one-star reviews as of publication:

SiteJabber PromBelle

ATTN: reached out to prombelle.com several times via email about this complaint but was unable to get a response regarding this particular complaint. ATTN: has also reached out to Green to see whether she has further comment on the issue.

2. A dress that looks like it has "nursing pads" on it.

In February, The Daily Mirror story on knockoff wedding dresses featured Brianna Farber, a woman who ordered what she thought was the dress on the left only to receive the dress on the right.

As one commenter on Knock Off Nightmares said, it looks like the dress has "nursing pads" on the chest area.

Dress scams

ATTN: has previously reported that some online scammers send drastically different looking dresses than the ones marketed online. A retailer might steal dress images from other retailer sites and even use photos from celebrities who share them on social media.

According to Knock Off Nightmare's post, the dress is from Modlily.com and the site is known for questionable practicies. In January, Modlily was accused of falsely advertised Instagram user Pascale Rowe's dress in an advertisement for a dress the brand was selling. As BuzzFeed noted in its extensive dress scams investigation, Modlily apparently used a photo of Rowe's dress that she posted on Instagram and cropped out her head. Rowe reportedly didn't know what happened with her photo until the publication reached out to ask her about it. Rowe did not buy the dress from Modlily.com, but they advertised her dress without her permission.

ATTN: reached out to Modlily.com multiple times via email about this complaint but was unable to get a response regarding this particular allegation.

Rowe's photo:

Modlily.com's photo:

Modlily.com dress scam

3. A dress that comes in a different color than what you were promised, among many other things.

A Facebook user named Merced Rapallini thought she ordered this dress — originally from David's Bridal — through a company called VBridal, which as of publication, has 19 one-star reviews on SiteJabber:

Wedding dress

This came instead:

Dress scam

"The beautiful appliqués that are part of the sides and the bottom of the sleeves in the real dress are made of pearls and small crystals, but on this dress they are cheap orange sequin (like 4 individual plastic sequins) that you can buy at [W]almart for 10 cents," she wrote on Facebook. "They're so bad, they're embarrassing. They look like they should be part of an elementary school project. The sleeves are the pure orange mosquito net fabric and look/fit nothing like they're supposed to."

When VBridal asked to resolve the issue with Rapallini in the comments section of her post, she claimed that the company, which is located in Hong Kong, called her at odd hours of the night and refused to issue her a full refund for the dress.

Facebook

VBridal told ATTN: via Facebook Messenger that it is "a pity to see" complaints of this nature.

"Our products are made to order and are made according to the pictures and we will also do quality checking before shipping out. Also we believe it's quite understandable for you that some differences may exist as each dress is purely handmade."

The company added that it tried to contact the customer directly via email, phone and Facebook but could not successfully reach her. "We do want to help her with the case and reach a consensus. If we can have a way to contact with [her], of course we'll help her with her order and rectify this issue."

ATTN: reached out to Rapallini and will update the story if she has further comment.

4. A dress whose detailing is way sparse.

Many consumers think they are getting dresses with exquisite embroidery, elaborate beadwork, or beautiful lace patterns. But the dresses that arrive are often far from what's advertised, missing many — if not all — of the details. Knock Off Nightmares posted this blatant Justin Alexander knockoff in fall 2013. It is unclear who purchased the dress, but ATTN: has reached out to Justin Alexander for comment on the matter.

Dress scams

As BuzzFeed News noted in its dress scams piece, it isn't uncommon for scammed online dress consumers to receive a dress of significantly lower quality than what was advertised. The lace on the advertised dress looks much nicer than the lace on the dress that arrived and it is missing much of the detailed applique of the "original."

RELATED: These Retailer Scams Will Make You Never Want to Shop Online Again