The wedding industry has evolved in recent years, thanks in large, due to technological advances and new apps. Every last detail of the event can be researched online, and couples are using platforms like Pinterest and Etsy for inspiration, and social media sites like Instagram and Facebook to spread the word to their family and loved ones. The pressure to plan the most extravagant day just got even higher, and the risks got even greater.

Traditionally, most brides go to a boutique to try on dresses with family and loved ones, but with the overall cost of weddings increasing each year, today’s modern brides are going online to shop for just about everything, including their dream designer dress. More brides-to-be are finding themselves at the mercy of brandjackers looking to sell them counterfeit wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses. 

It isn’t always easy to tell if a site is legitimate or not, brides-to-be need to be cautious when shopping online for wedding necessities. Here are a few tips that all couples should keep in mind when shopping online: 

• What is the reputation? Is the site or seller mentioned on any of the scam warning sites?  Do a search for ‘vendor+scam’ and see what comes up.

• Check the site. Pay close attention to the website name in the address bar. Oftentimes, fraudsters will purchase a misspelt, a technique known as “typosquatting,” to divert traffic to counterfeit e-commerce sites or even adult sites.

• Price. If it’s too good to be true, that’s a red flag and consumers should be extra vigilant.

• Returns policy?  Reputable sites spell that out for you upfront.

• Privacy policy? Counterfeiters and other brandjackers don’t usually invest the time to craft a clear, strong privacy policy.

Whether couples are looking online for the perfect bridal party gift or décor or wedding gown, it is important to make sure that the site you are purchasing from is indeed legitimate. With just a few simple steps, a bride can “say yes to the dress” and “I do” to her happily ever after without having to second guess if it is counterfeit or not. 

Akino Chikada is the Senior Brand Protection Product Marketing Manager for the MarkMonitor AntiFraud solutions. She has led and served interim roles in global marketing strategies, product marketing, events management, public relations, corporate communications and regional marketing. Tap here to visit,