Smaller budgets don’t mean lesser-than weddings, you just have to do a bit more planning! Whether this is your second walk down the aisle or you just don’t want to dive too far into your savings to make your big day happen, second-hand wedding dresses are a great way to pinch pennies while still looking fabulous come the celebration.
Ladies, you can still find a designer. You can still find the dress of your dreams. And you can do that all without breaking the bank. Let’s chat a bit about second-hand wedding dresses and learn some insight. Why, how, and where; for starters!
Why Buy Second-Hand?
The real question here is why not? You’ll be able to find beautiful, designer pieces at a fraction of the cost. So what if it’s been worn before. Have it cleaned, have it altered, and it’s in brand new, working order for you to wear on your wedding day. It’s really a win-win situation for all parties – and on the wedding planning budget.
Another great reason to buy second-hand is that the wedding gown of your dreams may be previously discontinued. A lot of designers can stop producing particular designs at short-notice. So, if you’ve fallen in love with a dress from a different season, this is a way to snag the one you love with a savings of 25-50%!
Tips For Buying Second-Hand
With these quick tips, you can start second-hand shopping with confidence. Be wary, be smart, and be on the lookout for the perfect find that you can snag without tossing in some of your food or drink budget too.
- Look at the dress from every and all angles. This is especially important if you’re buying online. Skype may be your best friend. Ask to contact the buyer so she can show you all the nooks and crannies!
- Ask to see the dress being worn! That photo will help you give life to the design and see if you can envision something similar on your body.
- Still, sniff out a larger size than you are used to. Just like when you’re regularly shopping, you’ll need to have this dress custom fit to your body. Unless you happen to try the specific gown on and it works, you’ll be better off buying a design that you can alter to fit your curves.
- Learn the history of the dress. Are you buying from the original owner or was it bought used before? You’ll want to know how many hands it’s sifted through and how many times it’s been altered.
- Shop from a reputable store. This is super important. You don’t want to buy off of websites that are known to misrepresent gowns or not have the right buyer’s protection in place. (See below)
3 Spots You Can Buy Second-Hand
The used wedding dress section of OnceWed is filled with dresses from sellers all over North America. Their site allows you to filter dresses by style, designer, price, color, condition of the dress, material, silhourette, and so on. There are a lot of hidden gems here!
Still White is a marketplace for used wedding dresses. And there’s so much variety that a bride-to-be can sift through. From Maggie Sottero favorites to swoon-worthy Vera Wang, there’s something to fit all kinds of budgets, tastes, and visions.
What’s a little different about shopping here is that you can use the “condition” search function.
One of the more popular sites, you’ll find out 20,000 dresses at any given time to choose from. You may even find gowns as inexpensive as $25 and negotiating is available through the site!
You can also buy used mother of the bride/groom gowns and bridesmaids dresses as well here.