Used Wedding Dresses: Would you Buy One?


Tuesday, April 26

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As Wedding Planners, we understand it’s all about priorities. Maybe you can’t live without that 12 piece band, but those gorgeous gowns on the racks of retail stores make you want to hide your purse. We get it. We’re always eager to help our clients stretch a dollar or save a buck based on their priorities, which is why we dug in to do some research about wedding dresses – used wedding dresses to be specific.

In the digital age where online shopping is king Queen, we asked ourselves: Is used wedding gown shopping frugal or a faux pas?

Well, if the thought of spending a pretty penny on a dress you’ll wear one evening makes you less than thrilled, you’re not alone. In 2015, eBay stated they sell between 1,000 and 2,000 new and used wedding gowns each week – and that number is ever growing. We actually learned there is a booming industry, with no signs of stopping, of smart shoppers buying and selling their gowns online, and thriving off of the e-commerce retail space.

If the thought of buying a preowned wedding gown makes you cringe, this likely won’t be the best option for you. Which is okay. Because if we’ve learned anything in the last 12+ years of business, it’s that each bride and each couple has a priority list to make their dream day a reality.

For the thrifty thriving bride to be, we think this ideal is brilliant! Read below for a few tips and tricks to master before making the big purchase, as there is some risk associated with any online purchase.

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  • Measurements: This includes you and the dress. Reminder that designer gowns don’t fall into street sizes, so really take some time to get the key areas: bust, waist, hip, and height with and without your shoes for the day. Alterations will be a whole lot easier with some extra fabric to work with, so consider buying a size up.
  • Dress Care: Be meticulous and ask questions. Was the dressed properly cleaned and stored? Maybe it was worn on a beach and theres sand in the seems. If you’re allergic to pets, ask if they are in the house rubbing up against your potential new wedding gown.
  • Photo Evidence: If the seller provides a photo from the designer’s website, that’s wonderful. But it’s also of a model, digitally touched up, and with a dress that didn’t go through a wedding. As for your seller to provide photos during and after her event to get a better idea of what your buying. Seeing the gown on someone your size will help determine how it hangs, and close up photos will help manage expectations of quality, looking for stains, rips and general wear and tear. What’s better, request a skype session and inspect the gown over video.
  • Legitimacy: Once you’re ready to buy, be aware of the risks. Do you trust the method of payment? What’s the return policy? How about the price? It’s better to be cautious now, than to be stuck with a hot mess if you don’t ask the right questions.

We love OnceWedTradsey, and NearlyNewlywed for all of your shopping needs. Did you buy or sell a preowned gown? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below and happy shopping!

Photo by Laura Murray Photography

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