For a bride, her wedding day will be one of the most memorable and important days of her life. Without question, her most important item for that big day will be her wedding dress. There’s a reason that wedding dresses are carefully preserved and passed down through families. They’re absolutely treasured by generations that follow.
Why consider a secondhand wedding dress?
If you want a wedding that is incredibly unique or even quirky, a secondhand wedding dress is perfect for your special day. Also, there has never been a better time to wear a secondhand wedding dress. Wearing clothing items twice is en vogue and is being embraced even by people like the Duchess of Cambridge, who frequently wears special-occasion gowns twice.
It’s good for the planet
Because of the growing trend towards sustainability, wearing special-occasion clothing twice is not just a good thing to do, but it has become the “cool” and responsible thing to do.
Eco-friendly weddings were one of the biggest wedding trends of 2020, with couples being more conscious of the impact everything we do as humans has on the planet. Bernadette Chapman, the founder of the U.K. Alliance of Wedding Planners, predicted the trend and she was right. Chapman notes that couples can now be kind to the environment when they wed. Lots of 2020 wedding plans were impacted because of the pandemic, but the trend is expected to continue through 2021 and in years to come.
The biggest problem with weddings and their impact on the environment is the use of single-use plastic, according to research from Sky Ocean Rescue. Also, food waste from the wedding is a problem as well, with 10% of wedding food ending up in the garbage.
There will be a wonderful story behind it
In the modern era, there is another trend that has caught on and isn’t going away anytime soon. People are much more appreciative of vintage items and dresses that are unique and unusual. People love the stories behind these vintage clothing items and they’re usually wonderfully made.
When you buy a secondhand wedding dress, you’re going to have a wonderful story to share with people in the future. Imagine sitting around telling your grandchildren about going to the thrift store to buy a secondhand wedding dress, or buying one on Etsy or eBay. It just makes for a better story.
You’ll save money
Besides all of the other wonderful reasons for wearing a secondhand wedding dress, there’s the simple matter of cost. According to one report, the average wedding in the U.K. costs a whopping £30,355. That’s a lot of money.
With a secondhand dress, you can save big bucks. It’s not crazy to imagine you can find a unique secondhand wedding dress at a thrift store for $20-$50, in fact. We’ve seen them frequently for that price.
New designer wedding dresses are typically marked up 70% by stores. You can save that markup by buying secondhand dresses.
How to find a secondhand wedding dress?
Once you’ve decided you want a secondhand wedding dress, where do you find one?
You can find vintage clothing at places online like Vestiaire, eBay, and Etsy. Typically, items on Etsy are going to cost slightly more just because the vendors there can fetch a better price. However, it’s a safer marketplace than many others because sellers are reliant on good reviews from customers.
Shop in antique shops and thrift stores
You can find great deals on secondhand wedding dresses at thrift shops. Alternatively, you will also find wedding dresses at antique shops occasionally, but expect to pay more for them.
Tips for buying secondhand wedding dresses
Here are some tips for making the most of your experience.
Plan for alterations
You’ll most likely need alterations when you buy secondhand.
Take your time
Finding the perfect dress takes time, so don’t wait until the last minute. Start searching long before your big day.
Be flexible about sizes
You may not find your dress in your exact size, but you can always have it altered.