Second Hand Wedding Dress Guide

If you're on a tight budget, or you simply don't like the thought of splashing out, then buying a second-hand dress has never been a more attractive option. So many more channels for bringing buyers and sellers together have opened up, which means that more women are considering passing on their dresses as a viable option to keeping them in the attic gathering dust.

Second hand wedding gowns aren't for everyone, but for some brides on a budget, they can mean the difference between hiring a DJ and asking a friend to be in charge of the iPod.

"Don't judge a dress by its condition." A good cleaning service can remove most dirt stains. But if you see anything yellowed, like caramelized food or perspiration, keep shopping for a different dress.

Budget for alterations: Seamstress Lynn Gallagher said, "Minor alterations, like taking a dress in slightly, altering the hem, or adjusting straps can cost $200-$300. But you would probably also have to do that with a dress you bought new. It's part of the process."


Finding 2nd hand wedding dresses

Used wedding gowns are easy to find than you think. A great starting point is always eBay, but with any purchase from eBay, you've got ensure that you're getting what you expect. These tips on buying wedding dresses from eBay will ensure you stay safe and get what you want.

There are also (along with plenty of other wedding items) in the Cheap Wedding Success Forum. You can pick up a bargain, or if you're selling, make some cash.

There are also quite a few online marketplaces springing up as well. A couple of really good ones are and Both have a great range of sizes and styles, so if you know what you're looking for, they're a great place to start.

Vintage shops will have some little gems as well. Whether you envisage yourself in a lacy number or a fifties prom dress, you're sure to find numerous second hand wedding dresses on offer. Vintage shops are dotted up and down the country and if you do a search on Google, then you'll find plenty of specialist stores selling vintage dresses.

Many charity shops also have a few second hand wedding dresses. These are often about five to ten years old and so can look very dated, unless of course you like the puff sleeve look from the 1980's! The benefit of these dresses is that they're generally really cheap and if taken to a good seamstress, they can be re-designed and re-made very cost effectively. You'll get a bargain and a bespoke designer dress!

So don't turn your nose up second hand wedding dresses, they're a great way to save and potentially get a unique designer dress!


How much will it cost?

Aside from the actual cost of the dress, which might be anywhere between £10 and £500, (possibly more depending on the designer and outlet), be aware that there may be other costs. You will probably have to pay delivery if you buy online. Also, although the vast majority of sellers dry-clean the dresses before they are sold, you may wish to clean them again – the cost of this varies, so shop around. It's also a good idea to keep some money aside for alterations (either to the size or the style).


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