A Bride's Smart Move: Getting Wed in a Used Wedding Gown

If you’re finding that your wedding costs are escalating out of control and you’re not sure where next to look to try to save a few dollars, how about your wedding dress? In these tough economic times, more and more women are foregoing a brand-new wedding dress in favor of a used gown (or a pre-loved gown as they’re referred to) – and for very good reason. According to the Bridal Association of America, the average cost of a wedding dress is $1,505, which is a lot of money to pay for an item of clothing you’ll only ever wear once. While it’s true that you can always sell it on after your wedding, you’ll recoup only a fraction of the cost. It makes much more sense to buy a used wedding dress and put the money you’ll save toward another aspect of your wedding.

So where do you start to ensure you get a good deal and a good dress? The following few pointers will help with where to shop and how.

- Private sales online are a good place to start. There are a number of outlets online that sell used wedding dresses and overstocks from bridal shops. When buying a used dress, you will need to factor into your budget any additional costs you may have to pay. For example, while almost all used dresses sold privately are professionally cleaned before they’re sold, you may wish to have the dress cleaned yourself once it’s yours.

- Auctions and sale sites such as BuySellDress.com are another good source of used gowns. When buying from an auction site such as eBay, always be careful to avoid getting duped into buying a “designer” dress that in reality isn’t. Price is usually a good indication of authenticity.

- Thrift stores and consignment outlets can throw up amazing wedding gown bargains. When shopping for a gown at a thrift store, be prepared to look in many stores and to ask. Some stores don’t keep their gowns on the shop floor as they’re usually too big to display on hangers. While a lot of wedding gowns in thrift stores are from the 1980s, and therefore look very dated, remember that with a few alterations a dress can look quite different. Minor alterations to a wedding dress, such as hemming or adjusting the straps, will set you back approximately $200 to $300. While this may sound a lot of money, you could very well have to make alterations to any brand new dress you buy. Furthermore, adding your own embellishments to a used gown is one way to make it feel truly yours.

- If you’re having a little trouble with the term used or second-hand, you can always refer to your wedding gown as vintage! If you decide to look for a dress at a vintage store, bear in mind that the body shape of the average Western woman has changed over the decades – we’re now less likely to have an “hour-glass” figure – and today’s size 8 might not be the same as it was some thirty years ago. Always try a dress on before buying to avoid disappointment.

There are a number of good reasons to buy a used wedding dress. Making significant savings to your overall wedding budget is just one. Follow in the footsteps of the many other brides who made the smart move to get wed in a pre-loved wedding gown.

© BuySellDress.com, 2010

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