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WARWICK HOUSE BLOG

Second-hand Wedding Dresses: To Buy Or Not To Buy

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by Laura Howes

The wedding dress culture

The white wedding dress is a tradition originating in Great Britain, and first became popular after Queen Victoria wore a white lace dress at her wedding.

With another western wedding tradition being to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, it makes sense, does it not, to consider wearing an “old” or “borrowed” wedding dress on your wedding day?

Pros and cons of buying a pre-worn wedding dress

Firstly, we should point out that there are various definitions of “pre-worn” garments, so brides should not be put off by the idea of wearing something “old and worn”. A second-hand dress could be a piece of clothing that was regularly hired out by a brand boutique or it could simply mean that it was worn once (perhaps even just tried on) by a stranger or by a family member. So, if the term “second-hand” makes you feel uncomfortable, then think of it instead as “handed-down”, “pre-loved” or “gifted”!

 

Many brides are, understandably, so excited about unveiling their wedding dress and, as such, want it to be totally unique and sparkling new. However, what many women fail to think about when considering a second-hand dress is that most of them have actually barely been worn, can still be altered and accessorised to suit their likes and that they can be classed as even more individual than a modern dress as they represent some part of the past.

Moving onto the positives of recycling clothes, the biggest benefit has to be the financial saving you can make. Wedding dresses make up a significant part of a wedding budget, so if any saving can be made in this area without the bride having to make sacrifices on style, comfort and design then this has to be a win! Furthermore, you can feel proud that you are being eco-friendly and giving an old dress a new lease of life – it could be the start of generations of hand-me-downs!

Where to purchase a second-hand wedding dress

If you are lucky enough to have a relative who wishes to pass on their precious wedding gown to you, and is happy for you to make any alterations you desire, then snap up the offer! Especially if you are keen to keep or introduce a bit of family tradition to your wedding day. Who knows, with fashions coming back around, you may not even want to change a single thing!

Alternatively, you might like to keep a look out for pre-worn dresses in charity shops, or on online auction sites like eBay, Gumtree, or those being advertised locally via Facebook. We can’t guarantee you’ll find out much about the gown’s history but you are sure to make a saving when comparing it to the price of a brand new dress.

Finally, some wedding dress shops offer a selection of second-hand wedding dresses, carefully chosen because of their excellent condition. If interested, ask your local wedding dress retailers whether you can see their pre-worn collection. Many people say that you don’t pick your wedding dress, the wedding dress picks you, so your perfect match could be just waiting to be rediscovered and shown off to the world again!

And what a lovely idea it is that you can wear a dress that once made another couple in love so very happy on their own wedding day.

Be sure to check out our list of recommended suppliers for wedding dress retailers in the area.