It may have come up before, but: buying a wedding dress can sometimes be a little bit on the pricey side (unless you’re being super-thrifty and having a nearby beach wedding in your swimwear or going super-casual & rocking up the aisle in your PJs). But sometimes, you can end up getting a teensy bit obsessed with that dress and you just have. to. have it.
Well never fear! With a couple of handy tips (and maybe a few less scruples than usual), you can find that perfect gown at a decent price.
1. Be sure it’s what you want
Before hunting down that drop-dead gorgeous Christian Lacroix dress that you saw in 25 Supermodels Dressed as Brides magazine, you need to make sure it’s the right dress for you. It’s like seeing a haircut you like: sure, those dreadlocks looked good on Jason Mamoa in Stargate, but mmmaayybe they don’t suit your face shape?
Find a shop, store or boutique locally (or even if you have to travel, if you’re super-keen) that has the dress you want, and try it on in person. Even if it’s not an exact fit, the professionals on hand will be able to help give you a good idea and you can see & feel exactly how that dress looks on you. And then you can know for certain it’s THE ONE that you want. And now we can get on to the good stuff:
stillwhite is an amazing resource for pre-owned/worn-once dresses, offering not just a huge range of wedding dresses, but a great set of filters to limit results by maximum price, location & designer.
3. Bridal Reloved
Bridal Reloved is similar but different: as well as offering Classifieds where dresses are sold privately, it also shows listings of pre-loved & sample wedding dresses available in their franchise stores.
It might sound a little ridiculous if all you’ve ever used Gumtree for is buying that seasonal running machine (about 4 months before it becomes a clothes rack), but it actually has a huge range of wedding dresses on offer.
The key thing to remember is that Gumtree isn’t like other sites: the expectation is that you turn up in person and pay with cash(!). When purchasing on Gumtree, I would always always always recommend:
- Going with someone else. As well as having someone to give you feedback (and/or to make excuses for you), there’s always safety in numbers.
- Wedding dresses are expensive, so don’t take that much cash to a stranger’s house! Arrange a payment via PayPal or a direct bank transfer (BACS) – they are usually instantaneous and, in the case of the former you have some protection as a buyer.
- Be prepared to travel. You might not find many listings locally, but if you really want that gown, you are expected to go & pick it up yourself.
There are dozens of different resource available and I’ve only picked a few. Do your homework, know what you’re after and most of all – don’t compromise!