If you don’t want to drop thousands on a dress, a preloved wedding dress is a great option. Buying second-hand is a wise choice in general, but it’s a particularly shrewd move when it comes to your wedding dress which you’ll most likely only be wearing once anyway!
The positives of preloved
- Not only will you save money (potentially thousands!) by buying a pre-loved dress, but it’s also a very environmentally friendly choice. Buying a used dress cuts down on manufacturing demands as your dress already exists!
- You’ll also get to experience the thrill of the hunt. The choice is endless with brand new wedding dresses, but with preloved you only have so much choice, so tracking down your perfect dress is all the more challenging and the reward all the sweeter.
- It can also force you to think creatively, especially if you (or a willing friend) are handy with a needle and thread. For all you know, your dream dress could be just a petticoat and a few sequins away!
Scoring your dream dress
- For the biggest range, your best bet is to get online. Auction sites (like eBay), forums and even social media groups are all full of preloved wedding dresses. There are also specific online stores, such as Bride2Be. Some of the bigger charity sites, like Oxfam, even have specific bridal sections for you to browse. The downside of shopping online is you won’t know what it looks like on you until it arrives.
- If that’s an issue for you, we suggest hitting the high street. Kelly, one of our recent brides here at Lower Barns wore a dress she bought in a charity shop for just £6! Not only was the dress a complete bargain, it was pristine and fitted her like a glove. In other words, a dream dress! The lesson here? Don’t overlook the good old-fashioned charity shop!
Once the wedding is over
Our lovely bride has since given her dress back to the charity shop so another bride can enjoy it, which we think is an absolutely lovely idea. Alternatively you could use your dress to help raise awareness and funds for a cause you really care about. A simple way to do this would be to auction it off and donate the money to your favourite charity.
If you’d rather keep your dress, there are still some ways you can recycle it that mean it won’t be relegated to the dust box for years on end.
For starters, you could make a whole new dress! Whilst rocking your wedding dress to the office Christmas party might be considered a bit OTT, with a few changes it would be totally appropriate. You could have the length chopped off (which would automatically make it less formal) or even dyed a different colour for a totally new look. If dress alterations aren’t your forte, this would be best left to a professional if you want to end up with something you’d actually wear!
Alternatively, you could use the material of your dress to create something completely new. Some popular choices include a quilt, photo album cover or – if you’ve got or are considering children – what about using the tulle as the duffle on your baby’s bassinet?
Are you planning on recycling your wedding dress? Let us know your plans in the comments below!