Like with anything, purchasing a second hand wedding dress comes with its pros and cons. If you are thinking of trawling pre-loved and second hand wedding dress sites in search for your dream gown at a fraction of the original cost, we recommend considering the pros and cons first.
Pro: The price
The great thing above pre-loved wedding dresses is that you can often find a gorgeous gown for a fraction of its original cost. According to the Easy Weddings’ 2016 Annual Australian Wedding Survey, the average price brides are willing to fork out for their dream wedding dress is $2,475. For some, forking out that kind of money simply isn’t an option. For others, perhaps in their eyes other parts of their wedding carry more importance and therefore more of the dress budget is allocated elsewhere.
Buying pre-loved opens the doors to the possibility of finding your dream wedding dress at a bargain. And who doesn’t love that?
Con: The price
Of course, not all second hand dresses come cheaply. For instance, a Gahlia Lahav Haute Couture gown may originally cost $20,000 and be listed on a pre-loved site for $10,000. While this is a considerable mark down for such a high-end designer gown, you are still spending $10,000 on a second hand wedding dress. That money could be allocated elsewhere in your wedding, or perhaps put towards creating a custom gown that ticks all your boxes. You could be sacrificing your dream wedding dress for the ‘bargain’ (but still extremely expensive) designer gown.
Additionally, those set on a particular pre-loved wedding dress will have to negotiate including dry cleaning costs into the overall price. While most brides take careful care of their wedding dress, you will need your dress dry cleaned to take care of any cake smudges and makeup marks. With the high cost of dry cleaning a wedding dress, your bargain gown could end up costing the same as new.
Pro: It’s been worn on what’s mean to be the happiest day
Wedding dresses are designed to be worn on what’s meant to be the happiest, most important day of your life. They are made to make brides look and feel a million bucks. It seems a shame to let such a beautiful garment hang in its bag in a dark wardrobe. It therefore makes sense to breathe life back into the gorgeous gown and give it another whirl down the aisle. Plus – another bride’s dream wedding dress could also be yours!
Con: It’s been worn before
The reality is, second hand wedding dresses have been worn before. If you can’t stomach the fact that someone else has spent their first kiss, first dance, and possibly even had their bridesmaid holding up the dress while they use the bathroom, perhaps a second hand wedding dress isn’t for you.
Pro: Endless opportunities
The great thing about trawling through second hand wedding dress listings is that you might end up falling head over heels in love with a style, colour, or fit you never even considered before.
Purchasing a wedding dress is often a stressful part of the wedding planning process. Not only does it add to the mountain of decisions you must make for your wedding, bridal boutiques then throw in the choice between lace, tulle, satin, silk, corsets, strapless, sweet-heart necklines, and more. And even if you can decide that – you then have to choose between veil lengths and styles! While we think it’s great bridal boutiques can offer so many garment options, some brides prefer to just choose something and be done with it.
Purchasing a pre-loved wedding dress gives brides the opportunity to view a dress, decide if it’s for them, and purchase it. And, even if the bargain dress isn’t entirely your dream gown, you can then choose to alter it to become something of your own.
One of the major cons of purchasing a pre-loved wedding dress is the restrictions of sizing. Wedding dresses are often made to fit a particular bride, so finding one that fits properly straight away may pose an issue. Even if you find your dream wedding dress at a bargain price, you can’t guarantee it is your size.
The ideal solution is to buy a pre-loved wedding dress bigger than your size and alter it down. However, this will incur alteration costs and overall your dress may end up costing you the same amount you’d spend for a new dress.
Pro: Doors open to designer brands
Another great thing about purchasing a pre-loved wedding dress is that it opens the doors to designer brands. While everyone deserves to walk down the aisle in a gorgeous designer wedding dress, some may not have the means or deem it necessary. Pre-loved listings allow brides to purchase their dream designer gown at a fraction of its original cost, and allows the original owner to recoup some of the money spent and put it toward a holiday or on their mortgage. It’s a win – win situation.
Con: It might not be your dream wedding dress
While a wedding dress may be someone’s else’s dream dress, it may not be yours. No matter how long you trawl through pre-loved wedding dress listings, there’s no guarantee you will come across one that you fall head over heels in love with. And that’s okay too.
Convinced? Here’s where to start
Here at Easy Weddings, we support brides’ right to choose between whether they want to create their dream wedding dress, purchase new from a bridal boutique, or buy a pre-loved gown and take it for its second trip down the aisle. For those who are considering a second hand wedding dress, we have a section of the site dedicated to connecting you with pre-loved gowns across the country.