Second-Hand Wedding Dresses: Beautiful on a Budget
Your wedding day will most likely be the most expensive day of your life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save money. One of the best ways to be budget-friendly is to buy your wedding dress second hand.
There are so many places you can buy second-hand wedding dresses, including stunning gowns by your favorite bridal designers at a lower cost. If you’re on the fence about whether you’d be open to buying second hand, let’s break down some of the benefits plus the top places to buy online.
Why Buy Second-Hand?
The biggest reason to buy a second-hand wedding gown is to save money. Many brides don’t believe in spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a dress they’ll wear for a few hours. Plus, buying second-hand, pre-owned or used allows brides to afford that amazing designer gown they’ve had their eye on.
Another great reason to buy second hand is if your dream gown was discontinued. There may be a former bride that snagged your perfect gown in your size and now you can finally get your hands on it!
Tips For Buying Second-Hand
Before shopping for a second-hand gown, keep these few tips in mind:
Look at the dress from every angle. This is especially important if you’re buying online. Don’t be afraid to contact the buyer so she can show you everything you want to see.
Ask to see the dress being worn. Photos can be deceiving and look totally different from the hanger to a bride’s body. This way you can try and envision the gown on your body.
Look for a larger size than you are used to. Bridal gown sizes are different from a regular or “street size” gown. We recommend buying a size or two larger than your normal dress size. It’s easier to alter a gown down to fit your body than to let out a gown.
Ask about the history of the dress. Are you buying from the original owner or was it bought used before? You’ll want to know how many people have already worn the gown and how many times it’s been altered.
Shop from a reputable store. This is super important. You don’t want to buy off a website that is known to misrepresent gowns or don’t have the buyer’s protection in place.
Now that you know what to look for, check out our favorite places to buy a second-hand gown and examples of the savings you could find!
Where to Buy Second-Hand
One of our favorite places to buy a second-hand wedding gown on a budget is OnceWed. The used wedding dress section features hundreds of gowns from sellers across the U.S.
You can find your perfect gown by using the site’s filters: by style, designer, price and more. Fair warning, you may end up spending hours browsing all the amazing wedding dresses for sale.
Here’s a great example of the savings you can find with a second-hand wedding dress. This lacy ball gown from Allure Bridals is from the 2018 collection, meaning it probably isn’t available on the designers website anymore.
Brides can save 76% on this particular style—it retails for $2,100 but is less than $500 on OnceWed. What a steal!
This former bride also made sure to include any imperfections in her post, making it a great experience for a future bride looking for her dream gown.
Another great used wedding dress site is Stillwhite. There are more than 78-thousand dresses for sale on the site, which means plenty of options to satisfy every type of bride and budget.
You can filter the options by size, silhouette, seller’s location and more, but the “condition” search function is key to finding used or pre-owned wedding dresses.
Brides can save 55% on this style. The gown is selling for $1,450 (including the $100 shipping fee) and originally costs $3,000.
Again, this bride made sure to include the size of the gown and what alterations were made to the gown. She also included her height, bust, waist and hip measurements so buyers can get a better idea of how the gown would fit their dimensions.
Preowned Wedding Dresses
We may be a tad biased about this last option, but Preowned Wedding Dresses is our top choice for second-hand wedding dresses! Our site features thousands of gowns for sale, including used and pre-owned options.
You’ll also find gowns under $100 and some sellers even allow price negotiating. You may have to do some digging for these great deals, but the hunt is totally worth it!
This stunning fit-and-flare wedding dress is a little more recent, from Anais Anette’s 2022 collection. The Poppy gown retails for $3,600 but brides can score this used gown for just $1,100 on our site.
This former bride noted that this gown has been professionally clean and altered, including the fact that the dress had split sizes in the bust, waist and hips.
Each seller is also asked to include special details about the gown like the silhouette, neckline, train length and more. It’s also recommended that they include any blemishes, damages or stains for total transparency to potential buyers.
No matter where you decide to buy a second-hand gown, you’re sure to find something you (and your budget) will love!