How to Find the Perfect Second-Hand Wedding Dress

From invitations to decorations, the move towards green weddings is gaining momentum across the country. A Pinterest survey of sustainable wedding trends for 2022 shows that searches for eco-friendly wedding ideas have doubled, and searches for frugal weddings have tripled for her. it was done. For the sustainability-conscious bride, one of the easiest ways to go green with her wedding is by wearing a second-hand wedding dress.

We’ve put together this guide to help you find the gentle-wearing dress of your dreams while reducing waste and saving money. Please find a new home for the gown.

Tips for buying a used wedding dress

Secondhand shopping is a treasure hunt, searching for the perfect dress in a sea of ​​used gowns. The more you know what you want, the easier it will be to find your dream dress among thousands of choices.

do your research

Without a bridal consultant to guide you through the process, you’ll need to develop a plan for finding the perfect second-hand wedding dress. Research online or skim through magazines and pay attention to styles, materials and themes that resonate with you. This research will give you a vocabulary to use as search terms in your second-hand market.

You can also get a feel for the dress market while seeing what interests you aesthetically.With this knowledge, you can avoid price gouging and ensure a fair deal.

Narrow your search to just a few designers

There are dozens of wedding dress designers to choose from, each with a different style. Once you’ve found a few you like, you can limit your search to just those designers. Another benefit of knowing a specific designer is that you can go to a physical store and try on each designer to get a clear idea of ​​what size you’re looking for.

remodeling budget

Even if you buy a new wedding dress, almost all bridal gowns are altered from a ready-made look, so that service should be included in the total cost. A used dress should have been properly laundered, but if you want your dress clean before the big day, plan to add that to your budget as well.

Buy a size up, not a size down

Materials can be taken out at any time, but usually cannot be put back. Choosing a dress that is larger than your measurements allows you to make alterations that look and feel great.

Check authorization and return policy

Before you buy, make sure you understand the site or shop’s rules regarding the return of dresses and their guarantee of authenticity. please.

Video chat with current owner

What’s better than a photo? A video call to review the dress you are considering buying online. Many sites allow you to communicate directly with the seller so you can ask questions, find out specific details, and buy with confidence.

where to buy used wedding dresses

As more consumers embrace the circular economy, more wedding dresses are finding their way into the second-hand market. No matter your budget, size, or style, there is a lovingly worn-once dress waiting for a second life at your wedding.

second hand wedding dress

With nearly 170,000 dresses worldwide, used wedding dresses come in a variety of styles, prices and designers. Negotiate prices directly with sellers and rest easy using a company’s online payment method that offers purchase protection.

still white

Still White offers affordable prices on new, sample, pre-owned and pre-owned wedding dresses from a variety of international designers. Payments are processed securely through PayPal. Still White also donates 1% of its profits to carbon removal.

1 time water

Over 3 million people visit Once Wed each year to scroll through a wide variety of used wedding dresses, bridal party dresses and wedding accessories. This site connects buyers and sellers and uses PayPal for payment processing.

well done bride

Bravo Bride’s selection of new and pre-owned dresses makes all your wedding shopping a breeze. Find shoes, accessories and other wedding accessories in one online marketplace. At Bravo Bride, buyers and sellers confirm all details and payments.

rent a magnolia

Offering dresses in sizes 00 to 20 starting at $100, Borrowing Magnolia offers new, sample and infrequently worn wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and accessories. The site offers secure payment options to protect both buyers and sellers.

almost newlywed

Offering 5-day risk-free returns, Nearly Newwed sells sample, used, and new dresses. Search by style, designer, size and more. For an additional fee, you can receive photos and videos of specific gowns.

Local second-hand and consignment stores

A local consignment store can help take the stress out of shopping for a used wedding dress.

miodrag ignjatovic/Getty Images

For those who need to see and touch a gown before wearing it, shopping at your local reseller may be the best and most enjoyable way to shop for a wedding dress. (under $100) to designer ($4,000+).

peer-to-peer sharing

Facebook Marketplace, Tradesy, Poshmark, eBay and more allow customers to connect in more informal ways. If you’re looking for ‘that’ dress instead of ‘that’ dress, these low-key, economical social sharing sites are for you.

Introduction to bridal fabrics

You don’t have to be a trend queen or a textile expert to find the perfect wedding dress fabric for you. has many fabric options made from a variety of materials.

Other considerations in fabric selection may relate to the weather and rules of etiquette. can be found.


One of the most traditional wedding fabrics, silk is a durable, soft, non-vegan material made from domestic silkworm cocoons. With its light sheen and light feel, silk is the perfect fabric for both draping and light construction.


Crepes, also known as crepes and crepes, have a distinctive wrinkled appearance. This mid-weight fabric offers excellent drape and flow and is made from non-vegan wool, silk, and synthetic materials.


Charmeuse has two distinct sides, a shiny side and a dull side, and it drapes well, making it the preferred fabric for narrow-fit dresses. Traditionally made of silk, charmeuse is now made of synthetic fibres. This heavyweight fabric is perfect for cool weather.


Lightweight and comfortable, chiffon drapes beautifully, especially on A-line dresses. This sheer gauze fabric, usually made of synthetic material, cotton, or non-vegan silk, is popular for bridal skirts.


A fabric with delicate, open designs dating back to the 15th century, lace is a popular material for bridal bodices, skirts, trains and veils. I have fabric.


Organza is a low-density, lustrous sheer fabric that can be made from silk or synthetic materials, and can add structure and flow to a dress thanks to its sturdy yet sheer construction. It can be layered to give it a fuller, wavy shape, or sewn into a barely-there sleeve.


The satin weave creates a smooth, glossy side and a more textured, matte side. Materials for this classic wedding dress come in a variety of weights, constructions and textures to work in all seasons. Satin can be made from silk or synthetic materials.


Another cold weather fabric, velvet is soft, thick and luxurious. Because of its thickness, velvet is preferred for vintage and royal style wedding dresses. Originally made from silk, velvet is now also made from non-vegan wool, linen, synthetics and cotton.


Available in many colors and styles, taffeta is a supple, structural, all-weather fabric made from silk or synthetic materials. Fine, crisp taffeta is perfect for ball gowns and A-line dresses.


Nicholas McComber/Getty Images

Ballet tutu fabric, tulle, is a stiff, open-woven, sheer fabric that can add structure and volume to a dress. It is typically made of polyester, but it can also be woven from silk or nylon.

Tips for Selling Your Wedding Dress

After your wedding day, you may want to bring your gown back home.

sell immediately

Like any other fashion item, wedding dress trends change, and the newer the dress, the greater the market demand usually. A wedding dress can be resold for about half the retail price, and the older the dress, the lower the profit.

dress cleaning

Brides expect their second-hand dresses to be professionally cleaned before they go to their new owners.

Find the right reseller for you

As with any second-hand purchase, a little research can help you maximize your return on investment. Each resale site offers different listing fees ranging from about $10 to $25, and sometimes in addition to the sales commission, some sites are more expensive for you and most importantly for your dress. Knowing where your dress fits in a particular online seller’s ecosystem is key to maximizing your profits.

Take good photos for your online listing

Brightly lit and visually appealing photos will make your dress more appealing to potential buyers. The more details you can provide, the easier it will be for prospective brides to find your dress.

Find a consignment store near you

If the idea of ​​needing to style your own photo shoot sounds like additional wedding planning, you can resell the dress on consignment instead. I often find myself looking for a white dress that I can use. As with online wedding dress resale, the money won’t show up until the dress is rehomed.

donate instead of sell

A visit to your local thrift store may be the easiest way to find a second life for your gown. Dress donations can benefit many organizations. Donate a dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer to support early detection education, give a girl Cinderella’s closet and her prom dress from Operation Prom, or donate to Boutique Bridal by New Name and Brides for a Cause to help women It can also support core movement. Or, your dress can provide solace to grieving family members as an infant’s burial gown through an eternal baby gown or angel gown.

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