Many of you on a tight budget (which is probably shrinking as gas prices rise and keep rising) are likely considering looking at used wedding dresses. If you leave your options open and allow plenty of time for used dress shopping, you can save several hundred dollars.
Before looking at used gowns, first decide what features you want your wedding dress to have and research the various designer’s styles so you know which brands tend to have “your look.” Also, figure out “your” size in each of your preferred designers’ gowns. Just like everyday womens clothing, sizes vary.
There are several places to find used gowns. You’ll want to set up notices, put in requests, and monitor each of them:
– Consignment stores can be a good used gown source. If you are lucky enough to have a local used formalwear store, alert the owner that you are looking for a dress.
– Craigslist is a very active used-goods marketplace (As I write this, the St. Louis Craigslist has 408 wedding gowns listings). Find your local Craigslist, open a free account, and make an “item wanted” post. Do searches for the terms “wedding gown” and “wedding dress” in the clothing section — and monitor new listings often — to see what is currently being sold.
– While not technically “used,” bridal store floor samples are a great bargain. Most stores sell their last-season samples for $99 and up.
– Buy at auction. By far the largest auction site is eBay, and they have an extensive bridal gown section. Right now, there are 12,705 wedding dresses at auction on eBay. Many were worn once or are sales samples.