Should you buy a second hand wedding dress?

Second hand wedding dresses are becoming more and more popular as bargain brides search high and low for options to create the perfect budget big day. After all, the gown only goes on show for one day so why should it cost so much? However, is going for a second hand wedding dress really a safe option? We look at the pros and cons, as well as how to make sure you’re getting the best second hand wedding dress money can buy (without having to break the bank).

Price cut

Of course, one of the major factors when deciding whether to buy a second hand wedding dress is the reduction in price. This means you could be walking away with a designer frock for a fraction of the initial price tag all thanks to the dress’ first run through. You could even find your perfect dress in a shop and then scour second hand shops and the internet in search of a replica that’s been there and done it. If you’re on a lower budget or want to spend the money elsewhere, then these savings could go a long way.

Vintage gem

Perhaps you like the idea of having a vintage wedding dress? Many people hand in their relatives gowns when they don’t know what to do with them, and this leaves plenty of options for an ol’ style lover. Sometimes, these older dresses can offer up styles that perhaps haven’t been seen in a long time meaning you could stand out from your friends in all the right ways. Plus, you could be wearing your “something old” without too much trouble.


Buying a second hand gown offers up plenty of opportunities to anyone that’s nifty with a needle – or knows someone that is. These wedding dresses can be left as they are bought (perhaps with a few alterations here and there) or completely reinvented. Upcycling has been a trend for many years, and there’s no reason it should be limited to just furniture. By adding some lace details, buttons, or completely changing the hemline you could have a brand new frock in no time.

Varied options

Another brilliant bonus of buying a second hand gown is the number of varieties that will be on offer. There could be wedding dresses dating back to last century all the way up to some more modern donations from recent brides. This leaves for plenty of discovery, and you could even uncover a dress that you had never even considered before. That’s not all. Hundreds of people get married in the UK every day which offers up the chance to browse a continuously replenished stock.

The downsides

As the dresses are second hand, there will only be one sizing option for each gown. That means if you fall in love with a dress you could be left disappointed if it’s not in your size. Although the dress is likely to have been washed before it’s sold, there is a chance that it could have stains or tears in the fabric from its previous owner. There is also a chance that the second hand shops in your area don’t have any modern options if you were looking for a more up-to-date style. However, as long as you’re willing to get stuck in and search around, finding the perfect second hand wedding dress needn’t be difficult.

Even though there could be some drawbacks, it looks as though buying a second hand wedding dress could be the way forward – especially when it comes to keeping costs low! Plus you can help keep your wedding green with all this recycling. Just make sure you inspect the dress thoroughly before parting with any cash and factor in any hidden costs when it comes to cleaning or alterations.

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