Ultimate Guide to Buying a Gently Used Wedding Dress

Posted by Azure on December 6th, 2010
About Recycled Bride

The search is on! Brides of 2011 are looking for their dream wedding dress, and if you're one of the many brides-to-be who's considering buying a gently used wedding dress, congratulations! You're making a wise financial and environmental decision that will make you feel proud and beautiful on your big day.

As the founder of Recycled Bride, I'm often asked about how brides-to-be can safely buy a gently used wedding dress online. How can you know if the dress will fit? What payment method is most secure? Below are the answers to your 5 most burning buying questions. Post additional questions in the comments, and I'll be sure to answer them as well! 1. How can I ensure a good fit when buying a gently used wedding dress online?

This depends on whether the dress has been altered to fit another bride before you. For dresses that have been altered, confirm that the seller's bust, waist, and hip measurements are the same or larger than yours, and that their height (in heels) is the same or taller than yours. If the dress has not been altered, you may need to do a bit of research about the sizing of that particular designer's line. You can do this at a local bridal shop or online. No matter what, the number one rule of wedding dress shopping is that you should always buy bigger. Bridal garments are designed to be sized down by a tailor, but can't be sized up. 2. Once I buy my dress, how do I get it tailored to fit me?

It's very important to have your gently used wedding dress fitted by a seamstress or tailor who specializes in bridalwear. Call local bridal salons to find out if they have a tailor on staff who can help you, or if they can recommend someone that they trust. You can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 for alterations depending on where you live and how much tailoring is required, so be sure to factor that cost into your wedding budget. 3. How do I know that the seller is trustworthy?

The great thing about most wedding resale sites is that they're also bridal communities, where most sellers enjoy connecting and sharing information with buyers about their dresses. Be sure to ask to see photos of the actual dress rather than a manufacturer's image, which anyone can take from the Internet. Don't be shy about asking questions, requesting personal references, or asking to speak to the seller on the phone. If you have doubts about the seller's authenticity, contact the site admin and ask them if they can help you verify that the seller is honestly representing the dress they have for sale. 4. What's the safest way to send payment for a gently used wedding dress?

I always recommend that buyers use escrow.com for payment. Escrow.com charges a fee, but will hold your payment while the dress is being shipped and release funds to the seller only after you've received the dress and are happy with it. If you'd like to avoid higher fees, you can also use Paypal, which provides a dispute system that may be able to refund your money if you don't receive the dress in satisfactory condition. 5. How much should I expect to pay for a gently used wedding dress?

Most gently used wedding dresses are worth about half of their retail value, while dresses by highly sought-after designers and/or from recent seasons are usually sold for 25% to 40% off. Older styles and dresses with damage or stains are sold for up to 90% off retail. Do you have any other questions about buying a gently used wedding dress? Post it in the comments below and I'll answer it for you!

Posted in Wedding Dresses Green

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