Think Before You Buy A Secondhand Wedding Dress

There are hundreds of secondhand and used wedding dresses available these days which makes finding a bargain for your cheap wedding easy.

Many brides these days choose to sell their wedding dress after their big day, and why not, when it’s only going to be catching dust in a box on top of the wardrobe.

Second-hand or used wedding dresses are easy to find from charity shops, online auctions, dress agencies and online bridal stores. They’re also one of the best ways to pick up a cheap designer number. But before parting with your cash, make sure you think about:

Brides have a good time

All brides are carefree on their wedding day. They relax, have a good time and often don’t care whether their dress gets dirty; after all, they’re not going to wear it again. If you’re buying a secondhand wedding dress, check the dress carefully for stains. Food, wine, watermarks and general dirt from the floor are the usual culprits.

This is particularly true for long trains and full skirts, as they drag along the floor all day. If you’re buying blind (i.e. from the internet), ask as many questions as possible from the vendor to establish the condition of the dress. Are you able to clean the dress? Do you mind having a few marks on the dress? Can you disguise them with extra beading or other embellishments?

Be careful with the sizing

Most wedding dresses have been altered to fit the previous owner perfectly. Perhaps they were a size 14 on the bum and a size 12 on top, or maybe the other way around. Ask the owner if they had alterations made and determine what size the dress really is. If you’re not sure, buy a dress size bigger and alter it to fit you perfectly. It will make you and the dress look a million dollars.

Try before you buy

There are two very important reasons for this. First, seeing a dress on is very different to seeing it on the hanger. You may be surprised what suits you.

Secondly, as I mentioned before, most brides get their dress altered to fit them perfectly. The dress they bought was a 14, but got it altered, so in fact it’s a 12/14. Trying will allow you know if you get can alter it further.

You buy “as seen”

When buying used wedding dresses, it’s important to check all the above points, because once you’ve paid your money, you’re unlikely to get a refund if it’s not right. So, check for stains, ask the seller lots of questions, try before you buy and go a size bigger so you can make your own alterations.

Follow these tips and you should grab yourself a beautiful bargain wedding dress! Happy hunting!

Little Known Ways to Find an Affordable Wedding Dress

Finding a beautiful yet affordable wedding dress can take time and effort. Many wedding gowns are too expensive for the average bride’s wedding budget. Here’s some tips to help you save money on your wedding dress.

Don’t buy from the bridal department. There is usually a surcharge for dresses in the bridal section of a store. Instead, go to the formal evening wear section or even the prom dress section.

If you’ve got a lot of time before the wedding, look for sales at wedding salons. After the month of June, many bridal gowns go on sale. Also, check out sample or floor model gowns. Many of them still look fantastic. Some discontinued bridal dress models are very inexpensive compared to most other bridal gowns. And sadly some bridal gowns are paid for but not picked up. These can be bought at a low price.

Don’t forget that wedding veils are cheaper than wedding gowns. Spend more on a great veil while saving money on the gown.

eBay and the local newspaper are good places to find inexpensive gowns. Also, use Google search by searching these terms: “wedding dress +discount”, “wedding dress +cheap”, and “wedding dress +bargain”.

As you’re on the internet, search for wedding outlet stores. You may find a great deal at these internet bridal stores. Make sure to find out the manufacturer and style of the dress you’re interested in. Bridal outlet stores will ask for this information. Also, give them your measurements to see if they have a dress that will fit you. If you do buy a dress from a wedding outlet store, the dress will be sent in a box. However, a trip to the dry cleaners will make the dress look great.

Think about renting your wedding dress. The guys get to rent tuxedos, so why can’t you rent your bridal clothes? Renting will save you much money. You can expect a 90% discount on your bridal gown. This means you can wear a $1000 gown for $100!

Scout out the dresses at consignment shops or high fashion/couture wear second hand shops. You can find these shops at every major city.

Ask your relatives and friends. They may have a dress you can borrow.

Think about having your dress made. This is a great alternative if you want the elegant, sleek dress. Plus, designer dresses use the same silk found in fabric stores.

Finally, you can use these tips to find affordable dresses for your bridesmaids.

How to Buy Your Wedding Dress Safely and Securely Online

You have probably heard of some brides making off like bandits by buying a cheap wedding dress online. It is definitely possible to shave a good amount off your dress budget by doing some wise comparison-shopping online. That said, it seems for every successful online bridal shopping experience there is another bride with a horror story.

First, some context: I recently spoke to two brides who ordered their dresses from less-than reputable Internet retailers. One bride ended up with a dress eight inches too short. Not exactly a minor detail! The other bride is not happy with her dress overall: essentially it does not match the picture provided on the Web site.

Here is some advice to heed BEFORE ordering from an Internet retailer so this does not happen to you:

* If the price sounds too good to be true, it is. Beware!

* Find and print the return policy. (This was however no help to one of our brides. Despite having a return policy, the retailer is not honoring it!)

* Realize that by paying with PayPal your protection as a buyer is limited to receiving the item or not. If the item is not as described, your recourse is with the vendor, not with PayPal. If you pay with your credit card, many issuers have “Dispute Departments” that can assist you if need be. Check with your financial institution first.

* Make sure you are seeing the retailer’s own photo of the dress in question, or pictures of other dresses that they have made at the very least. I can’t stress this point enough! Many new companies use other manufacturers’ pictures to describe the product that they supposedly make. Aside from being a copyright violation, this does nothing to show what their actual dresses look like. You could be in for a real surprise!

* Order a fabric sample. There is no better way than to see it in person. If they do not want or encourage you to buy a sample, there could be a good reason for it. Substandard fabric will always make even the nicest design look cheap.

* Only order from people you can communicate with easily, preferably by phone. Communication is so important when explaining the details of your dress. An e-mail description is fine to start the process, but a live conversation is must before you finalize everything. This conversation will also give you a good sense of who you are dealing with. Are they responsive to your concerns? Are they articulate? Do they seem trustworthy and competent? If you don’t have a good feeling after your discussion, trust your instincts and shop elsewhere.

* If your dress design is a combination of two or more dresses and otherwise hard for you to visualize, it is best to have a designer sketch it out for you so that you are sure that 1) you like the way the elements look together and 2) you know what you will be getting. This is your chance to see their skill level. If they can’t draw it, they can’t make it.