From color schemes to seating plans, speeches and flower arrangements, there are a number of decisions that brides-to-be must make when planning their big day. But for many, choosing what to wear is the most important thing of all.
A decision that often involves months of planning, aside from color, fit, and whether or not to wear a veil, brides today face another dress-related dilemma: durability. .
A wedding dress is arguably one of the least durable purchases you can make because most of the time it is only worn once before it is relegated to the back of your wardrobe. So if you are an environmentally conscious bride, it can be difficult to find “the one” while making sure you are as kind to the planet as possible. The solution? Buy second hand.
In recent years, pre-loved bridal gowns have had a well-deserved moment in the spotlight, with Pinterest reporting that the search term ‘low-waste wedding’ has increased 235% in 2019. Likewise, resale site Vestiaire Collective reported a 56 percent increase in searches for wedding dresses, while global fashion research platform Lyst said searches for wedding dresses that include the words “vintage,” “second-hand.” or “used” increased by 38 percent.
Plus, while most brides would appreciate reducing waste, it’s not just the durability credentials that make preferred options so appealing to contemporary brides – there’s the cost, too.
Almost without fail, a second-hand dress will cost you a lot less than a new counterpart, and with the average UK wedding costing £ 30,355, no savings need to be sniffed.
So whether you’re looking to reduce your environmental impact, want a specific style that has been ditched, or want a handbag-compatible option, we’ve rounded up the best places to find pre-owned wedding dresses in line, from markets to vintage stores. and even eBay.
You can trust our independent roundups. We may earn a commission from some retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. These revenues help fund journalism in The independent.
While you can associate eBay with nightly auction wars over retro furniture that you don’t really need, it’s also a great place to search for a wedding dress.
The website has a huge range of options, including street and designer styles from well-known bridal brands such as Monsoon, Maggie Sottero, Jenny Packham, and Vera Wang. There are currently over 14,000 listings up for grabs and you can filter the selection by price, designer, size, color, and silhouette to make it a bit easier to spot “the one”.
As always when shopping on eBay, make sure what you buy is genuine, check seller ratings, and make sure you read a wide range of buyer reviews.
Visit eBay.co.uk now
Vestiaire Collective is a well-known shopping destination for second-hand designer clothes, bags and accessories, but it also offers a number of wedding dresses.
There are currently over 4,000 models from brands such as Roksanda, Suzanne Neville, and Needle and Thread, all of which offer impressive savings. If buying a fake dissuades you from buying pre-liked items, this site might be for you, as each item listed is independently verified by professional authenticators, so you can shop with peace of mind.
For a dress that takes it a step further, consider shopping at Brides Do Good, which has a collection of enduring wedding dresses that have been donated by brides and brands.
The website’s collections are all up to 70% off the RRP, to ensure every woman can afford the dress of her dreams, and every sale makes a difference, too. For every £ 3 Brides Do Good earns, she reinvests £ 1 in charitable projects that empower women and work to end child marriage.
If you want to try on a dress, the brand also has a showroom in London, by appointment only.
Fans of small businesses are likely to know all about Asos Marketplace, the fashion giant’s platform for independent brands. As well as stocking an abundance of trendy clothing, accessories, and footwear, the site is also a great place to find authentic vintage wedding dresses.
Mainly sold in small boutiques across the country, the dresses span some of the most stylish decades, from bodycon dresses of the 1950s to flowy designs of the 1970s to puff-sleeve styles that date back to the 1980s.
If you’re worried about missing out on the experience of visiting an in-person boutique, consider Bridal Reloved, which has a chain of stores across the UK where you can try on second-hand dresses.
There are also a number of dresses available on her website, with ex-sample and second-hand gems offered by brands like Morilee, Jenny Packham, and Stewart Parvin, many of which are over 50% off.
Oxfam might not have been on your radar, but it actually has 12 dedicated bridal shops across the UK as well as a huge range that you can order online with a 28 day return policy. .
In addition to second-hand dresses, Oxfam’s bridal departments stock dresses that have been donated directly by bridal shops. In fact, 95 percent of the dresses end up on track this way and customers are charged a third of the original price.
A brand beloved by vintage enthusiasts, Beyond Retro is a one-stop-shop for all your retro clothing needs, including wedding dresses.
While you can take a bet by browsing your nearest store to see what’s in stock, Beyond Retro also has a range of dresses online, so whether you’re looking for something from the 1930s or 1970s, you’re likely to find the perfect outfit to suit your tastes.
If you have a specific look in mind, you can filter your search by decade, fabric, style, brand, and size.
Visit Beyondretro.com now
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of pre-loved dresses on offer, check out The Loop, where you’ll find a curated collection of designer dresses that have been carefully chosen by founders Grace Richmond and Abi Gadsby.
The site offers dresses from a number of well-known designers including Valentino, Jenny Packham and Brandon Maxwell to name a few, and all pieces are stocked in such a way that you can wear them on the go. D-day and beyond.
One of the best-known platforms for bridal resale, Still White has over 51,000 pre-loved wedding dresses on its website from individual sellers around the world.
This is an especially great place to look if you’ve fallen in love with a dress that has been ditched, as you can search by designer, while many listings are ex-samples or display items as well, so you can even choose one that is still brand new.
The website also allows you to filter your search by country, condition, height, figure, sleeve length and price.
For the latest fashion discounts, try the links below:
For more wedding inspiration, read our guide to everything you need for a low-key ceremony
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions we earn income if you click on the links and purchase the products, but we never allow this to change our coverage. Reviews are compiled from a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.