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Think about saying yes to a second-hand dress

Smart brides these days save a lot of money by going second-hand. After all, most wedding dresses are only worn for a few hours and cost an average of $1,800, with many costing thousands more.

Buying second-hand is not just a way to feel and look good on a budget, but a more eco-friendly alternative. And the market is hot, as many women are even selling new dresses they bought to wear to weddings that were canceled, postponed or scaled back due to the pandemic. And don’t worry about COVID supply chain delivery issues.

“I love it when my wives go shopping for their second-hand wedding dresses,” says Emma Thurgood, an intimate New England wedding photographer originally from New Britain. “Not only is it economical, but it’s also eco-friendly for those who want their marriage to be more sustainable.”

Buy online

There are plenty of ways to find your dream sweet dress online, including Facebook Marketplace, craigslist.com, and eBay. There are also many sites that focus on occasion dresses and offer great selections of discount designer dresses in all shapes and sizes.

Some of the popular websites to buy used at affordable prices include preownedweddingdresses.com, almostnewlywed.com and oncemarried.com. At stillwhite.com marketplace, you’ll find over 67,000 designer wedding dresses for sale by owner. Among them was an unworn Monique Lhuillier mermaid-style dress, size 2, $3,400, buttoned back, from the Bliss collection for $1,000. And a size 12 Vera Wang strapless lace dress from Chantilly Delaney originally sold for $6,000, for just $600.

Or head to the Brotherhood of the Traveling Wedding Dress page on Facebook where you will find women who will give or lend their dresses free of charge to another bride to maintain the chain. You’ll find everything from a vintage satin hoop dress in size 0, 80s, complete with shoes, slip and veil, to a Badgley Mischka bodycon column dress in a scoop neckline with a bow in the back in size 16, all for free.

Note: Before looking for a dress online, visit your local boutique to get an idea of ​​the style, size and designer that looks good on you. On some of the websites above, you can add an alert to notify you when your dream dress or something from your favorite designer goes on sale.

Also, according to experts, be prepared to pay for cleanup, alterations, and custom additions. Always check if it is returnable if the dress does not match or is not as described.

A bride wears a custom upcycled wedding dress, sourced from a vintage dress from an antique store and a lace t-shirt from Goodwill for less than $75.

Emma Thurgood

Buy local

If you’re looking for a second-hand dress — especially something unique or vintage — start looking at thrift stores, consignment shops, and antique stores. Let the owners know what you’re looking for, so they can let you know when something suitable comes along.

You can buy ready-made second-hand dresses at many Connecticut stores, including Stork and Fashion Swap at Westbrook, future brides at Glastonbury and so many dresses in Hamden. Many also sell bridal accessories and bridesmaid and mother of the bride dresses.

Resell to recoup costs

The best thing about buying second-hand — if you’re not the sentimental type or just a savvy shopper — is that you can get most of your money back by reselling your dress after the big day, notes Thurgood. . You will save money, save space in your closet and your dress will have another life. Did we say smart?


The Fall/Winter 2022 issue of The Connecticut Bride is on sale now. Pick up your copy at one of these locations.


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