The Must-read Guide To Buying A Preowned Wedding Dress

Here is at Our Story Bridal we don’t shy away from talking about the nitty-gritty, part of that is because we like having real conversations that pertain to real life. In the past we have written about trends, cleaning your dress and have even had some real brides sharing their experience. This week we are breaking down the need-to-know facts about buying a preowned wedding dress.  Some find it daunting, some think it’s easy and others may not have even considered it, but whatever your stance, it’s definitely a great choice to get your dream dress. Below we have highlighted a pseudo checklist, or guide if you will regarding the key things you should know before buying a upre-loved or used wedding dress. 

Photo Credit: Hey Beloved Photography

Photo Credit: Hey Beloved Photography

Quality & Condition:

We think that one of the most important tasks, once you have your eye on a dress, is to find out what the imperfections are. If you’re able to check these out in person even better as one persons “small snag” is another’s “large rip”. Trust us when we say we have seen this aplenty and have often had to console a poor bride who has come in scrambling for a last-minute dress as she received a box of torn-up tulle in the mail. Another point to note is that hidden costs for restorations and non-fixable imperfections can really add up and the money you do save from taking this route can often be used up in making your dress, perfect. (You deserve that spa treatment before and after!) Here are a few things to note when you find the one:

  • Check the dress out in person, or ask for detailed images 

  • Make sure the dress has been cleaned of stains and smells 

  • Don’t accept any excuses about “small stains” being easy to remove since it is often hard to know if a stain will be removed until the cleaners attempt to clean it

Measurements & Alterations:

The fit and measurements of a dress are so important as various brands have a varied size range - some size down, some size up. Leading up to your big day, it is common to have adjustments and alterations made as your body will change, hello, you’re human and #stress. Therefore, it is imperative to obtain the specs of the dress before you part with your monies, this way you will have an idea as to what needs altering if a particular part of the dress can be altered and how much. Our advice? Grab friend, and try the dress on keeping the below points in mind.

  • Try the dress on if you can, or request detailed measurements along the bust, waist, hips and definitely the maximum wearable height. 

  • Find out what can or can’t be altered by an expert tailor or seamstress. This way you will know if it worth getting as sometimes like a dress being too short is very hard to fix.  

  • Do not trust the seller if they say it can ALL be adjusted - chances are, they don’t know.

Photo Credit: Hey Beloved Photography

Photo Credit: Hey Beloved Photography

Payments & Monies:

Money is always a tricky one and there isn't a good way to prevent any hiccups 100%. However, often enough companies like PayPal or will help to guarantee the transaction or hold onto it until you have received and okayed the item. (Phew and thank you startups, right?) A few things you don’t want to do are:

  • Don't send your money into the internet black hole without receiving the product. If you can, try and do this exchange in person. 

  • Be confident that this is the dress you want before you pay for it as you may not be able to return it and you don’t want to have seconds thoughts when it arrives. 

  • If it is a designer dress, make sure it is authentic! Before parting with that cash, ask to see the original receipt, see the tag and look at the quality of the material.

We built Our Story Bridal to be a safe haven away from all the stressors mentioned above. Our experiential showroom makes for a calm, welcoming and luxurious shopping trip. Book yourself in for an appointment, we promise you won’t have to go through any of the above, with us.