The Thrifty Bride: The Wedding Dress – An Investment?

Hello my lovely readers today we are joined by newlywed Claudine, who’s beautiful wedding was featured on Nu Bride earlier this year who has written a fabulous guest post on selling your wedding dress and also on buying second-hand. Wonderful tips below to help you think differently about how you acquire and sell on your wedding dress. Enjoy!

The Thrifty Bride:

Guest Post by Claudine Edwards

“You’re doing what?!”

This is the response I personally have experienced when announcing that I am selling my wedding dress.

My mother was/is particularly horrified. One person described the dress as having not got cold yet with my wedding having taken place but a few short months ago. The poorly masked shock in their voices was as if the joys of my magical day were somehow living, breathing and ultimately tied to my dress.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my dress and as I got married abroad I was one of the few lucky ones who was able to legitimately wear my dress twice when we had a UK wedding reception party ( you know you’ve all sat on the sofa watching Strictly come Dancing in your dresses!), but as fantastic as I feel it in I don’t feel that unbreakable emotional tie to it. Does this make me a weirdo?

Maybe….but then again maybe not.

Image source: Telegraph | Alamy

I attended 6! Yes 6 weddings (including my own) this year and I think today’s modern bride is a little bit more savvy and less sentimental with many more of us thinking long and hard about selling on what really is a valuable commodity.

When the other half and I first got engaged and started to allocate budget he was horrified at how much I was proposing I allocate to my dress, even when I thrust various wedding magazines with ‘100 top dresses under £2000’ in his face he was not impressed. “See, look, the cheapest one is £700 and it is horrible!” It really wasn’t that bad I know now I was clearly in the early stages of bridezilla.

As the planning process went on I found myself moving on from my original staunch “Vera Wang or nothing” state of mind and instead started to get a sense of unease about spending a month’s wage on something I was only going to wear for a matter of hours! For many of us it’s the most expensive item of clothing we will ever buy, yet we will only wear it once. Would you spend £3000 on a beautiful coat knowing you could only wear it once…probably not.

My own personal experience of dress shopping went through a series of stages: the aforementioned Vera Wang stage, closely followed by the custom-made stage, then the high-end off-the-peg dresses which is when I found a gorgeous Jenny Packham dress.

I adored this dress but by now I was in the more sensible stage of looking at the wedding budget as whole I couldn’t justify the spend. It was at this stage I considered ‘investing’ in a dress that I could sell on. This is when I stumbled upon the many second-hand dress sites I would soon begin a daily obsession with.

Sites such as preloved.co.uk; sellmyweddingdress.co.uk and stillwhite.co.uk were my personal favourites. I first starting using these to see the kind of prices I could expect if I were to sell my investment dress, however I soon became a potential customer and attempted to find my dream dress on these sites.

Beautiful Claudine in her Maggie Sottero dress on her wedding day! | Photography: Gusde Photography

To cut a long story short I didn’t actually buy an investment dress, nor did I buy my dream dress second-hand in fact on an unplanned wedding dress shopping trip I ended up stumbling upon a dress that fit me like a glove and was able to buy the sample dress for 50% of the normal price. However I would still urge future brides to consider the pre-loved route and past brides to consider selling on. One of my very good friends got married this year in a pre-loved lusan Mandongus dress which she picked up for over 50% below the RRP and has now sold again, she looked amazing in the dress as I’m sure the person who bought it will too.

Your dream dress is out there, just maybe not where you first thought.

Things to consider if you’re buying with intention of selling on:

– Certain brands will be more popular and hold their value (just like cars!)

– There will be less demand for very large or very small sizes

– Altered dresses will be harder to sell

– Be sure to take lots of photos and provide as much detail as possible

Excellent post Claudine. Thank you so much. What great tips readers. Never say never. ;o)

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2 Responses to “The Thrifty Bride: The Wedding Dress – An Investment?”

  1. Triz
    November 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    This is very good advice. I am getting married in 2014 but my priority at this point of time is looking for a venue and location first. I haven’t even considered looking at dresses as yet or what the prices are……but glad to see what my options are before I do. I am open to all options about the dress and think I have an idea in mind. However the idea you have in your head tends to be the dress that looks least befitting (as seen on Don’t tell the Bride). I am getting married abroad and also thinking about doing a “trash the dress” photographer seen, so I do have to bear in mind the cost when it gets down to it. Thanks again for sharing your experience Claudine. Your dress was truly stunning.

    • Nu Bride
      November 24, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

      Hi Triz, congratulations on your forthcoming wedding!

      Absolutely. I think once you have picked your venue, everything else will be shaped around that including budget allocations and our ‘style’ of dress.
      I too found the dress I picked was definitely not one I imagined and I only tried it on because the consultant recommended it. So my advice would always be to go in with an open mind. 🙂
      Enjoy this journey of being engaged and thank you for commenting. 😉
      Nu Bride