Wedding dress shopping can be one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning. You've likely been perusing gowns all over the internet trying to nail your style, finding designers that are your vibe, and figuring out how much wedding dresses cost. But have you entertained the idea of browsing preloved wedding dresses? Below we'll not only tell you more about them, but we'll also delve into some practical tips like what to look out for when buying and also how much you can expect to pay for a preloved wedding dress.


What ARE Preloved Wedding DressES?

Preloved wedding dresses are wedding dresses that have been owned by someone else before you. This may mean that they've bought the dress and worn it on their wedding day, but kept it in great condition and decided to sell it on. Or this may mean the bride bought it and for many reasons, hasn't worn it at all. Some people will buy multiple dresses for the big day or simply change their mind about their dress and opt for something else. Meaning they can sell on a pristine gown for a fraction of the retail cost to you!


Why Should I Buy A Preloved Wedding Dress?

We're glad you asked. Browsing preloved wedding dresses is a really good way to get introduced to the idea of buying a preloved wedding dress as it will give you a feel for the savings that you can make and the variety of sizes and designers that are available. You may already know about our sustainable marketplace Recycle My Wedding where you can buy and sell preloved wedding dresses and decor, but if you need further convincing that preloved is the way to go then let's look at why should you buy a second-hand wedding dress...



Buying a preloved wedding dress can be a much more sustainable option to buying brand new. Rehoming a beautiful bridal gown could save thousands of liters of water on a new dress being made.



Often, preloved wedding dresses are a more affordable option as they are sold below the RRP whether they've been worn before or not.  But you're still getting a great quality gown from some very reputable designers and the seller gets back some of their initial investment. Everyone wins! 



You may think your favourite designers are out of your reach... but you could be wrong. At Recycle My Wedding, we have a huge range of designers that we know you love. What’s even better? They are available at a fraction of the price. Meaning that the designer gowns you've been lusting after but thought were out of your budget, might now being completely attainable. 



Because every dress deserves a second chance, right? Rehoming a dress means you can make more memories in a gown that has already made a bride very happy. You can even resell it yourself after your big day ‑ just like this Watters gown that we fondly call ‘The Travelling Dress’.



Are you torn between two styles of dress? Or ever wanted to have that show-stopping reception entrance in your second wedding dress (the one fit for cutting up the dancefloor in perhaps)? Well, this is your opportunity. Buying one or both of your dresses preloved means you could still have two amazing dresses but not blow the honeymoon budget doing so.


Recycle My Wedding

Our preloved wedding marketplace full of dresses, outfits, decor and accessories.



This one is easy. Head over to our preloved marketplace Recycle My Wedding and you'll not only find a big range of preloved wedding dresses in all sorts of sizes and price points. But you'll also find bridesmaid dresses and other wedding outfits. And... While you're there we seriously suggest you check out the accessories and decor sections. There are some incredible pieces being put on there to be reloved by you and your guests (whilst also saving the planet and giving you some more money in your pocket).


What Should I Look out For When SEARCHING FOR Preloved Wedding Dresses?

As we mentioned before, not all preloved wedding dresses are created equal. So you will find a combination of ex-sample dresses, worn once dresses and never worn at all dresses. But what are the considerations you should be looking for when finding a second-hand dress?

  • Try to choose a platform where you can have a direct conversation with the seller. This will give you a chance to ask all of the burning questions you have.
  • When looking at sizes of dresses, know that not all designers size exactly the same, so measurements can be more helpful.
  • If the dress has been worn before, it's likely that alterations will have been made, ask your seller how and where the dress has been altered.
  • We do recommend (restrictions allowing) meeting with your seller to try on the dress before you agree to purchase it.
  • And make sure your purchase is as secure as possible. Recycle My Wedding uses Paypal links for this very reason. 



At the time of writing, on Recycle My Wedding there were preloved wedding dresses ranging from £80 to a Berta dress at £2999 (originally £10,000) and bridesmaid dresses listed from £40 to £200. We have found that on average wedding dresses are listed from £500 to £1000. Obviously, the more luxe the designer, the higher the resale price will be. But in most cases, you'll find wedding dresses listed for half the price or less of the original retail price. So you stand to make truly massive savings, in both cash and cost to the planet by going preloved. 



Well, all those fancy wedding outfits didn't make their way onto Recycle My Wedding by themselves. Our wonderful community has had great success in listing and reselling their wedding pieces. Some have even listed from weddings we've featured. If you have wedding outfits, accessories or decor that you'd like to pass on and recoup some cost for then selling couldn't be simpler. We charge no commission so you get to keep 100% of your sale. The one-off selling fees are very simple and transparent - £10 per wedding outfit or dress and £5 for anything else (decor, accessories, etc.).

What do preloved wedding dresses look like?

Brides will only sell on a dress if it's in excellent wearable condition. Any minor damage (often easily sorted during your own alterations), as well as any alterations the dress has already had, must be listed in the item description. You will also often have the chance to go and see the dress in person before you commit to a sale. But if your concern is around the aesthetic of preloved wedding dresses, then let us put your mind at ease with some of the dresses we've had on Recycle My Wedding. The eco/cost-conscious brides passing on their dresses couldn't be more stylish. These real weddings are listed at the bottom of this article in full if you fancy seeing these dresses from other angles. 

Hopefully, that has given you a bit more insight into what it's like to shop for preloved wedding dresses. We feel like you can easily win on style, price, and protecting the planet when shopping for your wedding dress. If you're ready to start browsing to see what gems we currently have listed (and it's ever-changing - so remember to come back and check regularly) then head on over to Recycle My Wedding.

Naomi Liddell

Written by Naomi Liddell

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