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Buying & selling

Could You Ever (Ever!) Sell Your Wedding Dress?

It’s worn just once for the ‘biggest day’ of a woman’s life and, traditionally, neatly stored away in the attic or cupboard as a precious reminder. But increasing numbers of new brides are breaking with tradition and deciding to sell their wedding dress soon after their marriage – is it something they’ll regret or a great way to keep dresses affordable for future brides while recouping some wedding costs?

Caroline Jackson from Cheshire, says,

“I decided to sell my dress as it was an expensive purchase at the time of organising the wedding, I probably spent more than what I had budgeted for a dress (as I’m sure many brides do) but then I also bought a lace jacket to go over the top, which was a last minute purchase and certainly wasn’t budgeted for! My main reason is because I don’t see the point in it sat in a bag in the loft for years to come and as dresses do, I’m sure, date over the decades.

“At the time of buying the lace jacket, just before the wedding, I had always intended to sell the dress and keep the lace jacket as a momento of our day, so I was always prepared for selling it, so it wasn’t really a tough decision. But I can see how some people become attached to their dresses.

“I have lots of great photographs to remind me of the dress and the day so I have the memories! There’s no point being sentimental – although the dress was an important part of the day there were more important things. And I have the jacket as a reminder – and that’s much smaller to store!

“Yes I do think it’s more acceptable to wear a secondhand dress – if I can give people one piece of advice it is: don’t spend £1000s on a dress.  If I had my time again I wouldn’t have done! I think by buying secondhand it makes designer dresses that were once very expensive a lot more affordable for people and it is such a waste to only wear it once. It would be nice to find someone else that loves it as much as I did!”

Rebekah Holland from Suffolk, says,

“I am selling my dress as I have downsized my living and am making tough decisions on what to keep. It wasn’t easy to decide to sell but I think I have made the right decision.

“I have lots of photos and other keepsakes from the day so don’t think I need the dress for that. I do think that wearing a secondhand dress is becoming more and more acceptable.”


Kathi O’Donnell from Cheshire, says,

“I am only parting with my gorgeous wedding dress as I need the space in our guest room where it hangs.

I hate the idea of selling it but I love the thought that it will have another fabulous day out making another bride feel as special as I did wearing it.

It truly is a dream fairytale dress.

I only wore it for a few short hours and it has been cleaned at a specialist cleaner and is back to looking brand new and ready for a fresh adventure.”

Remi Gannon from Essex, says,

Why are you selling your wedding dress?

“I live in a apartment so storage is tricky, and I would like to recoup some of the costs by selling my dress to spend on a summer holiday with my husband.”

Was deciding to sell it a tough decision?

“It was in respect of in years to come. However, everyone talks about it sitting in a box in the loft, and gone are the days of daughters re-using their mothers’ wedding dresses.”

  • Lots of brides keep their dresses for sentimental reasons, are you worried about losing that?

“A little, however I have memories galore and so many photographs capturing the dress and how it looked on the big day. It’s a massive heavy item of clothing and it just doesn’t look the same on a hanger or in a box.”

Do you think wearing a secondhand wedding dress has now become acceptable?

“Definitely. I am not being funny but it’s the most expensive item of clothing your likely to wear and you have it on for a matter of hours, so the quality should cater for a second day of wearing. Also, not everyone has the budget to buy a brand new designer dress, so if you can get it for 70% less it’s a good buy!”

Karen Ross from Lancashire, says,

“I am selling my wedding dress for a few reasons. Firstly, many brides keep their dress to show their children. I was lucky to have my children at my wedding, and they were at an age where they can remember the special day. We have lots of lovely pictures and a DVD to remind us of the day.

“Secondly, even though I absolutely adore my dress, for those less fortunate than myself, it would be great for someone to have a dress of their dreams at a reasonable price.

“And finally do we really need to keep our dresses? Obviously spending a lot of money on a dress for one day, it would be nice to sell it and reclaim some of the money rather than just have it hanging in a wardrobe collecting dust!

“The decision to sell wasn’t easy as it is very sentimental. I only got married a year ago, but every time I look at it I do think I need to sell it, so today I just did it! I’m not at all worried about losing the sentimental value as as previously said, I have lots of photographs and a DVD. Our memories are the greatest.

“I always think, that it would be great to open a secondhand wedding dress shop, just like designer dress agencies. When a wedding dress costs so much money and is only worn for one day, if a shop did sell secondhand dresses I think it would be very busy. everybody loves a bargain, and you could even add some detail or change something to make it your own. We need to also remember that with the average cost of a wedding steadily increasing not everyone is a fortunate as others.”

Zoe Allison

Zoe Allison

Writer and expert