Post # 1
My FI and I are getting married next year in March and we really want to keep our wedding as “green” and eco-friendly as possible. We’re taking a lot of steps to achieve this, including not having floral bouquets (my bridesmaids and I are carrying parasols instead) or centerpieces, arranging for a shuttle to take people to and from the ceremony and reception, and hiring a caterer that uses mostly local vendors for his food. I think another really important part of staying as “green” as possible is to buy a second-hand wedding gown. I’ve been looking at a lot of different websites like woreitonce.com and recycledbride.com. and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I guess I’m worried about getting scammed or ordering a dress that looks great online but looks bad in reality.
Has anyone here had any success buying a gently used gown for their ceremony? Or does anyone have any horror stories to share? Any tips at all would be greatly appreciated. I’m going to try to hit up my local consignment shops before I go online because I think I’d feel better actually seeing the dress before I buy it.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Post # 3
Welcome to the hive!
Ask for pictures. The more pictures the better. While I have heard of sellers who would not provide pictures, a legitimate seller should have no problem taking as many pictures as you ask. Get a picture of the tags, get a picture of the train and the underside of the hem (around the entire bottom — front through train). Ask about alterations.
Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate. It might scare off some stubborn sellers, but a lot of used dresses are listed at high prices. Don’t be afraid to start low and haggle to a middle price you’re comfortable with. Or get shipping inluded or a veil or something.
Only use paypal or escrow.com to protect yourself. If you live in the area that someone is selling it, ask if you can go see it. Preownedweddingdresses.com lets you search for gowns by location. Oncewed is another good site, in addition to the ones you’re using. The classifieds here can be a great help, too.
Post # 4
I would reccomend going to an actual bridal shop and trying on dresses to figure out which styles work for you body type. Even better if you find a dress that you like and then purchase the exact dress online. BTW, I am selling a victoriana by maggie sottero size 6 (sorry for my shameless pitch). I have had several people trying to scam me and I noticed that the wording of the emails was odd and their responses to my emails weren’t always appropriate (i guess they are so busy emailing too many people they don’t really read what comes in). Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.
Post # 5
@Amaryllis: Thanks for the tips and the websites! That’s all really helpful. It’s especially good to hear which payment methods to use as that was one thing I was worried about. Thanks again!
Post # 6
@juliasoko: Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of stories about people trying to scam sellers and buyers. That’s why I’m so dubious about buying a dress online, but at the same time I’m not holding out a lot of hope that the consignment shops around me have *the* dress, even though I’m not quite sure what *the* dress is. I just know I don’t want a sleeveless dress, and that is the in style right now so I feel like I’m setting myself up for failure. Otherwise, I know I want a chapel length train, but that’s all I have in mind so far.
Good luck selling your dress!
Post # 7
Oncewed.com is another great resource.
Like the PPs said, NEVER pay for a dress other than through Escrow or Paypal. Otherwise you can’t do anything if you get scammed.
Post # 8
I had a good experience purchasing on ebay. Also, it seems that ebay has a lot of older style dresses that may fit what you are looking for. Good luck.
Post # 9
@faoiltiama: Find a local add, call them up and talk to them. Arrange to meet and try the dress on. I found my dream dress like this, and it’s the best way to not get scammed!!
Look for sample sales at stores, or consignment upscale boutiques. There are tons of possiblities.
Love the “green” wedding btw, great job!
Post # 10
I looked at craigslist everyday. I eventually found a new dress for $75. As you can tell by reading this site along with others, many brides end up with two dresses. I tried on several once wed dresses and some new ones as well. I agree with the bee who suggested going to a shop to figure out what style you prefer.
Green is great!! Good luck!!
Post # 11
Have you looked into renting a dress? I know a couple brides that have had great luck with renting 🙂
Post # 12
@faoiltiama: I’m also trying to go for a green wedding, so I’m using potted plants (hopefully succulents!) for center pieces. I LOVE the parasol idea. Are you doing paperless invites? I’m hoping to do a video STD and a paperless invite. I want to do a handwritten TY card, though. But everyone likes receiving those, so it’s worth it to me.