Getting married in a second hand wedding gown is gaining popularity in a world where recycling is big news, and purse strings are getting tighter. Choosing a pre-loved gown can save valuable dollars in your wedding budget or can allow you to wear an exquisite designer gown that you’d never have been able to afford if you had bought it new.
However, there are a few things you should know about your wedding gown before you make a payment. Here are ten questions to ask about your second hand wedding dress before you buy it:
1.What was the original price? Knowing the original price of the gown will help you to decide if you are getting a good deal. Some brides will advertise this up front, while others might try to hide it if they want to get as much money back as possible. If you know the designer you should be able to get a good idea of the original price, and if you suspect the seller isn’t being honest with you ask to see the original receipt.
2.Has the dress been cleaned? You might think that you would rather have the dress cleaned yourself to be sure it is done properly, but wedding gowns should be cleaned as soon after the wedding as possible. Most brides will get a few marks on their dress, and stains caused by sweat and spilled food or drinks may turn yellow and become permanent very quickly.
3.How has the dress been stored? Unless you are buying the dress immediately after the seller’s wedding, they will have stored it for at least a few months. If it has been sealed in a plastic bag it may have been damaged by trapped moisture. Ideally wedding gowns should be hermetically sealed or stored in an heirloom box.
4.Was the dress altered? The majority of wedding dresses will have been altered to some extent as very few brides are a perfect 10. However, knowing the extent of the alterations will give you some idea whether the dress will fit you or not and whether you will be able to alter it even further. If in doubt look for a dress larger than you need so you have more material to play with.
5.What height was the original bride? Many brides focus on the size of the dress and forget to ask about the length. If a dress is too long a skilled seamstress may be able to shorten it without ruining the skirt design, but dresses that are too short won’t be able to be altered.
6.Are there detailed photos of the dress? If you have only seen a single front view of the dress, ask if the seller can send you additional pictures showing more detail. You could ask for a back view, a close up of any details, and a picture of the straps or neckline.
7.Exactly what colour is the dress? If you have your heart set on getting married in pure white it can be disappointing when your dress arrives and you find it’s an unusual shade of ivory. From time to time the camera can lie about wedding dress colours, so always double check.
8.Are accessories included? The seller might not have thought about selling their veil or tiara along with the dress, but if you have seen a photo of her on her wedding day and you like the entire ensemble, it is always worth asking to buy the accessories as well.
9.How does the dress move? It might seem an odd question to ask, but knowing how a dress feels to move around in is crucial when you are buying a wedding gown, and most former brides will be happy to tell you. Also find out whether the skirt can be bustled for dancing in the evening.
10.Can you try it on? If the seller lives within a reasonable distance, ask whether you can come and pick the dress up yourself and try it on before you buy it. If the seller lives too far away and you have to have it posted, find out whether you will be able to return it if you aren’t entirely happy once you’ve tried it on.