If you don't have a large budget for your wedding, you can find a quality used wedding dress at a much better price than full retail. Even if a wedding dress has only been worn once for a few hours, you still want to go over seams, lace, and beading with a close eye to make sure you don't buy a gown with flaws. Here are things you should look for when shopping for a used wedding dress.
How a dress is stored
Be wary of buying a used wedding dress that has been shoved in a closet without any kind of cover or protective plastic wrap. White and off-white linen can yellow over time due to exposure to light and debris in the air. When examining a used wedding dress, lay it out flat and examine all folds for discoloration or uneven wear that may indicate it wasn't stored properly.
Whether the dress was professionally cleaned or not
Many people have used wedding dresses cleaned prior to selling them. This is a good thing, as it means you are buying an item of clothing that is free of stains or odors, but it can also mean that you may be buying a gown that has been damaged due to poor cleaning tactics. A professionally cleaned wedding dress has been handled carefully to ensure that lace details don't unravel and material like taffeta or silk remain intact and beautiful. If a wedding dress has not been professionally cleaned but washed in a washing machine instead, it can lose its shape and has the risk of missing bead work or damaged details that can make the gown difficult to repair.
If a wedding dress has been altered already, it may be difficult to alter again to fit your body. This is most likely if the bodice was altered by adding boning or corseting, since these custom additions are often difficult to remove or alter to fit another body type. Buy a used wedding dress that is easy to alter by choosing a gown that is very close to your own size or slightly larger, since it's much easier to take a dress in than to let one out.
Buying a used wedding dress can save you a lot of money, and you can get your dream dress for a steal. Simply take note of how a dress was stored, cleaned, and whether it can be altered further to fit your body perfectly before you agree to a sale.
For more information and options, contact local wedding dress stores, such as Bridal Extraordinaire.