Finding Your Dream Gown: A Guide To Buying Second Hand Wedding Dresses

Second Hand Wedding Dresses

Buying pre-owned or Secondhand wedding dresses can provide significant savings while still making you feel like a beautiful, elegant bride on your big day.

As you plan for this joyous occasion, finding the perfect wedding dress is likely one of your top priorities. However, the cost of a brand-new designer gown can quickly add up and strain your overall wedding budget. 

This comprehensive guide will walk you through finding and purchasing a secondhand wedding gown.

From where to search for dresses to ensure the perfect fit, we’ll cover all the essential tips and tricks to help you confidently navigate the world of pre-owned bridal fashion. 

With some know-how and some savvy shopping skills, you can say “yes” to the dress of your dreams – for a fraction of the retail cost.

So, let’s get started on your journey to finding the perfect secondhand wedding gown that will make you look and feel your absolute best as you exchange vows with the love of your life.

Setting The Stage: Budget And Style

  • Budget: 

Be realistic about what you can afford. Second hand dresses offer incredible savings, but consider potential alterations and cleaning costs.

  • Style: 

Do you have a specific silhouette or neckline in mind? Browse online stores and pre-owned wedding websites to get a feel for the styles available. 

The Dress Detective: Inspecting Condition And Quality

  • Online Purchases:

Request detailed photos showcasing the entire dress, close-ups of embellishments, and any potential flaws. Ask for videos, if possible, to better understand the fabric’s movement and drape.

Second Hand Wedding Dresses
  • In-Person Inspection: 

Schedule appointments with sellers and meticulously examine the dress. Look for tears, stains, loose beadwork, or yellowing. Check zippers, buttons, and any delicate details.

  • Fabric Matters: 

Inspect the fabric’s quality. Is it soft and supple, or stiff and scratchy? Consider how the material will feel against your skin for an extended period.

  • Cleaning and Storage: 

Inquire about the dress’s cleaning history.  It should be professionally cleaned and stored in a cool, dry place.

Finding The Perfect Fit: Measurements And Alterations

  • Measurements: 

Don’t rely solely on the size tag. Request the dress’s measurements (bust, waist, hips, and length) and compare them to yours or those of a similar dress you’ve tried.

  • Alterations: 

Most secondhand dresses will require some alterations to achieve the perfect fit. Factor in alteration costs when budgeting and ensure your chosen dress can be modified to your desired silhouette.

  • Trying It On:

Try on the dress before committing. It allows you to assess the fit, comfort level, and how it moves with you. Bring a trusted friend or family member for a second opinion and moral support.

Beyond The Dress: Additional Considerations

  • Seller Communication: 

Choose sellers with clear communication and a positive reputation. Ask questions and express your concerns openly.

  • Return Policy: 

Inquire about return policies, especially if buying online. Ideally, the seller should allow returns within a reasonable timeframe, provided the dress is returned in the same condition.

  • Payment Methods: 

Use secure payment methods like PayPal or an escrow service for online transactions. It protects both you and the seller in case of any issues.

  • Accessories: 

Consider that you might need to purchase accessories like veils, belts, or jewellery separately. 

Embracing The Pre-Loved Journey

  • Sustainable Choice:

Choosing a secondhand dress is an eco-friendly option as it reduces textile waste and the environmental impact of wedding gown production.

  • Unique Finds: 

The pre-loved market offers a wider variety of styles and designers compared to traditional bridal shops. You might discover a one-of-a-kind gown that perfectly reflects your individuality.

  • The Emotional Connection: 

Many brides find a special connection with pre-loved dresses, knowing they’re giving a beautiful gown a second life.

Additional Tips For A Successful Secondhand Search

  • Embrace Patience: 

Finding the perfect used wedding dresses Australia dress can take time. Don’t rush the process, and be prepared to look at several options before finding “the one.”

  • Consider Location: 

Expand your search by looking at online platforms and sellers in neighbouring cities. It opens you up to a wider selection of dresses.

  • Be Open to Compromise:

While having a vision is crucial, be flexible with certain aspects like designer labels or specific details. It increases your chances of finding a dress you love within your budget.


Finding your dream dress is an exciting journey. Have fun with the process, and don’t settle for anything less than what makes you feel radiant on your special day. 

With careful planning and a keen eye, you’ll discover the perfect pre-loved wedding dress that embodies your style and embodies the magic of your upcoming celebration.

Ready to embark on your pre-loved wedding dress adventure? Reveiled offers a curated selection of stunning second hand gowns from various designers and styles. Visit our website to browse our collection and find the dress that will make you look like a princess on your big day.

Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win
BSV Staff

Every day we create distinctive, world-class content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people across the globe.