Second hand wedding gowns aren’t for everyone, but for some brides on a budget, they can mean the difference between hiring a DJ and asking a friend to be in charge of the iPod. Consignment / second hand / thrift store wedding dress shopping takes a little technique, and Good Morning America’s Becky Worley (a self-proclaimed thrift-store fashionista) has a few tips for brides on the hunt for a dress-for-less:
1 – “Give yourself a lot of time.”
Becky spent a month searching second-hand shops and found seven dresses that she deemed worthy of another wear.
2 – “Don’t limit your searches.”
Look everywhere; shop in all types of stores and in a variety of neighborhoods.
3 – Ask, and you may receive.
When she didn’t see any wedding dresses at a couple thrift stores, Becky asked and was pointed in the right direction. She also recommends giving your contact information to store clerks if there aren’t any dresses at that time. That way, they can call you when a dress is donated.
4 – “Don’t judge a dress by its condition.”
A good cleaning service can remove most dirt stains. But if you see anything yellowed, like caramelized food or perspiration, keep shopping for a different dress.
5 – Budget for alterations
Seamstress Lynn Gallagher said, “Minor alterations, like taking a dress in slightly, altering the hem, or adjusting straps can cost $200-$300. But you would probably also have to do that with a dress you bought new. It’s part of the process.”