Selling Your Wedding Gown | A Readers Perspective
Selling Your Wedding Gown
Loyal reader and BCME real bride contributor Camilla, has recently put her beautiful wedding gown up for sale on a number of online platforms. Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly, she was subjected to a number of keyboard warriors and their strong opinions in regards to selling her gown. Should brides keep their wedding gowns for the sake of sentimentality? Camilla, gives her perspective below:
Everyone remembers the moment they found their wedding dress; the second they slipped into it, pulled the fabric around them, looked in the mirror and in that moment knew it was “the one”.
Standing on that mini podium in the shop, with some borrowed shoes and a veil, I knew I had found the dress that I would be wearing when I walked down the aisle.
It hadn’t even been a serious dress. It was a frothy number that gushed out of the hanging area and spilled several feet onto the carpet of the fancy bridal boutique I was visiting with my friend, another bride-to-be. It was frivolous, OTT and princessy, a giant meringue that I thought I would try on for fun. I imagined my real dress would be serious, maybe with a hint of lace, perhaps some crystal beading, but certainly not the Disney-esque creation I pulled into the changing room. But as soon as I tried it on, I felt transformed and elevated, and everything else I saw just felt boring and unimaginative. The froth would be mine!
The only issue was the price tag, which veered well over my budget, and even the emergency budget that I had allocated should the budget not suffice. However, there was no going back, and I had to find a way to have it. It was then that I stumbled across a website called Pre-owned Wedding Dresses while googling my dream dress that evening. Here was an entire site dedicated to dresses that had been used once on someone’s dream day, and rather than allowing their once-used dresses to languish miserably in the back of their closet, they were sold on to bring other brides happiness on their big day. The seller makes some money, the buyer saves some money, everybody wins.
Did I really want a used dress, I thought? Surely your wedding gown should be pristine, virginal, and something you buy only once in your life? I wanted the tissue paper, the heavy cardboard bag, the thrill as my credit card was swiped.
As I pondered these thoughts, lo and behold, there it was, MY dress, in MY size, at almost one quarter of the price of the shop. Forget the tissue paper, I was going to save myself more than 10,000aed! It could be my something old! The only problem was, it was in Florida. I frantically messaged the seller offering to purchase the dress there and then, and if we could figure out a way to get it to Dubai. At 3am UAE time, my phone pinged and she responded – we had agreed a sale! As I wired her the money, I wondered if I was sending my cash into a black hole, but exactly a week later, a giant cardboard box arrived at my workplace.
As I tentatively peeled back the lid and peered inside, I was greeted with a mound of ruffles, and I got an even bigger rush than if I had bought from the boutique. My husband-to-be was a bit baffled as I pushed this enormous box into our spare room that evening, but was equally thrilled when I informed him of the saving I had made. All that was needed were a few tiny adjustments from a tailor and my dream dress was perfect. As I slipped it on on my wedding day, I knew I had made the right decision and no one had an inkling it had been pre-worn.
A while later, as the giant meringue languished in the back of my closet (I say the back, but in reality it was so huge it burst forth and even meant the doors didn’t quite close), it occurred to me to sell it on again.
Surely I wanted to keep it for my daughters, I counselled. Or for sentimental reasons. But neither argument seemed strong enough to hold onto something that was literally desperate to escape.
My wedding photos were there for me to gaze upon when I wanted to recall my big day, and after having two children I knew I would never be able to fit into it again. Not to mention, the thought of housing this item for the next 20 years and then having my two girls snub it anyway in favour of the latest trend really swayed me in favour of selling it. I uploaded some pictures of the dress onto a Second Hand website and thought nothing more of it.
Within an hour I had several replies, within two, over 20. Thrilled, I scrolled down to read them. However, far from being enquiries, it was a steady stream of messages berating me for selling my dress. It’s bad luck, exclaimed one respondent. Another implied it was unhygienic to buy a used dress. A concerned gentleman enquired what had happened, assuming I had divorced and needed the money badly. It would appear selling one’s wedding dress has strong associations for many people and it would never occur to them to part with such a garment. Some were quite horrified and made their feelings well known. Is it really such a big deal, I thought.
It would appear selling one’s wedding dress has strong associations for many people and it would never occur to them to part with such a garment. Some were quite horrified and made their feelings well known
In many cultures the wedding dress is hugely symbolic and auspicious. For me, however, it was merely a dress. I loved my wedding day, I love the memories, the pictures, the fact we can visit our venue on our anniversary, our two beautiful daughters. I don’t need some fabric to remember all the wonderful things about that day. So, in the current trend of upcycling, I am passing it on to a future bride who may have her eyes on a stunning dress that’s simply out of her budget. I want to pass on the good luck, the thrill I got when I first put it on, the moment she first sees herself when she’s about to join her groom. And if I can make a bob or two, so much the better.
Looking for more wedding tips and advice? Click here. Did you sell your wedding gown or buy one second hand? We would love to hear your thoughts. Comment in the box below.