People were shocked this weekend when Towie’s Billi Mucklow announced she’d be selling her recently-worn wedding dress online.
Billi, who married English footballer Andy Carroll just three months ago, is selling her £1,290 wedding dress at a discounted price of £800.
It’s no wonder people are shocked: to many, wedding dresses are among some of the most sentimental items a person can own.
But with the average cost of a wedding dress in 2021 sitting at £1,300, according to research by Hitched, many brides are trading in their gowns for cold, hard cash.
This is because, outside of being sentimental, defunct wedding dresses are often left to simply collect dust.
‘My mum bought my wedding dress for me with the full knowledge I was going to sell it after the wedding,’ says Zoe Lacey.
‘I couldn’t think of anything worse than a dress living in a box getting eaten by moths and never worn again, and was happy to sell it on so that it could get worn again.’
Business owner Emma Morgan also decided to sell her wedding dress because, strapped for cash, she had also bought a pre-loved gown.
‘I wore it, loved it for the day, but wasn’t interested in keeping it stored away,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.
After getting her dress professionally cleaned, she sold it on eBay, even managing to turn a profit.
‘I think reusing wedding dresses is a really sustainable way to shop, and much cheaper.’
Should you resell your wedding dress?
On whether or not you should sell your wedding dress, you need to think about a few factors.
If you’re struggling with money, getting even a fraction of the cost of your wedding dress back could be extremely helpful. Not to mention, it’s more sustainable in the long-run.
‘For some people, it just makes sense,’ says Zoe Burke, wedding expert and editor at Hitched.
‘You might not feel especially sentimental about it or have the space to keep it (wedding dresses need to be carefully stored to protect them!), so why not sell it on?’
Plus, there’s definitely a market for it: Hitched’s 2021 wedding survey found that 15% of respondents wore a second-hand or hand-me-down wedding dress last year.
If money is a concern, Zoe says it could definitely be worth it to sell your dress.
‘Especially as you will no doubt have your photos and videos of the day to remind you of it, but also as you are then allowing someone else the chance to have a beautiful dress that may have otherwise been out of their price range,’ she says.
‘But I would only recommend doing this if you feel really confident about the decision and know you won’t regret it.’
She adds that there’s absolutely no need to rush, after all, your wedding gown is more than just a dress and getting rid of it is a huge decision.
If you’re still unsure, you could try renting your dress.
‘Last year, we saw more than one in 10 brides choosing to rent their wedding dresses, and Google searches for rented dresses are up more than 130% this year, versus last year,’ says Zoe.
‘So we know it’s something that many brides are considering as a way to save money on their wedding days as well.’
How to sell your wedding dress
Use a reputable service
If you’re going to sell your wedding dress, Zoe recommends using reputable reselling services – and following their guidelines – to avoid being scammed.
‘I would recommend using an established reselling service to sell your dress on, where there are selling guidelines and regulations in place to protect both buyer and seller,’ she says.
‘If you’re exploring rental options, look at platforms like Hurr where individuals can rent out their own clothing through the app.’
She adds: ‘Make sure you follow the selling platform’s advice about how to sell it. Don’t be tempted to have a private arrangement where you’re at risk of being scammed.’
Where to resell your wedding dress:
Price it right
Pricing your dress may be difficult, but if you’re letting go of something sentimental, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a fair deal.
‘Look at reputable reselling platforms like eBay, Depop, Vinted etc, and do your homework,’ Zoe advises.
‘Have you seen any other dresses from the same brand as yours being sold? How much for, and in what condition? That will help you determine a price.’
If it’s been years since you bought your dress, Zoe suggests looking at similar dresses, either by the same brand or at the same price point, to see what they’re being sold for.
‘Don’t look too much at what they’re being sold for, though,’ she adds, ‘as that’s not always the same as what people are willing to pay.’
Don’t expect all your money back
Finally, although it is important to get a fair price, it might be unrealistic to get all of your money back – unless you’re lucky, like Emma.
‘I would say don’t expect to make all your money back,’ says Zoe.
‘You are very unlikely, even with a dress in pristine condition, to get close to the original value back for a second-hand wedding dress.’
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