Wedding Dresses

Good bride guide: How to sell your wedding dress after the big day

For some brides, the chance to earn a few bob back from their once-worn wedding dress is too good an opportunity to pass up - but how does one go about selling their dress and making a fair price for it? THEVOW.ie editor Karen Birney discovers...

Wedding dresses - big bucks for an outfit you'll only wear once, they say.

For many brides, splashing out on a fabulous dress is worth every penny, and although it might only be worn for one day, they know it'll remain pristine for years to come. Perhaps they'll sneakily try it on again in five years and wonder where the time went? Or maybe they'll break it out even further down the line when one of their kids enquires as to its whereabouts (and turns up in it to their own wedding?! Too far?!)

If you're more style over sentiment however, recouping some cold hard cash back after digging deep for the dress of your dreams is that way to go - in fact you may even have been thinking about it as you're weighing up whether to purchase it in the first place.

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If that sounds like you, you've come to the right place, as today we're taking a look at the best ways to make some money back from your gown, by selling your pre-worn, much loved wedding dress on to wow another day...

Sell your wedding dress online

SellMyWeddingDress.ie  - SellMyWeddingDress.ie is a dedicated re-seller of wedding dresses in Ireland, where brides can list their wedding dress by designer and size, and share photos of the dress for other brides-to-be to browse. Gowns on sellmyweddingdress range from €200 - €7500, and buyers can search by price, designer, size, silhouette, location and condition. There is a once-off payment of €24.95 for a basic listing on the site, while a premium listing will cost €34.95. Potential buyers can contact sellers through the site to arrange a viewing.

DiscountDesigner.ie - DiscountDesigner.ie specialises in re-selling pre-worn high end designer wedding dresses, matching buyer to seller - sometimes internationally. Dresses on the site are priced at 50% of their RRP. In order to list your designer dress for sale, sellers simply fill out a form detailing the dress designer, size and the price they paid for it, and can upload photos of the gown directly to their listing. It costs €50 to list a wedding dress for sale.

Online Classifieds - Sites such as DoneDeal.ie and Adverts.ie can be good spots for a little online car boot sale - including selling your dream dress.  To sell a dress on one of these sites, sellers are required to sign up first, from there ads can be listed for free for up to 30 days, or can pay €1 for a regular ad or to be bumped up the search page.

Facebook - Many local communities in Ireland have their own dedicated Facebook pages which can be a good spot and once it's in the group's rules, popping your wedding dress up there could be a good way to get it seen. Even if a local bride-to-be may not pick it up, it could be shared by others for a friend further afield. 

Related: Is it bad manners to sell your bridesmaid dress after the wedding (and do you tell the bride)?

Sell it through a bridal boutique

Timless Bridalwear - Selling new and pre-loved wedding dresses, the family run Timeless Bridalwear in Newtown, Trim offers newlywed brides the perfect opportunity to sell their dress on to others for a good price. To sell your dress with Timeless Bridalwear, it must be less than two years since you purchased it (you should have a receipt for proof!) and be in very good condition. To have your dress appraised, you will need to send a few details and photos directly to the store. Contracts and commissions are decided on a one-to-one basis, and one especially good aspect is the boutique doesn't require a service fee if the dress doesn't sell. For all the details, visit timelessbridalwear.ie/sell-wedding-dress

SellMyWeddingDress.ie has a small boutique in Corofin, Galway where they stock a selection of pre-worn wedding dresses for brides to visit and browse over the course of an appointment. To submit your dress for sale at the boutique it needs to be no more than three years old, be in excellent condition and be delivered by you directly to the premises. There is a €50 stocking fee (which covers insurance while the dress is in store) and commission is 25% of the selling price. If the dress is not sold within six months it will be returned. For more information visit sellmyweddingdress.ie

Discount Designer Bridal Studio in Killiney - Online store discountdesigner.ie also runs a small studio of carefully selected designer gowns in Killiney, Dublin, where brides-to-be can browse their discounted new gowns and second-hand designer dresses. When dresses are submitted to Olivia at Discountdesigner.ie, she appraises them and if she thinks it will sell though the studio, she will arrange to a date and time for the dress to be taken into stock. The fee for studio dresses is  €50 - €150 and commission is agreed in advance with the seller. For more, email olivia@discountdesigner.ie

Sell to a vintage or second hand store

Siopaella - If yours in an alternative designer wedding dress, it may find a home in one of designer exchange Siopaella's several stores throughout Dublin. Siopella specialises in designer clothing and accessories and while they are always on the hunt for a new or classic designer handbag, they could be interested in your wedding dress, or indeed your alternative wedding accessories, if it's a good fit for them. Simply whatsapp them a picture of your dress or accessories or drop by a shop for an appraisal and you can take it from there. For more about selling with Siopaella, visit siopaella.com/pages/sell-with-siopaella

Vintage stores -  If your dress was a very unusual or vintages style (bridal jumpsuits and separates will work here) bring it along to your local vintage store and see if they are interested in purchasing it from you. You may be able to strike a deal where they stock your dress for a few weeks and it it is not sold, give it back to you, however this is all usually done on an ad hoc basis. Even better would be to enquire with them before the wedding so you've something else ticked off the list for after!

Donate your wedding dress

If you would like to see your wedding dress getting a second outing, but aren't too concerned about making money yourself from it, a wonderful thing to consider is donating it to a charity shop to sell on to another beautiful bride.

While Irish charity wedding dress stores actually get most of their stock directly from designers and bridal boutiques, they can also take donations from patrons directly.

Three to consider are: Barnardos Bridal Rooms in Dublin's Dun Laoghaire and in Carlow and Oxfam Bride which has shops in Dublin and in Bangor, Co. Down and St Vincent de Paul on Terenure Rd North, Dublin.

Angel Gowns for Angel Babies is another very worthy place for your wedding dress to be passed on to. Run by a team of seamstresses, the Shannon Angel sisters transform old wedding dresses into tiny gowns for premature babies and those tragically stillborn. The Shannon Angels currently have several dresses they're working on, and don't need donations immediately, however if you keep an eye on their Facebook page you can find out when they require any more.

*Have we missed something? It happens. Let us know how you sold your wedding dress on over on our Facebook page!