The Preowned Wedding Dresses: Ways to Use It or Refuse Them

by K M

The Preowned Wedding Dresses: Ways to Use It or Refuse Them


preowned wedding dresses

preowned wedding dresses

The Preowned Wedding Dresses may be a very good option in our days. Weddings often bring out the best, most generous sides of our loved ones. Your friends and family are so delighted for your happiness that you may find yourself fielding an outpouring of offers of support and “donations” for your wedding efforts.

For instance, perhaps a beloved aunt has contacted you with an offer to “help you save tons on your wedding budget.” She wants you to have her designer wedding dress, which she spent a fortune on and was the talk of the town. Only problem? The wedding was in 1986 and, while lovely, the gown is not quite the style you have in mind for your big day. What do you do with an offer that is made with the best of intentions, but that puts you in an uncomfortable spot?

The offer of a family member’s passed on the wedding dress is wrought with emotion. When someone wants to share such a personal and sentimental item, an outright refusal may cause hurt feelings. It’s a tricky topic, but with care and consideration, you can navigate this situation so that everyone walks away feeling great!

Take Some Time

One of the first things you need to do is buy some time. Find out how declining this offer might affect your relationship and other family members. Graciously requesting a time to think about it and discuss it with your fiancé will allow you to gather your thoughts and maybe even find some alternative ways you can actually accept the offer.

Get Details

Finding out more details about the dress could make this a great one offer. The average cost for a wedding dress in 2024 is $1,505. Besides the expense, you can save a lot of time you would have spent searching for a new wedding gown—and time is a valuable commodity when orchestrating your big event.

Talk with the family and set up a time for you to actually see the dress in person, if possible. Pictures may not do it justice. Wedding dresses can be filled with exquisite elements, such as beading or lace accents, that may not photograph well.

There also is something to be said about a well-made dress. Its structure and material may be worth more than the thousands you could spend on a brand-new dress of lesser quality.

Plus, by taking the time to actually view it, you’ll send a message to the family that you truly respect the offer.

Now is the time to ask questions. Is this dress yours to keep? Alterations may have to be made. How does that sit with the dress’s current owner? Learn how much leeway you have in changing the dress to meet your style. Even though she’s offered you the dress for the day, your family member may want it returned, or be offended if changes are made. It is better to find this information out before you make any irreversible changes to her cherished dress.

Wedding Dress Alterations

With these considerations in mind, you should also know that altering a wedding gown can be very cost-friendly. The actual cost will be based on what needs to be changed and how difficult it will be to make those adjustments.

While costs vary regionally and depend on the material and nature of the alteration, here some alteration cost estimations:

  • Bodice – from $30 to $100 or more
  • Hem – from $80 to $200 or more
  • Sleeve – from $40 to $80
  • Bustling – $20 to $90
  • Pressing or Steaming – $40 to $100

Redesign to Modernize

Vintage dresses are quite trendy at the moment. All you might need to make a passed down dress work for you is to have a few carefully chosen updates to help it look fresh and modern enough to not be “costume-y.”

Some of the easiest and most updated restyling changes a wedding dress may need are a modernized neckline, sleeves, hem, train, and color.

Keep in mind, redesigning and altering are two different things. Alterations may take weeks, but a redesign could take several months. Locating a reputable seamstress and discussing what you want to keep and what must go will give you an idea of how long it may take.

Using a Part of the Dress

Upon examining the dress, you may find that you absolutely love the bodice or the beading overlay or the silk train. You could use a part of the wedding dress as an addition to the one you’ve already had your eye on. This would not only fulfill the something old requirement but could satisfy your family member’s desire to pass it down.

Be sure to clarify this approach with the donor, as she may not want her dress disassembled to such an extent.

Declining The Offer

In the end, if you cannot find a way to incorporate a family member’s wedding dress, you may want to sit down with her and explain what your vision is for your walk down the aisle. She may be disappointed, but she’ll most likely understand that you need to be true to yourself in this area. A gracious decline will help you to feel comfortable in the final decision.

Whether the hand-me-down dress becomes a part of your wedding or you must pass on the generous offer, it’s comforting to know that someone cares enough about you to want to be a part of the special event. In the end, your tastes should reign supreme, and everyone should be able to respect that in time.

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