Buying A Used Wedding Dress Online (Safely)

Sometimes your dream wedding dress can be just a little bit out of reach when it comes to price.  Buy today’s smart bride know she can find her perfect gown for less, in the PreOwned market.

Vera-Wang-Katherine-172915          Berta-Bridal-14-20-119272

Since 2004, we’ve helped thousands of brides find their perfect dress at an affordable price. And we love that.  Buying online, through our site, or any other online option, can be safe and secure if you follow three simple rules.

1. Do Your Homework
With google, it’s easy to find out the retail price of the item you want to buy.  Your seller will tell you, but you can also validate this information independently with a few quick keystrokes. And any other information you want to find out about the item can easily found online too.

2. Don’t Wonder. Ask.
Most often, your seller will happily answer any question you have.  She loved the dress and wants you to be happy with your transaction.  Ask her questions about the fit, fabric, alterations or any imperfections on the dress.  Ask your questions upfront to avoid any surprises later.

3. Transact Safely
Always use a secure payment method. We only recommend Paypal or because your transaction is protected and both offer a mediation channel in the unlikely event of a transaction dispute. We never recommend checks or wire transfers in any circumstance. Of course, cash in person is a great option too.

And like your mother always told you, trust your gut. Inbal Dror for $2300?  Berta Bridal for $2,000?  If something in the back of your mind is telling you the price is just too good to be true, it is a good a reminder to follow the three rules above.  Buying online is very safe, and legitimate sellers will always be willing to following these guidelines.  Be watchful for sellers who try to get you to deviate from them for any reason.

The following email addresses are of sellers who regularly attempt fraud via wedding dress resale. Do not transact with:

At, we love helping brides buy, sell and save.  And we’re committed to helping them do it safely.  Have a question?  Reach out to our team anytime, and we’ll be happy to answer.

Happy wedding dress shopping!

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“I Found My Wedding Dress in the Men’s Section at Sears”

Finding your perfect wedding dress is an emotional experience for every woman.  When your wedding planning coincides with a major life challenge, it can be even more so.  Recently, we received an email from a lovely buyer named Katie.  We were so touched by her story we asked if we could share it here.  Read on to find out how she found her dream dress. In the men’s section at Sears.

Katie's Wedding Dress

I was 18 years old when my oldest sister Julie got married. I remember going with her to the bridal store to help her find a dress with my other sister, Nicki. There were tears when she found “the one.” From that day forward, I waited for my turn – the day I could try on white dresses for my sisters.

I felt like it took an eternity to find myself a husband, then one of life’s curveballs had me planning a wedding in a hurry. Shortly before I started treatment for Stage IV uveal melanoma, my then-fiancé Nick and I decided we just wanted to be married…now. I could get married in jeans and a sweater for all I cared. Meeting him at the end of the aisle was all that mattered.

Okay. I lied.

I increasingly compared the wedding I’d always dreamed of to the wedding we were having. He was all that mattered; that part was true. But there were some little things I still wanted to be just right, like wearing a gorgeous gown – and taking his breath away on our wedding day.

After accompanying me to New York City at the start of my clinical trial, Nick had to return to Denver one Sunday night to go back to work. I wouldn’t see him for 27 days. Upon returning to Denver, we would have two weeks and one day until the big day. We had six weeks to plan a wedding, so I delegated most of the planning to my incredible family and friends. When you have the bride card AND the cancer card, it’s amazing what you can get away with.  

It would be a winter wedding – not what I ever pictured – and small, held in the wine room of a restaurant surrounded by a couple dozen immediate family members and a few close friends. It was much of what I wanted, just on a smaller scale (although not that much cheaper).

“Is it at all possible to find a wedding gown in six weeks?” a voice in my head kept wondering. I had always planned on wearing my mom’s wedding veil. And that would just look silly with jeans.

The night Nick left, I took a gander at dresses online. A bridesmaid seven times over, I had seen my share of brides go through the planning process. I had seen enough to know you can’t find, order, and alter a wedding dress in only six weeks. And even if I did have time, I had no idea what I wanted.

I googled “used wedding dresses.” The results included Hmmm. “Well that certainly sounds classier than used,” I thought to myself.

The site allows you to search by size, style, color, location – you name it. So I tested it out. I didn’t limit style or color (mostly because I had no idea of my preference), but I searched my size within a 25 mile radius of Manhattan.

Three dresses appeared. Two of them were an immediate “No.” One of them was beautiful. I messaged the bride, carefully, as my characters were limited. Katie's PreOwned Wedding Dress

My profile listed my location as Denver. Not realizing I was currently based in NYC, the owner of the dress wasn’t quite sure how I would “try it on.” She signed her name, Anna.

My mom’s name was Ann, and in the 18 years since she passed away, I’ve found her talking to me in ways like this – lately, more than ever.

I told this Anna my story.


I wasn’t sure if it was possible to see dresses/try on before purchase. I’ve never used this site before. I got engaged on Thanksgiving and was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma the same week. We are moving up our wedding to Feb 22 (not a lot of time!!!). I still want to have a nice dress, I just don’t have time to order/alter one. I’m living in NYC getting treatment for the month of January, and then will head back home to Denver. Your size/specs would probably fit me (I’m 5’4″ and have a torn ACL, so can’t wear heels – I’m a hot mess :)). Anyway, if that’s not a possibility, then I understand. I just wouldn’t want to buy a dress only to find it doesn’t fit. I did a search by zip code and your dress came up as close by. Let me know if that’s a possibility!


Christina, my best friend since first grade, was coming out to meet me in New York in two weeks. If I could time it right, it might be possible to meet Anna with Christina by my side. Sarah, my other best friend since kindergarten, was overlapping with Christina for one night. If I could really time it right, I’d have one on each side.

I was also reviewing other options. J.Crew, for example, makes beautiful wedding dresses that you can order in your size and get in a couple days. The company also has three stores in the country – one in New York – where you can actually go in and try on the dresses. Suddenly, getting treated for cancer in
the most populous city in the country had some advantages.

I called the store to set an appointment. “Miss, we don’t have any openings until the end of February.” That doesn’t really help me when my wedding date is February 22. I took a deep breath, and told my story again.

“How about January 24 at noon?”

Perfect. Christina was there that day. 

“I’ll take it,” I said, thanking her profusely.

Meanwhile, Anna had confirmed a Sunday evening meeting for January 25, the day Christina and Sarah’s visits would overlap.

I liked so many J.Crew dresses listed online I even contemplated canceling on Anna. I wasn’t quite sure how we were going to get to her, as she lives outside the city. One additional concern: I had developed a rash on my chest and neck, a lovely side effect of the trial drug. Would a strapless dress even work?

If nothing else, I figured, it would be an adventure.

Christina and I set out on Saturday morning. J.Crew was great. They were very helpful, and it was so fun trying on all the gowns. One dress stood out. It was simple, elegant, and perfect for the venue. And it would go perfectly with my mother’s veil.

They took my measurements and recommended me for two sizes. Again, I found myself contemplating canceling on Anna, but some part of me wouldn’t allow it. I would wait until after seeing her dress before placing my order with J.Crew, I decided.

I still had no idea how we were going to get to Anna. She lives at least 30 minutes north of Manhattan. I told her it would be easiest for us to take the train, and she suggested the mall off the White Plains exit. I think meeting in a public place made us both more comfortable. The total fare was $51 roundtrip for all three of us, and taking the train was way safer than midwestern girls taking to the roads of Greater New York City.

We got to the mall early and wandered around for a bit. At 6:15 p.m., Anna texted us to meet her.

That’s how I ended up trying on my wedding dress in the Men’s Department at Sears.

We popped into a large, stand-alone dressing room. Christina and Sarah helped me get into the dress and as they zipped it up, I looked in the mirror, made a funny face, and started saying, “shit shit shit shit shit…”

Sarah asked, “You don’t like it?”

Christina, who knew I had really liked the J.Crew dress, replied, “I think she loves it.”

We deliberated for probably 15 minutes. I had withdrawn the $300 it was selling for out of my bank account in case I wanted to buy it. The dress was gorgeous. It was me. And it fit me like a glove. No alterations required.

But I wasn’t sure how it would go with the veil, and I still liked the simplicity of the J.Crew dress. Crap.

I decided to go for it. Even though I wasn’t 100% sold, I figured I could always re-sell it online. And if I did end up wearing it, I would have the added bonus of being able to tell people I bought my wedding dress in the Sears Men’s Department. I do love a good story.

Anna came back into the room. When I told her I wanted to buy it, she talked me down to $200. We had made the trip up, she pointed out. I attempted to argue then gave up easily seeing as she was haggling down.

Christina, Sarah, and I giggled like the schoolgirls we once were the entire way home. Sitting on the train reminded us of the eight years we rode the bus together in grade school – only I was towing a giant wedding dress folded up into a Container Store bag.

Still on the fence, I thought: if I buy the J.Crew dress, I could still have the day where I try on white dresses for my sisters. So I ordered the one dress in two sizes and had them shipped to Nicki’s house.

I got home to my honey in Denver, and the next day, we went to Nicki’s. After five long weeks, I was aching to get my arms around my nephews and niece. Nick and my brother-in-law entertained the kiddos, while Julie, Nicki, and I snuck upstairs to try on dresses.

First, the J.Crew dress. The larger size was too big. The smaller size fit, but just okay. It would have required more than just a hem, and Nicki didn’t think it was very flattering. With just two weeks until game day, I didn’t have time for that.

At that point, I had a feeling Anna’s dress was the one. So I grabbed the veil and my cowboy boots and snuck into the bathroom to try on the dress with the full effect. I was so relieved when I walked into the room and saw tears, surprisingly from Nicki, the less sappy sister. Julie was more concerned with getting us all wine to celebrate. In the end, it was no contest.

1_Katie-Wedding-Dress 2_Katie-Wedding-Dress

I am so grateful to have found my dress and loved the adventure in doing so – first trying it on with two lifelong girlfriends and then getting the stamp of approval from my sisters.

Katie's Wedding Dress

But the best moment in that dress was seeing the unforgettable look on Nick’s face the first time he saw me on our wedding day.


That dress was made for me (and Anna).

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Maternity Wedding Dresses | Stunning PreOwned Options

Baby onboard! If you’re a bride with this happy news, you’ll have an extra glow as you celebrate your wedding day.

And when you’re shopping for your wedding gown, remember that empire waist wedding dresses are a pregnant bride’s best friend. Not only does the higher waistline accommodate a changing size (and take the stress out of last minute alterations) the fit of these gowns means that you’ll not only look stunning, you’ll be oh so comfortable all night.

There are so many gowns that would be perfect for an expectant bride.  Like these gorgeous PreOwned options:

Monique Lhuillier Heidi for sale on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.comUlla Maija Sophie for sale on
Monique Lhuillier Heidi
(left) | Ulla Maija Sophie (right)

Jim Hjelm 8900 for sale on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.comMarchesa wedding dress for sale on
Jim Hjelm 8900 (left) | Marchesa (right)

Jenny Yoo Mira for sale on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.comBHLDN
Jenny Yoo Mira
(left) | BHLDN (right)

Nicole Millier IM0004 for sale on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.comCasablanca 1935 for sale on
Nicole Miller IM0004
(left) | Casablanca 1935 (right)

Demetrios wedding dresses for sale on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.comBirnbaum-&-Bullock-Gwynethe
Demetrios CR 177 (left) | Birnbaum & Bullock Gwynethe (right)

Galina T3039 for sale on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.comAlfred Angelo for sale on
Galina T3039
(left) | Alfred Angelo 838 (right)

Start your search for your perfect wedding dress with our Advanced Search.

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How To Find Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Chances are, if you find yourself reading this article, you’ve begun the search for your wedding gown. Welcome to this fun journey! Of course, hunting for the perfect wedding gown can seem overwhelming and exhausting at times, so we’ve drawn up a handy guide with tips on how to find your dream wedding dress. From where to begin before you set foot in a wedding gown boutique to what to do once you’ve found the gown (SPOILER: stop looking!) we’ve got you covered!


Photo: Metasheep

Determine Your Bridal Style
Before you dive into the white sea of tulle, you might find it useful to just spend time thinking about what is important to you in your wedding gown and asking some questions. What style or designers appeal keep you coming back for a second look? What materials, length and even color do you like? Think too about your style personality. From The Romantic to The Siren, this post on different wedding dress personalities is a great tool to get you started.

Knowing the time of day and venue style for your wedding will also help guide your dress style.

Set a Budget
Early on in the search is a great time to set a budget for your wedding dress, before emotions get involved. There’s a dress for every budget, but don’t tempt yourself by trying dresses on that are outside of yours. Keep in mind too that many dresses go on to a second life and are resold to a new bride, just like here on PreOwnedWeddingDresses! It’s a great way to recoup some of your cash (or save upfront) and still enjoy an amazing bridal style.

Gather Inspiration
Maybe you’re not sure what your dream wedding dress looks like, so get inspired! Check out the PreOwnedWeddingDresses boards on Pinterest to get your fill of wedding dresses and start a wedding dress board for yourself. We’re always pinning something pretty, in all silhouettes, styles and budgets.  Watch to see the trends or patterns that emerge from your Pins….and you’ll see your bridal style come to life.

Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress |

Photo: ^ Missi ^

Time to Try: Inside the Salon
Make appointments at bridal salons as needed, six to nine months out from your wedding date, if possible. Weekends are the busiest times, but most bridal salons will have one night they are open late to work around your schedule. Bring a pair of comfortable shoes at the height you are thinking you might like to wear on your wedding day. Some salons suggest you wear a strapless bra to trials, but don’t buy a bra specifically for your wedding gown until you begin the fitting and alterations process. Don’t know your ballgowns from trumpets? Getting savvy on wedding dress silhouettes and shapes will educate you on the differences and make you feel like a pro.

Who (and What) to Bring
Gather a list key bridal party members, excited confidantes and trusted fashion advisors you’d like to bring along, but tailor the list to a select few.  Opinions are important, but too many cooks in the kitchen might cause confusion not clarity.

Make a day of your salon visits and combine the trip with a hair trial or spa day beforehand so you feel and look your best. Keep makeup to a minimum as it can damage the gowns, but wearing your hair like you think you’ll want it on your wedding day will help you envision the walk down the aisle.

Keep an Open Mind
Most importantly during the process, stay open minded. Bridal consultants are experienced professionals who can suggest what works best for certain body types and figures. Countless brides will tell you the dress they loved most was the one they were reluctant to even try on.

Visualizing alterations is important too. If all that separates a dress from your dream gown is sleeves or a certain neckline, they may be added or changed. The same goes for detailing like beading, crinolines and crystals, which often can be added (or removed) as well.

How to Know When It’s Your Dress
You just will. Monique Lhuillier says when you find the dress “it sings to you.”  You’ll feel your most beautiful, and look it too.

When You’ve Found the Gown
Once you’ve found the dress and put a deposit down – stop doing everything above! Be confident in your choice, and revel in the fact that that luxurious, delicious dress you found will be on hand to help you look amazing on your wedding day, perfectly tailored to your gorgeous curves.  Sleep easy knowing this happy part of wedding planning is now complete!

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