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Tag: secondhand wedding gown

Even though we love wedding traditions like no one’s business around here, we can’t say it often enough: when it comes to wedding planning and budgeting, there are no requirements except what’s important to you, the bride and groom! Sometimes getting creative can be a great way to save money or cut costs in your wedding budget, especially when you can shift those savings to the things you’d rather prioritize instead. One idea for how to do that? Skip the brand-new wedding dress, and go with a consignment option!

After all, most wedding gowns have been worn once and then professionally cleaned, so the difference in wear-and-tear between a new and consignment gown is quite slim. And lucky for us, the South boasts some lovely consignment and sample bridal shops that offer the full bridal appointment experience so you won’t miss out on your showstopping “this is the one!” moment. One of our favorites is Meant to Be Boutique in Lexington, Kentucky, where they believe that regardless of how a dress got to their shop, a bride’s dream dress was always “meant to be” hers, and her shopping experience is their top priority! (At your appointment, you’ll have the entire shop to yourself to peruse with mimosa in hand!)

Meant to Be Boutique bride Natalie is one of many brides who didn’t intentionally seek out a consignment shop, but found one to be among the best local options: “It was more that I just wanted to check out the cutest bridal boutique in my town. I ended up being so pleasantly surprised with my experience!”

Aside from the potential savings, there are also reasons to consider a previously-loved gown. Buying off the rack is a great option if you have a short engagement and don’t have time to wait on a brand new dress to arrive from the manufacturer. Consignment shops also have a wide, ever-changing inventory of unique, one-of-a-kind dresses that are not limited to the current season’s availability! They’re also a great “green” option to reduce your wedding’s environmental impact.

Thinking of going this route? Bride Kathryn noted that, “There was mostly only one of each dress, so if I saw one I liked, I had to see if it was a size close enough to mine to make it fit with alterations.” Most dresses you fall in love with at a consignment shop will need adjustments, but as Kathryn said, “In my experience, every girl needs alterations, so it really doesn’t make much difference!” Bride Paige adds, “I wasn’t phased by trying on consigned dresses – I knew that Meant to Be wouldn’t accept anything that hadn’t been well-loved and cared for before coming into their shop.”

Just like at a traditional shop, it’s also important to shop with an open mind about designers and styles, since you won’t necessarily be able to find the exact dress you’re looking for on the rack. But if you do fall in love with a particular gown that may be out of your budget or no longer available, a consigned version of the dress may be your best option! That’s why Megan went with a consignment dress. “I shopped a few local bridal boutiques for my wedding dress, and of course I fell in love with a gown that was over budget. Instead of settling for another dress or cutting the budget for something else, I searched high and low for the gown and was able to find it pre-owned for less than half of the retail price! It was perfect!”

Remember that no matter how you and your dress found one another, all your guests will see on your wedding day is a gorgeous bride! Shopping consignment can be a wonderful way to stick to your budget while still wearing the dress of your dreams. Paige summed up her feelings on that topic well: “Whether the dress has been worn or never worn before, it is still a beautiful wedding gown. It’s also fun to think about a dress that not only gets to be worn once on a beautiful wedding day, but maybe twice.”

We’d love to know: did you wear, or are you considering wearing, a consignment wedding gown? I bought my dress new, but sold it to a sweet bride after my wedding, and like Paige, I was so happy someone else would get to wear her dream dress for half the cost!!

This post is sponsored by Meant to Be Boutique, our favorite consignment wedding dress store in the South. Learn more about them and find out how to make an appointment here!

emily Written with love by Emily

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So much of the time, there is beauty in simplicity, no? Such is the case with Ashley + Ross’s lovely morning wedding. Not wanting to break the bank, these two chose a few details to focus on — sentimental milk glass favors, arrangements assembled by the bridal party, kraft paper signage — and didn’t worry about the rest. We are loving Ashley’s David’s Bridal dress (which she bought secondhand, resulting in an even more impressive steal!) and Elisa B’s photographs from the day. Check back soon for part two!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. I had finished up college in Texas and opted to do the Trinity Fellows Program in Charlottesville, Virginia the fall after graduation. Lo and behold, Ross, who went to college in Virginia, decided to stick around and was in the Fellows Program, too! We were attracted from the get-go, but attributed it to friendship until the spring. One day, we went to a vineyard, opened a bottle, and talked it out – we liked each other and it was official! We didn’t rush it, we took our sweet time and every day of dating was wonderful! We had dated just shy of two years when we got engaged. It was perfect timing to make for a short engagement and a summer wedding!
Describe the proposal. Ross is in law school, so the school-year is quite busy for him, to say the least. Over his winter break, we talked more openly about when we might get engaged. After admitting that my ring was taking a little longer than expected to make, Ross suggested that we start planning the wedding a bit since he was more available and we could make the big decisions together. I was on board and we started scouting for a venue. The day that we went to our venue to sign a contract, I had tunnel-vision set on the money and details. Literally two minutes after signing some paperwork and making a deposit, Ross and I were invited downstairs to see some final display items for our consideration. I walked into a room, looked at the plates on the table and thought “those aren’t the dishes they described to us for our wedding,” then turned around to find Ross down on one knee! He proposed and I said yes! The room was the venue’s beautiful wine cellar and the table was set for two. We enjoyed the rest of our evening sharing a bottle of wine and a private dinner. I was so surprised, it was so very special, and we didn’t have a care in the world – our date was set and our venue was already booked!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Sentimental, simple and elegant.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Some of my accessories were vintage. My pearl purse was found by my mother at a yard sale in our hometown of in Texas. My handkerchief was a gift from my great grandparents when I was born, saved and treasured for my wedding day. And the abundance of milk glass, oh my! My mother started collecting milk glass when I was a child – her affinity rubbed off on me and I had always known in my heart that I’d use those special pieces at my wedding! A couple of years ago, milk glass emerged in the wedding industry as a trend, but I knew I’d still use it, not because it’s popular, but because it’s meaningful. My mom had so much milk glass that we were able to share the love – our centerpieces doubled as favors for guests to take home!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I had gone shopping for my dress a few times and though I had learned what silhouettes I liked best, I wasn’t finding something at my price point. One day, I spotted a dress that was only available online! I found it second-hand, but still new! It was a few sizes too big, but I took a risk and ordered it anyways. It turns out that it was a risk worth taking. My seamstress did wonders to make it fit and the dress was perfect for our summer morning wedding!
Describe your wedding flowers: White, white, white! And lots of hydrangeas! Our florist prepared the corsages and boutonnieres, but the rest were bulk flowers for us to tend to. The day before the wedding, my bridesmaids and I had a bouquet-making session in the morning and an arrangement-making session in the evening. The layers of white hydrangea, stock, alstroemeria and rose with touches of hypericum berries and waxflower, made with love by me and my dear friends, had me over-the-moon happy!

Photographer: Elisa B Photography // Venue: Collina Farm at Clifton Inn // Florist: Floral Designs by Jacquelyn // Wedding Cake and Cupcake Baker: Charlottesville Cupcake // Cinnamon Rolls and Gluten-Free Cupcakes: Hungarian Bakery // Caterer: Clifton Inn // Paper Products: Delphine Press // Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal via OnceWed // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: ARoyalWedding // Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden // Bride’s jewelry: TZTUDIO // Flower Girl Dresses: Crewcuts from J.Crew // Ring Bearer Shirts: Crewcuts from J.Crew // Groom & Groomsmen’s Ties: Jos.A.Bank // Hair and Makeup: Lora Elaine Cornhole // Rentals: CornChucker // Classical Guitarist: Rafael Scarfullery // Guestbook: Parkside Harmony

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Mary reply

    This wedding has made me swoon. Oh. My.

    Does anyone know where the bridesmaid dresses are from?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Mary! All of Ashley’s bridesmaids wore dresses of their choosing, so we don’t have sources. My apologies! They are lovely, though!

  2. avatar For The Little People | The Confetti Blog reply

    […] Row:,,, Bottom Row:, […]

  3. avatar A Bridesmaid's Story | The Budget Savvy Bride reply

    […] Photo Courtesy of Elisa B Photography via Southern Weddings […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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