May 27, 2014 at 5:54 PM ET
Here's the thing about a wedding gown: You're only going to wear it once. So if you can save a bundle of money and get the designer look you want by buying a dress that's already been worn just time before, that seems like a pretty smart arrangement, doesn't it? (There's also something lovely about the idea of keeping the cycle of love going by passing along a dress worn at a wondrous occasion.) Score your dream gown — or sell it — using our list of the best places to buy a pre-owned wedding gown.
We love how the Once Wed website feels like a gorgeous wedding blog, complete with real wedding photos, vendor ideas and more. And of course, there are the amazing dresses: Shop by designer, like Vera Wang, Jenny Packham and others, with many hovering around 50 percent off the retail sale price.
Previously called Recycled Bride, Tradesy has a ton of lower-priced gowns in the several-hundred-dollar range, and a large selection of high-end designer dresses as well. The site also has a wide array of pre-loved accessories, like veils, jewelry, shoes and more.
Is there a wedding shopping roundup list on which Etsy doesn't appear? It's just such an amazing marketplace for all things bridal. And it's the perfect place to hunt for a pre-owned, vintage gown — particularly if your tastes tend toward vintage aesthetics, like '50s belle or '70s boho.
Preownedweddingdresses.com claims to be the first website to offer the service (and with a domain name like that, we're inclined to believe it), having launched in 2004. There are close to 20,000 gowns listed on the site, and search is easy and intuitive. Filtering by designer and price pulled up a gorgeous Vera Wang gown for just $150.
Wore it Once
The name says it all, doesn't it? Wore It Once is a marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of gently pre-loved gowns. There are currently around 900 gowns on the site, making it a smaller pool, but you never know where your dream dress might be waiting for you.