Purchasing a used wedding dress is an excellent way to save money, providing you with the opportunity to lay your hands on a high-end designer gown to look perfect in for your big day. Some find the notion of used wedding dresses off-putting but, when we stop and think, it really makes perfect sense. It's easy to pick up a wedding dress in immaculate condition at a fraction of its retail price. The gown has, after all, just been worn for a matter of hours, if, indeed, at all. Before we get sniffy at the notion of second-hand couture, let's consider how popular vintage clothes are these days. Sienna Miller and Kate Moss are just two fashion icons who are crazy about vintage dresses. Do we look to them and turn up our noses, or do we see women of taste wearing timeless, elegant classics? These gowns are literally works of art from a bygone age, full of the craftsmanship and attention to detail sadly lacking from today's mass marketed pieces. A vintage wedding dress give the bride a real wow factor, for the lady who likes to stand out from the crowd.

Hundreds of brides opt to sell their gown every year, be it to raise funds, save on space, or just for the simple reason that something so beautiful should not be stuffed in the attic never to see the light of day again. One thing you will always notice about the bride is that she is always very careful with her gown. Her dress is one of, if not the, most extravagant items on the wedding list, so she will go out of her way to take extra special care. The gown can be professionally cleaned, making it impossible to tell it from the original, except, of course, by the pricetag.

When choosing used wedding dresses, the first thing the bride should consider is not just which style she likes, but which will suit her best. She will need to bear in mind environmental factors. If she is uncomfortable, it could be written all over her face and spoil her big day. Keep in mind where the ceremony is to take place – if it's a hot in a hot climate, as is the fashion today for weddings abroad, think long and hard before selecting the full skirted dress, which could be suffocating under a tropical sky. Similarly, backless dresses are very en vogue, but remember that the photographer could take some time getting the best shots. You may not be so pleased with your choice after standing around in the churchyard for hours on a drizzly day in December!

A bride to be should not be scared to shop online – this is where we can pick up the greatest offers. She will probably have leafed through a pile of bridal magazines, even tried a few on, and already have a good idea of ​​what she wants. If long for that designer gown which is just out of your reach in the bridal shop, then this is your perfect chance. When buying online, never be afraid to ask the vendor questions. Be sure you know exactly what you're buying. Ask whether there is any damage to the dress, because it's sometimes hard to tell from the photographs, particularly if the damage is slight and the photos are small. Remember, when you buy online using PayPal, your rights as a consumer are protected, doubly so where you pay by credit card.

Ask the seller whether any alterations have been made to the gown. With ordinary clothing, we pick up our size 10s, 12s and 14s without a second thought. Nevertheless, although two women may be grouped together under the category of size 10, the chances are that their body shapes will vary greatly. You will probably want to engage a good seamstress to make sure your wedding dress is the perfect fit. You may also wish to consider buying a gown one size bigger than your own so that it can be adapted to fit you precisely.

Source by Lindsay Coope