Love Don’t Cost a Thing, or Does it Cost A lot, Selling Used Wedding Gear

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There comes a certain time in your life where it seems like all of your friends decide at once they want to get married. It’s a happy occasion but goddamn can it get expensive. Not everyone has a separate fund tucked away for Crate & Barrel purchases. Don’t get me wrong, weddings are a lot of fun. There’s free steak, shots of tequila, and Lionel Richie, you know, your typical weekend. But the price just to attend them adds up. There’s traveling expenses, wedding gifts, and for the bridal party, a fancy piece of clothing you wear ONCE. Bridal parties seem to be getting bigger and bigger these days, what with 9 bridesmaids and 9 groomsmen, it starts to resemble a color coordinated Mormon gathering. The only consolation is the fact that most brides seemed to have taken the hint that grown-ass woman don’t want to dress like matching dolls, and eschewed matching bridesmaid dresses. That being said, most of us don’t have floor length chiffon gowns just waiting for the right occasion hanging in our closets, so you’re going to have to shell out some serious cash either way. Since you can’t really rent a bridesmaid dress like you can with tuxes, here’s are few resources to pawn off those old ruffly-numbers to some other unsuspecting and cash-strapped ladies.

Wore It Once

Unlike eBay or Craigslist, Wore it Once deals specifically with special occasion gowns. Your listing doesn’t expire once you put it up and you don’t have to risk being low-balled by an auction. You get to post multiple photos and a detailed description and your listing doesn’t get lost among the thousands of listings most classified sites offer. Whether you’re looking to unload a bridesmaid dress, a wedding gown or even a prom dress ( I still have mine and don’t think sequins are in vogue anymore), you’re more likely to find the type of buyers you’re looking for. I wish I knew about this site when I was buying my bridesmaid dress since a lot of the selection is under $100, a bargain when you consider how much new ones cost. The only pitfall is you have to pay a $25 fee for the listing, but with this type of specialized search, you’re sure to turn a pretty profit, or at least make more money off of it than you would with it sitting in your closet.

Recycled Bride

Like Once Wed, Recycled Bride specializes in selling gently used special occasions gowns, but they also act as a marketplace for basically anything that’s used and wedding related. From groomsmen gear, mother of the bride dresses , table decor, and even wedding rings! (for those who prefer the internet to a trip to the pawn shop). The best part about RB is that is free to post any listings, so you can finally clear out all those satin slingbacks and cumberbuns that have been eating a hole in your closest. Their approach to recycling wedding apparel has a nice eco-friendly angle, with a portion of their profits going towards Global Green USA. After all, how many strapless satin dresses does this world really need. You just know there’s some bare-feet children in Indonesia churning out princess gowns everyday to make others’ dreams come true. Someone get Disney on the phone!

And if anyone is in the market for a floor length Badgley Mischka gown, call me!

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Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe

Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe

Laura S, left the "sixth borough" three years ago to settle in Brooklyn. After working at some daily rags, she now does writing on the side but still eats more Ramen then necessary. When she's not moving residences every 6 months, eating her way through every neighborhood, and trying every microbrew known to man, she is unsuccessfully rediscovering home economics. With her binging days behind her, she's now exploring new projects and rediscovering the city that she loves (although is still prone to sliding on her knees during a Prince karaoke set).


  1. Jessica Longo - Two-Bit Reporter
    August 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I’m a seasoned bridesmaid. I’d like to retire from the business completely but I’m not sure you can without ruining friendships. But seriously, making me pay to look like a french whore on your special wedding day isn’t going to exactly help our friendship either. Buuut, I digress. If you have bridesmaids dresses that aren’t covered in tears/tequila/mud after the wedding but don’t care about selling it either, the Princess Project (based in SF/Oakland) accepts dress donations and passes them on to high school girls who can’t afford a formal dress for Prom.

  2. Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe
    August 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks for the tip!