What to do with your wedding dress after the big day is a highly personal thing. Some women store it carefully in a box for future prosperity, while others don't want it taking up valuable storage space (plus it's a good opportunity to recoup some of the cost).
More and more brides are considering a second hand gown, especially when you consider some custom made dresses are priced around the $20,000 mark.
"Brides are so practical these days. So many of them can see the benefit of getting a massive discount on a gown just because it has been worn briefly by someone else for a few hours. Often we have brides that have had their eye on an amazing designer dress that they could not afford and sometimes the stars will align and we will have their dream dress in their size at a fraction of the price," Mandy Daddia from Savvy Brides told The Huffington Post Australia.
If you do decide to sell your gown, here are some of your options.
There's over 50,000 listings for wedding dresses on eBay in Australia, though some of those are ready made retailers as well as individuals. Gumtree has close to 15,000, most of which are people (not stores). The upside of selling on marketplaces like these is that you keep the full amount of the sale price, however be mindful that you'll most likely have people wanting to come to your home to try the gown on. You'll need to be very careful with makeup/tan and that the potential purchaser is roughly the same size -- any stains or damage endured while trying on will be at your cost.
Websites such as Still White and I Do Gownsofer maketplces for you to list your gown. The pros are that the sites are specifically dedicated to bridal wear (you can also list bridemaids dresses, shoes and accessories), meaning users usually mean business. Fees to list a dress for sale vary from $29-$50.
Savvy Brides in Sydney's Double Bay specialises in selling second hand wedding gowns (as well as new dresses).
"When gowns come in and we thoroughly inspect them to ensure they are in perfect condition. We want brides coming into our store to have a beautiful hand picked selection of gowns to look at and for it not to feel like they have to rummage through the gowns like an op-shop," Daddia said.
Gowns need to be dry cleaned and in pristine condition, less than three years old and not taken up too much to be sold at Savvy Brides. The pros are that you won't have people contacting you or strangers trying on in your home. The downside is that you'll be charged a percentage of the sale price for the service, though it's arguably worth it for the convenience.
"Generally after discounting their gown from the original price and deducting our consignment fee they receive around about 50 percent of what they paid," Daddia said.
While you won't make any money back with this option, donating your dress to The Angel Gowns is a very worthy cause. They transform wedding dresses into gowns for stillborn babies.
"We provide services to bereaved families who have suffered the unimaginable stillbirth or death of their baby, families who are or have gone through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or families who are impacted on by a child's life-limiting illness or special needs," their website states.
If your dress doesn't sell or you can't be bothered selling, this might just be the nicest plan B we've heard of.