Anyone can choose a wedding dress off the rack, but if you love history, tradition, and fashion, and you’re up for a challenge, shopping for vintage wedding dresses could keep you happily occupied for some time!
There are many advantages in choosing a wedding dress from a different era. What vintage appeals most to you - romantic, extravagant Victorian gowns, elegant New Look styles from the fifties, a touch of sixties Woodstock or a flamboyant dress from the eighties? If you’re considering a themed wedding, here’s your chance to get something authentic – and your fiancé might enjoy shopping around for vintage wedding cars from the same era! A vintage wedding dress will certainly be unique, so is a great choice if you want to be different on your wedding day. If you are looking to save money, vintage wedding dresses are often more affordable than custom-made dresses, or new dresses off the rack. Brides who appreciate beautiful fabrics and exquisite workmanship are as likely to find them in a vintage gown as a new one.
Vintage wedding dresses can be found in all sorts of places. Try local vintage shops and antique shops, or online vintage clothing stores – but remember that having a “vintage” label is likely inflate the price. Prices in charity shops are usually reasonable, especially for wedding dresses that were made in the 1970s and 1980s. Hunting through charity shops could be thrilling, with the prospect of the perfect vintage gown at a bargain price to spur you on!
We’ve prepared a list of hints and suggestions that might make your search for a vintage wedding dress a little easier.
- Be clear about your budget limit before you start looking. That way, you don’t waste your time looking at wedding dresses you won’t be buying, and you’ll avoid falling in love with something that’s way out of your price range.
- Find out the cost of dry cleaning wedding dresses in your area, and include cleaning costs in your budget. Even if it’s been kept under wraps, it will probably need to be cleaned.
- Keep an eye out for tears or stains. Stains that have been sitting on fabric for many years are hard to remove, and if a dress needs to be patched finding matching fabric might be difficult. If you do choose a vintage dress that needs repairs, factor in the cost a seamstress will charge.
- Whether you are visiting a vintage store or buying online, remember that standard sizes have changed over the years. Go by your actual measurements rather than the advertised dress size. These days we tend to be more heavily built and taller than our mothers and grandmothers were, so don’t forget to check the length of vintage wedding dresses. A clever seamstress may be able to adjust the size or length – at a price!
- Most fabrics are quite robust but fabric does tend to deteriorate over time so be wary of wedding dresses that are more than fifty years old or made from lace or light silk.
Vintage dresses are for brides who want something more than cookie-cutter wedding dresses off the rack. A vintage bridal outfit, vintage accessories and perhaps a vintage wedding theme are a chance to use your imagination, express your individuality and plan a beautiful, unforgettable wedding.