It sounds crazy to buy a thrift store wedding dress, but hear me out. Around September (or a little before), thrift stores start putting out the wedding dresses they’ve socked away for most of the year. They’re putting them out for people to buy for Halloween costumes, but a bride on a budget should really consider checking out some of these local thrift stores to see if they can score some major deals.  Sure, they’ll need cleaning, and maybe some alterations. But wouldn’t you rather spend $100 or less on the dress and then have it altered rather than spending upwards of $1000? Check out some of the brides below and what they found:

Thrift Store Wedding Dress Scores

A bride in Philadelphia found this Jacqueline Exclusives dress (on the left) at a Goodwill Boutique store for only $160 dollars. She says: “It’s a Jacquelin Exclusive gown #19875. I inquired as to how it ended up at the Goodwill with original tags (tags that say $1,495- holy shit) and I was told that it was a sample gown from a bridal store that no longer has that style. Upon my inspection, I think it’s in perfect condition. No missing jewels or buttons.. no weird stains or rips. It’s perfect! I paid around $160 for my gown and I seriously couldn’t be happier. It IS my size, but of course it’ll need a few alterations.  It has a chapel length train, I believe.”

It’s a freaking STEAL, I tell you.

Another bride found this (on the right) dress at a similar thrift shop, and apologizes for the cell-phone quality of the picture. As you can see it fits her absolutely perfectly and complements her figure. She couldn’t help but feel that it’s somehow ‘not okay’ to not buy an expensive dress. Like she’s not allowed to enjoy it because it was only $15 dollars at a thrift store. What? Friends were quick to assure her that it didn’t matter a bit, and she’d definitely feel more ‘bridal’ once she found the right veil for it as well as other accessories like shoes. Maybe even a rhinestone dress sash added could make it feel more like a wedding dress. Having your hair and makeup done as well goes a long way toward the whole look feeling special, and by that time, who cares what the dress cost?  Put that money toward your honeymoon, or the reception catering!

This bride found a gorgeous Tara Keely dress (on the left) at Goodwill for $36 just a couple of weeks ago in Atlanta (the Perimeter).

Apparently, there have been a lot of donations to thrift stores in the past from bridal shops getting rid of sample sizes or old stock. You don’t know what you might find, but you certainly won’t find it if you don’t get out and look. If there are people attending your wedding who might look down on you for not spending thousands, well, just don’t tell them.  It’s not their business.

Maybe those awful fitting room lights won’t show off all the stunning details of your thrift store wedding dress, but it’s definitely worth a shot.

2 Responses

  1. Beautiful, Budget-Friendly Bridal Wear

    […] Second, weddings aren’t always in traditional locations – beach weddings are always popular, but recent years have seen a huge increase in rural weddings with rustic charm. There seems to be no hard and fast rules for where you get married, which opens the door for a more personal style of dress. If you’re getting married outdoors on a ranch, it’s hard to feel like you should wear heavy Duchess satin and constricting foundation garments. As a result, brides have a much wider range of selection from which to choose, and there are so many varieties an…. […]


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