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7 tips to help you sell your wedding dress

The wedding dress is usually one of the most important things that reminds a bride of her wedding day. Nonetheless, it is a dress that is seldom worn more than once. Unless you plan to have a vow renewal ceremony wearing your original wedding dress years later, or wish to hand it down as an heirloom for the future generations, it will usually just be boxed and sit in your closet in the years to come.

Although most brides aren’t too eager to sell off their wedding dresses soon after they are married, many decide to let it go after a while. When you think that you’ve spent a huge amount of money on it, it is pretty sensible to recoup some of that amount by selling it. This money could be used to celebrate a honeymoon, or it could go into the family’s financial budget, wedding day debt or a similar need. Then there are also those dresses that are sold for other reasons. It could be that the marriage didn’t work out and the bride decides to give up everything that reminds her of it. Or, it could be that the bride wasn’t sure she wanted to wear the dress she bought, and so decided to sell it and buy another.

Either way, it would be a great favor to another bride who wishes to look splendid on her wedding day, but doesn’t want to or can’t afford to spend too much on her wedding dress. So, we can say that both parties are benefited by your decision to sell your dress.

Now, lets get on to the more important part of how you can make sure that your gown is sold, and get the best deal for it. Here are some tips that will help you sell your gown at the best possible rate.

1.Sell it as soon as is possible

You know how volatile fashion is. A design that is trendy and stylish today, may seem dated in a year’s time. Wedding dresses are no exception. There are very few designs that are timeless, and will always be sought after. So, once you decide to sell your gown, it only makes sense to do so as early as is possible. The Green Bride Guide mentions that used gowns will have a good resale value for up to 2 to 3 years, after which their worth starts dwindling. This means that you shouldn’t leave it lying around in your closet for too long after your wedding, if you wish to get a good price off it. If you sell it within the first year itself, you can recoup most of the money you spent. Remember that selling off a gown when the style is still current means you will have more buyers looking at it, and this will potentially improve your chances of getting a good price. However, if you have a dress from the 80’s or 90’s to be sold, don’t hesitate to do so. These are considered vintage and in great demand by brides who choose vintage wedding themes. Just spend some time to research the details, and you can decide on the price accordingly.

2.Prepare your gown by having it professionally cleaned

Don’t make the mistake of believing that another bride will take over your gown just the way it is, after you have worn it. You will have to get it cleaned professionally so it is in top shape, if you want it to be sold. Every wedding gown should be dry cleaned and boxed, so its look is preserved and it isn’t prone to yellowing or damage from the stains that have set in from it’s one-time use. If you intend to sell off your wedding gown, make sure that it is quickly sent to a professional wedding gown cleaning service soon after your wedding. The longer you take to get it to a professional cleaner, greater the chances of the stains setting in and becoming permanent. If you will be going away on your honeymoon, entrust the task to your bridesmaid, so it is cleaned promptly and all the stains are taken out. When your dress reaches the cleaners, they will carefully inspect every stain and every form of damage, and address it appropriately. When a potential buyer sees a clean dress, they get the idea that you’ve taken care to preserve it. Immediately, the dress becomes more attractive. This will help you negotiate your price and get a better deal. So, don’t skimp on this part, as it will be worth the money you spend on cleaning. To read all about cleaning and preserving your gown, check out this link on Best for Bride.

3.Decide on the price to list

Be sensible about the price you expect from selling your gown. In general, a gown that is less than 3 years old and is in excellent condition can fetch you close to fifty percent of the price you spent on it. You can get a expect a slightly higher return on designer gowns, as these are in greater demand. There is an online tool on the Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses website, that allows you to calculate your wedding gown’s worth. You can check it out here. What this calculator does is to compute the value of your second-hand wedding dress, by asking you to input information like the designer collection it belongs to, age of the dress, original price, the condition it is in and whether it has been cleaned after use. It will then not only give you a realistic price that you can expect for it, but also provides you a list of real examples of sold and currently on-sale gowns that are identical to yours. You can thus obtain a starting price for your gown and plan your sale around it.

This article on the Daily mail also provides some real examples of how this tool’s calculated values for various gowns correspond to the actual price they were sold at. One of the examples on this link mentions that the bride who made a purchase did so because she was under a time constraint to find the designer gown she wanted. So, buying it second-hand made more sense. In such cases, you can usually get slightly more than what the calculator suggests as your sale price. Also remember that although you may list a certain price when you decide to put it up for sale, be prepared to sell it off if a customer offers you a price that is close enough.

4.Look at both online options as well as boutiques to sell it at

Don’t limit yourself to just one of these options. Since your chances of selling it off are equal in either case, make sure you explore both. Your immediate destination may be eBay and Craiglist, but there are also websites specifically catering to second-hand wedding dress sales. These are Still White, Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses.com and Nearly Newly Wed.com.  These websites usually have a one-time listing fee, but allow you to keep your advertisement on till the dress is sold. Since these are online destinations that many to-be brides frequently visit, it improves the chances of your dress being picked. So, it is worth the nominal listing fee. The other option you can consider is going through consignment wedding shops and boutiques that offer dress rental services. These shops may be prepared to do an outright purchase of your gown for a fixed commission. If you buy your wedding dress from a shop that also buys used wedding gowns, you may like to obtain a quote for how much they will pay you if you sell it back to them. One of the advantages of doing so, or even using the second hand dress price calculator, is to budget for your wedding dress accordingly. If you factor in the price you can get on the sale, your dress will seem to be more affordable, as you will actually be paying only the difference amount and still get the look you desire.

5.Make sure your listing is complete, accurate and informative

Brides who seek second-hand gowns want to find out all they can about the listed dress. This allows them to compare options and pursue the one that looks best. So, make sure your advertisement caters to this expectation. Provide all the details you can about the dress, including the model number, color, collection, year of manufacture and where you bought it from. Also list the original price, so they get a fair idea of what you actually spent on the gown. Additionally, if you had any alterations done, this information should also be provided. Remember that not all alterations are reversible. So, specify how it is in your case. It will also help if you mention whether you had the gown personalized with any extra details. Since this will usually alter the original look of the dress, it will help to state this upfront than have to say this at a later point of time.

6.Add both original and actual pictures of the gown

An attractive picture immensely helps your listing. So, make sure you search out the original picture from the designer and add it to your advertisement. Brides also want to see how the gown compares to the picture, and more importantly how it looks after you’ve used it. So, it will be good if you can include a picture of the gown on a mannequin, after it’s been cleaned. Also add one or two of your best wedding day pictures to help them see how it looked on you. Make sure that you upload only good quality photos of high resolution. It should be clicked under good light, and the dress should be highlighted beautifully. If there are attractive motifs like embellishments or signature design elements that make the gown attractive, add pictures of these too. Also, remember to include pictures of the gown taken from the back. If there are any damages that couldn’t be rectified during cleaning, make sure that you mention these and where possible, add pictures of them. Your potential buyers can understand the extent of damage based on this, and can decide if it will affect their decision. Just think of what you would like to know when you have to buy something as important, and tailor your listing to meet these expectations. This will improve your chances of making the sale.

7.Welcome buyers to come and inspect the dress before buying

A bride who has to shell out a huge amount of money for her wedding dress will do so only after she is certain it is the right choice. With so many online frauds, they usually choose to check it out in person, before proceeding with the transaction. Be prepared for this. You can discuss your availability and convenience with a buyer, so they can come and check the dress to make sure they are satisfied. Some buyers may want to try on the dress prior to buying it. It is up to you to decide whether you think this is alright. Buyers who usually come all the way to check out dresses are usually serious about it. They may proceed with negotiations and buying it on the spot if they are happy with what they see. So, if you have an appointment lined up, make sure you know your limits so you can make the right decision, should the opportunity arise.

With these tips, it is likely that you will have no trouble selling the wedding dress that served you so well. Remember that when you do so, you are gifting another bride a magical chance at feeling as fantastic as you did on your special day. And if you aren’t certain you want to buy a wedding dress yourself, consider renting your own. Our rental services at Best for Bride feature a great selection of designer wedding dresses at a fraction of the original cost. You can always make your wedding day dreams come true, without the hefty price tag attached to it, by opting for this route. Visit our Rental Services Page on Best for Bride to find out more about this option.

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10 things to do before you go shopping for your wedding dress

Wedding dress shopping is one of the most anticipated wedding tasks for most brides. After all, the day you get married is the most important day in your life, and your wedding dress plays a huge role in helping you look great for it.

Many brides dream about their wedding dress and wedding day, right from the time they are little girls. Although their ideas of fashion would have changed over the years, the excitement of wedding shopping always thrills a would-be bride.

Being prepared in advance will help you enjoy your wedding shopping to the most, and help you find the dress you want easily. Here is a list of what you should do in advance, before you start with your wedding shopping. Make sure to follow it, and you will be set for the best shopping experience of your life.

1.Fix the maximum price

Let’s get the money part sorted out first. Everything about your wedding depends on the money you can afford to spend on it. Before you even think of going shopping, you should have a definite idea of how much you can spend on your wedding gown. Wedding gowns come in all price ranges, so define your upper limit. Then, you will not waste time on gowns that you cannot afford, or even worse, fall in love with a dress that is way over-budget. Another thing to remember is that if you already know your budget, you can do your research online and shortlist gowns you like. You can then choose a bridal shop that stocks the gowns you like.

Don’t believe that you have to settle for a gown in the shop you visit. You can always shop elsewhere if the boutique doesn’t have a good collection within the range you can afford.

There are several ways to work on a budget and still get a fabulous gown. Clearance sales, dress rentals, discount vouchers and offers make it possible to buy a gown at a price much lesser than its original cost. We suggest that you check out this article to learn more about how to make the most of your wedding dress budget, and also learn about all the expenses will be included in the final price.

2.Decide on the style of wedding

Not all gowns are suitable for every type of wedding. You may look out-of-place in an elaborate ball gown, if you are getting married at the beach. So, plan your venue and style of wedding long before you begin searching for your wedding dress. You have to consider whether certain dress features may be inappropriate for the style of wedding you have planned. For example, if you are getting married in an orthodox place of worship, wedding dresses with low cut necklines or revealing fabric may be inappropriate.

Check out these finer details before you embark on wedding shopping, so you do not have to alter your decision after you place the order. Your wedding dress should also tie with the theme of the wedding and match the formality of the event. If you have planned a classic wedding, a full train and veil may be necessary for your dress to match the style. So, consider all these factors before you start looking for your bridal gown.

3.Plan who accompanies you when you go shopping

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Although the final decision of what you wear on your wedding day is up to you, the people who accompany you on your wedding shopping can significantly influence your decision. So, it is not a small matter deciding who comes along. Don’t feel obliged to invite everyone on your bridal party or include all the women and men who think they should be part of your entourage.

Our experience is that the smaller the entourage, the better it is. Too many cooks spoil the broth, and this is accurate where wedding shopping is concerned. On many occasions, we have we seen a bride walk in knowing what she wants, only to end up being confused by differing opinions and ending up totally lost. When choosing your entourage, make sure they are people who share your taste for fashion and who have your best interests at heart. They should be encouraging and not dismissive of any choice you finally make. If you feel bad for not including all the women who wanted to go shopping with you, you can still invite them to come along when you go for your fitting sessions.

4.Have an idea of what style you want

Wedding dresses come in hundreds of styles and with distinct features. You can quickly get lost in a whirlwind of options, if you go shopping without a rough idea of what you want. So, it is helpful to be prepared.

Start with understanding your body shape and then looking at silhouettes that flaunt your best features. Our previous article on how to choose wedding dresses according to body shape will help you in this direction. Apart from understanding what silhouette will look good on you, you should also consider the choices in necklines and sleeves when making a selection. Do you want to go with trendy styles like off-the-shoulder necklines and sweetheart bodices, or are traditional styles like Queen Anne necklines and three-fourth sleeves more suitable for your taste? Take your time in determining this, as this will help you make your dress decisions much faster, when you actually go shopping.

If there are certain features that you have liked in pictures, it is a good idea to collect them and take it with you when you go shopping. Your consultant can help you identify a similar dress easily, when you can show them what you seek. Remember to keep the venue and weather at the time in mind, when you plan your choices. You can also consider add-on accessories like sleeved mock boleros or waistbands to achieve the desired look, or simply for more style.

5.Decide on where to shop

No one will stop you from visiting all the bridal stores in town before you make a final decision. But trust me, it can get boring and disappointing after a while. So, where you shop is an important decision when you want to enjoy the experience. We think you can make this decision easily by paying attention to the following factors.

  • First determine the list of dresses that you want to try by checking online or in magazines
  • List down the shops that carry most or all of these dresses
  • Check for reviews on the service that these shops provide
  • Call up to make sure these dresses are in stock
  • Book your appointment and keep to it

But, what if you do not have a specific dress in mind? Then go by the reviews of the shops you shortlist. A good bridal salon will have a number of designer collections, that you can choose from. Also, the quality of customer service is very important if you want to enjoy your shopping experience. Talented bridal consultants can help you find the dress in no time. So, pay close attention to this factor. Either check with your friends for recommendations or go with online reviews. Also consider whether the salon has dresses within your price range, before you even book your appointment.

6.Plan to go shopping at the right time

The best time to shop is when there aren’t many people around. So, cross off weekends and evenings. Plan your shopping appointment on a weekday, when the boutique you visit will not be crowded. Don’t worry about taking a day off work, it will be worth it. Going into a shop when it is crowded is not only tiring, you may even end up making a wrong decision without exploring the alternatives.

We also suggest that you book your appointment in the morning, when the attendants will be fresh and attentive. If you plan to pick your dress during a sale, visit on the first day by all means. Nevertheless, don’t hasten your decision if you aren’t one hundred percent sure this is the dress. Think over it, and return once you make up your mind.

Designer Kelima K, in this article on Whattowear.com, is correct in suggesting that brides should start shopping at least six months in advance.  Shopping when there is just four months or less till the date is considered a rush order, and the charges may be higher to get things done on time.

7.Book an appointment

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You can always walk into a store to shop for your bridal dress. However, you should remember that if there are other brides who have booked an appointment, the boutique is bound to serve them first. So, eliminate the possibility of having to wait by booking yours too. Most bridal shops, including Best for Bride, allow you to conveniently book your appointment by telephone or online.  Both methods are definitely better than a boring wait on the day you go shopping.

When booking an appointment, you can also instruct the boutique to keep any specific dresses that you want to try on, ready. Although they may advertise all designer dresses as available it isn’t necessary that they will always have it in stock. So, if you check in advance, it will be easier to try on what you like in the closest size, at the appointment than go in for it again.

8.Carry the required accessories

A nude bra is a basic necessity that you should carry with you when you go shopping. Apart from this if you think you will be wearing shape wear, and already own some, take that along too. Wearing it with the dresses will help you gain a much better picture of how a dress will drape on your body. So, don’t skip these essentials.

Additionally, if you will be wearing any heirlooms, or have shoes, veils, jewelry or other accessories that you will be using on your wedding day, take them along. This way, you can choose a dress that goes well with these accessories, and not have to worry about how to mix the two together after you buy the dress.

9.Dress yourself up to look good

Well, you always look good! So, let’s be more specific. Like this article on the Bustle suggests,  it is a good idea to dress yourself up a little, so you look good when you try on wedding dresses. Basic makeup and a neat hairdo is all that is necessary, but it will make a big difference. If you wear your hair similar to how you intend to do at your wedding, you can better understand how your overall look would come together. This can help you choose between dresses, if that is what confuses you during your appointment.

Once you decide on a dress, you should do your trial hair and makeup session on one of the days you have your dress fixing appointment. This will give you a clear picture of how your look comes together, and leave you time to make any changes if you aren’t satisfied with what you see.

10.Prepare yourself to be surprised

Lastly, always expect the unexpected when you go wedding shopping. Of course, I mean this in a good way! Don’t be too fixated on what you should buy, and what will look good on you. Trust your bridal consultant and don’t hesitate to try on a dress she suggests. Having been in the business for so long, bridal consultants have seen many a bride walk in saying this is what she wants, but go back with an entirely different choice that blew her mind. This is because bridal consultants know the difference between how a dress looks on a frame and how it looks on the hanger. So, make use of their expertise and allow them to recommend dresses they think will be best for you.

So, you now know all you have to, before you start shopping. Now, go on and have a great time! And don’t forget to continue visiting us on Best for Bride for all that you ever wanted to know about wedding planning, shopping and everything in between.

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Things to remember when booking your wedding photographer

wedding-628515_1280Your wedding day may pass too quickly, but photos of the event will help you remember every detail of the day for years to come. Hence, the relevance of a wedding photographer cannot be overlooked. In the hands of a professional, your wedding memories are safe, and captured as you wish to remember them.

There are various styles of photography available today, and not all styles may appeal to you equally. Find one that suits your taste, and ensure your wedding pictures will recreate the magic of your wedding day, every time you look at them.

Once you choose the style of wedding photography – traditional, photojournalistic, the mix of both or artistic, it is time to find the photographer to handle the task. Here is a checklist of things that will help ensure that you find the right photographer and freeze your wedding memories perfectly.

First and foremost, plan your budget

As with all other vendors, different photographers have different rates. Before you start your search, you should know how much you can afford to spend. There are great photographers who can do your job beautifully, without your having to spend a fortune on it. Start early, and you will have time to find the right candidate for the job.

Obtain reviews of the service from previous clients

Don’t be taken in by smart advertising and pictures that are available on the photographer’s website. Check with clients who have actually used the photographer, and ask them for their opinions on the service provided. If you are satisfied with what you hear, book an appointment with the photographer.

Ask to see a range of pictures

Photographers will usually have a set portfolio, which they share with their clients. While this allows you to get a fair idea of the quality of work, you should also remember that these are usually the best ones they’ve taken. So, ask for more pictures than what is in their portfolio. Or, ask them if you could have a look at a previous client’s album. You can get a better idea of their style and ability by looking at more pictures.

Discuss, clarify and question

Ask what all pictures your package will include. Discuss the available options, take time to create your own list of must-have photos, which will include the list of group shots you want and share it with the photographer. Most good photographers will be ready to accommodate their client’s requests, but make sure you check this is, before signing your contract. Share the timetable of your wedding day, and tell your photographer where he should be at a specific time, so he doesn’t miss any of the special moments on your big day.

Get it in writing

Make sure that you include every single detail in your written contract. There should be clauses regarding how emergency situations will be handled, when and how the photographer’s fee will be paid, when you will receive your prints and the total price including all overhead costs. If you make any further changes to plan, add it to the contract and have your photographer countersign it. This will help you get the service you signed up for, without any hassles.

For more wedding tips and advice, and for all your wedding needs, visit us at Best For Bride.