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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Economy

David Lewkowict

Atlanta, GA

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Once Upon a Wedding Dress

August 4, 2009 - 10:54 AM | by: David Lewkowict

It is the most expensive thing you’ll ever wear — once.  A wedding dress can cost the average bride to be upwards of $1000 according to a survey by theknot.com, but prices can go well above that.

Most dresses end up cleaned, preserved, and packed in a box in the back of a closet with the dream that your daughter will wear it.  Truth is, according to wedding experts, that rarely happens, because styles change and often it doesn’t fit.

Josie Daga created preownedweddingdresses.com in 2004 to help women turn their white silk into greenbacks. The site features more than 2500 gowns in every price range.  The idea for her site was hatched when traditional resale shops and online sites like ebay or craig’s list weren’t meeting the needs of brides wanting to save money and buy used rather than new. 

Candence Hester used the site to sell a dress that she purchased and didn’t like.  Jill Ryan bought the gown and says it helped her cut costs for her big day.

Hester says the biggest surprise in using the web to sell her dress was the sentimental connection formed with potential purchasers.  “Each girl that contacted me about my dress,” recalls Hester, “I really feel like that I created a sort of bond with them.  You know I wanted to make sure they would be as happy on their wedding day as I will be on mine.”

Emily Newman purchased her dress on ebay and didn’t like the experience so she launched OnceWed.com.  Her website is packed with ideas on how to save money on your big day with DIY projects and thousands of used gowns. ” If they can buy the same dress for 50% off even if it has been worn once and it’s in great condition, then why not take advantage of that,” Newman said.

Sites like Daga’s and Newman’s are the latest trend in wedding planning as budget savvy brides attempt to bring budgets under control in tough economic times.

Jill Meister, Editor-in-Chief at getmarried.com says, “Because gowns can range from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars and every little bit is helping brides these days. Especially when they can get gowns at deep discounts.”