Before hitting any stores, the first place to go for a vintage wedding dress is your family. Scouring attics and closets of older relatives will probably produce something vintage. You might be surprised to find a dress that works, even if it wasn’t originally intended as a wedding dress. But imagine finding a vintage wedding dress that belongs to a relative. I wore my mother’s wedding dress, handmade in 1950 by a friend. It was stunning in its day and more stunning thirty-six years later when I wore it. And it didn’t cost a dime.
If you don’t live near your own family hit up your friends’ families. Most will be willing to either give you the old clothes for free, lend them to you or sell them to you at a small price. People are always willing to help out a bride-to-be.
The next place to hit, if you can’t find anything in Great Aunt Fanny’s closet, is used clothing stores, like Goodwill. You would be truly amazed at the stuff you can find in these stores. I’ve found clothes with tags still attached. Will you find a wedding dress there? You just never know what you’ll come across. Time is needed for searching these types of stores. You can’t go in and expect to just see something waving at you. You’ll have to dig through racks of clothes to come across anything worthwhile.
You might also try looking for vintage wedding dresses at yard sales. Again, here you might find something which wasn’t intended as a wedding dress but could work as one. I’ve seen a lot of awesome old clothes at yard sales and the prices can’t be beat. And if you don’t find anything, you’ve spent an interesting morning looking at other people’s things.
If there aren’t any used clothing stores in your area, the Internet is another alternative. There are plenty of people selling vintage clothing on Ebay. The price might be a bit higher than from a store, though when you factor in shipping and all that good stuff. Do a search online and you’ll come up with many places to start looking.
Another alternative, if you can’t find an actual vintage dress, is to look for something that’s fashioned after a certain decade. You can find a lot of different styles at a regular retail wedding dress boutique. There are also dressmakers out there who would be more than willing to help you design a vintage-look but of course, the price will probably be a high one.
With a little inspiration and a lot of legwork, you’ll find the perfect dress. Know what you want, be open to alternatives and have fun with it.