The Pre-Loved Wedding

Vintage Vision

You probably can’t think ‘pre-loved’, without thinking ‘vintage’. The vintage wedding is a well-established phenomenon in the wedding world. But what is the definition of ‘Vintage Wedding’? The truth is, nobody knows, but that is totally the beauty of it. No hard and fast rules, no check-list, but plenty of Pinterest boards. The vintage wedding can be pretty much anything you want it to be. Vintage to me means history. The items chosen to celebrate a wedding are infused with past and special meaning. Surely, that mean items that are loved for what they symbolise. For many, vintage means floral, chintz and mismatched tea-sets. What better place to find these than at your local charity shop? You’re guaranteed to find them in good condition (they thoroughly check all their donations for imperfections), and you’re helping out a local or national charity at the same time – it’s a win, win.

Vintage Pearls

Budget Busting (in a good way…)

And that is one of the things that draws couples towards vintage. It is possible (though not requisite) to keep the budget low. Think Pre-Loved. Some people are loathed to use that ‘charity shop’ label, but more and more brides are looking to specialised charity shops to source their bridal gowns, as well as much, much more.

The advent of the Specialised Wedding Charity Shop is really something special though. Rather than trawling through a street-worth’s of them, where you may not find anything that works for you, you can walk into one and potentially find everything you’re looking for, often at a fraction of the price for what you’d pay brand new. Saving money and time – that’s a pretty good deal in my opinion…

70s dress

Recycling to Upcycling

Economical often goes hand in hand with ethical. Fair Trade and eco-conscious weddings are on the up. This is in response to increasing focus on our impact on the planet. Recycling is one of the key features of reducing our carbon footprint. There is no reason why this cannot extend to the wedding. The vast majority of bridal gowns and other paraphernalia found in the Specialised Charity Shops will have had only one, probably pretty careful, owner – recycling them for a second outing is a great way to help save the planet.

But you want your wedding to be unique, right? Recycling doesn’t necessarily remove that uniqueness, it’s the perfect opportunity to upcycle. It’s more than likely that the wedding gown that chose you, didn’t fit quite perfectly – you’re going to need some alterations, but why not add a few personal flourishes too. Vintage has the perfect answer to that: pearls, brooches, belts and braces – there’s a plethora of options for styling to your taste.

Charity Shop Window


A Lucky Charm?

It’s worth noting that, as I mentioned above, not everyone thinks that the pre-loved revolution should be celebrated when it comes to weddings. Many brides wouldn’t admit to wearing a second-hand dress. This is due to others somehow believing that they have the right to negatively judge those who do not choose to buy a brand-new dress. No one has the right to judge you on your choices – no one knows why you made your choice and nor should they have to. Remember this, your beautiful dress was more than likely, ‘pre-loved’. That means that someone else had the pleasure of marrying the person they loved. In 2015, a stunning 1950s wedding dress was donated to St Gemma’s Hospice, Leeds. A note attached to it read: “I wish any lady who takes this dress to have a life with her loved one 56 years like I did. Happy years. I was a lucky man to marry a lady like mine.” That dress was infused with love, from its inception to the moment it was donated. It represented a love that lasted. I’d wear that dress in a heartbeat.

Your new old dress