Where To Buy Vintage Wedding Dresses In The UK

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Looking for vintage wedding dresses? I’ve got you covered with these gorgeous sustainable suggestions, so you can say yes to the dress.

With fashion contributing to 10% of the world’s annual carbon emissions, more and more brides-to-be are opting to wear a vintage wedding dress, as a stylish yet more sustainable alternative.

After all, when you opt for a vintage gown, you’re essentially giving new life to a garment that already exists. This means you’re contributing to the culture of reduce, reuse, and recycle.

A bride, wearing a vintage wedding dress, and holding a bouquet of dried flowers next to a groom in a grey jacket.
Image from Cambridge Vintage Bridal on Etsy

Plus, by choosing vintage you’re making a conscious choice to minimise the demand for new materials and the environmental impact associated with their production. The average wedding in the UK will produce one-third of a metric tonne of solid waste and 14.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide in just one day. Whilst choosing a preloved dress may feel like one small part of your day, it can make a significant dent in this figure.

Another benefit of opting for vintage on your big day is that you’re giving a beautiful garment a second chance to shine. Vintage dresses often boast intricate detailing, such as beautiful lacework, delicate beadwork, and high-quality fabrics, that deserve to be worn and shown off again.

The other benefit to this is that vintage wedding dresses often come in at a much lower price point than their modern counterparts. At a time when the average cost of a wedding is £24,000, opting for a pre-loved wedding dress isn’t just good for the planet. It’s great for your pocket too.

Where to Buy Vintage Wedding Dresses In The UK

If you’re considering a vintage wedding dress for your big day, then one of the best starting off points is to browse online. After all, there are a huge range of styles out there – from the elegance of the roaring twenties to the bohemian vibes of the ’70s. Browsing online for ideas helps you narrow down exactly what style and time period you want to focus on.

To help get you started, here are some of the best places to shop for antique and vintage wedding dresses in the UK, so that your big day doesn’t leave a big footprint on the planet.

Cambridge Vintage Bridal

Bride wearing an ethical wedding dress
Wedding Dress from Cambridge Vintage Bridal

Specialising in vintage wedding dresses from the 1940s to 1980s, Cambridge Vintage Bridal is a top choice for modern brides looking for something sustainable and unique. Its handpicked high-end vintage dresses range in price from £150 to £395.

Sixpenny Bride

Bride wearing an ivory antique bridal gown next to a groom

Sixpenny Bride offers a large, ever changing collection of beautiful authentic vintage wedding dresses. Each one is carefully selected by owner Jacky for their uniqueness and beauty, and cover a variety of eras – from 1970s boho gowns, to
sophisticated 1950s full skirt gowns and 1920s flapper dresses. With prices ranging from £95 to £380, Sixpenny Bride’s stunning sustainable gowns aren’t going to break the bank either.

SilkenStudio

Person in a field wearing a sustainable cream gown from SilkenStudio

Specialising in vintage and antique wedding dresses, SilkenStudio is another key place to look in your search. Priced between £250 and £570, and covering a range of eras, with a particular focus on 1960s and 1970s dresses, you;re sure to be inspired by it’s collection.

Oxfam Online

Person wearing a sustainable preloved wedding dress from Oxfam Online
Wedding Dress from Oxfam Online

Think Oxfam is just for secondhand books and everyday clothes? You’ll be surprised to hear that Oxfam Online actually has a fantastic selection of vintage wedding dresses online.

At the time of writing this post, over 300 wedding dresses are listed on the site, ranging in price from just £20 through to £1000 for secondhand designer wedding dresses. Covering sizes 6 to 24, in a huge range of styles, colours, and eras, you may just find your dream dress nestled amongst Oxfam’s virtual shelves. If not, check back on a regular basis, as stock constantly changes when new donations arrive.

If buying a wedding dress online gives you the fear then try one of Oxfam’s 12 specialist bridal boutiques across the country. You could even get a talented tailor/dressmaker to customise your preloved dress for something really unique and special.

By buying a wedding dress from Oxfam, you also help support Oxfam’s important work in helping to alleviate global poverty. This means your wedding dress not only looks good, but it does good too.

eBay

eBay has a wealth of secondhand (but not second-best) wedding dresses for sale. Make sure you select the ‘used’ option in the filter, otherwise, you will be presented with a load of new wedding dresses that are made in China.

eBay can be overwhelming. However, I have some really useful eBay buying tips to help you really narrow down your search to exactly what you are looking for.

And even if you can’t find what you are looking for in your first search then don’t be disheartened. Good things come to those who wait, so take full advantage of eBay’s handy email alert function. Rather than spending all day every day searching for your dream dress, this function will send you an email for when your dream wedding dress is finally listed on the site. This frees you up to get on with all the other parts of organising your big day.

Etsy

Etsy has a fantastic selection of vintage wedding dresses in a vast variety of styles and sizes.

Does Etsy overwhelm you? Like eBay, Etsy has a really useful filter, where you can specify all sorts of wedding dress variables. From the maximum price you want to pay, to item specifics such as hem and sleeve length, colour, neckline style, and more. Get to know the filter, and you can really hone in on your dream wedding dress.

Vintage Wedding Dress Shops

A bride wearing a cream vintage dress, and and groom wearing a vintage brown suit.
Wedding Dress from Those Were The Days

Finally, depending on where you live, you may have a vintage wedding dress shop near you. My closest shop is Those Were The Days in Edinburgh, which sells beautiful vintage wedding dresses like this vintage number above. Its dress collection spans from the Edwardian era to the 1990s. Each item is expertly cleaned and restored before it arrives in the store, meaning you won’t find any nasty surprises.

Looking for more inspiration? I’ve got lots of sustainable wedding ideas for you to dig into.

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