The Recycled Bride

Good news for brides inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, classic is back. Fabrics, silhouettes and accessories borrowed from the 1940s through 1960s offer brides the opportunity to start with the basics and enhance them with luxurious finishing touches. This is great news for the Eco-conscious bride. By shopping Vintage, not only will your "recycled dress" be following the fashion curve and saving money, our environment will reap the rewards by reducing the use of the earth's natural resources needed for a new one.

More good news about this trend? This classic look lends it's designers to embrace the hourglass figure. No need to starve yourself to shimmy in to that tiny wedding dress. Waists are nipped in or defined with belts and sashes, often in a color that slightly contrasts with the dress, which is a nice "camouflage" to a larger waistline. Charming gowns with the look of prom dresses from the 1950s glide down the aisle with fitted bodices and full skirts of tulle, lace and applique.

For a less formal wedding, brides can go bombshell in frocks reminiscent of 1960s cocktail dresses. The length is shorter, but the look is equally sophisticated with gathered waists and narrower skirts. There is an opportunity to expand your wedding dress search from the usual places and get creative. Used prom dresses, for instance, of light or neutral colors can be re-worked and re-stitched, and embellished to create a unique and modern dress.

Eco-conscious brides, who opt for vintage or recycled gowns, have an array of choices available thanks to the many organizations dedicated to bringing you these glorious gowns. Brides Against Breast Cancer, a national nonprofit organization, accepts dress donations and hosts gown sales nationwide to support the Making Memories Foundation.
Encore Bridal is another charitable organization who offers an online boutique of fabulous "nearly new" couture gowns. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of every gown is given to charities that support cervical cancer research and education. According to their mission statement:

"Encore Bridal provides an opportunity for our customers to consign their couture wedding gowns and accessories, quickly and effortlessly. We also provide a beautiful and inviting space for brides-to-be, to find the wedding dress of their dreams, at a price they can afford. Encore Bridal understands that we all have a responsibility to our community. With this in mind, we aim to support our community through charitable sales contributions."

Consignment shops specialize in connecting buyers and sellers of pre-owned wedding dresses, but sometimes they may be able to offer factory direct (or store-sample closeouts)that have never been worn! Don't forget to check out the Mega-sites like eBay or Craig's List. Always include bridesmaid dresses in your search. No matter how many times a bridesmaid may hear, "....but this is a dress you can wear again and again", we all know the truth. The savvy bridesmaid will have their gowns up for sale, or auction, as early as the next day!

Additional resources:

Bridal Power

Budget Bridal Gowns

Wore it Once

(Source: ARA)

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