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Are old wedding dresses worth anything?

Wedding gowns are expensive garments that are often worn only once. Hence, it’s often a dilemma for brides who do not want to keep the dress after their wedding event. Some brides choose to sell their wedding dress, especially if they have no intention of wearing it again or passing it down to family members. However, the question is, are old wedding dresses worth anything?

Factors That Determine the Value of Old Wedding Dresses

The value of a wedding dress varies depending on several factors, including:

  • Age of the gown
  • Condition of the dress
  • Designer name and brand
  • Rarity of the dress
  • Any historical significance
  • Current demand for the style of the dress

Age of the Gown

The age of the wedding dress plays a significant role in determining its value. As a general rule of thumb, used gowns in great condition and only a few years old can sell for fifty percent of their retail price. As the dress gets older, the amount it can sell for decreases, especially if the dress style is no longer popular or in demand.

Condition of the Dress

The condition of the dress is another factor that affects its value. If the dress is well-maintained, clean, and free of damages, it can sell at a higher price than a dress that is stained, discolored, or has rips and tears. An old wedding dress that is well-preserved can still fetch a reasonable price.

Designer Name and Brand

The designer name and brand of the wedding dress also influence its value. A popular designer’s gown can sell for higher than a plain and ordinary dress. Also, the dress’s brand plays a role in the value; a branded gown may cost more as the branding adds to its perceived value.

Rarity of the Dress

Rarity also comes into play when it comes to the value of a wedding dress. A unique or uncommon dress, such as a vintage lace dress, may have a higher resale value than an ordinary wedding dress found at any bridal store.

Historical Significance

Wedding dresses worn by historical figures or celebrities can also fetch a high value. For instance, Princess Diana’s iconic 1981 gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel sold at an auction for a whopping $230,000. Therefore, the dress’s historical significance can elevate its value.

Current Demand for the Style of the Dress

The style of wedding dresses changes over time, and current demand can impact the resale value. If the dress style is not popular or in demand anymore, it’s resale value decreases. However, vintage and retro dress styles may be in demand, and their value can increase over time.

Where Can You Sell Your Old Wedding Dress?

The internet provides multiple platforms to sell your old wedding dress. Some popular online selling sites include:

  • eBay
  • Craigslist

You can also try selling your dress at local consignment and bridal shops, although they may take a commission from the sale.


In conclusion, the value of old wedding dresses varies depending on the dress’s age, condition, designer, rarity, historical significance, and current demand. Therefore, a wedding dress preservation is vital if you plan on selling it in the future. Nonetheless, an old wedding dress can still fetch a reasonable price, and there are many selling platforms available both online and locally.


How do I find the value of an old wedding dress?

If you are trying to determine the value of an old wedding dress, there are a number of factors to consider. First and foremost, you will want to assess the condition of the gown. Is it still in good shape, or does it have noticeable signs of wear and tear? If the dress has been well-maintained, it may be worth more than a gown that is clearly worn out.

Another important consideration is the age of the wedding dress. Typically, a used wedding dress that is 2.5 years old or less is worth about 50% of what you paid for it. However, if the dress is older than that, its value may have declined even further.

Designer is another key factor that can impact the value of a wedding dress. Some designers are known for creating dresses that hold their value well over time, while others may not be as sought-after by buyers in the secondhand market. If your wedding dress was designed by a highly regarded name in the fashion industry, it is likely to be worth more than a gown from an unknown designer.

Finally, it is worth noting that the value of a wedding dress may also be influenced by whether or not it has been cleaned. A gown that has been professionally dry-cleaned is likely to be worth more than one that has not been cleaned at all.

In order to determine the value of your old wedding dress, you may want to do some research online to see what similar gowns are selling for. There are a number of websites that sell used wedding dresses, and you can use these platforms to get a sense of what buyers are willing to pay for a gown like yours.

Alternatively, you could also consider taking your wedding dress to a consignment shop or a bridal dress boutique that buys secondhand gowns. These professionals can help you assess the value of your dress based on a number of factors, and may be able to provide you with an estimate of what you can realistically expect to sell it for.

Should I keep my old wedding dress?

The decision of whether to keep your old wedding dress or not is a personal one that depends on many factors. The wedding dress is a powerful symbol of one of the most significant days of your life, and it is understandable that you would want to hold onto it forever. However, many brides often struggle with the prospect of storing the dress indefinitely, and are unsure of the sentimental and practical value it holds.

One important factor to consider when deciding whether to keep your wedding dress is the space that it occupies. If you are already pressed for storage space in your home, keeping an old wedding dress may not be practical for you. Even with preservation, dresses can be bulky and take up valuable real estate. If you do not have a plan for where you’ll store it, or a need for frequent access, it may be wiser to let someone else enjoy it.

Another consideration is the practical value of keeping the dress. Although it is a cherished memento of your wedding day, unless you have a relatively inexpensive or low-key wedding, most wedding dresses carry a hefty price tag. Unless you intend to gift it or use it for sentimental value, it is useful to know that you won’t need it for any future occasions.

On the other hand, many brides hold onto their wedding dresses for sentimental reasons. It can be tricky to let go of a garment that represents such an important day, and many brides wish to someday pass it down to their children or grandchildren. While this may be a long-shot goal, knowing that you’ve saved such a special gown can make it an easy decision.

The decision of whether to keep your old wedding dress involves consideration of many factors: practical considerations such as storage, sentimental value, and future plans. the decision comes down to personal preferences, and what is important to you. It is important to weigh the pros and cons and make a thoughtful decision that you’re happy with.

Why do old wedding dresses turn yellow?

As time goes by, wedding dresses that once sparkled in their pristine white glory, start developing a yellow hue. This yellowing occurs due to the degradation of the fabric that makes up the dress. Before delving into the reasons behind this phenomenon, it’s important to understand the composition of wedding dresses.

Most wedding dresses are made of delicate fabrics such as silk, satin, or lace. These fabrics are usually sourced from natural fibres such as cotton, hemp, or silk. These fibres contain cellulose, which when exposed to moisture, light, and air, starts to break down. This chemical reaction is called cellulose degradation, which alters the colour of the fabric from white to yellow.

One of the primary causes of yellowing in wedding dresses is the oxidation of the natural fibres that make up the fabric. Over time, these natural fibres start reacting with the air, resulting in oxidation. As a result of this oxidation, the fibre molecules start breaking down, resulting in a change of colour from white to yellow.

Another contributing factor to yellowing is the presence of residual substances such as oils, body sweat, and cleaning solvents. These substances can interact with the fabric, causing it to turn yellow over time. In addition, improper storage of wedding dresses can also lead to yellowing. If a dress is exposed to light, humidity, or high temperatures, the chances of yellowing increase significantly.

The yellowing of old wedding dresses occurs due to a combination of factors such as the natural degradation of the fabric fibres, oxidation, residual substances, and improper storage. Therefore, if you want to preserve your cherished wedding dress, it’s vital to take proper care of it; store it in a cool and dry place, and have it cleaned by professionals.