How to shop for a vintage wedding dress

A bride trying on her wedding dress

Vintage wedding dresses have a charm and presence to them, not usually found in a modern wedding dresses. In addition to their special character, you know you’ll get a dress that is totally one of a kind! But shopping for a vintage dress takes a certain know how; discover how to find your perfect vintage dress below.

Why choose vintage?


Vintage dresses have a unique character, and they will help to ensure that you will be wearing a totally unique dress on your wedding day. They tend to work well with vintage weddings, where you and your partner might be celebrating and embracing any of the past decades. Vintage dresses are often made from luxurious materials, meaning that you can bag a beautiful dress for less than one of its modern counterparts, made from the same material. In contrast, if you’re going for a relaxed, bohemian-style wedding, then you can easily find a gorgeous and inexpensive dress on the rails of a vintage shop.

Key things to consider

Before buying your vintage dress, there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, be sure that you have picked a dress that is the right size for you (keeping in mind how sizes have changed over the years). You’ll also want to make sure that your gown is in great condition, check for any rips or flaws in the garment. Don’t be put off if you find a small flaw, as many can be repaired. If you’re shopping online, be careful to read the description to see if there are any flaws in the dress that may bother you.

In addition, make sure that your dress isn’t too delicate, so that it can hold up to a night filled with dancing – not all vintage dresses can withstand extensive wear.

Tailoring supplies

Consult a tailor

If you find a beautiful dress that doesn’t quite fit right on you, or work with your body shape, don’t fret! A good tailor can alter your dress so that it fits well. If you found a dress that you think is gorgeous, but just a little too short, your tailor can add length by adding a complimentary fabric to the bottom of your dress.

In addition, many vintage dresses are styled with a tight bodice (as was the style for many of the past decades). You may feel that this is one area that a tailor cannot work on, but luckily they can, as Ruffled explains,  “Other things a good seamstress should be able to do might include re-creating a back to a dress, change the button or corset closure, add invisible zipper, add bones or a bra insert in the bodice, shorten the skirt of a dress via the waist so as to not interfere with the integrity of a specially or intricately trimmed hemline, remove and replace a lining so as to add room.”

However, keep in mind that not all vintage dresses can be altered – double-check this before you purchase!

Embrace vintage

Vintage dresses have great style and character, and are often made from luxurious materials. Be sure to consider the fit and quality before you settle on your choice!

If you have any questions relating to having your wedding at Clearwell Castle, please don't hesitate to call Charlotte via the contact details below:


T: 01594 832 320

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