Second Hand Wedding Dresses and the “Oh Mommy” Moment

second hand wedding dresses and the oh mommy moment There is something wedding industry insiders call the “Oh Mommy” moment that happens during dress shopping and salespeople know it like they know taffeta.

The “Oh Mommy” moment occurs when the bride tries on the dress. Not just any dress, the dress. Her face beams, and her mommy gets emotional.

It’s not all that difficult to convince a gal who is in the midst of an “Oh Mommy” moment, that the dress she is wearing was made for her. Needless to say, salespeople take kindly to these moments and bring accessories like veils and tiaras to complete the look.

Although I read about this phenomenon in Rebecca Mead’s One Perfect Day, it didn’t happen to me. I mean, I tried on a whack of dresses and my dear mom was with me as I tried on dress after dress, but she didn’t get all watery-eyed when I found the one, nor did beams of light radiate from my  being when I finally choose the $800 sparkly, ivory A-line. I was relieved more than anything.

I liked my dress. A lot. But spending $800 for a dress that I wore only once seemed insane. I felt the only practical thing to do was recoup at least a bit of my money post-wedding by bringing it to the second-hand shop. Besides, why shouldn’t someone else get to enjoy the dress just as much as I did? Not surprisingly, it sold fast and I got a few hundred bucks back.

These days, it seems plenty of brides are going this route. And the wonderful thing is that there are more and more shops, online and otherwise, offering second-hand dresses. It’s win-win for brides.

I’d love to hear from you. Are you planning on selling your dress after the wedding? If not, what will you do with your gown? Also, would you buy a second-hand wedding dress? I can’t wait to hear your responses!

Meantime, check out Wedding Dress Cash Trumps Memories which appeared recently in The National Post.

Photo: The Wedding Planning Institute

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7 Comments  |  Filed Under: Budget Brides, Small Wedding Ideas, Wedding Planning, Wedding Trends

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  1. Posted by T on June 8th, 2009 at 11:17am

    I bought my dress, second hand, on ebay. It's beautiful and in the same condition it would be in after about 2 minutes of me wearing it. It's a designer dress costing half of what it would have new. AND it has half the carbon footprint of a new dess as it's shared. :D Perfect for a green wedding.
    I tried on lots of dresses (at shops) and had a list of a few that I liked. Then I just googled the designer and dress name every couple of days until I found one of my short list in a size close to mine. Easy.
    I guess you do have to be a bit flexible, so it's not for everyone. But if you're not the kind of person who has to 'fall in love' with their dress (I mean hey, you're in love with the groom right?!) then it's the logical choice.
  2. Posted by FoxFire on June 8th, 2009 at 11:33pm

    I also bought my dress 2nd hand on eBay and... no one could tell the difference from it being brand new. I loved the dress, loved how it fit, and it just magically appeared on eBay. I ended up accidentally trashing the train on the dress during our photo shoot, but I don't feel bad b/c I spent less than 1/2 price on the dress, and we had so much fun it didn't matter. I wasn't head over heels for any particular dress, but this one worked out and I felt much better for NOT spending $500+ on a dress for a one day event!
  3. Posted by Karen on June 9th, 2009 at 12:14pm

    My dress is new but I'm actually looking to donate it to a good cause after my July wedding. I read that there is one non-profit that resells them and the money goes to breast cancer research. I'd love to hear about any other wedding dress donation opportunities that are out there.
  4. Posted by Christina on June 10th, 2009 at 10:39pm

    Good for you gals for buying second-hand!!

    Karen, I love the fact that you are donating your dress. I have been looking into this.... stay tuned for a post on this topic.
  5. Posted by Lisa on June 11th, 2009 at 12:49am

    I just bought my dress of Craigslist last weekend. Another bride had purchased it and then found a different dress and had an "Oh Mommy" moment... so she was selling her first, never worn dress. I tried it on and it fit like a glove. I've discovered that I'm really sentimental about some things (picking out our wedding bands), but I'd been dreading dress shopping.... I'm just not that girly. My dress is beautiful and I can see myself joyfully going down the aisle in it.... That's what matters, right? I don't think that I will feel bad about selling it after the wedding.
  6. Posted by Iris Fields on June 11th, 2009 at 12:20pm

    Ebay and second hand shops are a great way to find beautiful dress at a lower price. Try checking out a trunk show or sample sale for your bridesmaid dresses. Even if they are a few season old, trunk shows allow you to get new items at a much cheaper price.
  7. Posted by chair on November 2nd, 2009 at 7:34pm

    I like the idea of halving my carbon footprint by sharing a dress. And saving money as well!
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