From Keepsake to Another Bride's Closet

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PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com Hears Generations Speak Out on What’s to Be Done With "The Dress"

It’s not just a keepsake anymore: brides today think differently about their wedding dresses than generations before them, with up to 23 percent eager to sell their gown and another 45 percent willing to consider it, according to research conducted by PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com*.

On the other hand, 70 percent of survey respondents indicated that their mothers kept their dresses. So, is the idea of “the dress” as a keepsake disappearing? And what of the hopes of saving it for a daughter to wear someday?

“A lot of things are at play here, actually,” says Josie Daga, founder of PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, a listing site that connects buyers and sellers of wedding dresses and accessories. “For starters, only 6 percent of brides we surveyed would have walked down the aisle in their mother’s gown, and nearly 60 percent of brides say their dress is less traditional than their mother’s, whether that means sexier, more casual, or simply just strapless.”

“Styles, tastes and resources have changed the way women decide on a dress. Brides today have access to tons of magazines and blogs and can see thousands of gowns online to get a sense of the dress that's perfect for them. Industry leaders like Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier dress celebrity brides not only in movies, but in real life - providing even more inspiration.”

Another factor in the shift from keepsake to another bride’s closet is the digital world we live in today, Daga says.

“We’re no strangers to online transactions, whether we’re selling electronics, household items or clothing,” she says. “Today’s brides have the resources to sell their dresses easily, so that changes their options when they’re ready to buy. Nearly 60 percent of our customers indicated that they planned to sell their gown before they even wore it!”

What’s more, 47 percent of women said they’d be willing to go over their dress budget if they knew they could recoup half the cost, the survey showed.

A desire to share
While mothers and daughters might not agree on silhouettes and hemlines, they do agree on one thing: a beautiful gown deserves to be worn again. Past generations talked about sharing their dresses with their daughters. Today, 42 percent of brides who have sold their dresses agree that sharing it with another bride was the biggest motivator to selling it – more so than the financial gains.

"Brides really love their wedding dresses. So much so that they want to be sure it gets worn and enjoyed again - not tucked into a closet for 20 years," says Daga.

In fact, today’s brides may not be all that different from their mothers, Daga says. It could just be a question of resources: 33 percent of women surveyed believe their mothers would have sold their dresses if they’d had the opportunity.

“Unlike brides of the past, today’s brides have access to trusted resources to find and buy preowned gowns, or to pass along their gowns to others,” says Daga.

About PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com
PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com helps women fulfill a dream by finding or sharing the dress they love the most. With more than 7,500 gowns listed on the site, PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com connects buyers and sellers of new, sample and used wedding dresses and accessories. Recognized by Martha Stewart Wedding, InStyle Weddings, CNN.com and The Wall Street Journal, PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com has provided an elegant and trusted environment for connecting buyers and sellers since 2004.

Survey Results
*Two surveys were performed in August, 2011. One performed on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com (current/past customers – 1000+ respondents) and one via Survey Monkey (general public – 300+ respondents).

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Stacey Clarke
Just Drive Media
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