With the vast number of wedding gowns on the market, it might seem close to impossible to find the one that perfectly matches your personal style. If that's the case and all hope seems lost each time you go dress hunting, consider trying on a few vintage wedding dresses for size. Even if shopping vintage never crossed your busy bridal mind, you truly can't go wrong with a timeless, one-of-a-kind style that doesn't involve delving too deeply into your budget. Plus, you never have to worry about any other brides copying your look.
And fear not—if you're unsure where to buy a vintage wedding dress, pre-owned gowns from decades past are easier to get your hands on than you think.
In no particular order, we rounded up the best retailers and stores (both brick-and-mortar and online) to shop for vintage wedding dresses, so you can finally cross finding a unique, cost-effective bridal frock off your checklist. Your prayers have officially been answered.
This L.A.-based shop features a vast collection of vintage designer gowns, with picks dating from the 1950s to the '90s from the likes of Valentino and Oscar de la Renta. Happy Isles also carries wedding dresses from contemporary brands Lilly Ashwell and Magnetic Midnight.
With a dedication to "curated vintage for the modern bride," this bridal boutique in Chicago is the Mecca of vintage wedding gowns. Book an appointment to get the full dress shopping experience, and leave with a unique vintage dress, veil, and even shoes from the '20s to the '80s. Costume designer Kristine Engel handpicks the shop's distinctive inventory, so you're guaranteed a chic, out-of-this-century look.
This online craft haven is your one-stop-shop for all things wedding, from invitations to cake toppers to—you guessed it—even your vintage wedding dress. That's right—because Etsy has anything every bride (or human, for that matter) could ever need, there's an entire section dedicated exclusively to vintage gowns for sale. From bohemian-infused '70s dresses to 1930s gowns reminiscent of the Art Deco era, you can find exactly what you're looking for at any price point.
This vintage boutique offers a wide variety of age-old secondhand selections categorized by decade. Take your pick of gorgeous gowns from the 1920s to the 1980s, or even one from the Edwardian era. Prices range from $123 to $385, so you definitely won't have to break the bank to get the dress of your dreams. With flapper-esque 1920s midi dresses to an elegant off-the-shoulder number from the 1950s, there's truly something for every bridal style. While currently only based online, Mill Crest Vintage is in the process of opening a Connecticut location.
Another L.A.-based gem, Decades was founded by style guru Cameron Silver in 1997 and sells a wide range of vintage white gowns for wedding-day wear. Or, per the nontraditional route, if you'd rather walk down the aisle sporting a pop of color, you have plenty of options to choose from. Your bridesmaids can even browse the site's extensive vintage gown collection for dresses they're bound to actually wear post-wedding. Prices run a bit on the pricier side, but you can take your pick from distinct designers like Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, and Alexander McQueen.
Even though their vintage wedding-dress page only has a few listings, this wedding dress reseller still offers plenty of unique pre-worn antique styles, sold by the brides themselves. Each listing shows the original retail price, so you can see exactly how much you're saving. Because the site doesn't charge a commission, prices can vary from $100 to $2,000, depending on the dress seller.
Adored Vintage boasts showcasing "vintage + modern for the feminine romantic spirit," which is evident in their wide collection of bohemian antique frocks, categorized by era. Although this vintage shopping maven doesn't cater to brides specifically, it's still worth taking a peek at their colorful picks from 1910 to the '90s, especially if you're leaning away from the traditional white-dress route. For the most bridal styles, check out their inventory from the 1910s, or the wedding tab on their website.
What originally began as vintage boutiques in L.A. and New York has evolved into a full-fledged bridal shop that produces custom gowns infused with new and old components. With a keen eye for vintage fashion, Shareen Mitchell herself designs modern wedding gowns infused with repurposed pieces of vintage clothing, none of which exceed $2,000. The label also offers a selection of nontraditional vintage bridal finds in-store.
Located in Cape May, New Jersey, June's Uniquely Yours specializes in romantic styles from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, with a dash of picks from the 1920s thrown in. The family-owned boutique also carries plenty of shoes, jewelry, and more, so you can snag your wedding dress and accessories in one successful shopping trip.