With the vast number of wedding gowns on the market, it may seem impossible to find 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 options to expand your search. Even if shopping vintage has 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 another bride wearing the same look as you.
Ahead, and in no particular order, we've rounded up the best retailers and stores (both brick-and-mortar and online) to shop when on the hunt for a vintage wedding dress. Consider these options to find a unique and cost-effective bridal frock you'll be sure to love long after the big day.
This L.A.-based shop features a vast collection of vintage designer gowns—with picks dating from the 1950s to the 1990s—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 tagline stating "curated vintage for the modern bride," this bridal boutique in Chicago is the Mecca of vintage wedding gowns. Costume designer Kristine Engel handpicks the shop's distinctive inventory, so you're guaranteed a chic, out-of-this-century look. Book an appointment today to get the full dress shopping experience, and leave with a unique vintage dress, veil, and even shoes from the '20s to the '80s.
This online craft haven is your one-stop-shop for all things weddings, from invitations to cake toppers to—you guessed it—even vintage wedding dresses. Since Etsy has everything a 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.
Mill Crest Vintage
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. And 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 any bridal celebration. What's more, if looking to take the non-traditional route, they also have a selection of colorful ensembles that are worthy to be worn down the aisle. Your bridesmaids can even browse the site's extensive vintage gown collection for looks they're bound to actually wear post-wedding. Though prices are on the higher end, you can take your pick from distinct designers like Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, and Alexander McQueen.
Preowned Wedding Dresses
Even though their vintage wedding dress page only has a few listings, this resell platform offers plenty of unique and antique pre-worn styles, sold by the brides themselves. Given that the site doesn't charge a commission, prices can vary from $100 to $2,000, depending on the dress seller, but each listing shows the original retail price so that you can see exactly how much you're saving.
Adored Vintage sets forth to provide looks that are "vintage + modern for the feminine romantic spirit," which is evident in their wide collection of bohemian antique frocks. 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.
What originally began as vintage boutiques in L.A. and New York, has now 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 non-traditional, antique bridal finds in-store.
Founded by Maddy Anderson, Madly Vintage is a Venice, CA-based fashion and bridalwear destination for vintage lovers around the world. The brand's ethos is based on "good vibes", and each piece is curated to highlight Anderson's playful style mixed with "romantic nostalgia," as noted on her website.
June's Uniquely Yours
Located in Cape May, New Jersey, June's Uniquely Yours specializes in romantic styles from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. 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.