At GigMasters, our theory is that you should save as much money as possible on every other aspect of your wedding, so that you have more money to spend on wedding entertainment! That's why from time to time we'll ask some experts in other fields to come by and give you tips and ideas for saving money on some of those wedding expenses.

Many brides-to-be want to look fabulous on their big day, but are also concerned about the impact their one day event will have on the environment. Why not consider buying a used wedding dress? Wearing a used wedding dress extends the life of a once worn item and saves money! If you want to pay less than retail cost for your wedding dress, but don’t want to sacrifice style or the environment on your wedding day, here are the Top 5 Tips to Buying a Used Wedding Dress from our friends at SmartBride Boutique. With these tips you can have your cake and eat it too!

Tip#1: A Clean Dress is Best

Look for dresses that have already been cleaned, so that you know if there are any permanent stains and whether or not they will be visible on your wedding day. This way you won’t have to pay a potentially costly dry cleaning bill.

Tip #2: Shop Local

By shopping locally you can inspect the dress closely for stains and damage from insects or improper care. Be sure to treat going to an individual seller’s home the way you would if you were visiting a bridal boutique. Bring a friend or your mom with you so you can get an honest opinion from someone who wants to make sure you look and feel fabulous on your wedding day.

Tip #3: Ask About Alterations

Keep in mind that alterations can completely change the fit of a gown and that some alterations are reversible while others are not. Be sure to get the name and number of the seamstress who did the initial alterations because she will know the dress inside and out. In fact, it might be a good idea to call her with questions before you buy the dress.

Tip #4: Do Your Research

If you’re buying a designer or brand name gown, ask the seller to provide you with a style number so you can reference the manufacturer’s website. Visit bridal boutiques to find out the average cost of the designer dresses you’re searching for online. Generally, if you’re buying a dress that is less than one, has not been damaged, and has only been worn once, you should pay no more than 50% of the original retail cost for the dress.

Tip #5: Be Ready to Negotiate

Are you willing to pay the seller’s original asking price if the dress is exactly as the seller described and it’s the perfect dress for you? Or do you have a lower price in mind based on your research and budget? Be prepared to negotiate, but remain fair with the seller so both of you can be happy with the sale.

Are you considering a used wedding dress? Have you ever bought a wedding dress used? If we missed any tips, tell us in the comments.

About SmartBride Boutique:

SmartBrideBoutique.com is a premium wedding classifieds website, helping today's savvy brides create the wedding day of their dreams on a realistic budget without sacrificing designer names, fabulous style or the environment. Past and present brides connect online to buy, sell and save on everything wedding.