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Wedding season is in full swing, which means bridesmaid dress anxiety is at an all-time high. It starts with the heartwarming proposal that you've been helping the groom prepare for for months, leads into dress shopping with the bride because she really, really only wants to pick out something that you would love and wear again, and ends with a chiffon-covered addition to the back of your closet à la Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses.
The average bridesmaid dress currently costs $300. That is a lot of money to put down for a one-time wear in the name of love and friendship. And at the end of the day, no one wants to refuse the bride, no matter the cost. That's where these 10 sites come in. From the most efficient resale operations in the game to bridesmaid dress rental companies (oh yes, they exist), we rounded up the best options the web has to offer. This way, you won't end up with a drained wallet and a closet full of unwearable dresses by the end of summer.
Wore It Once: This aptly named site brings together buyers and sellers for all kinds of gowns, but specializes in wedding and bridesmaid dress resales. Try your luck here if the gown is from a major bridesmaid dress company like Dessy or David's Bridal. Wore It Once requires a onetime $25 listing fee, but doesn't ask for any commission off of sales.
Bridesmaid Trade: A well-curated selection of only bridesmaid dresses—the website doesn't allow listings of anything else. There is no fee to list a dress, and the site makes money off of a $15 charge that they add onto the sale of the dress after you set the price. For example, if you list your dress for $75, it will show up on the site priced at $90 and when the dress is sold, you will still collect the full $75.
My Bridal Bids: It's like eBay specifically for all things wedding related. My Bridal Bids allows you to set a selling price and the amount of time that the dress will be up for auction, then the bidding begins. There's no fee to list the dress but the site collects a 12% commission on every sale.
Wedding Bee Classifieds: Wedding Bee is a wedding blog that incorporates a classifieds section into an already well-trafficked site full of everything wedding-related. The classifieds section is meant to be a marketplace specifically for individual brides and bridal parties, which means you won't be competing with vendors selling their own bridesmaid dresses. There's no listing fee and Wedding Bee doesn't collect a commission on any of the sales.
Smart Bride Boutique: Another site that works on a classifieds model, Smart Bride Boutique differentiates itself by allowing buyers to search for dresses within their current city. The site has listings from sellers all over the US and Canada, and there is no listing fee or commission made on any sale.
The Gown Swap: This site has a more boutique-y look and feel, so if you're worried about your listing getting lost in a sea of taffeta one day after it goes up, The Gown Swap is for you. There's no listing fee and no commission collected on any sales.
Recycle Your Wedding: This wedding sale site is basically the classifieds section of mega-popular wedding blog Ruffled. There's no fee to list your dress as a seller; you can search the "wanted" section of the site to contact potential buyers directly. Recycle Your Wedding doesn't take commission on any sale.
Say you want to skip the madness of buying and reselling dresses altogether. In that case, see if you can convince the bride to go the rental route. Bridesmaid rental companies are a small but growing field that offer dress rental services the same way tux rental companies have been doing for eons.
Corie Hardee is the founder of Little Borrowed Dress, a four-year-old online bridesmaid rental shop that serviced a few thousand weddings last year alone. The site lists a small selection of season-less, classic bridesmaid styles and specializes in carrying dresses that offer flattering fits without needing alterations. Other sites in the market include Rent the Runway's wedding shop and Vow to be Chic. Find out the details on all three rental services below.
Little Borrowed Dress: Choose from 12 styles and 18 colors all while supporting made-in-NYC manufacturing. You can order a free second dress in a backup size, and the dresses will arrive in the mail two weeks prior to the wedding. Due to high demand, the company also just launched a sample box service. For $25, Little Borrowed Dress mails two dresses to your doorstep just to try on. The service allows customers four days with the dresses to make sure styles and colors will work before committing to rentals.
Rent The Runway: RtR has received many accolades as a destination for renting designer gowns and accessories for all types of occasions. However, the site also has a dedicated wedding shop that includes a well-curated selection of bridesmaid dress options from elegant gown go-tos including Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, and Reem Acra. The site will include a second backup size for free and dresses can be shipped either four or eight days in advance.
Vow to be Chic: This site specializes in rentals from high-end bridesmaid dress designers like Swoon and Joanna August. Rentals start at $95 and there is a $15 flat-rate shipping fee that includes a home try-on two months before the wedding, as well as shipping the dress to the customer the week before the event.
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