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Save hundreds on a wedding dress buying secondhand or sample gowns

Bridal consignment shops are seeing an increase in options after COVID changed many couples' wedding plans.

INDIANAPOLIS — Daniela Pretorius knows the value of a dollar. That's why she's not spending all of them on a wedding dress.

"The dresses I was looking at were like around $2,000," Pretorius said. "That's a lot of money for one dress I'm just going to wear one time."

After visiting a boutique or two, she decided to check out consignment bridal at Retulled Boutique in Indianapolis.

There, she found a dress for a fraction of the price.

"It was a wedding dress that somebody bought and then maybe she got a different dress? Or maybe it was a COVID wedding, and the wedding never happened? So, I am wearing a dress that's never been worn before."

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The person who consigned the dress even threw in her veil for free, bringing Pretorius' total to around $1,300.

Amy Bonham owns Retulled Boutique and said the shop is broken up by budget. There's a room dedicated to dresses $250 and under, $800 and under, over $800.

"If the dress was not worn or not altered, it should list for about 70% of its original retail price paid," Bonham said. "If they wore the dress (or) had it altered, it should list for about 50% of its original price paid," Bonham said. 

If you're the seller, you get 50% of what the dress sold for. Bonham added that COVID also impacted their selection.

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"We did get a lot of dresses that were purchased and never worn. By the time people rescheduled weddings, they were looking for something different, or they went ahead and eloped."

Another store that sells sample dresses in the Indy area is Luxe Redux in Broad Ripple. If there's a specific designer on your mind, try www.preownedweddingdresses.com.

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