Where to Find the Perfect Rustic or Vintage Wedding Dress


A barn wedding, a lakeside affair, a fete in your own backyard — all of these weddings call for very special rustic or vintage wedding gowns. While you may find something you love at a bridal salon, many of our brides look elsewhere for their dream dresses — with great results. We’ve put together a list of five places to look for the perfect rustic, country or vintage wedding dress. Good luck with your search, and have fun!

1. Vintage/consignment shops

The easiest place to start your search for an offbeat gown is at a high-end vintage or consignment store in your area. Shops like Shareen’s Vintage offer beautiful selections of reworked vintage gowns, while good quality consignment stores carry a rotating selection of gently used wedding dresses. If you find something you love but the fit is not quite right, consider having it tailored to your measurements.

2. Custom dress

If you have the time, money and vision, a custom-made wedding dress can be the easiest way to get exactly the gown you’re looking for. Seek out the best bridal tailors in your area or browse Etsy to find a made-to-measure dress.

3. Your mother/grandmother

Your mom may have married in the ’70s (hello, high necklines and long sleeves!) but even if you’re not looking for that particular style, dresses from the era were often made from beautiful laces. If your mother’s wedding gown fits you, consider having it altered for a more modern look — or keep it as-is if you’re having a boho-chic affair. As for your grandmother: If her dress was preserved, it may still be in good enough shape for you to wear on your big day. If not, see if a local tailor can use the fabric to create your “something new” from “something old.”


4. Shop online for vintage-inspired gowns in contemporary sizes

One of the most challenging things about buying a vintage dress is finding something in your size. Standard sizes have changed a lot in the last 40 years — heck, they’ve changed a lot in the last 20 years — so if you want a rustic or vintage dress but don’t want the hassle of tracking down something secondhand and having it altered, consider buying a vintage-inspired dress online. BHLDN and Ruche, for example, both offer great selections of retro-chic gowns in contemporary sizes.

5. Thrift stores

If all that comes to mind when you think of thrift stores and wedding gowns is a puffy-sleeved, satin number from the ’80s, allow us to change your mind! There are plenty of thrift stores that carry higher-end items — particularly in places like Los Angeles where you can score gowns from TV and film sets — and there are even Goodwill locations that specifically stock wedding dresses. Scour the web and stop by the thrift stores with the best selection on a regular basis — you could save yourself thousands of dollars and land the dress of your dreams!

Photo one from this real wedding by Jane (&) Haglund Photography / Photo two from this real wedding by Hazelwood Photo

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Alice Tal
    July 20, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Hi ladies! Alice Tal is a designer of couture wedding gowns and evening wear, and she is holding an Open House/Sample Sale for these items at super low prices TOMORROW, 7/21 from 11am to 6pm. The location is 1296 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10065 (Lower lever of Lovella Hair Salon). Ask for Alice at the reception desk!

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