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New Irish online wedding dress shop allows past and future brides to recycle gowns

‘I sold my dress for €2,800 the day after’

Isabel and her husband Gary Byrne on their wedding day

Isabel with an Olivia Rubin dress reduced from €750 to €400

Asos Design cowl dress, €50

Georgia Young Carnegie dress, €3,700

Self Portrait dress, €360

Denise Smith

We’ve all watched enough episodes of Say Yes to the Dress to know just how stressful and expensive it is to find ‘the One’. But what if you could cut out the extreme costs and endless bridal shop visits?

Enter ReBride: the online wedding dress mecca that is giving worn dresses a new lease of life for savvy brides-to-be. The resale platform where brides can buy and resell bespoke gowns, and which now has over 600 wedding dresses on the site, is the brainchild of Isabel Gleeson.

Isabel with an Olivia Rubin dress reduced from €750 to €400

The colour consultant, fashion buyer and stylist based in Foxrock, Dublin first came up with the business idea when she sold her own dress the day after her wedding — selling her €5,000 silk organza gown for €2,800.

“I got married in 2021. I ended up going for a Halfpenny London gown and then during the day-two drinks for my wedding I got a DM on Instagram from someone asking if they could buy it off me. I sold my dress straightaway, and I didn’t really think about it” says Isabel.

“I had all the pictures and memories and I was never going to wear it again. It was the best decision and I was delighted to get back some of the money that went into the wedding and the dress itself, as well as spread the joy.”

Asos Design cowl dress, €50

A champion of sustainability, the stylist is now hoping to shine a spotlight on the pre-loved wedding market.

“Our aim is to create a place where past brides can connect with future brides. It is estimated that a bride will only wear her dress for 13 hours on average. After this, rather than have these dresses sitting in your closet gathering dust, why not make some of the money you spent on your dress back?”

Georgia Young Carnegie dress, €3,700

Isabel isn’t alone in her penchant for ‘something old’. When Jennifer Lopez tied the knot with Ben Affleck in Las Vegas in 2022, the star wore a classic floor-length white gown with a high neckline, which she wore in one of her movies. The singer gushed: “I’ve had this dress for so many years, and I’ve just been saving it, saving it, saving it, and now I’m wearing it on my wedding day.”

Google searches for “used wedding dresses for sale” have also increased by 100pc over the past five years and, according to global shopping platform Lyst, searches for pre-owned wedding gowns were up 103pc in March 2021.

So how does it work? It’s as simple as uploading imagery of your wedding dress for a one-time fee of €20 to rebride.ie.

Once you find the right buyer for your dress and send it to them, you keep all of the commission from the sale.

Self Portrait dress, €360

“We have many designers such as Rime Arodaky, Suzanne Neville and Halfpenny on site, which are all highly sought after brands. The ‘it’ shoe of the moment, the Loeffler Randall Camellia block heel gets snapped up as soon as it appears on site.

“One bride who was stressed and saving for a trip over to the Suzanne Neville flagship boutique in London managed to instead get her dream dress from a past bride in Ireland in her size. She was able to get the dress dropped to her house directly by the seller,” adds Isabel.

“The amount of outfits required for a bride can be overwhelming, from the night before to what to wear for breakfast the next morning. This is where ReBride can help give pre-loved dresses another run up the aisle.”

Check out rebride.ie

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