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‘I saved thousands buying my wedding dress from a charity shop’

Daisy Welsh bought her wedding dress for just £340 from a charity shop. (SWNS)
Daisy Welsh bought her wedding dress for just £340 from a charity shop. (SWNS)

A thrifty bride has revealed she spent just £340 on her wedding dress after buying it at a charity shop.

Daisy Welsh, 42, says she knew she didn’t want to spend thousands on a dress when her fiance, Kris, 43 proposed.

"I always knew that I didn’t really want to spend much money on a dress, because a wedding itself is a lot of money," she explains.

"For me, spending a lot of money on a dress I would only wear once didn’t make much sense – but I still wanted something beautiful."

It was only after she saw a post in a Facebook group with a fellow bride-to-be mentioning the British Red Cross in Stockbridge that she considered buying a second hand dress.

"There were so many good reviews, so I thought, ‘why not?’" Welsh says. "I can get a dress and give money to charity! I phoned straight away and made an appointment. Even though it’s a charity shop, you still have to make an appointment in the bridal section.

"It was really good – they even asked my size so they could set aside some dresses for me before I arrived."

Daisy with her bridesmaids after buying her wedding dress. (SWNS)
Daisy with her bridesmaids after buying her wedding dress. (SWNS)

Welsh, who is from Penicuik, Scotland, then travelled to the Stockbridge British Red Cross with her bridesmaids and her daughter.

"I was very surprised – they had so many dresses," Welsh explains. "They said a lot of the dresses are new or they have been dry cleaned – and if they haven’t been dry cleaned, it was reflected in the price.

"I think I tried on eight dresses, and they gave me veils and accessories to go with each dress. I didn’t know what shape I wanted – I just knew that I didn’t want a mermaid dress, because that wouldn’t suit my body shape."

At one point, Welsh says it was between two dresses, but when a shop assistant bought in one more dress, she and her bridesmaids knew it was the one.

"I knew that that was my dress as soon as I put it on. It was absolutely beautiful," she says.

"People could see me from the charity shop at the front – some people came over to tell me ‘that’s your dress, don't pick the other ones!'

"It was really nice. Maybe some people would be shy like that, but I loved being the centre of attention – people were really lovely."

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Welsh paid just £340 for her dress, £40 for a belt and £20 for a veil. While she says the dress will need alterations, she will be donating it back to the charity store after her August 2024 wedding.

"The selection of dresses was beautiful, and you can pay a fraction of the price for a beautiful dress," she says.

"Maybe it’s a fraction of the price to you, but to the shop, that’s a lot of money! You can buy a dress and do something good at the same time – it checks all the boxes.

"After my wedding day, I’ll give back my dress, so another bride can potentially enjoy it as much as I have!"

Brides purchasing second hand wedding dresses is becoming increasingly popular, as a recent Lyst report found that searches for pre-owned wedding dresses rose by 103% year on year in 2021. It also found that searches for vintage designer wedding outfits rose by 53% in the same time frame.

While charity shops such as the British Red Cross are a great first port of call, it’s also worth checking out websites such as Still White to see if you can score yourself a bargain.

Additional reporting by SWNS.

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