Bride who sold €5,000 dress for €2,800 the day after wedding sets up online reselling platform

The bride who sold her dress the day after her wedding has taken the idea and run with it.

sabel Gleeson launched ReBride, an online wedding dress reselling platform last Friday and in the past week has listed 40 designer dresses destined for another run up the aisle

Isabel (29), from Foxrock, Dublin, married Gary Byrne in September 2021, and one day after dancing until dawn in her €5,000 ‘Mayfair’ bridal gown by Halfpenny London, she received a direct message on her Instagram account asking her if she wanted to sell it.

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Isabel on the morning of her wedding.

Isabel on the morning of her wedding.

“I had always intended to sell the dress,” Isabel said.

“It was obviously a huge investment and I knew I wanted someone else to enjoy all those frills and silk organza but I didn’t expect to sell it the very next day.

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Couple posing in the gardens outside Powerscourt House, Enniskerry at their wedding in September 2021. Pic: Peter Carvill

Couple posing in the gardens outside Powerscourt House, Enniskerry at their wedding in September 2021. Pic: Peter Carvill

“The dress I wore to our wedding reception at Powerscourt House was so beautiful but I was delighted to sell it for €2,800.

“All the photographs of the day will last you a lifetime and it felt like the right decision for sure.”

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Isabel with a bridesmaid at Powerscourt House

Isabel with a bridesmaid at Powerscourt House

Isabel with a bridesmaid at Powerscourt House

With seven years’ experience working as a stylist and in fashion buying in London and Dublin, Isabel says it is very clear how much attitudes have changed.

Whereas brides might once have shied away from buying second-hand for the biggest day of their lives, they are now far more tuned into sustainability and more savvy about how they can get a designer dress for less.

“On average, a bride will only wear her dress for 13 hours and the likelihood for most brides is that they’ll spend longer searching for the right dress than they will wearing it. Since I set up the ReBride website and Instagram account, I’ve had a huge reaction from past and future brides.

“I definitely feel that selling on wedding dresses is just going to become so normal. Even in the last five years, I don’t feel like we would have been talking about this in the same way.

“I definitely feel like it’s just spreading joy, not bad luck.”

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A dress Isabel is selling on her website on behalf of a bride.

A dress Isabel is selling on her website on behalf of a bride.

A dress Isabel is selling on her website on behalf of a bride.

The business model is to charge brides a €20 fee to register on her platform, rebride.ie, where they can upload imagery of their wedding dress. Then Isabel leaves the bride to connect with potential buyers and keep all the proceeds from the sale.

“The average price for a wedding dress in Ireland is from €1,700 to €2,300, so they are a big expense,” said Isabel.

“A lot of people have asked what is a good guideline to go on, and from my research, about 50pc-60pc of the original selling price seems to be the price to pay for pre loved.”

She says wedding gowns from brides who bought designer brands such as Suzanne Neville, Pronovias, Rime Arodaky, Temperley London and Halfpenny are all destined to get another outing.

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Isabel on the morning of her Registry office wedding wearing an Olivia Rubin dress.

Isabel on the morning of her Registry office wedding wearing an Olivia Rubin dress.

Isabel on the morning of her Registry office wedding wearing an Olivia Rubin dress.

They include wedding day ‘second dresses’ that brides didn’t get to wear for long and one ‘never-worn’ gown from a wedding that had to be scaled down during the pandemic.

The white Olivia Rubin dress with rainbow bows down the back that Isabel wore for her civil ceremony at the registry office is on sale, reduced from €750 to €400.

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Isabel and Gary at their Registry Office wedding.

Isabel and Gary at their Registry Office wedding.

Isabel and Gary at their Registry Office wedding.

“When I spotted my wedding reception dress, all the shops were closed in the pandemic. I then tried to find it on pre-loved sites but I could not find it in my size.

“I paid full price but now that dress is part of circular fashion and I am happy about that.”