Affordable & Green Wedding Dresses has been a sponsor of APW for about as long as there has been an APW. Which makes sense, because shopping for barely worn wedding dresses for huge discounts, or having the chance to sell your wedding dress for much needed cash, is such an awesome, sensable, Team Practical thing to do. And, not to brag about her, but Josie, who owns POWD, is an awesome small business owner, who is totally all about cheering other women on. She’s the kind of business owner that you want to support (and by supporting her, you also support APW, which makes it a continuos loop of awesome).

But the extra cool thing about 2011 on APW is that we finally started asking Wedding Graduates where they got their (super hot) dresses. Finally. I know. Y’all have some good taste. And it was super exciting for me to find out that lots of you were shopping with POWD, with some super stylish results. So, as we start to wrap up the year, I asked some of our ladies to tell me about their shopping experiences with

First up, there was Sam, in her short and sassy wedding dress. She told me, “Loved POWD! It was easy and simple and I bought my dress for half off. I think the chick I bought it from was also happy with POWD because after she bought what turned out to be my dress, she found the perfect dress for her. She was able to sell her first dress and not be completely out of the money. Win. Win.” Did you get that? Sam bought her super sassy, super hot wedding dress… brand new and half off. The previous owner found another dress she liked better. Yup. You’re welcome.

Then there was Anjali, whose hip and simple wedding dress totally stole my heart… and then I realized she’d gotten it for a super reduced price from POWD. Her dress was also brand new! She said, “Buying my wedding dress from POWD was a fantastic experience. I got exactly the dress I had been eyeing new, with the tags still attached, for several hundred dollars less than if I had bought it in the store. The seller was so sweet and even covered the shipping cost.”

And, I’d somehow forgotten that the ever excellent Rachel (Dday) Porter, whose dress later became an APW Sisterhood Of The Traveling Dress (more on that in January) got her dress from She said, “I had fallen in love with this dress at the very beginning of dress shopping, but it was way out of my budget at full price in the boutique, so while I looked at sites like POWD for it, I didn’t really think I’d find it. I even went so far as to buy a different dress at a sample sale, but then months later I realized it wasn’t going to work for me, so I searched for the one I had originally wanted—and bam. It popped up on POWD, perfect condition, never worn, about a billion (ok like 65) percent off. A flurry of emails, one paypal transaction and three days later, it was Mine. And now it’s Jenn’s.. But that’s another story.”

Chi-Ling Wedding

And finally, there was APW Sponsor Chi-Ling Wang’s gorgeous dress, which she scored pre-worn, making it the only actually pre-worn wedding dress of the lot (and no less lovely for it!). Smoking hot, amiright?

But the part of the story I can’t tell you about through pictures is the fact that, if you have a wedding dress sitting in your closet that you know for a fact you don’t want to hang onto… you can sell it! Through POWD for cash money! Plus, you’ll get to make another bride really really happy, which is indeed win-win. Plus, think of all the waste you’re avoiding, making it an awesome green wedding choice. So, whether you’re looking to buy a dress or sell a dress, go browse. And if you’re wondering where to start, I love the Dresses We Love section. I know. Have fun.

Photos By: Christina Richards (APW Sponsor), Emily Takes Photos (APW Sponsor),Christina Richards (APW Sponsor), Bisou Photography, and Blaine Photography

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    I’m not going through this sponsor specifically – but I will be wearing a pre-loved dress at my own wedding next year, and wearing a dress that has already helped usher another bride into marriage is a fantastic feeling.

    I will definitely be recommending POWD to friends getting married.

  • Diana

    My first APW comment! I also bought my dress through POWD. I first met my dress at the fancy bridal store, but it was, of course, very expensive. I was quarter-considering buying it anyway, but then the store wanted another $450 to ensure that it arrived in time for my wedding FIVE MONTHS AWAY. Yeah, no. So I figured out what model number the dress was from the designer’s website, and went to POWD to find it. It was already waiting for me across the country, worn by another bride close to my size. I got the dress for about half off, it was in great shape, and pre-hemmed to boot. The first owner seemed as excited at the idea of her pretty dress getting another day in the sun as getting some money back. She really loved her dress, and post-alterations, I really love mine. I plan on selling her/my/our dress back at a heavy discount once I’ve worn it, too, so it can be loved again. Rock on, POWD.

  • CAMinSD

    I did get my dress through POWD and it was a great experience. The site is organized well and easy to use. I also had the good fortune to buy from a friendly and very helpful seller. Thanks, Carol in Chicago!

    And for those of us that struggle with delayed gratification, it is rather nice to have your dress just hanging around for spontanous one woman fashion shows during commercial breaks. Which I totally have never done. As recently as last night.

    • meg


    • …now I want to do this.

      Step 1: Buy dress!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Be sure to check out their blog. It has the highest weddings:chasubles ratio of any wedding blog I’ve seen. Clearly, the people using POWD are down-to-earth and know what’s really important. Also, they’re photogenic and have taste. Even my future husband loved their blog!

  • Angie

    I’m in the process of getting a dress via POWD right now – in fact my dress should be arriving from California next week! Josie was great and the seller – Karen from CA – is a new friend. I just can’t say enough good things about my whole experience!

  • Boy is this post timely! Hindsight Bride, TheThirty-SomethingBride and I are working on the next Bridal Kool-Aid Cocktail Hour podcast and it’s all about dresses – the high end, the low end, the knock-offs, David’s Bridal, and the alternatives. I’ll add Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses to our list of discussion topics, it’s a great resource!

  • Erica

    So, I am very interested in the preowned wedding dress thing, and this is far and away the nicest preowned dress site I’ve come across, but I want to wear green, not white/ivory/offwhite. Anyone know of good sites to get preowned dresses that aren’t traditional wedding dresses? (And POWD, if you’re reading, I love your site, and would suggest adding a Bridesmaids/Prom dress section for those of us who want to wear a different color!)

  • I wanted a POWD but debated and debated for months. I was nervous about not having tried it on, since I am a plus sized bride and have so many problems with clothes. After about 4 months of engagement, however, my husband and I decided to move our wedding up by a year, leaving us with only 6 weeks to plan. The only thing that really made me nervous was the dress, getting it in time and having it fit the way I wanted it to, on a budget. Long story short, I went through David’s Bridal because I feared buying the dress through POWD, waiting for it, and then not liking it only a few weeks before the wedding. I loved my dress but once in a while, when I want to see the pretty, I’ll open up POWD and look at the one that got away and dream….

  • Leigh Ann

    I also bought my dress from Preowned after several failed attempts at bridal salons. It had never been worn and was worth about 4 times as much as they were selling it for. Yes, I did have to have it altered but I got SO MANY compliments on it. It is a beautiful dress. I plan to sell it back on the site, dirt cheap. What a great resource for brides!

    • meg

      I did not KNOW THAT!!!

  • I will begin the dress shopping process next week. Once I know what shape works best on me, I will certainly hit up POWD. I browse the site all the time! It’s perfect for a girl like me with Champagne taste on a beer budget. I had no idea it was an APW sponsor, which makes me love it even more! Huzzah sanity!

  • kim

    Got my dress through POWD… for 14% percent of retail price. YUP. It’s a sample, which means that I do have to get it altered because I’m too short for it (and just like half an inch too thick around the ribs, but within reason for alteration purposes). But seriously, even with the dress, the shipping, the customs, and paying for the alterations, I’m still coming in under budget.

  • The POWD buying experience was great. So much more warm than buying from a salon.

  • I sold my dress through POWD and had a great experience with it. I also listed the dress a couple other places but by far the most positive exchanges I had were through them and I got significantly fewer scam emails from their website. I got back about a third of what I paid for it and the person who bought it was such a sweetheart that I paid for shipping. I know a lot of women can’t imagine selling their wedding dress but I loved passing it on to someone who was in love with it. Definitely use POWD if you’re thinking about selling.

  • Josie

    Thanks Meg, for your awesome words about our site. And thanks too to all the brides who’ve bought, sold or browsed on our site. We LOVE helping brides find the dress of their dreams (at a price that fits with reality). And love helping a beautiful gown be worn again…not stored for years in a closet! It really is win-win!

  • Nora

    I also bought my dress through POWD. i would just like to share the awesome “search by location” feature if you are nervous about buying a dress without trying it on. I searched driving distance from where I was. I tried the dress on before committing to buy, met the couple who got married in the dress, and tried the dress on at her place before committing to buy. I had a moment with my friend in her guest room, and bought it on the spot and hauled it home on the metro. She gave me the veil she wore and let me borrow her earrings as well. The experience was simply amazing. I loved getting the story of the dress, and it fit me like a glove. I had the dress hemmed and that was it! I cannot recommend Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses enough, and would highly recommend searching by location if you want to try the dress on!

  • Denzi

    I LOVE POWD. I found a pre-worn dress for 18% of retail (it was a dress that would have been totally out of my budget, in any other circumstance). It is the best thing I’ve ever worn. AND it meant I had one more magical wedding elf, lurking in the background–someone who had gotten married in the dress before me and wished me all the best. Plus, pre-worn meant that it had magically been altered down to EXACTLY my size. I did not have to do any alterations at all.

  • Emily

    This site is awesome, I really wanted to use it but my engagement was juuuust the wrong length! With under 6 months to an off-season wedding, I was afraid the dress I really liked or something similar wouldn’t show up in my size in time, but I could’ve waited and kept an eye on it if I’d had longer (I only found one in a slightly different size and color, with irreversible alterations and buyer-pays shipping and dry cleaning, so it was a big risk for relatively modest savings- you guys who are finding brand new dresses win at shopping!). But if the wedding were much sooner, I would not have had the luxury of ordering a dress that hit every item on my checklist, and it would’ve been a godsend for giving me options beyond off the rack samples.

    It is also a good site for seeing how dresses you like look on regular people who are not catalog models, though. Particularly if you do not want to go on lots of actual shopping trips to figure out what a certain style looks like on someone your size.

  • Elizabeth

    I also found my dress on POWD, after some fun but fruitless bridal salon shopping (sleeves, apparently, are only done by “couture” designers). I loved the dresses in the salons, but not $2,000 worth of love.

    Went to POWD, found EXACTLY what I was looking for (brand-new!), at EXACTLY the price I was hoping for, and even got to try it on before buying. (The seller very graciously waited through multiple phone consultations with mom & sister, and threw in her veil and tiara for free). I can’t say enough good things about my experience with this site!