There comes a time in your life when you’re inundated with wedding invitations and dear reader, I have reached that time.
With lots of my friends and family tying the knot in recent years, I’ve been attending weddings right, left and centre.
Now, I love a good wedding mainly because it’s an excuse for a weekend away, a big party and of course, getting glammed up.
However, there’s no denying that weddings cost a bomb between paying for accommodation, wedding gifts and travel. And I frequently have to use annual leave days for them as I’m not guaranteed weekends off work.
So, although part of me would love a new outfit every time, the sensible part of me knows that I can’t afford it.
This year, I had three weddings and I decided I wouldn’t buy anything new from the high street and instead try to re-wear some of my old outfits.
Here’s how I got on:
Wedding number 1: An outdoor wedding in Meath in June.
This wedding was at Boyne Hill House and it was a beautiful day, it didn’t rain, even though there were a few drops on the way down.
The bride was radiant with flowers in her hair, the sun shone and it was a gorgeous civil ceremony. It was really nice to experience an outdoor wedding as I’d never been to one before.
I decided to re-wear an Asos dress I bought for another friend’s wedding two years earlier.
This dress actually fits me better now since I lost weight and I paired it with cream shoes from the charity shop which were €2 and threw an Asos white cardi on top.
This dress is from a brand called Elise Ryan and it cost €57.
I accessorised with a silver bag I already had.
Verdict: The dress was perfect for the weather and the occasion but the shoes were not great.
They were tough going on the grass and I felt like Bambi on ice! I gave them away since as they were not for me.
Hot tip: Don’t wear shoes you’ve never worn previously to a wedding, never a good idea!
Price:€0 as everything was from my existing wardrobe.
Wedding no 2: A civil ceremony in Co Wicklow in August
Another gorgeous day out in Brook Lodge and MacCreddin Village in the heart of Wicklow.
The dress I wore for this wedding has been in my wardrobe for 11, yes 11 years!
I originally bought it for a Christmas party in 2008 and wore it to my college graduation in 2010.
Happily, it still fits and I added my hero red high heels which have also been in my wardrobe for a long time, around seven years.
They are the most comfortable heels I own, despite being quite high.
The only new part of my outfit was my hairband which I bought from AliExpress for €10.18 and earrings from Penneys.
I re-used the same silver bag as before – it goes with everything and threw on Ray-Bans when it got really sunny.
To get the dress ship-shape, I had to gently handwash it as there were some stains on it and the silver straps had gone black so I went over them with silver nail varnish.
A bit of an effort but worth it because I love this dress and I got loads of compliments on it.
I think this dress has lasted so long because it’s handwash only. It wasn’t an expensive dress but I’ve taken good care of it.
Verdict: This was a really good choice and I’m glad I hung on to the dress all these years. As it’s quite flowy, I had plenty of room for food and drinks and I lasted most of the night in the shoes too!
Wedding no 3: An October ceremony in a refurbished barn in Co Louth
This was my boyfriend’s sister’s wedding so we were very excited about it and I was very emotional on the big day!
It was the cutest ceremony with an alpaca for a ringbearer and the venue, Seagrave Barns, was stunning.
We also got to stay in a wooden pod which was pretty cool.
For this wedding, I wore a dress and bag which were new to me but they were vintage and secondhand bargains.
While browsing in Retro City Lisboa in Lisbon, I came across a beautiful dress with a floral skirt and black upper half with a sweetheart neckline.
It was a gorgeous fit and really flattering on me, so I knew I had to get it. It was marked €20 but they gave it to me for €18.
I decided I wanted a different bag this time and I spotted a funky 00s style Oriental print clutch in one of the charity shops in Phibsborough. This was about €6.90 but while it’s cute, it doesn’t open very wide so you can’t put much in!
I added a navy vintage belt with a gold buckle and my trusty red heels again. There were a lot of colours going on this outfit but they all worked together.
I accessorised with a hair clip from Nasty Gal and a small gold necklace which was about €6.
Verdict: A good choice, except I only brought a cardigan and ended up wearing a rain jacket over the dress as it lashed rain all day!
I spent the most on this outfit but it was still very little compared to the cost of a new outfit on the high street.
I think I’ll save the clutch bag for nights out as I tend to bring lots of makeup to weddings and need a big bag.
My total spend on outfits for the three weddings was €44.08, equal to the cost of one dress or pair of shoes on the high street.
Next year, I’ve two weddings lined up and after seeing how little I spent this year, it’s motivated me to re-wear outfits again or choose secondhand/vintage.
It’s possible to re-wear wedding outfits without becoming bored by changing up your shoes/accessories or even trying a different hair/makeup look.
Obviously, I was lucky in that I still fit into those dresses, if I didn’t, I might have had to buy new ones.
Sometimes, you do have to buy a new outfit/shoes/bag, depending on the circumstances and I’m not against that but it’s always worth checking what’s in the back of your wardrobe as well as exploring secondhand/vintage options.
While you might be attending weddings with the same group of people over and over, no-one is going to notice if you re-wear an old outfit, all the attention will be on the happy couple!
Hope you all enjoyed this post and it’s given you some inspiration for wedding outfits.