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Out with the old, in with used!

It has been over a year and the wedding world as we know it has changed dramatically for many couples. Those who postponed out of caution last year in hopes of celebrating their nuptials as previously planned and newly engaged couples who couldn’t have predicted the length of the effects the pandemic continues to have on public health and events are all struggling to make decisions about how to proceed. With gatherings restricted and limitations on vendors we find ourselves asking, is it worth it to be wed in 2021?

This question has so many layers to it, which have been analyzed and debated both publicly and privately, over the last 14 months. And here in Winnipeg, while the weather remains cool, future dates become scarce and postponements feel like a giant “pause life” button that is preventing couples from actually enjoying the journey towards marriage, the choices remain limiting. But, Manitobans are a hearty people, full of resilience and ready to persevere. And so for those of you forging ahead with your love stories secondhand, used and previously owned formal wear can be your bff in executing and enjoying a celebration with short timelines, reduced budgets and unconventional needs. Here are 3 ways second hand is stealing the show and saving the day this wedding season!

No time, no problem!

Due to closures, reduced shipping times, changes in themes or venues or dates and many other reasons finding a gown that suits your current plans in the traditional retail market can be a challenge. Ordering online carries its own risks- will it fit? Will it look how I envisioned it? Will it arrive on time? Finding something you can try on with a consultant present who can guide you through fit and potential alterations is key in creating a stress free shopping experience. Secondhand offers clean, available for same day purchase gowns in a variety of price points and sizes. This also means you can wait to make decisions about bridal shower dresses, bridesmaids dresses or flower girl attire until you know what numbers you will be hosting at your event as we bring in and maintain a vast selection of all types of gowns.

Birch Bonus: Our space has private studios that allow you to safely include other guests in an effort to embrace some of the experiences that are traditionally enjoyed during the wedding planning process. We also offer alterations which drastically reduce the time and effort needed to make your choice aisle ready.

Affordability doesn’t have to compromise style.

Our consignment inventory features new items, previously owned items, once worn and dry cleaned secondhand items and unique vintage pieces all in one space. The quality of dresses and accessories are carefully screened, cleaned and restored in order to ensure their like new condition. Everything we offer is reduced by a minimum of 25% for items that are new with tags and up to 70% for previously enjoyed inventory. This includes non-traditional dresses, like this sequin sheath midi pictured below, if you have downsized your ceremony or are planning on saving your wedding gown for a future reception date. Consider accessories- why spend $400 on a veil you can buy for half the cost that was only worn by the previous bride for less than an hour? Not only does this save you money, it may even create room in your budget for things you may have contemplated omitting because of the financial impact. Every designer we carry can be found in other retail options throughout the world which means you are guaranteed to find high quality selection for less. The best part is you can try everything on before you invest giving you confidence in your choice!

Birch Bonus: Because secondhand and consignment curates its inventory by selecting the best of what people just like you have found in retail our selection is unique, beautiful and features items you won’t find anywhere else including designers from all over the world and items only sold online. You can benefit from the pricing of online buy and sell pages while receiving a personalized 5 star shopping experience.

Keep your consumerism intentional.

As many of us are conscious of where we go, how many people we interact with and how garment production affects the environment, the global conversation around climate and health have many evaluating the concepts of wants and needs. Shopping small, local businesses that offer more confidence in their health and safety measures while contributing to sustainability is a win for everyone. It is important to recognize that our actions have an impact on the world around us. For this reason, shopping secondhand can be a liberating and empowering experience. At Pearl & Birch, you can explore a variety of options in one space, including accessories and shoes, reducing the number of public spaces you have to go into. And you can feel amazing about choosing environmentally conscious consumption with the knowledge that you can reconsign your items when you are done if you want resulting in a new purpose for the items and money back in your pocket.

Birch Bonus: We offer all the amenities of a traditional bridal shop while providing unique opportunities to explore other items that may be on your styling list. From shoes to veils, jewelry to hairpieces, mother's gowns to event cocktail dresses we carry so much more than wedding gowns in our store.

Secondhand has traditionally been viewed as a way to be “thrifty” or for people who struggle economically. These assumptions limit people from exploring used as the new new. As we evolve into a society that continues to place more value on experiences over material things shifting our mindset to seeing the true cost of our consumption and the real quality of the clothing and items we can access in the used market is key in creating a future where we face the challenges of event planning, affordability and accessibility with a new lens. Where style and purpose supersede fashion and disposability. After over a year of struggles, disappointments and stress we hope you can see the enormous benefits in shopping sustainably for your event and give yourself permission to say out with old way of shopping and in with the used.

Welcome to the wedding rewear revolution!


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