Q&A with founder of Sell My Wedding, Rebecca Aspin
11 Dec 2017
With a passion to deliver a pre-loved marketplace that connects brides, brides-to-be and businesses, Rebecca Aspin launched Sell My Wedding in 2011 and now Archant Bride has partnered with the platform to deliver the concept to its bridal audience
The busy, consumer driven, modern society we live in today means we think we need to have it all, especially when planning a wedding. However, since planning her own big day, Rebecca Aspin has been keen to dispel the frivolity and extravagance that can threaten to consume brides-to-be in their wedding organisation. Introducing Sell My Wedding… a pre-loved marketplace for brides and businesses to sell on their wedding items to current brides-to-be.
A more ethical and eco-friendly concept than buying everything brand new, Sell My Wedding is the go-to platform for brides-to-be who are on a budget. Rebecca says: “If you think of each wedding item as having five lives you can delight in the fact that each of the items you lovingly chose, bought or made for your wedding day can go on to be used again and again.”
Having partnered with Sell My Wedding to deliver the concept directly to its readers, Archant Bride is now offering access to the site via www.bridemagazine.co.uk/shop. To mark the partnership, we sit down with founder, Rebecca, to find out more about the business.
Tell us about how you came up with the concept for Sell My Wedding.
The idea for Sell My Wedding was born out of the fact that I had 12 Laura Ashley candelabras left over from my own wedding. I ended up handing them out to guests to take home and while it's nice that some of them still have them 10 years later, the (harsh) fact is that I think I would have rather sold them to another bride, not only so they could be used again but so that the money could have been reinvested in our house or honeymoon.
At the time, while there were wedding dress resale sites there was nothing dedicated to everything else wedding. There were sites in the US where you could sell your wedding décor so I set about creating something for UK brides.
How have brides reacted to Sell My Wedding since its launch?
We’re finding that brides are thinking more and more about recycling, reusing and reloving from the start of their planning, with buyers returning to our marketplace after their wedding to sell on the items they sourced second-hand as well as much more. Even if you've received donations to your wedding from family, the majority won't be offended if you decide to sell on your wedding items. You may use the money to go towards a house deposit or honeymoon so, ultimately, their money has gone even further than contributing to your dress or the decorations. If you have a family member who you think won't be supportive of this idea, you can tell them that their donation went towards something that you’re not reselling, for example the band or food.
How do brides know that they are pricing pre-loved items accordingly?
As a general rule, half of what you paid for the item is a good starting point. Take a look and see what other items have been sold for. If the item is designer, in excellent condition and still available in the shop you have a better chance of listing it for more. However, if you price something realistically you are more likely to get a quick sale. Think about how much you would have been willing to pay for a second-hand item.
If your items are handmade, you may have no idea how much to charge, so again think about the cost of the materials, your time (you’re saving the bride-to-be having to DIY) and again what you would have been willing to pay.
What advice do you have for people letting go of sentimental items?
I think it depends what type of person you are; my advice would be to list your items and see what interest you get and how much you may be offered. You may have thought you would never part with your dress, however if you are offered £1,000 you may suddenly feel less sentimental. If you don’t feel comfortable with selling it, there are other options for sharing your dress. You could donate it to a charity such as Wedding Wishing Well Foundation or Brides Do Good, or have it made into a funeral gown for stillborn babies.
What advice do you have for someone who is considering selling their wedding items?
Enjoy it. Enjoy the interaction with other brides. Be honest about what you are selling and realistic in terms of the price you are asking. Newlyweds who take the time to tell the story of their wedding and include detailed descriptions alongside beautiful images of the items in use normally do well. Sellers who list a number of items from their wedding also get the most out of the site, as some buyers go on to buy multiple items.
Why should brides- and grooms-to-be buy pre-loved?
There continues to be less and less stigma around buying second-hand, with brides proud that they sourced items from boot sales, charity shops, sample sales and re-sale websites such as Sell My Wedding. Our most popular items remain décor alongside accessories such as shoes, veils and headpieces as you are often unable to tell that these items have been used. Handmade décor, for example signs, table plans, bars and photo booths, are also popular as brides want to create something of that look, without actually doing any of the DIY themselves. This also means that you are getting a one-off talking point item not available elsewhere.
Some people may not even entertain buying a second-hand dress as they want the experience of buying direct from the boutique, while for someone else knowing that they are getting it half price could allow them to get the dress of their dreams without going over budget. And of course, if they decide to resell it again they may be able to recoup nearly the full cost of what they’ve paid.
Visit Sell My Wedding now at bridemagazine.co.uk/shop.