Weddingapalooza: my second-hand wedding tour wardrobe

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Our wedding celebrations ranged from a water park, a Goth festival, climbing mountains, brunches, beach parties, exploring Disneyland, and an Elvis vow renewal ceremony. What was I going to wear!? I turned to second-hand shopping for a sartorial solution.


Transporting my wedding dress(es) internationally on our wedding celebration tour just wasn’t practical, and no single outfit was going to be suitable (or indeed, safe!) for all of these occasions. So, I decided to curate a wedding wardrobe for our travels.


I’m conscious of the negative environmental impact of fast fashion, plus I didn’t have an unlimited budget (!), so I sourced the vast majority of pieces second-hand. I almost exclusively used Vinted and built up my wedding “collection” over several months. The majority of items were extremely affordable, e.g. shorts for £4, a white coat for £10, a party dress for £11, Nike trainers for £24. Better for the planet and bargains, too!


This involved a lot of searching and organisation. I had a spreadsheet of our tour events and picked outfits for each to avoid buying too many things or missing out on a specific use-case. There were definite hits and some misses- some items didn’t fit or were, quite frankly, hideous, when they arrived, so I either sold them on again or donated them to charity. It might sound like a hassle, but I’m always up for shopping, so I had lots of fun! For the equally clothing-passionate out there, I’ll detail some of my wedding wardrobe highlights below.

Bridal swimwear

Surprisingly, I had several occasions where bridal swimwear was necessary! I bought a swimming costume with cool fishnet cutout sections and a halter neckline to wear at our waterpark event in Edmonton. This was very comfortable and provided the appropriate coverage for going on water slides without the risk of accidents!


Bridal swimwear in action- no slips occurred!


I also sourced two bikinis for the beach parties in California. One with elegant lace detail, and one plain, so it doubled up as underwear on our longer trips #packsmart.


Bridal bikini in California


For our beach party in Southern California, I wore the plain bikini with my white lace wedding night slip over the top as a gown substitute. I even walked out into the ocean with this on, which was super fun!


Beach wedding vibes: bikini and lace over-dress in Laguna Beach

Bride-esque Goth outfits

For our Goth festival and club night parties, I sourced some strappy “bandage” party dresses from high-street brands, wearing these alongside a white Cyberdog piece (the latter was not second-hand, but, as I dance for them, I just had to have it!). I was delighted to find items that I would totally purchase in black for my regular clubbing wardrobe, but in white, second-hand, and at a fraction of the cost!


Cybergoth bride! Dress 1 is from Cyberdog, and dresses 2 & 3 are thrifted


I customised one dress by cutting the sleeves off, added a back slit to another, and accessorised to “Goth” them up a bit more. I found a white O-ring collar and harness belt and turned to Amazon for a dramatic crown to elevate the look (not second-hand, but I did spray paint and re-use it at another wedding event, so it’s gaining sustainability points with each wear!).


I picked up an ankle-length white puffer coat…This is absolutely NOT a sentence I thought I’d ever write!

As the Goth festival was in early April, I picked up an ankle-length white puffer coat to fend off any chills. This is absolutely NOT a sentence I thought I’d ever write!! This coat cost me literally £10. You can tell it’s not the best quality, but I have to say that I LOVED wearing this! It was so warm and cosy for walking to and from the venue in the early morning, plus the silhouette was so dramatic and fun. I have plans to paint some of the panels as I think it would look cool with a graffiti effect – watch this space!


Classic lift selfie showing the coat in its puffy glory!


Romantic (and crease-resistant) gown

I fell in love with this textured vintage Monsoon maxi dress, again sourced on Vinted. It’s so different to my other wedding gowns but still has a vintage-inspired feel, plus an excellent internal bodice structure while still being comfy and free-flowing in the skirt.


The perfect gown for a country pub and a beach party


I wore this to our gathering at the village pub in Devon, and for our spectacular sunset beach party in Vancouver. It travelled very well with no risk of creasing and didn’t take up too much suitcase space, despite its poofy-ness (technical term…). I have magical memories in this dreamy gown. I would love to have this in black- I wonder if it would dye?? Again, watch this space!


A glamorous mini-dress


It was so much fun to step outside my comfort zone…

This mini dress gives me so much JOY! The asymmetric cut with a wrap-over style pencil skirt is totally something I would buy for wearing to vintage dance events, but I would usually stick to a longer knee-length. It was so much fun to step outside my comfort zone and get those legs out in a cute mini!


Vegas-appropriate wedding attire!


I love the polka dot mesh overlay detail to the bust, the puff sleeve, and the fit works really well (even if I do say so myself!). Paired with contrast back seam tights and white high heels, I was ready to party. I wore this for our London drinks reception and for our Vegas vow renewal and romping around casinos (of course!).


Shoes made for touring

I love my ivory satin bridal shoes, but they are not practical for long-term use. So, I found a similar-looking pair of white leather heels that proved to be much more durable and capable of handling different flooring and weather conditions. I can’t tell you how useful these were! They were so versatile they went with every outfit, and I even added a little pearl and diamonte clip to the front to “Vegas” them up a bit for our vow renewal (as you can see above).


I sourced us matching Dr. Martens boots…

As a special addition to our footwear collection and as a gift to my fiancé two months before our wedding, I sourced matching Dr. Martens boots. They look extra rock ‘n’ roll with a pattern inspired by playing cards, including a big heart on the side. I found these on Vinted as store overstock so they are in great condition and I was lucky to find both our sizes.


Strapping into our wedding DMs!




An honourable footwear mention goes to an essential pair of white Nike Air Force 1 leather trainers (again, bought second-hand). I lived in them on the many sunny parts of the tour and they absolutely saved my feet from meltdown!


Beachy playsuit


While I sorted my swimwear quite early in the process, I realised that it would be helpful to have something light to get me to the beach without being arrested! I found this white halter neck playsuit with lace panels on Vinted, and it was just perfect. I loved the romantic vintage style, and while it was a bit see-through, with a white bikini underneath, it was socially acceptable to walk around a seaside town in it. I paired it with a black and white patterned bandana as a head wrap to protect my hair and look cute (something of a signature style- check out my YouTube tutorial here).


Wearing my vintage-style playsuit in a vintage-style diner!


Disney Princess

When I saw this lace mini dress in a slightly shiny silver colour, I immediately thought “Disney Princess”. As one of our tour stops was indeed, Disneyland, I just had to have it! 


Disney princess (in comfortable shoes!)


I love how the pretty heart shape at the chest is created with clever cut-outs, and a halter neckline is my all-time favourite. The little section of tulle under the hem was just enough to give some volume without being too hot in the Californian sunshine or impractical on rides. The previous owner had mended the ribbon at the neckline (pretty well, actually) so was offering it at a very affordable £9. Bargain!


Vintage-style coat

Our wedding tour began in early April when the British weather could do anything (!), so it was important to be prepared with layers. My punky white leather biker jacket wouldn’t be appropriate for all occasions, so I needed an additional light coat. I found this cute A-line jacket with a 1960s-style rounded collar, pockets, and large buttons. The fabric is slightly quilted and I’m impressed by the quality- it even washes well in the machine! I enjoyed wearing this on many occasions of our tour, feeling like a classy, Jackie-O Barbie doll!


60s style coat the day after our wedding in Oxford


Lace cocktail dress


I felt like a million dollars in this dress…

For the more “posh” events surrounding our wedding, I sourced a lovely white lace pencil dress with a flattering scalloped slash neckline. I felt like a million dollars in this dress! I wore it for a fancy meal the night before our wedding ceremony and for a very lovely rooftop lunch in Vancouver hosted by my Mother-in-Law and her work colleagues. This was a delight to wear and it’s definitely a keeper- I look forward to having future upmarket occasions to break it out!


Out for dinner the night before our wedding in Oxford


Rock ‘n’ Roll dress

What screams rock ‘n’ roll more than tassels!! I picked up this causal t-shirt style dress with epic tassels at the neckline and a tight mini skirt. I loved wearing this with my Dr. Martens at our BBQ party in Seattle, and for the Bikeshed Moto Co. meet-up in LA – both suitably rock ‘n’ roll occasions. One of my favourite memories in this dress is riding around on a rented electric scooter in Long Beach, LA, running errands before the meet-up, with my tassels flowing freely in the wind (see Insta for a video!). Simple but fun.



Tassels blowing in the breeze in Long Beach, LA


Brunching glitz

Brunch is an inevitable part of most weddings, so it was important to be sartorially prepared! My favourite piece was a lovely sequined lace patterned top that I wore over a simple vest with high-waisted shorts. This was perfect for brunching in the sunny spots of Victoria, Canada, and Oakland, California. I think the detail on this top is just gorgeous- the sequins are really tiny and slightly matt, so it has a lovely classy look and is suitable for the daytime.


Sparkles and a GIANT marg!



Essential for any bride is something COMFY! I found second-hand white Nike jogging bottoms for £10, which I lived in on “rest” days and wore without fail on flights. They were warm, soft, and washed very well, too. They looked great with our tour T-shirt!


Comfy and practical at the Grand Canyon


I also found a couple of sweatshirts to keep me warm, but still give wedding vibes. One was by Adidas with mesh stripe detail on the sleeves, and my favourite had broderie anglaise-style cutouts to imitate a bridal lace pattern.


One of my favourite sweatshirts being wind-tested on the Hydrofoil to Seattle!


Sunny dresses

We were lucky enough to visit several sunny and warm places on our tour, so I sourced a couple of essential breezy cotton broderie anglaise dresses to enjoy in the sun, and for dinner and drinks al fresco. These were particularly perfect in Valencia, summer days in Edinburgh, and for our Portland adventures.


Easy and breezy in Portland


Tour accessories

My favourite accessory has to be what a friend has dubbed my, “travel veil”. I’ve worn her on almost every day of the tour: on flights, boats, helicopters, in supermarkets, Goth clubs, hot tubs, and bars. She is a big satin bow with two short layers of tulle on a hair clip, that attaches to lots of different hairstyles (e.g. behind a low or a high bun, in front of a looped-over ponytail, securing a half-up style etc.).  She always put me in the mood for our celebrations!


Travel veil in extreme action at the shooting range in Alberta- she’s been through some things!


Another favourite piece is my heart-shaped Dr. Martens handbag. This is quite a rare item, so, while it is second-hand, I did spend a little more on this than other pieces. I loved using this for its novelty style and practicality (it fits more inside than you’d think!), and it’s been with me all around the UK and to Canada and the Pacific Northwest.


Handbag love!


Following on from this theme, I was inseparable from my oversized heart-shaped sunglasses! While utterly ridiculous, I loved wearing them and they came with me to every tour stop. I even had a “Vegas” version of the same glasses, all decked out with diamantes. They exemplify the sartorial fun I was having this year!


Sunglasses in ultimate rock ‘n’ roll mode in a helicopter over Vancouver


A blinged-out version for Vegas!


I loved building this affordable and ethical wardrobe! Buying this mini-collection (mostly) second-hand was particularly important to me, as I’m conscious of the damage that “fast fashion” does to the planet, and I believe that individuals can have an impact through their choices.


In 2023, I went from having literally zero white clothes in my wardrobe to an entire mini-collection in white! I found it interesting that I was able to find garments that still totally felt like “me”, just in a different colour palette that I’d not considered before. Beyond our tour, I’m looking forward to incorporating the occasional white item into my looks, so watch out for the new, “lighter”, me!


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