weddings

"I found the wedding dress of my dreams for $100 on Gumtree."

Anyone bride-to-be soon finds out how eye-wateringly expensive the big day can add up to be.

That shock first hit Brisbane woman Maykel Rodrigues when she went shopping for her wedding dress and was taken aback by the prices.

“I went to the stores in the CBD just to check how much it would be roughly for the wedding outfit, and was very surprised – the cost was very high,” Maykel tells Mamamia.

The 31-year-old was planning an intimate ceremony with fiance Thomas Schmidt and was hoping to keep costs down, so they could splash on other things – like the honeymoon.

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So when Maykel couldn’t find anything in stores for the right price, she turned to Gumtree, hoping to find a dress that suited her budget.

“I was looking for one that would be made of lace and very delicate. I was hoping it was simple, but beautiful as well,” she says.

It wasn’t long before she found everything she’d been looking for in a dress – for just $100.

“It was totally what I always dreamed of. Very delicate lines, very simple, lace material and with the fish-tail. It was just perfect. I was so happy with it,” Maykel says.

“It just fit perfectly. It was meant to be.”

Maykel says she had turned to Gumtree because she’s been a seller on the site since 2015 and knew the process suited her.

Maykel and her husband Thomas has an intimate ceremony with just a few friends. (Image supplied.)

She says it was important for her to be able to meet the buyer, see the dress in person and try it on before handing over her cash.

"I thought about buying something online, but then I thought you never know what you're going to get if you buy online. This was I could see it in person," Maykel says.

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The newlywed has put the money she saved on her wedding outfit towards a pre-wedding hen's trip to Thailand, because she has a passion for travel.

Maykel's top tips for buying a bridal outfit on Gumtree.

1. Look for new items.

The woman Maykel bought her dress from had owned a bridal shop, and was selling items on Gumtree from her home to clear stock she'd been unable to sell. While she admits this was a lucky find, it's worth looking for sellers like this if you can find them.

2. Be specific with your search.

Maykel wanted a mermaid-style lace wedding dress - so those were the key words she searched for. She also looked at sellers only as far away as she was willing to travel.

Maykel's shoes were only $35 and she got a great deal on her rose bouquet. (Image supplied.)

3. Don't be afraid to bargain.

Maykel tells Mamamia she never shies away from bargaining - particularly if there's more than one item she wants from the seller.

Since she bought her lace edge veil, a crystal and pearl encrusted belt for the dress and a pearl hair comb from the same buyer as the dress she asked for a deal - getting the accessories and the dress for a total of $185, when it should have retailed for 10 times as much.

4. Settle on the price and stick to it.

Having said that, Maykel says it's proper etiquette to stick to the price you agreed to online, rather than try to haggle them down when you go to pick up the goods.

5. Ask around for more deals.

Maykel says it was through chatting to the woman who sold her the bridal accessories that she found a florist who would give her a good deal. So it pays to mention the other things you're looking for.

"I found out from a florist my red rose boquet was going to cost $240. (The Gumtree seller) told me about a friend who could do it for a good price," she says, which ended up being $80.

6. Resell what you can and save even more money.

"At the end of the day my outfit cost was virtually nothing since I sold most of the items back on Gumtree," Maykel says.

However, the newlywed says she's holding onto her $100 wedding dress - for now.

Did you find any bridal bargains before your big day?

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