Rebecca Aspin, Founder of Sell My Wedding, the UK’s preloved marketplace for creative brides, has a vision to make wedding greener.
Post lockdown we asked her to reflect on how her business has been affected and whether she thinks there will be a trend towards more people considering buying preloved.
How did you get the idea for your business?
Sell My Wedding was established in 2011. It started out of a desire to help newlyweds sell preloved wedding items to like-minded brides and 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 our guests to take home and while it’s great that some of them still have them ten years later, I think I would have got more joy selling them onto another bride for her to use at her wedding.
How do you think brides will approach buying secondhand post Covid-19?
Pre-lockdown, the busy and consumer driven, modern society we lived in often led to brides to think that they had to have it all, especially when planning a wedding. I think that going forward there will be a move to keep things more minimal, with a reduction in extravagance and frivolous purchases.
With our freedom taken away and weddings coming to a stand still, our values have shifted and we’ve realigned with what is actually important in our lives. We’ve also questioned more how we want to spend our money, what is necessary and what material things bring us joy.
Do you think people will be more cautious buying new?
I don’t necessarily think that people will be cautious buying new but I think that they will probably question more whether they actually need to buy something for their wedding. When couples finally get to celebrate their big day, all that really matters will be the fact that they can do this in front of the people that they love.
Do you think people will be more thrifty?
I think that lockdown and the past six months has made many people question many aspects of their life and what’s actually important.
The reality is that some people may have lost their jobs or income, so won’t have a choice in looking at thriftier and money-saving options.
How has your business been affected?
Our website statistics reflected the overall trend and mood of the country with visitor figures and sign up dropping off as soon as we went into lockdown at the end of March.
We had a couple of really quiet months, which is completely understandable, with weddings coming to a stand still and people being cautious even making unnecessary trips to the Post Office.
Since July though, we’ve had many new sellers join our site. It’s maybe an activity that has been on their to do list for a while and with increased confidence and freedom as we adjust to a new normal, they feel more comfortable to do this.
Newlyweds may also have the time to tackle their wardrobe or cupboards which have been overflowing with leftover candelabras, vases, glasses and napkins.
Do you think brides are becoming more eco conscious?
We’re finding that brides are thinking more and more about recycling, reusing and re-loving from the start of their planning, with buyers returning to our marketplace after their wedding to sell on the items they sourced secondhand as well as much more.
Many people are now making decisions on what they buy based on the fact that they will resell it after their wedding. This helps in minimising what is bought in the first place. Helping question if they really need or want it.
What are your best sellers?
While you can literally list everything to do with your wedding on our marketplace the items that still do really well are wedding decor items, including handmade and DIY items. Accessories such as veils and headpieces also sell quickly.
All photographs included in this post where taken by Fiona Kelly.