When 32-year-old Jillian Lynch, from Ohio, set out to find a wedding dress, the bride-to-be headed to a thrift shop and managed to find her perfect dress for only $3.75 (R62.60).
Lynch, who works as a talent associate for a non-profit, is an avid thrifter. So finding her wedding gown at a thrift shop simply felt natural to her style.
Lynch told Insider that she and her partner of 13 years didn’t picture themselves getting married until the spring of 2021.
“We planned on being life partners and supporting each other throughout our lives, but marriage didn’t seem necessary,” she said. “I don’t know what changed, but about a year ago, we were like, ‘Let’s be husband and wife.'”
They knew a big wedding wasn’t for them so they planned a 30-person celebration at the Social House in Tempe, Arizona, where the majority of their family and friends live. It was held on May 13, 2022.
After the venue was chosen, Lynch started shopping for a dress.
“I just started looking for dresses, not wedding dresses, but simple white dresses,” she told Insider. “I didn’t want anything too formal.”
After a total of four days spent thrifting and a month before the wedding, Lynch found a Camilla Coelho dress. A mid-length, slip dress with an asymmetrical neckline and a daring slit.
“I feel like it straddled that line of bridal to not being related to wedding at all,” Lynch said of the dress.
The dress is currently available on Revolve for around $220 (R3695).
She bought the dress but was still uncertain whether she would ultimately wear it to the wedding. She posted a video of herself in the dress on TikTok — and it quickly garnered more than four million views and thousands of comments from viewers supporting her decision to wear a thrifted wedding dress.
@jilly_lynchso happy with all these finds ?♬ original sound – Jillian
“Brides tend to go wedding dress shopping with their mom, their bridal party, or a group of people to get feedback,” she said of posting about the dress on TikTok. “It felt a lot like that.”
After the TikTok commentary, Lynch tried on the dress a few more times and decided it would be her wedding gown.
She said she had the waist taken in by a local tailor, swapped the adjustable straps for custom straps to elevate the look, as well as added lace to the daring slit to make it slightly demure. All following suggestions that were made by the many TikTok commenters.
She paired it with heels she thrifted for $8, and did her own hair and makeup for the day. Making the total cost of her outfit a mind-blowing $11.75 (R169).
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt that great in something,” says Lynch. “That’s what brides should feel on their wedding day like they’re at their peak beautiful self. That’s exactly how I felt when I put it on.”
She admits that had she not been able to find what she envisioned in her mind, she would have taken a more traditional route.
But she “was super lucky,” explaining that her wedding dress was right for her because she stopped pressuring herself to find the “perfect” dress. She concluded that the second she stopped asking herself if it were “the one,” picking a look was more fun than stressful.