Getting Married Amid Inflation? You Can Borrow a Vintage Wedding Dress From This Library

Getting Married Amid Inflation? You Can Borrow a Vintage Wedding Dress From This Library
Cover Image Source: This library lends vintage wedding dressesInstagram | Adele Pier Puccio

While inflation may be down from its peak, there's no hiding the fact that people are still dealing with steep prices. Inflation has particularly impacted the wedding industry, so a library has stepped up to help brides navigate the sky-high prices. The public library is reportedly renting out vintage wedding dresses. The director of the program began building a collection of wedding dresses back in 2000 and is known for loaning them over the years. Now, she even has a venue that makes exhibiting her products easy. 

Adele Puccio, the director of Maurice M. Pine Free Public Library in Fair Lawn, has collected these gowns from second-hand stores or Freecycle, which is a nonprofit organization that recycles goods to new owners for free. Brides can check out the dress they like and even make alterations as per their needs. The director of the program said that some of the dresses do not make their way back to them as some brides fall in love with their dresses so much that they decide to keep them, but she appreciates it if they return them.

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Cover Image source: Pexels/Daniel Moises Magulado
 A wedding dress displayed in a shop (representative image) | Pexels | Daniel Moises Magulado

Puccio has been putting in efforts to market her side gig through word of mouth as well as on her Facebook group, Shared Dream Dresses. This private page has more than 20,000 followers and she claims that nobody needs to pay to join the group. The only expectation is that every borrower acknowledges the sentimental value and returns the dress after wearing it. 

She has been running a personal project at the library for over two decades now. She also hosts an event called Salute to Brides. The event is always successful and has inspired other members of the library staff and patrons to donate wedding dresses. After she began organizing Salute to Brides and decorated the library, "it wound up snowballing," Puccio said.

In conversation with NJ.com, Puccio revealed that over the years, she has loaned at least 30 dresses, carefully. Puccio’s office at the library has a few mannequins, modeling some of her popular designs from her collection, while the rest of them are at her home in Bayonne. Puccio also talked about how the process of getting a gown from her collection is slightly different from regular buying. 

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A post shared by Adele Pier Puccio (@adele_pier)


 

"It’s not like I’m slapping a barcode on it and checking it out,” Puccio explained. “If somebody comes in and wants a wedding gown, they just have to express their interest and tell me what they need it for."

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Puccio told NJ.com that she got married when she was 19 in 1985. Her husband died of cancer in 2019. Puccio has re-worn her dress a couple of times. One year, she wore it on Halloween as a costume, and the other time she wore it on the New York City Pride Parade when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.

Borrowing a wedding dress in a time of inflation can help cut the cost. The average cost of a wedding dress is around $1,900 and according to a survey, around 93% of brides buy new dresses. However, some brides borrow gowns too. 

Getty Images | Tim P. Whitby
Getty Images | Tim P. Whitby

Soler, a bride who borrowed a 1970s gown from Puccio, said that she had searched several thrift shops and was not happy until he stumbled upon Fair Lawn library. She said that the dress required no alteration but she did spend $100 on cleaning which was the "most expensive" part of the borrowing. Interested brides can check out the dresses and become a part of her private Facebook group to know more.

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