Hey Frugs! We have an interview with the young and fabulous Jackie Courtney , owner of hot, new online bridal boutique Nearly Newlywed. Nearly Newlywed is unique because brides can buy, try and sell ‘nearly new’, fashion-forward, hard-to-find dresses. TheFrugalista.com loves anything that allows us to reuse beautiful high-end fashion that saves money! Please read this interview with Jackie, who is a former high-end fashion publicist.
Affordable Luxury Fashion at Nearly Newlywed
What made you start Nearly Newlywed? What troubles did you face as
a career-oriented, modern bride?
I decided to start Nearly Newlywed when I was engaged and shopping for my own wedding dress, while working as a fashion publicist. I knew that I wanted the experience of wearing an incredible gown, which often comes with a very high price tag, but that I wasn’t someone that wanted to preserve my dress and keep it for future generations, so I began to look around for options. I wasn’t satisfied with what was out there; renting didn’t offer enough flexibility or selection, sample sales were too frantic and final, and used bridal I found for sale online was overwhelming and risky. So I decided to create something
that addressed my frustrations, and drew upon my experience in fashion.
A lot of the inspiration for our “Buy It, Wear It, Send It Back”
Nearly Newlywed Guarantee came directly from my work dressing celebrities and editors. I saw how these women, arguably with the most access in the world to high-end fashion, borrow $3,000 to $15,000 gowns on a regular basis from PR showrooms. It was a bit like the idea of
renting, but the difference was, for a celebrity like Julia Roberts, she could alter the dress and hold onto it for a few months until her entire press twirl was over – so it would be altered ‘just so’, kept for the right event, and then returned – although sometimes, the
celebrity would just keep it. So that type of behavior really inspired
me to bring that ‘red carpet experience’ to bridal.
Why should brides consider shopping at Nearly Newlywed instead of a
traditional consignment shop?
Getting married is a chance to have a “red carpet moment” that many of
us don’t often have, so I want to offer girls everywhere the
opportunity to wear the jaw dropping gowns they grew up swooning over
in magazines, just like I did. Our selection is very curated, so every
gown is better than the last, and we have a lot of hard-to-find and
fashion forward pieces, which I believe sets us apart.
Further to that, our Nearly Newlywed Guarantee is really
revolutionary. With it, we are not only offering gowns at substantial
discounts for purchase (40 to 80 percent off of retail) but we are guaranteeing
that a bride can sell her dress back to us after her wedding, if she
so chooses. She can own the dress, alter it and make her own, and keep
it for 8 months leading up to and after the wedding, and then still
sell it back for 30% right away (instant gratification!) or reconsign
it with us, which for the time being is 70 percent (which is much more
competitive than the majority of consignment shops)
Our mantra is Mmaking brides happy” – so that is what we aim to do –
by providing the best dresses, experience, personal attention, and
How does it work? What are the price points? How much can a bride
expect to save? What can a bride expect?
We have dresses ranging from $500 to $17,000 original retail, so the range
really varies depending on length, fabrication, designer,
availability, and things of that nature.
It works fairly simply. If you want to purchase a dress at Nearly
Newlywed and you know you want to sell it back after the wedding, look
for any dress that has our pink ‘N’ symbol, which denotes it has the
guarantee (the majority of our gowns have it!). Check out and purchase
the dress like you want at any online boutique, and we will send it
along to you (you have 5 days to return it if it just doesn’t work).
If it does, keep your receipt, and within 8 months of purchase if you
want to sell it back or reconsign it, visit nearlynewlywed.com and
follow the easy steps to submit your request. If you elect to sell it
back for 30%, we will send you payment upon receipt and inspection of
the dress. If you prefer to reconsign, we will set the new price and
terms, and pay you when it sells!
The pricing and saving depends on the original price of the dress, and
if a girl wishes to keep it, sell it back, or reconsign it (we like
If for example, a bride purchases a $10,000 dress for $4,000 that has our
NNGuarantee, she can sell it back immediately for 30 percent ($1,200) or
reconsign it for 70 percent ($2,800 when it sells) – meaning it would cost her
in total as little as $1,200 after all is said and done, depending on
the options selected – which is roughly 90 percent off of retail.
What are some of your favorite pieces? Who are your favorite bridal
designers? Who do you carry?
Oh, I don’t know where to begin. I curate all of the dresses that we
sell, so as cliché as it is, I love them all! I am partial to some of
the very intricate and dramatic gowns, like the Marchesa Asymmetric
Pleated Ruffle Gown, Vera Wang Eliza, Elie Saab Crystal & Chiffon, and
Oscar de la Renta Black & White Leaf Dress.
My favorite bridal designers are Elie Saab, Valentino, Lanvin, Oscar
de la Renta, Reem Acra, Monique Lhuillier, Marchesa, Vera Wang, & Lela
Rose, to name a few! I also love ready-to-wear designers that aren’t
usually associated with ‘bridal’ but make beautiful dresses, like
Phillip Lim, Rodarte, Thakoon, Givenchy, & Alberta Ferretti.
Do you have any tips for brides who want to use your service or
sell you a dress and not mess up the beautiful gowns? Should they
change at the reception? Should they use a specific type of deodorant
that sure not to stain? No red wine at the wedding?
If a bride knows that she is going to be ready to part with her dress
after the wedding, she should try to take extra care of the gown while
she is wearing it. I do recommend changing into a second dress for the
reception, for the dance portion of the night. It is by no means
required, but it minimizes the wear on the dress, and then the bride
doesn’t need to be worried while she is getting her dance on. It is so
important to enjoy every moment of your wedding day, from getting
ready, to photos, to the ceremony, and finally to dinner & the
reception, so if a bride is concerned she may damage the dress, I
think wearing a second dress is the best remedy. Plus – who doesn’t
love having two amazing, red-carpet ready dresses to wear instead of
one? And if you are making choices to minimize costs, such as
purchasing a once worn dress and/or reselling it after, you can afford
to do it, times two!
For other ideas, I love red wine, so I would never suggest a bride
doesn’t drink it, especially during dinner and cocktails. Perhaps
choose champagne or a sparkling drink during the dance, however – then
red wine may be flirting with disaster.
Other things to look out for are spray tans – they often sweat off
onto the dress, so be cognizant of that – this can usually be cleaned
out of a dress pretty well, but it is something to consider.
How can brides to be to make their dress look like their own? Accessories?
Making a dress ‘your own’ is something I highly recommend. How you
feel on that day is the most important thing, above all else – if you
feel incredible, you will look incredible, and your memories and
photos will tell that story. The dress is a big part of that, but how
a girl wears it, accessorizes it, and ‘makes it her own’ is just as
important. I recommend at minimum, having it altered to fit well. You
should wear a dress, not let it wear you. I am a big fan of sashes and
belts. A fun thing to do is to wear a more traditional one for the
ceremony, but to switch it out for photos or the cocktail hour – you
can even pick something bright that matches your wedding colors – I
love a pop of peach, always!
Brooches are also great – you can add one to your sash or bow, or just
at the waist of your dress to include a hint of color or sparkle.
And beyond that, hair, makeup, shoes & personal style! A dress is just
a dress until it is worn by a woman. How she wears it, from head to
toe, which is just as much her lip color and hair style as it is the
gown style or shoes, is what makes a successful and memorable ‘look’.
Too many times you see a celebrity on the red carpet, and although she
looks pretty, she doesn’t look special… that is where personal style
and fitting all the different pieces together makes all the
How does the personal shopping work on Pinterest?
Just follow these 3 easy steps, and I will get to
selecting and suggesting the right dress for you.
1. Follow Nearly Newlywed on Pinterest (and pin existing NN dresses to
your inspiration boards, if you want to!)
2. Share the link to your ‘bridal inspiration board’ in the comments
section of our Personal Shopping via Pinterest Pin.
3. Wait for our personal selects for you. We will tag you in the
dresses we think you will love, both from our current boutique
selection, as well as of dresses that we have our eye on and hope to
get in stock. (we will even prove preview access to new dresses from
time to time, before we share them with everyone in the boutique) – so
personal shop with us for exclusive access.