You and your beautiful wedding gown experienced some serious times together: the hunt, the initial flirtation, the commitment…but now the wedding is over. What do you do with your dress?
Trash it. And get some dang good photos while doing so. Take an artistic cue from Shelby Swink who gained attention when she trashed her dress after her groom up and left days before the wedding. You could reenact the paint-throwing with groom in hand or look to a body of water to sexily submerge for some incredible shots. There are so many creative ideas out there to trash the dress!
Donate it. Your local Goodwill will gladly accept your dress, but here are some other options when considering a donation…
–Brides Against Breast Cancer: The organization travels around the country with donated dresses doing bridal shows, and gives proceeds to fund resources and information for those impacted with cancer.
–Brides Across America: BAA gives free gowns to military brides. Love!
–The Angel Gown Program: This organization recycles bridal gowns into burial gowns for final photos and funerary services for NICU babies that have passed away.
Sell it. Let’s be real, the wedding took a toll on your bank account. If you’re not attached to it, why not resell your dress to make back some of that moolah? PreOwned Wedding Dresses has been around since 2004 and is a hub for exactly what it sounds like. Tradesy also sells wedding dresses and handles shipping and returns for you. Score! If you know your dress is stellar and still deserves some attention, try Nearly Newly Wed, who will display it in their New York showroom for a fee. Last but not least, Still White allows you to list for free, but a $19.95 fee will put your dress right on their homepage.
Wear it. Throw a re-wear party for your friends! Make a goal to wear you dress at a vow renewal. Wear it every year on your anniversary to remind your spouse of the best day of your lives. Just wear it whenever the mood strikes!
Re-purpose it. For something around the house: Re-purposing your gown into a special memento for your home works especially well with lace dresses. Put a piece of your gown on your photo album, make a Christmas tree skirt, hang segments of lace in embroidery hoops against a window to beautifully catch natural light. You can even wrap the fabric around a canvas or a monogram…the possibilities are endless! For someone else: Maybe you love the idea of your daughter or another loved one wearing or at least having a piece of your dress as they walk down the aisle themselves some day. Also consider transforming parts of your dress into a christening or graduation gown, a garter, or a bouquet wrap.
Preserve it. You have just made some major commitments with wedding planning, so if you are not ready for another big decision, you can always preserve your dress with the option of revisiting these ideas later. Of course the dress can be boxed, but you can also take a fun twist and frame it for all to admire.