What to do With Your Gown After Your Wedding.
I don’t know if you’re still in the planning stages, or in the honeymoon stage but either way, I’m sure you’ve wondered what the heck you’re going to do with your beautiful wedding dress after the big day! Your wedding dress is one of the most precious, and (probably) most expensive garment you own and deciding what to do with it is an important step after you say “I do”.
I’ll be honest here . . . I didn’t put much thought into what I’d do with my wedding dress and (I’m so embarrassed to say this) it has been hanging in its garment bag in my garage for 6 YEARS! (insert face-palm emoji here). The last time I looked at it . . . about 2 years ago when we moved into our current home . . . I noticed a bit of yellowing and I’m so terrified to look at it again! I convinced myself that I’d get around to doing something with my dress but never put a plan in place, regretfully. But I don’t want my DIY brides living with that regret, so I’m here to help you avoid it by giving you some knowledge I wish I had six years ago.
CLEANING & PRESERVING
If your dress is going to be worn again soon, either in a post-wedding photo shoot, or if it’s being donated or sold, it should be professionally dry cleaned. Finding a reputable dry cleaner who specializes in wedding gown cleaning is a must. Never attempt to wash and dry at home. When choosing a dry-cleaner to take care of this precious garment, make sure to have a consultation.
I’m no dry-cleaning expert, so to find out more about what type of dry cleaning would be best for your gown and the right questions to ask before choosing your dry-cleaning service, visit this awesome site: www.heritagegown.com/wedding-dress-cleaning
Many brides choose to preserve their gowns as a keepsake. This option allows you to store your dress for years without the worry of staining or natural wearing down of fabric. This is a great option if you wish to someday pass your gown on for generations.
I always suggest using well-known companies with a track record of success. Wedding Gown Preservation Co. has been preserving dresses for over 100 years. To make this process as simple as possible you can drop off your dress at one of over 3500 authorized dealers (typically bridal stores) across the U.S. – whether it was purchased there or not. You’ll fill out the order form and alternate delivery card, work with one of their bridal experts to attach stain stickers to areas of the gown that may need special attention and they’ll take care of the rest.
Wedding Gown Preservation Co.
1.800.305.3108 - call this number if you want to find an authorized dealer near you.
SELLING AND DONATING
Some brides may not feel so attached to their gowns and feel that wedding photos are enough of a keepsake. Some may want to share the joy they got from their dress with others. Whether you sell or donate your dress, make sure to get it cleaned and repaired first.
SELLING YOUR DRESS
How much to sell your dress for: If your gown is in good condition and less than 2 ½ years old, you can sell it for 50% of its retail price. If you have a well-known designer brand, you can sell it for 60-70% of its retail price.
Best places to sell your dress: Your best bet is to sell your dress online. Sites that specialize in re-selling wedding dresses are:
Other sites include Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist if you want to meet the recipient face-to-face.
Tips for selling your dress:
Don’t wait more than 2 and a half years to sell your gown so that it’s still currently in style.
Get your dress professionally cleaned before selling it
Make sure to include many photos and detailed description including any damages that may still exist.
Donating your dress is a great option, especially if you have a philanthropic spirit! You can give your dress a new life while helping a family or bride in need! Here are some of my favorite nation-wide organizations that’ll put your dress to great use:
Brides for a Cause: Sells donated dresses to raise funds for various women-focused charities.
Angel Gown Program: Turns donated wedding dresses into free infant gowns for babies who have passed away in the NICU
Adorned in Grace: Resells donated gowns and accessories, with all proceeds used toward preventing sex trafficking and helping sex trafficking victims.
If you do your research, you can find many other charitable organizations that will make great use of your wedding gown!
Don’t be afraid to be creative and think outside of the box! There are so many ways to recycle or re-purpose your wedding dress. I’m confident that as a DIY Bride, you’re creative and will come up with something awesome! Here are a few Ideas you can explore:
Trash the Dress Photoshoots are a great way to get one more use out of your dress. Have a paint fight or take a dip in the river with your new husband! You can also do this with your bridal party and they can trash their dresses too - let’s get real, they won’t wear them again.
Shadow Boxes can store pieces from your dress, especially any special embellishments along with other important items from your big day
Give your dress a makeover - Have it turned into a cocktail dress that you can wear over and over again!
Have it made into a quilt that you can snuggle up with or use as a decorative piece. Pillows are good options too.
Well, I hope this information will save you the regret that I've faced when it came to doing something with my wedding dress. Let me know what you did or plan to do with your wedding gown!
Your Wedding Planning BFF