The first dance is over, the hashtag is no longer trending and the wedding album has finally been printed. Now what do you do with your dress? You always have the option of preserving your dress to save it for your daughters or granddaughters. But what if it won’t fit them? What if you have boys? What if it is no longer in style? For those of you who don’t think preservation is in you gown’s future, here are ten different ways to reuse or recycle it.
Many dresses these days could be shortened or altered to turn them into cocktail dresses but we have to ask…where is everyone wearing these white dresses? You can’t wear it to a wedding so unless you make a habit of attending black tie galas, it would be hard to sport again. Consider dying it a fun color or the classic black.
Have a professional photoshoot
You could always do the trendy “Trash the Dress” session but what about a thank you to your parents if they paid for the big day? Take cues from a group of sisters who all got together in their wedding dresses for a professional photo shoot for their parents as a show of gratitude. All 5 sisters zipped their dresses back on to document a moment that their mom and dad will cherish forever.
Donate the dress
For the altruistic bride, consider donating your dress. We have rounded up 3 great charities that accept pre-worn wedding dresses for you to consider.
Brides Across America – Donates dresses to military brides
Every Girl’s Dream – Provides dresses to brides undergoing financial hardships in the Southeast Michigan area
Wish Upon A Wedding – Grants weddings and vow renewals to couples facing serious illness or life altering circumstances
If you plan on baptizing your future children into your church, consider turning part of your dress into a christening gown for them. You can use it for your big day AND their big day!
No, we don’t mean wear it to work. Though that could be fun too… What about taking the skirt of your dress to a seamstress and have it tailored into a fun tulle skirt? You could knock your husband’s socks off on your anniversary with a flirty, fun fashion piece. Bonus points if he recognizes it.
Put it around your neck
There are plenty of vendors online who will turn a small part of your dress into a pendant for a necklace. Check out The Lace Studio on Etsy!
Remember the special day every Christmas by taking a scrap of lace or a part of your veil and memorialize it in a glass ornament.
If your dress is still stylish, take it to your nearest bridal consignment store to make back some of your money. Shops will accept dresses as long as they are in good condition and have been professionally cleaned. You can recoup 50% of their sale price if it sells! For Virginia Beach brides, check out Silk Bridal for a fantastic selection of gently used and runway dresses.
Create a garter or bouquet binding
For mom’s who have daughters that can’t wear a family dress, you can create a garter for them or use some of the fabric to wrap the stems of her bouquet. That checks something old off of the list!
Donate it to a theater
Many high school and professional theaters will gladly accept a dress to expand their costume department. And how would it be to see your dress take on a whole new life?
Your wedding dress will always be special to you but being able to create a keepsake, earn some cash back, or make someone’s dream come true can be even better!