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What to Do with Old Wedding Dresses After the Wedding

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Your wedding day is over. You are now officially done with the “I Dos” and enjoying the post-wedding bliss. You now have gorgeous photographs and fond memories of your wedding day that you will cherish for a lifetime. However, you also have a wedding dress, and you probably have no idea what to do with it.

You probably spent months looking for that perfect bridal dress, and you might have dropped some serious money on it. Fortunately, there are many useful things you can do with it. Read on to learn what to do with old wedding dresses after the wedding.

What to do with Old Wedding Dresses after the Wedding

Most brides spend a lot of effort, time, and usually thousands of dollars on their wedding dresses. That is why many brides are looking for effective and creative ways to repurpose or reuse their wedding dresses once the wedding day is over. Here is a list covering new and traditional ways of making the most out of your used wedding dress:

  • Sell your dress
  • Repurpose the dress
  • Donate your dress
  • Get creative and crafty with it
  • Trash the dress
  • Preserve it
Wedding couple walking down the tree lined street

Sell your Wedding Dress

Needless to say, wedding dresses are quite expensive. Most brides tend to go over budget to get the dress of their dreams. Nothing is wrong with that, especially when you can recoup some money by selling your wedding dress later. However, it can be difficult, as brides are usually attached to their wedding dresses.

Nonetheless, it is an excellent option if you prefer to look into the future rather than looking back. Selling old wedding dresses has become quite an easy process these days. Several online niche markets are dedicated to buying and selling new and used wedding gowns. These websites not only provide you with a selling platform but also help you with the process.

Selling your old wedding dress is best if you are feeling the post-wedding budget crunch. However, you need to be careful that you choose the correct way to do it. This will ensure you get the right price without being too overwhelmed by the procedure.

Repurpose your Wedding Dress

Your wedding dress will possibly be the most stunning item you have ever owned. It may also be the most expensive one! So, why wear it just once? Luckily, there are dozens of ways to reimagine and repurpose your wedding dress so that you can wear it again in a different style.

Depending on the design of your wedding dress, you can wear it again with only some slight modifications. If you own a two-piece wedding dress, you can do a mix-and-match. You can easily pair the skirt with a chic top or the bodice with a different skirt. It will transform your wedding dress into a stylish ensemble that you can wear any day.

You can hem or alter your dress to convert it into a beautiful party outfit. Another idea is to add a few non-bridal accessories to your wedding gown and wear it as it is! You can even dye your wedding gown to convert it into a beautiful cocktail dress.

However, knowing what modification will work with your wedding dress style is essential. If you choose the wrong one, it will ruin your look and your wedding dress.

Donate your Wedding Dress

Donating a wedding dress is one of the most common ways to get rid of old wedding dresses. There are various reliable organizations all across the country that accept wedding dress donations. They use these wedding dresses in different ways. 

The top way is to pass on these dresses to brides-to-be who are facing financial hardship. You can make someone feel like a princess on their big day with your wedding dress. Some organizations sell old wedding dresses in order to raise money for various meaningful causes. 

Donating your wedding dress is the best way to go if you want to make a difference and make your dress even more valuable. Moreover, it is the easiest and the quickest option compared to the others on this list. You can simply drop off your wedding dress at a local Goodwill organization or use an online bridal charity service at your convenience.   

You cannot go wrong with donating your wedding dress as it simply has no negative aspects. However, you cannot get it back once you pass it on, so just make sure you are prepared for that.

Get Crafty with your Wedding Dress

Another great way to utilize your wedding dress is by turning it into a work of art. Usually, wedding dresses are made up of a lot of fabric and embellishments. You can use them to make many different things with just a little effort. 

You can get professional services to convert your wedding dress into unique artwork. However, that may cost you thousands of dollars. Luckily, there are plenty of DIY tutorials to help you transform your wedding dress easily. 

You can turn it into a christening outfit for your kids, frame the whole or part of it to be cherished as a keepsake, or even convert it into a purse or a tote bag. You can also create various home décor items with your wedding dress, such as a quilt, pillow, frames, and so on. 

Unlike other options on this list, this way allows you to make your dress last a lifetime. However, it would require a little more of your effort and time.

Trash your Wedding Dress

Trashing your wedding dress has become one of the most popular means to send your dress off in style. If you are an adventurous bride, this is a great option. It will allow you to relax and have fun after the months-long stress of planning the wedding.

Trashing the dress refers to the post-ceremony photoshoot in an informal and fun setting. This photo session allows you to be as creative and messy as you want.

Some of the top ideas for trash the dress photo shoots include:

  • Getting muddy on a farm
  • Splashing around in the ocean
  • Rolling in fields of flowers
  • Covering one another in paint
  • Setting off color bombs

There are countless ideas and locations to trash your dress at. Trashing your wedding dress is the most fun compared to the other options on this list. However, if you use this method, your wedding dress can potentially get ruined. Once trashed, there is not much you can do to repurpose or reuse it.

Preserve your Wedding Dress

There are many brides who want to keep their wedding dresses as it is so they can pass it on as an heirloom. If you want to keep your wedding dress looking as gorgeous and as fresh as it looked on your wedding day, then getting it preserved is the best way to go.

However, preserving your wedding dress is not an easy process. You have to follow specific steps so that your dress remains well-protected for a long time. Simply steaming your dress and placing it in a box or zipping it in a plastic bag is not enough. Therefore, it is best to get professional wedding dress preservation services.

The process of wedding dress preservation begins with an examination. The specialist will assess your dress and then create its preservation plan accordingly. How your wedding dress is preserved depends upon the fabric type, the stitching, the style, the detailing, and even the color of your wedding dress

Preservation is best if you want to keep your wedding dress safe for many more years to come. It is the most effective method to ensure that your dress remains safe from rips, tears, discoloration, and other aging effects. However, it can be time-consuming and expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Store a Wedding Dress Properly?

To store your wedding dress properly, you should consider the style and fabric of your wedding dress. A few things you can do to preserve your dress are: keep it in a garment bag or acid-free container, store it in a dry, temperature-controlled area, and add silica desiccant packets to the bag or box you’re storing the dress in.

What Can I Do With My 25 Year Old Wedding Dress?

If your 25 year old wedding dress is still in good condition, you should first try it on to see if it still fits! If it does, I recommend taking anniversary photos in the dress as a unique and memorable keepsake. Other than that, you could pass the dress down to other family members or donate it if you no longer want it.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to repurpose, reuse, or even re-wear your old wedding dress. However, every bride is different, and different options work for each bride. So, explore your possibilities and pick the one that makes you happy. Just make sure you don’t let the dress sit and collect dust at the back of your closet.

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