“What Am I Going to Do With My Wedding Dress?”

After the big day, brides may wonder what to do with her dress. My guest blogger today, Larry James, outlines some ideas.  

You probably spent hours, days, weeks or months looking through magazines and at bridal shops for that perfect wedding dress. You most likely spent hundreds of dollars to purchase it and have it altered only to wear in one time at your wedding. After the wedding, brides have an important decision to make and that is what to do with the dress. What do you do with the used wedding dress?

If you’re like most brides, it’s carefully preserved, in a box, taking up loads of valuable storage space somewhere in your house. Or maybe it’s just hanging in your closet, still taking up equally as much storage space.

HillaryAnnePhotographyWhy leave your gorgeous wedding dress to languish in the closet, only for your daughter to eventually decide it’s not really her style? Your daughter may want to have it altered into something more modern or may simply wants to wrap her bouquet in some of the lacy fabric.

Here are a few ways you can re-purpose your wedding dress:

Since there’s a pretty good chance you will never wear it again you could trash your dress for the sake of some really awesome photos. Think water, mud, paint! The options are endless. Hire a photographer and with your husband come up with some wild and crazy ideas to “Trash the Dress!” You could save it and trash it on your first anniversary. “Trash the Dress,” also known as “Rock the Frock,” or “Drown the Gown,” is a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is totally out of place. This unexpected trend has emerged in recent years and it happens after your wedding day… obviously.

You could sell it to recoup a little of your investment. If this is your plan, you have two options — direct sale or consignment. Consignment is when you bring your dress to a store, and they sell the dress for you. When the dress sells, the store will send you the proceeds, less their consignment fee.

You could donate it to a charity. Make it available to someone less fortunate by donating it to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. It would be a blessing for someone on a limited budget to be able to wear a great dress. The Brides Project resells your used wedding dress and gives the proceeds to cancer research. Brides Across America gives your gown to a military bride in need. Remember that donating your dress generally comes with a tax write-off as well.

If you have the heart to do this – it involves scissors – cut your gown into fabric squares and turn it into a beautiful heirloom wall or bed quilt. Leftover pieces can be used as “matting” for your favorite wedding photos and scrapbook projects. You can turn your veil into sachets for your drawers, baskets and closets.


Here are a few creative suggestions:

  • Save it to wear at a Halloween or costume party. Go as a runaway bride, or a Bridezilla.
  • Use your wedding dress to make a skirt for a baby bassinet. Perhaps “your” baby.
  • Use it as a beautiful skirt under your Christmas tree.
  • Make a covered photo album from it.
  • Have a tailor cut your dress into cute boudoir pillows.
  • Make a ring pillow for the ring bearer for your daughter’s wedding.
  • Donated it to the costume department of a local school or college theater group.
  • Make a hankie with lace attached as a keepsake or to use as a “something old” for your daughter’s wedding.
  • Make a pillow for your bed, using the fabric from the dress, and embroider your wedding date, bride’s name, groom’s name, and any other pertinent information.
  • Use the silk to cover the matting inside a picture frame.
  • Create a “something old” hankie with lace attached for your daughter to carry.
  • The satin from the dress might make a nice cushion or as the lining of a jewelry box.
  • Create a shadow box, using a piece of the dress, a photo, the jewelry, your garter, and any other important things that you want to cherish and pass on to your children.
  • Hang it on a tailor’s dummy in your guest room, as an exhibit.
  • How about sachets for the dresser drawers or to hang on closet hangers?
  • If you’d like to wear your wedding dress again, you can easily alter the dress by raising the hem and dyeing it another color.

No matter what you decide to do with your wedding dress, the wedding photos and memories will last a lifetime. If you decide to keep your wedding dress, there are some precautions you need to take to make sure it is well preserved. Read the bonus article below.

Photo Credit: Top left, Hillary Anne Photography

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.comSomething NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.