How do you define your wedding dress? It’s breathtaking. It’s your fairy tale. It’s expensive.
It’s way too big for your closet.
With a move pending, and my little one’s belongings now cluttering all storage space, I needed to find somewhere to put that beautiful ball gown I wore at my wedding. It was gorgeous and does not deserve to sit in an opaque garment bag at the back of my closet, but that’s where it’s been for my first- and second-year anniversaries. I needed an alternative, more compact solution.
Of course, some people don’t even keep their wedding dresses when the big day is over. I did some research on alternative things to do with your dress:
- Sell it! Believe it or not, people will buy these behemoths on eBay and craigslist. If you’re looking to get some of that money back, try to find a buyer online. Be forewarned though, that custom-tailoring you needed for the big day will most likely deplete the resale value. After all, it was made for you.
- Donate it! I learned about a great charity—Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation—that collects wedding gowns to grant wishes to men and women suffering from terminal cancer. That’s a good cause if I’ve ever heard of one. If you’re interested in that, visit their website for more information.
- Recycle it! One of the newest trends is to turn your old dress into something new that you’ll use in your married life. Some recommend hiring a seamstress to convert your gown into a christening outfit for your children or a cocktail dress you wear to parties. If you’re crafty, you can also turn your gown into throw pillows or drapes for your new home, maybe potpourri satchels, or a baby blanket. Be creative!
Being the nostalgic type, I couldn’t part with mine. And I certainly couldn’t maim it with scissors, no matter how many silky throw pillows it could become. So I chose option #4: Preserve it!
I traveled over to David’s Bridal for their preservation kit. I’d seen it advertised when I was buying a gown for a friend’s wedding and I guess their advertising worked. It costs $99 if you order the preservation kit the day you buy your wedding gown from David’s. But I didn’t get my dress there and I also let two years pass before getting the service. It cost me $189, which isn’t horrible. Plus, they offer financing with no interest for 12 months if you need some help.
They packed up my dress and shipped it off. The company that does the preservation uses green technology (instead of chemical dry cleaning) to clean the gown and remove stains. They’ll also repair minor or major damage to the gown (major fixes cost extra). Then they seal it up in a white chest with a window on the front, so your dress looks like one of those fancy displays. I sent my veil along too, for an extra $15.
I’m guaranteed no yellowing for 30 years, even if I open the box! Plus, it will be shipped directly to my door in 2-6 weeks for no extra charge. I’ll admit, I’m excited to see it!
If you need help clearing space in your own closet, consider these options and pick the one you’re most comfortable with. Your wedding dress took a long time to select, so show it a little respect and make it worth that hefty price tag!
For more bridal ideas and wedding coupons check out our bridal section.