What to Do With Your Wedding Gown After the Big Day

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(Photo: iStock)

When we find that perfect wedding gown, there’s no denying we have a real world, soul-to-soul connection with it. Whether you’re the traditional bride decked out in satin and lace or the anti-bridewho pops color into her look, our wedding dress is more than just a piece of cloth. As a treasured symbol of our stylishness and taste, they are a unique love story we visually share with family and friends.

But once the wedding is over with, a lingering thought arrives at the forefront of our mind: what do we do with the dress? A study from The Knot found brides spend an average of $1,469 on their dress, so why have such a gorgeous and expensive piece of history just sit alone with mothballs?

After searching high and low for months, it would be a shame not to breathe new life into something that’s linked to one of the most happiest days of your life.

Donate it
Your dress might be gorgeous, but be practical — will you wear it again? If you had such a blessed day, give someone else the chance to experience that sort of luck and donate your dress to charities that offer wedding dresses free or discounted for brides who are unable to afford one. Between Brides Across America to Brides for a Cause, research charities that speak to you. Offering your dress to someone who needs it is not only good karma, but symbolic of a selfless love.

New dress
If you’re handy with a sewing machine or just love the DIY culture, re-purpose your wedding gown into something more practical for every day wear. This means, you have our permission to snip up more than loose threads on your dress! With a mix and match of fabrics and colors, you can make a brand new dress and accessories like a headband or wristlet, ideal for an anniversary or even a party.

Make lingerie
While you’re at it and cutting up that dress, why not create some sexy lingerie out of it? Restyling that wedding gown for special occasions like an anniversary date or a boudoir album can be a super creative idea. Plus, having it as lingerie will not only be a sweet reminder of how beautiful the day was, but it helps strengthen your relationship as you and your spouse will share memories of that big day each night you wear it.

Turn it into jewelry
Jewelry designer, Gabe Bratton of Gabrielle Jewelry is one of the only designers in the U.S. that can turn your old wedding gown into a unique piece of jewelry. By cutting up your dress and creating swatches, Bratton’s artistic eye helps brides repurpose an heirloom by creating intricate custom creations through coating fabric from your gown in precious metal. This means you can wear your wedding dress every day in any form, whether it’s a necklace, bracelet, earrings or even a pair of cufflinks for your husband.

Decorate your home
After unpacking from the honeymoon, there’s nothing like making your shared house feel like a home together. To create subtle reminders of your wedding throughout your home, repurpose your gown by using fabric to decorate vases, lampshades, wedding albums or frames. Additionally, dresses of satin, lace and tulle are perfect for fashioning pillows, blankets or quilts. If you really want to go all out and have adequate wall space, frame the dress. After all, sports jerseys are framed all the time.

For the littles
If you’re planning to have a family, use your dress as a way to create a kid-sized jumper, or a christening or baptism gown. On the contrary, if you don’t want to expand your family, Angel Gownscan turn your dress into garments for babies who’ve passed away in the NICU or are stillborn.

Pass it on
There’s no need to cut up your dress or donate it if you don’t want to. We understand how much you love your dress, so it’s okay if you want to tuck your dress away for now. When the time comes, you can use it for renewing your vows or perhaps offer it to your daughter, a friend or a relative for their big day. Either way, when you preserve it in mint condition, you provide options for its future potential.