What to Do with Your Dress After the Wedding

What to Do with Your Dress
After the Wedding

Congratulations, newlywed! All the planning and excitement leading up to the big day paid off—the cake was perfect, the décor was spectacular, and your guests are STILL teary-eyed at the vows. Now it’s time to tackle one of the biggest post-ceremony concerns: what do I do with my dress!?

So much time goes into finding the perfect gown that most brides don’t consider what to do with it once it’s all said and done. If the traditional option of preserving and storing your wedding dress isn’t the right fit, there are several creative ways to give your gown second life. No matter what you do, your gown will be an essential part of how you remember your wedding day. We’ve gathered a few ideas on what to do with your wedding dress after the ceremony (none of which include stuffing it in the back of your closet!).

Pass It On

A gown is something you’ll cherish forever,” says BHLDN Stylist Cassie B. “Your wedding dress should help you look back and remember how confident and beautiful you felt.” There’s an emotional significance to finding your dream gown that could make it difficult to let go after the big day. A wedding dress is one of your most important purchases as a bride-to-be, and you’ll have a chance to make incredible memories with family and friends while shopping for and wearing the one. Keeping this in mind, you may want to pass along a treasured heirloom gown to your own children someday. To preserve your dress, research preservationists (not just your local dry cleaner!) to see which techniques would best fit your needs. (Tip: Bridal shops and tailors can help refer you to a professional!)

If you choose to preserve your wedding dress, specialists recommend not opening the box until it’s ready to be passed on. If you do decide to open it, wear white cotton gloves and handle the dress delicately. It won’t need to be cleaned again before its next wear, as the preservation process eliminates any oils, stains, or odors; however, it may need a quick steam after being folded away!

Donate Your Wedding Dress

If you’d like your gown to go to a good cause, consider donating it. Organizations across the country accept gown donations that support brides and families in need.

Sell Your Wedding Dress

Budget-conscious brides can resell their gown and recoup a portion of its price. Look for local consignment boutiques in your area or find a designer resale site that specializes in wedding gowns.

Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose

BHLDN stylist Ariel G. says, “Achieving a perfect fit is just as important as selecting the gown itself. What most brides don’t realize is that a custom fit doesn’t come right off the rack. Almost every gown requires a few nips and tucks to accommodate the brides’ unique measurements.” Since your gown is already perfectly tailored for you, consider collaborating with a dressmaker to have it reworked into a simpler midi or cocktail-length dress. You can wear your altered gown for an anniversary dinner and relive your memories of the big day!

As for any bridal shoes and accessories, you can easily wear your wedding day jewels again (or keep them in a jewelry box as heirloom pieces!) and save your shoes for any future formal events.

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