What to Do With Your Dress After the Wedding

It's been a few weeks or even months since your wedding day and your dress is still hanging on the back of your closet door. Sound familiar? You're not alone. After spending so much time and money trying to find the perfect gown, many brides are unsure of what to do with it after the wedding. Don't worry, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are a few ideas to help you with your decision. 
Preserve It
If you're looking to keep your gown in perfect condition for as long as possible, then preservation might be right for you. Wedding dress preservation is a special cleaning and packaging process that protects the fabric from yellowing, staining, creasing, and even insect damage. You can check for local services, pick up a kit, or even send it away to be treated. Once preserved, it should be kept sealed and untouched to avoid exposure to the elements. This ensures it will look beautiful for years to come and enable you to pass it on to future generations. If you're worried your gown will be out of style by then, remember, your daughter can always opt to use your veil, or even just some of the fabric to design a new dress or create details like a bouquet wrap. 
Sell It
Wedding dresses can cost a lot of money, and for some brides, the idea of spending even more just to keep them boxed up for 20 years seems impractical. If you're willing to part with your dress, selling it is a great way to recoup some of what you spent and save some space in your closet. There are plenty of women out there who are planning their wedding on a budget and would love to get their hands on a designer gown for a lower price even if it's already been worn. From Ebay to consignment shops, there are several outlets to choose from. Websites like preownedweddingdresses.com can help you develop a detailed listing for your dress and connect you with potential buyers for a quicker and easier selling process.
Donate It
Another great option for those who don't want to hang on to their dress is donation. You won't offset any wedding costs, but you will get the satisfaction of knowing your gown served such a meaningful purpose. Do some research to find an organization that you care about. There are so many out there, from Brides Across America, which donates dresses to military couples, to Brides Against Breast Cancer, which raises money to provide wellness and educational services to cancer patients and their families. Your dress gave you so much happiness. Why not use it to make a positive impact on the lives of others as well?
Trash It
Trash the Dress shoots have become increasingly popular in recent years. During these photography sessions, couples get to let loose in their wedding attire without having to worry about getting dirty. In fact, getting dirty is the whole point. Whether you choose to swim in the ocean, play in a field or pose on a rundown city street, you'll end up with some amazing memories and truly unique photos. 
Turn It Into Art
Regardless of what you decide to do with your dress, chances are you'll want to see it again in some form. Photographs are a great way to capture and display the beauty of your gown, but you can also take it a step further. Check out websites like Etsy or Illustrative Moments where artists can turn the photos of your dress into a custom sketch or painting. The results are beautiful and can make great pieces of art for your home. 
Restyle It
Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day, so chances are you put some serious effort into finding a dress that really flattered you and made you feel great. Why not make that feeling last? Break out your sewing machine or work with a local seamstress to shorten and even dye your dress so you can wear it again and again. While this wouldn't work for every gown, many of today's simple silhouettes really lend themselves to restyling. 
Repurpose It
Cutting up your wedding dress might initially seem like a harsh idea, but don't count it out entirely. The fabric from your gown can be transformed into a variety of creative keepsakes that will get a lot of use and won't take up as much room. From blankets and pillows to Christmas tree skirts and Christening outfits, the sky's the limit. I especially love the idea of using a bit of lace from your dress to create a necklace or other jewelry. It's the perfect solution for anyone who wants to pass down a family heirloom without having to keep or preserve the whole gown. 

When it comes to the fate of your wedding dress, the possibilities are endless, so give it some thought and make the choice that's right for you. 


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