Best Things to Do With Your Wedding Dress

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From trashing your wedding dress for fun to preserving it for future generations, the things you can do with that expensive dress are limited only by your imagination. Here are a few options.

Once you’ve said yes to the wedding dress and had your ceremony, what do you do with the frock?

One of the latest trends is trashing it. Once they’re done blushing, brides are ruining their white wedding gowns — whether it be with scissors, mud or fire — and capturing the experience with photos or video.

After spending sometimes thousands of dollars on a gown, other newlyweds are at a loss about what to do with it after the “I dos” are over.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson wore his wedding suit and his wife donned her gown to celebrate their one-year anniversary with a limo and a night on the town. Here’s Stacy with a few more ideas.


More traditional options include preserving the dress. There’s the old standby of saving the dress for a daughter or other loved one’s wedding. Other brides save their gowns to potentially wear at a vow renewal ceremony.

Preserving a dress properly can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Some of the cost depends on the material and intricacy of the dress.

The first step is to take it to a cleaner who specializes in preservation.

You can either have the dress professionally packed or do it yourself. The New York Times says proper preservation should protect from light, dust and insects. While you might want to be able to gaze at your beloved frock, putting your garment in a box with a peek-a-boo window is a no-no. Another gaffe is keeping your gown in plastic.

The Times suggests purchasing museum-quality conservation supplies, which it notes are not available at most dry cleaners. Proper packing materials can be ordered from websites like Conservation Resources.


You can go old-school and sell your garb at a yard sale, through a consignment shop or via a classified ad in the local newspaper. Online has an array of options as well. There’s always eBay and Craigslist but also sites specifically for cashing in your dress such as once wed.

If you’re not sure how much your lightly used dress is worth, Preowned Wedding Dresses has a calculator. Just fill in the condition, date purchased, designer and other details and it’ll give you a quote.


Make your dress new again. This can either be done with the whole gown, like slicing off the bottom to make a cocktail dress, or with parts, such as redoing the bodice or using some of the material for a headband or other accessory.

Other options include dying your gown a new color, or making a few adjustments to a slinky dress to turn it into lingerie.

“You might feel silly wearing a long white gown to a friend’s wedding (and stealing the spotlight from the bride is the ultimate no-no!). But dyed in a darker color, your dress could be totally re-wearable,” says We tv, home of “Bridezillas.”


Brides For a Cause resells the garments to help fund weddings and vow renewal ceremonies for couples facing terminal illness and other serious life-altering situations.

Brides Against Breast Cancer resells dresses from individuals and businesses in more than 100 shows nationwide each year. Money raised goes to provide free wellness and education services to cancer patients and their families and caregivers.

The Bridal Garden resells donated dresses for up to 75 percent of the original retail price to help disadvantaged children in New York City.

Another option is donating the dress to a local thrift store.

What did you do with your wedding dress following the nuptials? Let us know on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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