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Many, if not most, brides still preserve their wedding dress. Explains event planner Terri Gentry: "There is still an emotional connection with that dress, and many brides save it to see if their daughter might wear it one day."
But preserving your gorgeous gown is hardly your only option. Gentry recalls previous clients graciously donating their gently-used dresses to Brides Against Breast Cancer, an organization that resells the gowns and uses the profits to support cancer patients and their families. And here are five other ways to creatively use your dress after the big day:
1. Take a sliver of your gown's fabric — you can even cut a swatch from the inside so you'll never know it's gone! — and turn it into a necklace you can wear daily, or for special occasions such as your anniversary. If you're not crafty, simply stick the sliver into a locket.
2. Create custom art for your home, using a section of your gown as the background for a shadowbox that can hold your invitations, photos and more. Or let your dress take center stage by framing its most intricate details.
3. Ask a seamstress to transform your dress into something you can re-wear — think sexy lingerie you can slip on and surprise your husband with, or a knee-length, dyed cocktail dress you can break out for your next big date night.
4. Save it for your newborn, but turn it into a christening gown. That way, if you aren't blessed with a girl, your child will still get to wear something so meaningful.
5. Start a family quilt. Use a section of the dress to create your first square or pattern, then add to it as you share special milestones in your marriage.
What other ideas do you have for repurposing your wedding dress? Let us know on Twitter at @BRIDES!