What to Do With Your Wedding Dress After the Big Day

Updated 04/26/16

Azzura Photography

It's the most glamorous, most meaningful, and most expensive piece of clothing you will ever own—and the sad truth is you get to wear it for only one magical day. While we all wish we could throw it on a mannequin and stare at it every day for the rest of our lives, sadly something has to be done with your wedding gown once you've become a newlywed. Luckily, there are tons of options—from traditional to innovative—for what to do with your wedding gown once you're a Mrs.

Preserve it.

Traditionally, most brides opt to preserve their gown after they've said "I do." By preserving it (the right way, of course), you protect the gown's condition and all the memories that go along with it. If you hold fast to the idea that perhaps a younger generation will one day wear your gown, this is definitely the best option for you. By professionally cleaning and preserving your gown, you protect against aging and yellowing and ensure you will have a treasured keepsake for years and years to come.

Repurpose it.

In a relatively new trend for brides, many are now opting to repurpose their dress into christening gowns, baby bedding, or even dress-up gowns for little girls. If you're open to restructuring your gown to give it a little bit of extra life, you can add sentiment and meaning to items that otherwise may have been purchased new. Contact your favorite seamstress for even more inspiration on creating a new beautiful treasure.

Donate it.

We all know how expensive wedding gowns can be. If you have a philanthropic heart, imagine all the good that could come from donating your wedding gown. There are so many brides throughout the country planning weddings who are plagued by the notion of being unable to afford the gown of their dreams. Once your dream day has come to a close, consider extending the magic to another deserving bride. Websites like Brides Across America, Donate My Wedding Dress, and the Bridal Garden are just a few of the helpful resources that can assist in facilitating your donation and ensuring your gown makes its way to a more-than-grateful bride-to-be.

Destroy it.

For those with an artistic eye and open mind, a less-traditional option would be to destroy (artistically, of course) your gown and capture it on film. Many photographers offer post-wedding photo shoots that include jumping into oceans or pools in your once-treasured gown, frolicking through the mud, splattering it with paint or glitter, and more. Our advice? If you're thinking about jumping on the "trash the dress" trend, we strongly recommend finding a photographer who has experience with this endeavor. Just like you can only wear it once, you can only trash it once!

Related Stories