Not Interested in Keeping Your Wedding Dress Post-Wedding? Here are Your Options!

repurposing your wedding dress
photo by Janet Lin | planning by Luxe Event Productions

In the blissful aftermath of your wedding day, as you reminisce about the tender moments and joyous celebrations, a quintessential question arises — what to do with your cherished wedding dress? It’s more than just fabric and stitches; it’s a symbol of love, commitment, and unforgettable memories. Whether it’s hanging in your closet, whispering tales of your special day, or you’re pondering its next chapter, we’ve got you covered. From transforming it into a wearable piece of art for future occasions to preserving it as a treasured family heirloom, let’s explore the myriad of enchanting possibilities that await your beloved gown. Join us as we – and industry insiders – dive into creative and meaningful ways to honor your wedding dress long after the last dance.

1. Sell Your Wedding Dress

After their wedding, many brides think that the only option of what to do with their gown is to preserve it and keep it forever. For generations, we’ve been told that someday your daughter may want to wear it, or you’ll regret not having it to look back on fondly one day. But, we’ve also all seen our moms storing their gown under their bed in a box for decades, just to see her pull it out when we get engaged and realize that we have a different style, a different body, and that wedding trends have changed since she was married. We know that saving the dress really just means storing it forever, which is such a shame considering how much work and resources go into making one single gown; so there has to be a better option, right? Well, good news! There are several better options out there! The first option is to sell your gown.

More and more brides are looking for sustainability in their gown purchase, and specifically seeking out gowns that are second-hand, and many more brides are looking at the cost of weddings now and trying to find ways to save some money on their big day. No matter why someone may shop for a second-hand gown, it has made it easier and easier for you to sell your gown after the wedding. Sites like Nearly Newlywed and Stillwhite are great options if you are looking to sell your dress.

There is also the option to consign your wedding gown which has become more and more popular over the last few years. “While there are consignment stores that will take wedding gowns, it’s best to choose one that focuses specifically on wedding gowns, like Loved Twice Bridal. Here we focus on selling once-loved designer gowns to new brides, while providing a luxurious and easy experience for our sellers. When you decide to sell through Loved Twice Bridal, your gown hangs in our Beverly Hills Boutique for brides to try on during their luxury shopping appointments. We also market your gown through our online marketplace where brides all over the country are able to view your item and even have it sent to them through our unique try-at-home program, allowing us to bring them peace-of-mind in their purchase that they don’t get on the traditional resale platforms. All of this means that we give you the highest chances of selling your gown, without you having to do anything to make it happen (other than get the gown to us).” – Sarah Ghabbour, Founder & Owner, Loved Twice Bridal

TIP: If you do plan to sell your wedding dress, have your gown professionally cleaned first.

“Take the time after your wedding to get your gown professionally cleaned. This ensures you’ll earn top dollar for your dress if you choose to sell it and will make your dress stand out in a crowded marketplace.” – Leah R. McCoy, President, Wedding Gown Preservation Kit

photo by Keeper Creative | wedding dress: Galia Lahav

2. Re-design Your Dress for Your Future Family. 

“I love the idea of recreating your wedding dress into a christening gown for your child (or future children if you want to get a head start). Take your gown to a seamstress and have them recreate your gown into a family heirloom to be passed down generation after generation.” – Nora Sheils, Founder Bridal Bliss and Co-Founder  Rock Paper Coin

3. Donate your Wedding Dress

Another idea for your used wedding dress is to donate your gown to a charitable organization that repurposes wedding dresses for a good cause.

“NICU Helping Hands accepts wedding dress donations to create garments for babies who are born prematurely and spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). These gowns provide comfort to both parents and their little ones during a challenging time. Angel Gowns transforms donated wedding dresses into burial gowns for babies who have sadly passed away. These angel gowns provide comfort and support to grieving families during difficult times.” – Krisy Thomas, Owner of Southern Sparkle Wedding Planning & Vice President of Certified Wedding Planner Society

4. Have Your Wedding Dress Altered for Other Special Occasions

In the heart of every bride lies a desire to keep the magic of her wedding day alive, and what better way to do so than by repurposing her wedding dress into a stunning ensemble for an anniversary photo shoot or a bespoke piece for another special occasion? Transforming your wedding gown offers a unique opportunity to breathe new life into a garment that embodies so much love and joy, allowing it to evolve with your journey together.

Whether it’s restyling it for a romantic anniversary session, where each photograph captures your love as it flourishes year after year, or tailoring it into a dress that dazzles at future celebrations, repurposing your wedding dress creates a beautiful, tangible connection to one of the most cherished days of your life. This practice not only celebrates sustainable fashion but also ensures that the spirit of your wedding day continues to sparkle in your life, making every moment you wear it again feel just as enchanting and memorable.

“Did you have a sleeker wedding dress design? If so, perhaps getting it altered for more regular wear to future fancy celebrations is your style! This way you could re-wear your wedding dress for an anniversary celebration or vow renewal years down the road.” – Alexandra Denniston, Owner & Lead Planner, Eventlightenment Planning

5. Have a Trash The Dress Photo Shoot.

After the joy of your big day, what’s next for your wedding dress? “If keeping it isn’t on your agenda, we’ve got the perfect idea to help you decide what to do with that beautiful gown. Consider adding a touch of adventure with a “Trash the Dress” photoshoot, creating unique and memorable images. Say goodbye to the dress and hello to the next chapter!” – Anastasia Shevchenko, Sheff Production Photography & Videography