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After “I Do,” What Do You Do with Your Wedding Dress?

Wedding-related decisions don't stop after "I Do"; After the cake is cut and the guests have sobered up, there's a perhaps-sweaty, perhaps-stained wedding dress hanging in the closet, waiting to be dealt with. It's an incredible symbol of your big day that you spent months agonizing over, but you're never going to wear it again. What to do? Do you sell your gown or keep it as homage to your wedding day? We polled our Facebook fans on whether they'd consider selling their dresses, and the answers ranged from "Not a chance" to "I wish I had" to clever ways to get more mileage out of the gown. Check out these ideas from our readers and let us know if you'd consider letting go of your wedding dress.
Tags: 
Trash It
Sell It
Transform It
Donate It
Pass it Down
Use It for Good
Restyle It
Preserve It
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Trash It

One of the biggest trends in wedding photography is a day-after photo shoot where you reduce your expensive dress to a dirty pile of rags.


Photo credit: Samantha Lauren Photographie

Sell It

“I sold mine to a shop that rents formal wear!” says Angela M. “It was so beautiful, I thought someone else should enjoy it as well!” Consider selling to a consignment shop, or place an ad on a web site like "Once Wed" or "Pre Owned Wedding Dresses", which allow you to connect with individual buyers.


Photo credit: TechnoHippyBiker

Transform It

Are you the crafty type? Turn those yards of taffeta into a memento. “My friend cut the skirt part off and made a kick-ass Christmas tree skirt,” says Francis M. If you’re not handy with a needle, there are even services that transform wedding dresses into tree skirts, christening gowns, hankies, or pillows.

Donate It

For a low-fuss way to get it out of the house, just give it away. “I gave mine away on Craigslist,” says Anastasia R. “Now that I’m divorced, I am really glad I did.” Give it to a friend, drop it off at Goodwill, or let your nieces use it for dress-up. Or consider giving it to a local university or community theater for their costume collection—you may even see your dress on stage some day!


Photo credit: PopCultureGeek

Pass it Down

“Hopefully my daughter will wear it someday!” says Carrie F. If you intend to hold onto your dress for your (hopefully vintage-crazed) future progeny, just make sure to have it cleaned and packaged by a professional, so it doesn’t mold or discolor.


Photo credit: HA! Designs—Artbyheather

Use It for Good

“Consider donating to a fabulous cause: "Brides Against Breast Cancer,” says Krista G. “I shipped mine to them last year!” BABC takes donations of gently used gowns and then sells them to budget-conscious future brides, with the proceeds benefiting breast cancer charities. "The Bridal Garden":http://www.bridalgarden.org/ in New York City sells dresses, too, donating the profits to city schools. Photo credit: BABC Facebook

Restyle It

Rip off the poofy sleeves, chop off the butt bows, and give it a good dye job, turning it into a fun and functional cocktail dress or evening gown.


Photo credit: tanna valentine

Preserve It

“Got mine preserved so I can keep it and prove how tiny my waist was!” says Shannery B. Several companies (along with your local dry cleaners) can meticulously clean and press your wedding gown and pack it into an archival box so that in thirty years, it’ll look as good as new—that is, if you haven’t gotten sick of it collecting dust and gotten rid of it by then.

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