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What to do with your Wedding Dress

Preserve it, sell it, recycle it or trash it – we bring you options for your wedding dress when the big day is over.


Trash the dress

Erik Tanith Photography

Chances are you’re never, ever going to wear that huge princess gown again so why not take a look at our tips on what to do with your wedding dress…

recycle wedding dress
Chapter Photography

Unless you have a hidden passion for dress-up, chances are you’re never, ever going to wear your wedding dress again. Yep, it’s a sobering thought; you forked out the guts of an entire monthly wage on an item of clothing which you wore for less than 12 hours and is now going to be stuffed in a bin liner and left to gather dust in the attic forever.

However, this doesn’t have to be your beautiful (and expensive) wedding gown’s inevitable fate. Whether you want to preserve it, sell it or set it alight and take pictures of it, there are plenty of ways to put it to good use.

Tips on what to do with your wedding dress

Preserve it

Your wedding gown will no doubt have been a sentimental and emotional purchase (not just because of the heartbreaking price),so it makes sense to cherish it as a keepsake. Leaving it to become moth-bitten in a cupboard is no way to do this. Many opt for having it remade as an heirloom quilt, however we love the idea of having your dress framed by a professional in a shadowbox, which will not only preserve and protect it, but it will also act as a show-piece that you can display proudly in your home.

Re-use it

If you loved how your particular dress flattered your figure to perfection, have it dyed, altered or remade into a bespoke party-dress. If you don’t possess such stylish seamstress skills yourself, most dress makers or local designers will be happy to customise it for you.

For most couples, after the wedding, the pitter patter of tiny feet is next on the agenda. Therefore, consider having your wedding dress reconstructed and made into a family christening gown for the potential little ones.

Sell it

Return on investment is a top priority for the majority of brides and there are multiple ways to make money from your wedding gown. Browse the internet and you’ll instantly see a list of third party websites on which to sell your dress.  However, do your research and ensure the one you use is reputable and uses a trusted method of payment.

A growing number of bridal boutiques now have pre-loved sections. Discuss the possibility of re-selling your gown to the bridal shop you originally purchased from, or contact others in your area which may carry out the service. However, be aware that as your gown is now second hand, it will only sell for a fraction of the original cost price.

Donate it

Be a good Samaritan and donate your wedding dress. There are multiple options; you can either drop it into a local charity shop or get in contact with the bridal department of organisations such as Macmillan or Barnardo’s who may be running special bridal events or campaigns. Oxfam also has an online bridal shop which accepts donations.

Trash it

If you no longer have an emotional attachment to this once treasured item, why not tear your wedding dress to shreds and hire a photographer to document the momentous process? The ‘Trash the Dress’ phenomenon has been one of this decade’s most notable wedding trends and shows no signs of slowing. Have a paintball fight in your gown, writhe around in mud or stand in the middle of a waterfall – the more extreme the scenario, the more impressive the pictures will be.

Another idea is to throw a wine and wedding party with some of your wife friends. Don your wedding dress for one final time with some of your nearest and dearest and make a night of it with some drinks, snacks and fun music.