Donate Wedding Dresses

donate wedding dresses

If you’re tucking your wedding dress away for the last time, consider giving it a second life by donating it. The dress may be able to help someone else’s special day, or it can contribute to a charity or cause you’re passionate about. “Not only does donating a gown have sentimental value for the person who receives it, but it also reduces waste from producing new materials,” says Leah Weinberg, a professional event planner and founder of The Gown Boutique in Brooklyn, NY.

Many thrift stores and charities accept bridal gown donations. These include Brides Across America, which outfits military and first responder brides with free wedding dresses; Wish Upon A Wedding, which helps couples facing terminal illnesses have their dream weddings; and Adorned in Grace, which uses sales proceeds to support sex trafficking awareness. There are also many local options, such as the People’s Place in Kingston, New York.

While a lot of people opt to donate their dresses, you should be careful when choosing a charity or shop to work with. “Make sure you do research on the company and ensure they’re a reputable organization that benefits a good cause,” Chapman says. It’s also important to make sure the donation process is seamless and that your dress reaches the right person.

If you choose to donate your wedding dress, make sure it’s in a good condition. One wrong move could rip the lace or make a stain on the white fabric. It’s a good idea to have your dress dry cleaned before you hand it over, so the charity or store doesn’t have to spend extra money on cleaning.

There are plenty of organizations that will take your dress, but you should contact them in advance to see what specific needs they have and how to get the gown to them. You should always communicate with the organization you’re donating to, and keep records of any communications and agreements for your own records.

The NICU Helping Hands Angel Gown Program is a nationwide program that accepts donated wedding and bridesmaid gowns, which seamstresses lovingly remake into gowns for infants who pass away during their hospital stay. These gowns are also known as remembrance dresses, and the program helps thousands of families across the country each year.

The Brides Project, a nonprofit bridal boutique in Ann Arbor, MI, takes donated dresses to sell to help families impacted by cancer. Its dress prices are affordable, and the sale proceeds benefit the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.