If you’re a recent bride who has a wedding dress that just doesn’t fit anymore, rather than trying to sell it (which may take months and require a lot of time and energy), consider donating the dress. There are plenty of charities and organizations that would love to give your old gown a new home, while helping others at the same time.
Some of these charities will give the dress to another bride, while others repurpose the dresses for other uses. Some have been around for a while, and others are relatively new. Some are based in the US, while others are international.
Here are some of the top options for donating your old wedding dress:
Brides Against Breast Cancer
This nonprofit bridal organization has been accepting donated wedding dresses since 1997. Their goal is to support women impacted by breast cancer, provide early detection programs, and reduce the stigma surrounding the disease. They are currently taking donations through their website.
The NICU Helping Hands Angel Gown Program
This charity repurposes donated wedding dresses into infant burial gowns, known as “angel gowns,” and bonnets that are given to families of babies who died in the NICU or at birth. The charity has seamstresses throughout the country who volunteer their time and talent to create these beautiful dresses for grieving families.
Dresses can be donated to this organization at its locations, via mail, or by appointment at its warehouse in California. The dresses are donated to the charity to use at its discretion, but typically for events like fundraisers and awareness campaigns.
A second option for donating your wedding dress is to give it to a local theater group for use in plays that include a wedding scene. These groups don’t have the budget to buy a brand new wedding dress, so they depend on donors for these costumes.
The Salvation Army is a household name when it comes to charitable donations, and they also accept wedding dress donations. They resell the dresses at their thrift stores and use the proceeds to support various charitable initiatives. You can drop off your donation at a Salvation Army location or schedule a free pickup service.
When you donate your wedding dress, make sure it’s clean and wrinkle-free. One small tear or stain can ruin the entire look of a white gown, so check carefully before you wrap it up and send it to its new home. For additional protection, pack the dress in an acid-free box or a garment bag to keep it looking good on its journey.