Donate Wedding Dresses

donate wedding dresses

After the guests leave and the gifts have been unwrapped, you might still find yourself staring at your wedding dress hanging in your closet. Instead of letting it gather dust, why not donate your gown? It’s a great way to give back, help someone else and make the world a better place. Plus, you can even get a tax deduction.

If you don’t want to have your dress go unused, there are many charities that will take it off your hands. Some resell the dresses while others use the proceeds to support their missions. Some of the organizations that accept gown donations include the following:

The Brides Project

This bridal boutique with a heart in Ann Arbor, Michigan, sells donated wedding dresses to raise funds for free programming for families effected by cancer. The organization also provides high school girls with retail work experience.

Angel Gowns for the Little Ones

This nonprofit organization uses wedding dresses to create tiny baby gowns for infants who pass away before their first birthdays. The organization accepts donated dresses and also accepts donations from designers who want to contribute to the cause.

Dreams in White

This charity aims to provide wedding dresses and other accessories for low-income women who cannot afford the cost of a traditional wedding. Donated gowns are resold at discounted prices and the profits are used to fund the organization’s mission. The organization has been in operation since 2008 and has donated 28,000 dresses.

Cherie Sustainable Bridal

This Maryland-based company is a green bridal store that sells preowned gowns and accessories. Proceeds from the sale of the dresses are invested in international non-profits that empower vulnerable young women to choose an independent future for themselves. The company also focuses on reducing its carbon footprint by using recycled materials to make its dresses.

The White Dress by the Shore

This Massachusetts-based wedding dress rental company recycles and reuses gowns, which are restyled by its seamstresses to reflect new trends. The wedding dress rental business has a variety of styles available and offers a flexible return policy.

The White Dress by the Shore has several locations in New England and offers a variety of rental packages to suit your needs. It also provides a number of customization options, including lace and embellishment upgrades.

Before donating your wedding dress, contact the organization to see what they need and what their guidelines are. Some organizations will require that your dress be professionally cleaned. Others will not.

Most of the charities that resell gowns will provide a receipt for your donation. You can use this as a tax deduction when you file your taxes, according to Zola.

If you’re planning to donate your wedding gown, it’s a good idea to inspect the dress for any major rips and tears. If you notice any, have a seamstress repair them in advance of the donation. Lastly, wash or dry clean the dress and pack it up to ship it off in its container. This is especially important during the pandemic, as the COVID-19 virus can linger on fabrics and items for days.