Whether you’re a recent bride or groom, there’s an easy way to give your wedding dress a second life. Many bridal boutiques, repurposing experts and charities are willing to take your dress after your big day and put it to good use. It’s a great way to help someone in need, clear out your closet and get a tax deduction.
You can donate your wedding gown to charity and still have it in pristine condition, or you can have it cut up into smaller pieces that can be used for a number of other purposes. A seamstress can turn a wedding gown into elegant cushion covers, table runners or even wall art for your home. You can also have your gown repurposed into a unique costume for Halloween, themed parties or theatrical performances.
The Salvation Army thrift stores around the country accept wedding dresses as donations and sell them to raise money for charitable programs. The charity offers drop-off and mail-in options, with specific details for preparing your dress for donation at each location on their website.
Adorned in Grace – This Oregon and Washington-based organization raises funds to bring awareness to human trafficking. The sale of donated gowns and accessories helps fund professional counseling for victims, as well as awareness publications. The organization is currently accepting new and gently-used wedding dresses, as well as other formalwear for their three stores.
Brides Against Breast Cancer – This nonprofit supports breast cancer research, awareness and early detection. The organization accepts wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses to be sold in their online shop to raise funds for the cause.
Angel Gowns – This nonprofit supports families who have lost a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Seamstresses repurpose donated wedding and bridesmaid gowns to create infant burial gowns, which are offered to hospitals, birthing centers and funeral homes for free to grieving families.
The NICU Helping Hands Angel Gown program is available nationwide. Women who have recently lost a baby can contact the nonprofit to request a gown.
Thousands of military and first responder brides are outfitted with the dress of their dreams thanks to this nonprofit. It hosts Operation Wedding Gown events twice a year in bridal salons around the country. Brides wishing to donate can fill out an online form to see if their gown meets the organization’s criteria; gowns should be under four years old and in wearable condition.
This faith-based organization is currently accepting gowns in Oregon and Washington to support their mission to combat sex trafficking and aid survivors. The proceeds from the sale of wedding gowns, as well as other new and gently-used attire, goes toward funding advocacy efforts and providing professional counseling for trafficking survivors. The charity is also offering online sales to reach more victims in need of assistance.