Donate Wedding Dresses to Charity

donate wedding dresses

If you’re a bride who has had a wedding, and then later realized that the dress isn’t a style you want to keep forever, or maybe you just don’t have room in your closet, there are several charities that will take it off your hands. Some organizations specialize in vetting the dresses they accept, so it’s worth researching your options. Many of the charities will also offer tips on how to pack and ship your dress safely.

During the pandemic, millions of people have been struggling financially, which means that wedding dress donations can really make an impact. Some of these wedding dress donations are even tax-deductible, so you can save some money while making a difference. Plus, according to GreenDrop, donating your clothing instead of throwing it away can help reduce the amount of pollution caused by manufacturing new clothes and textiles.

Many thrift stores will take donated wedding dresses, and their proceeds are used to fund job programs, housing, veterans, and more. One of the largest thrift store chains is Goodwill Industries, and you can find a branch near you by visiting their website. They have specific details on what they do and don’t accept, and they walk you through the vetting process to ensure your dress isn’t damaged in transit.

Other organizations specialize in repurposing the dresses they accept. For example, Angel Gowns in Oneida, N.Y., transforms donated wedding gowns into beautiful infant burial gowns. These are offered to hospitals, birthing centers, funeral homes, and directly to grieving families free of charge.

In addition to these repurposing companies, you may be able to donate your wedding dress to a local boutique or studio that specializes in upcycling. For instance, some of these businesses will create a gorgeous cushion cover or table runner from the fabric of your dress. You can even use the fabric to decorate a wall in your home.

Another option is to donate your wedding dress to a school that teaches sewing. This way, aspiring fashion designers can practice their skills and create something special from the pieces of your dress that you don’t need anymore.

You can also pass the dress down to your daughter or granddaughter and have them repurpose it for a costume for Halloween or a themed party. Just make sure you have the gown professionally cleaned and boxed before handing it over to your loved ones.

If you don’t want to sell your wedding dress, but don’t have a place to store it, there are a few charities that will give it to a bride in need for free. This is especially helpful for brides who have had to cancel their wedding due to the pandemic. The organization is a nonprofit that helps provide dresses to needy brides, and they are always accepting donations of wedding dresses and other bridal accessories.