Most brides only wear their wedding gown once, and after the big day they often keep it in a closet. But instead of letting it collect dust, you can give your dress a new life by donating it to charity. You won’t only help a bride in need, you will also free up valuable closet space. Plus, it’s a great way to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Clothing that ends up in landfills takes up to a decade to break down and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to GreenDrop. By donating your gown, you can save on storage costs and make the planet happy too.
Whether you want to donate your dress because you can’t afford to buy another or just don’t have room in the closet, there are plenty of places that take bridal and formal dresses for donation. But not all charities are created equal and some have different guidelines for the dresses they accept. So before you start packing, it’s a good idea to contact the charity of your choice and follow their instructions carefully to ensure that your gown makes it to a bride in the best possible condition.
One of the most popular places to donate your wedding dress is Brides Across America, which provides free wedding dresses to military and first responder brides. This includes firefighters, EMTs, and police officers. The organization holds year-round giveaway events in partnership with local salons to provide these women with their dream dress. In addition to dresses, BAA accepts donations of veils, jewelry, and tiaras.
Another option is the Emma and Evan Foundation, which repurposes wedding gowns and other bridal items into infant burial gowns that are given to families who have lost their baby during the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The foundation has about 180 seamstresses across the country who volunteer their time to create these dresses for grieving mothers.
Other organizations that accept donated dresses include Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring, which gives gowns to brides who can’t afford them. You can also donate your gown to Adorned in Grace, a nonprofit that helps sex trafficking victims and raises awareness in the community.
Lastly, you can donate your dress to a consignment shop that accepts wedding dresses. However, you should note that you’ll likely pay more in commission fees if you go this route. If you’re interested in selling your wedding dress, it’s important to find out the commission fees before signing a contract with any seller. You can do this by asking your vendor for a price sheet or talking to other customers at the store. Alternatively, you can check online for a list of wedding dress commission rates.