Donate Wedding Dresses to Charity

donate wedding dresses

Donating your wedding dress is a way to keep it from going to waste after the big day. Many charities will take dresses off your hands (and they may be able to give you a tax deduction in the process). You can also donate bridesmaid and flower girl gowns, along with bridal accessories like veil or tiaras. Some places even take prom dresses, too. And the good news is that your dress doesn’t need to be new or in perfect condition for it to be accepted by a charity—most of these locations will have specific instructions on their websites about what they’ll accept and what they won’t.

If you’re a thrifty bride, you might want to consider getting your dress professionally cleaned before dropping it off for donation. This will help ensure that there’s no staining or damage to the fabric, which could be detrimental to the charity.

Several charities that accept donations are dedicated to supporting a cause, including the environment and veterans. Others are just trying to make life a little easier for people who have fallen on hard times during the pandemic. Regardless of their mission, all of these organizations are looking for donations of dresses in good condition.

Most of these nonprofits have vetting procedures and will require you to fill out a short form or email a photo of the gown before they’ll accept it for donation. Some charities will also have cleaning requirements, so be sure to check out their websites for detailed information.

For example, the Emma and Evan Foundation will turn your old wedding dress into tiny angel gowns to be given to infants who have died before their first birthday. They will also make bonnets and other keepsake items that are given to grieving families for free. They will accept any wedding dress that is less than five years old, along with other wedding accessories and formalwear.

Another great option for a nonprofit that accepts donated dresses is The Brides Project, which is a bridal boutique with a heart. The store sells eco- and budget-friendly wedding gowns to shoppers, with all proceeds from the shop’s sales helping support free programs for families impacted by cancer at the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. They will take any wedding dress within five years, as well as bridesmaid and flower girl gowns and bridal accessories.

In addition to these wedding dress charities, you can donate your gown at most local thrift stores that take charitable donations. They can provide you with a receipt for your donation, which can be used to claim a tax deduction. The Salvation Army is a great choice since it’s a global organization with a variety of missions, including disaster relief and providing clothing and other goods to the homeless.

Many other charitable organizations take in donated wedding dresses to resell at discounted prices and raise money for different causes, including environmental protection, aiding military brides and victims of abuse, according to Zola. You can also find options at local bridal shops, like Cherie Amour, which takes in gently worn dresses and other accessories.