Wedding dresses are often treasured keepsakes from one of the happiest days of your life. But if you’ve had enough of your dress collecting dust in your closet and you want to give it new life, there are plenty of charities that can use it. Plus, it’ll free up some valuable closet space!
For instance, there are some surprisingly unexpected places you can donate your wedding gown to. Some of them, like the Angel Gown Organization, are based locally in Albany, New York. These volunteer groups are composed of people who sew beautiful infant burial gowns (also known as Angel Gowns) to support families who have lost their tiny babies too soon. The gowns are offered to hospitals, birthing centers, and funeral homes completely free of charge.
Another way to donate your wedding dress is to post it on a Facebook group called Shared Dream Dresses. Stacy Stulgis, who founded the group, says that it’s been an amazing experience for her. Thousands of women have already joined the group, posting pictures of their dresses with size information and other details. Other brides who have gotten engaged can then leave comments to let the donor know if they are interested in the dress. Then it’s up to the donor and bride-to-be to work out details.
If you don’t have much time to find a new home for your old dress, you can always sell it in person at a consignment shop. But that route can take up to three months or longer to sell your gown. And you may have to pay commission fees, which can cut into your profits.
There are also some e-commerce websites where you can post your dress for sale. But beware of scammers. Make sure you’re using a reputable seller, and check out customer reviews.
Alternatively, you can recycle your wedding dress by turning it into something else. There are tons of fun ways to reuse your gown, from making pillows and baptism dresses for kids to transforming it into a cocktail dress. And if you’re not into cutting up your dress, you can always save the fabric and turn it into a gorgeous quilt.
If you’re thinking of donating your dress, it’s important to have it dry cleaned before handing it over. Even though most organizations don’t require it, it will make the process easier for everyone involved. Plus, it will make sure there are no major stains that might be difficult to get out.
And if you do have a small stain, just be grateful that it’s not a bigger problem and that your dress can still be used by someone else. And don’t forget to label your donation box with useful information, such as the dress’s size and brand or designer name, the year it was purchased, and its original price. It will save the charity volunteers a lot of time and effort in sorting through your donation! And remember, when you give your wedding dress a second life, you’re helping a future bride feel beautiful on her big day.