After a wedding, many brides keep their dresses as a keepsake or pass them down to the next generation. However, for some newlyweds, the dress becomes an extra burden in the closet and can even end up in storage, taking up valuable space. Donating a gown can give it a second life and help another bride feel confident on her big day.
If you’re planning on donating your dress, check the organization’s guidelines and specific restrictions. Many charities have specific requirements that include age, dress condition, and style. You should also have your gown professionally cleaned and fix any minor stains or loose buttons.
Many places that accept wedding gowns for re-sale will give proceeds to a particular cause, such as a faith-based organization called Adorned in Grace. The organization’s mission is to raise awareness and prevention of human trafficking, as well as provide assistance to survivors.
The Bridal Garden, a non-profit Manhattan bridal shop, is another option for New York City brides who are interested in donating their gowns. Its dresses are sold at reduced prices for women with low incomes. The charity uses its profits to support the education of disadvantaged youths in New York City.
Other organizations use donations to help women in need, such as the Shared Dream Dresses Facebook group, which Stulgis started in 2014. The group has thousands of members who post pictures of their wedding dresses and their sizes on the page so that other brides can find them. If a bride wants the dress, she can comment on the photo and make arrangements to purchase it from the donor.
Alternatively, you can donate your dress to a local thrift store. Thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army often have a dedicated section for brides to browse and purchase pre-owned wedding gowns. These shops are not only a great way to get rid of old bridal pieces you no longer want, but they can also help other brides afford to wear their dream dresses without spending a fortune.
Another option for a wedding dress donation is the charity The Brides Project. It sells donated gowns and other bridal accessories to raise money for family programming for people impacted by cancer. You can drop off your donation at one of the organization’s locations or mail it to their headquarters.
A final wedding dress donation option is the Angel Gowns of the Capital Region, an organization based about an hour north of New York City. This volunteer-run group transforms wedding dresses into infant burial gowns known as Angel Gowns, which are given to hospitals, birthing centers, and funeral homes to help grieving families say goodbye to their little one.
Lastly, you can also give your dress an earthy ending and take part in the popular “destroy the dress” trend that has brides playing in the mud or swimming in their gowns. Photographs of these photos are then posted to social media, with the captions explaining that the dress is being donated to a charity or is being destroyed to promote environmental awareness.