After the big day, many brides find themselves with a beautiful wedding dress hanging in their closet collecting dust. Instead of letting your gown take up space, donate it to give a second life to a woman in need. There are a number of meaningful charities that accept gown donations and provide them to new brides for an affordable price.
First, research the organization you’re thinking about donating your gown to. Ensure that the charity’s values, mission, and reputation align with yours. Then, determine what kind of impact you want your donation to have in the community. Some organizations specifically support women with cancer, military wives, or those facing other hardships. Others simply want to make sure every bride who wants a beautiful dress can afford one.
Once you’ve chosen the organization that best suits your needs, contact them directly for specific guidelines about the dress. For example, you may need to have the gown professionally cleaned before donating it. This prevents stains from ruining the dress and helps reduce the risk of mold in storage. It’s also a good idea to label the box with helpful information about the gown so that you don’t confuse it with other clothing donations or mishandle the dress in transit.
Thrift stores and resale shops often accept wedding dresses as donations. They may resell the dresses at a discounted price, giving brides with tight budgets an opportunity to buy a dream gown. If the dresses are in great condition, they can even be repurposed as costumes for stage productions or other events.
Many organizations also accept bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, prom dresses, or other formal attire. This allows brides to have a complete outfit and avoid having to spend a lot of money on each member of their bridal party. Some thrift or resale shops are specifically dedicated to this purpose and have their own websites, which make it easy for brides to shop and find the perfect dress.
Finally, some bridal or wedding expos host sales where brides can purchase used gowns at a discount. Some of these events are held during the year, while others happen on an occasional basis. Look up local expos in your area and reach out to organizers to see if they accept wedding gown donations.
Another option is to contact an organization that repurposes wedding gowns to create infant burial gowns for families who have lost a baby. These are called Angel Gowns and can be provided to families at hospitals, birthing centers, funeral homes, or directly to them by the organization.
Finally, some breast cancer charities offer free wedding gowns to newly diagnosed brides as a way of celebrating their special day with hope and love. This is a wonderful way to help fight the disease that has affected so many brides, and it is something that every woman should know about. For more information, check out Brides Against Breast Cancer and Dress for the Cure.