How to Donate Wedding Dresses

A wedding dress is a treasured memento from one of the most special days in a bride’s life. While many brides choose to keep their dresses and pass them on to future generations, others prefer to donate their gowns to give them a second life. This allows them to declutter their closets and can help other brides find the perfect dress for their big day without spending as much money. It also benefits a charity or other cause that’s important to the bride or donor.

While some women choose to sell their dresses, this can be a lengthy and stressful process that involves listing the gowns on different websites and interacting with potential buyers for months. Instead, a bride may want to consider donating her wedding dress, which can be a simpler option that saves time and provides a tax deduction, according to Zola.

Choosing the right dress donation organization is crucial. Some organizations resell the dresses, while others offer them to brides in need for free or at a discounted price. Before donating your dress, research the organization’s mission, values, and reputation to ensure that they align with your own. You can also check if the organization is a registered non-profit or has a track record of transparent operations.

If you’re planning to donate your gown, it’s important to have it professionally cleaned beforehand. This will ensure that your dress is in good condition for its new owner and can help avoid stains and other problems. It’s also a good idea to make any necessary repairs before you hand it over.

Many thrift stores are happy to accept wedding gown donations, as they’re a great way for them to support low-income individuals in the community. These organizations can often provide the dresses to brides for free or at a reduced price, which is helpful for those who can’t afford to purchase a dress from high-end bridal boutiques.

Some of these organizations have specific criteria for the type of dress they’re willing to accept, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with these requirements before donating your dress. For example, some organizations will only accept wedding gowns with lace and embroidered details, while others may not be able to use a dress that’s too long.

In addition to reselling the gowns, some of these organizations repurpose them into infant burial gowns, known as Angel Gowns, for families who have lost their little ones. This program can help comfort grieving parents and support the cause that’s close to their hearts.

If you’re interested in donating your dress, look for local buy/sell/trade groups on social media or online forums to see if they’re accepting gown donations at the moment. You can also contact bridal or wedding expo organizers to inquire about their donation policies. The Salvation Army, for instance, has a number of locations that accept wedding dress donations and offers free pickup services to donors.