Places to Donate Wedding Dresses

Many brides dream of having a storybook wedding and wearing a stunning dress. But when the big day is over, a lot of women decide to donate their gowns for a variety of reasons. These include needing extra closet room, wanting to make a difference in the world, getting a tax deduction, and more.

If you are considering donating your wedding dress, be sure to read all the requirements and guidelines before you begin the process. Each charity or shop has different requirements. For example, some require that the dress be dry cleaned and in good condition before it’s donated. Others may only accept dresses that are under five years old. In addition, some organizations only accept gowns that are not alterations or custom made.

One of the most popular places to donate a wedding dress is to a thrift store. These thrift stores typically sell the dresses for a fraction of their original cost to low-income individuals in the community. Typically, the thrift store will have an online form or phone number to contact for specific donation instructions. The charity will need to know the dress size, designer or brand name, year purchased, and the price paid. In some cases, the charity may offer a receipt for tax purposes.

Another popular option is to give your gown to an organization that resells them for a charitable cause. For instance, Adorned in Grace is a nonprofit that sells used bridal dresses to bring awareness and support to survivors of human trafficking. This organization is based in Washington and Oregon and has dress shops that are open to the public. The proceeds from the sale of the dresses help provide mentoring programs, outreach events and more.

Some of these organizations have websites or Facebook groups where people can post pictures of their dresses and share information about them. For example, the Shared Dream Dresses Facebook group has over 4,000 members. Women can post pictures of their dresses to the site along with their sizes and other details. Then, anyone who is interested can leave a comment on the picture or contact the woman directly to arrange a meeting.

Other nonprofits also resell the wedding gowns they receive to raise funds for their programs. The Cherie Sustainable Bridal store in Maryland stocks dresses that are less than five years old to help brides who can’t afford the dress of their dreams. Some of the proceeds from the sales of these dresses go to Success in Style, a program that helps women prepare for job interviews and find employment.

A few charities use the gowns they receive to outfit military and first responder brides for free. These brides can attend Operation Wedding Gown events twice a year to get the dress they need. To donate a wedding dress to this organization, a bride must fill out an online form on the website of the charity and provide a photo of the dress and any veils or jewelry that are being donated.