Top 5 Reasons to Donate Wedding Dresses

Whether you’re a bride to be, a newlywed or an experienced wife, your wedding dress doesn’t have to hang in your closet or take up space in your storage unit forever. Instead, donate your dress to a worthy cause and help make the world a more beautiful place. Plus, you’ll get a tax deduction.

Here are some options for donating your wedding dress, including the charities that can use it most.

Wedding dresses donated to this nonprofit bridal boutique are passed on for free to military and first responder brides at Operation Wedding Gown events twice a year; since 2008, the organization has outfitted 26,000 women with their dream dresses. You can fill out an online form on the company’s website to find out if your gown, veil and jewelry meet the acceptance criteria; items should be less than four years old and in wearable condition.

If you’re a bride with an eco-conscious streak, consider donating your dress to this Michigan-based charity. The Brides Project sells donated wedding dresses to raise money for free programming for families impacted by cancer, and it accepts any gowns designed within the last five years. You can drop off your donation or mail it following the organization’s mailing instructions.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has been holding drop-off events at its stores and roadshow locations. Donations are being accepted online and by phone, as well.

This faith-based organization collects and resells donated dresses to raise funds for dozens of women-focused charities, and it accepts any dresses designed within the last five years. Dresses that aren’t used can be repurposed into memorial dresses, and proceeds from sales help fund professional counseling for human trafficking survivors and awareness publications.

You’ll have to check your dress for stains and tears before donating it, and you should also wash it or send it to a dry cleaner in advance of delivering it to a charity. This is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as some materials and fabrics can develop mold when left in moist environments for a long time.

Many thrift shops accept donated wedding dresses, and this chain is no exception. Its proceeds help support job programs, housing and veterans. You can drop off your donation at any of its stores or contact the customer service department for mailing instructions.

Some companies specialize in repurposing your wedding dress into a new piece of clothing, like this bridal boutique that turns them into christening gowns for babies. The shop can also hem your dress and turn it into a cocktail dress.

You can also post your wedding dress for sale on Craigslist, eBay or a local swap shop or classified page to give it a second life and earn some cash. If you’re looking to declutter your home and don’t want to sell your dress, try repurposing it as a home decor item like a pillow or a baby blanket. You can even repurpose the buttons and beads as DIY jewelry or other accessories.