Where to Donate Wedding Dresses

When your wedding day is over and you’ve returned from your honeymoon, your gown may be hiding in your closet, or perhaps you saved it for your daughter. But if you’re not planning to wear it again, it might be time to donate it. And you’re in luck, because there are many charities that accept wedding dresses for resale. These gowns will then be used to help a range of different causes.

According to Zola, there are a variety of reasons why you might want to donate your dress. For example, a lot of gowns end up in landfills, and they can cause harm to the environment. Another reason is that donating your dress could save money and reduce waste because you won’t have to pay for storage or cleaning costs.

You can also repurpose your gown into home decor, a keepsake pillow or even a baptism dress for your baby. Just make sure to have your gown professionally cleaned before repurposing it. And if you’re not interested in refashioning your dress, you can still donate it to a charity.

Goodwill, for example, accepts wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses to sell at budget-friendly prices. Proceeds from the sales go to help support job programs, housing, veterans and more. The organization is especially accepting of gowns from recent brides who can’t afford to buy their own dresses and are eager to pass them on.

Other charities like Brides Across America and Wish Upon a Wedding use donated dresses to gift military and first responder brides with the wedding of their dreams. They’re also happy to take veils, tiaras and accessories. Some of these donations are also used to help terminally ill couples celebrate their weddings or vow renewals.

If you’re looking for a place that doesn’t resell the dresses, try Angel Gowns for Angel Babies, a nonprofit that uses bridal gowns to create tiny baby gowns for infants who have died too soon. This organization uses a mix of donated dresses and new, handmade gowns.

You can also drop off your dress at a boutique with a heart, the Brides Project. This bridal boutique supports adults and kids that are impacted by cancer and specializes in eco- and budget-friendly gowns. They accept gowns within five years and accessories, and you can book appointments online or by email. The organization does note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, you’ll need to adhere to their guidelines when dropping off your donation.

Lastly, you can always donate your dress to a thrift store. These shops often have a selection of wedding dresses for sale and will pass them along to someone who can’t afford a new one. Some of these stores also have other items that you can donate, like furniture and linens. They’ll often provide you with a 501(c)(3) receipt that you can claim when filing your taxes. It’s important to remember that every charity is different and has specific guidelines when it comes to donating a wedding dress. Call or email before you arrive to make sure that you’re following all of the proper instructions.