Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Now what? The afterlife of a wedding gown...

Ladies and Gents, I need your advice. My wedding gown has been hanging in our bedroom since the wedding night, and it's getting kind of sad. It has fulfilled its purpose and now I'm not quite sure what to do with the little guy. There are some purple spots on it from the flowers in my bouquet, so no matter what it will need to be cleaned. But then what?

Do I have it preserved in the off chance that I one day have a tiny daughter with the same taste as her momma? Or do I donate it to a good cause? Or try to sell it in a consignment shop or Craigslist?



My dress by Essense of Australia

I love my dress but I know I will never wear it again. What is the best way for this sentimental packrat to give my gown an afterlife? To my married ladies out there, what did you do with your wedding dress after your wedding?

38 comments:

Belle Renee said...

Umm... mine got drycleaned a couple weeks ago (procrastinate much?) and now it's hanging in my closet with my business suits. So, I'm probably not the best to give advice, am I?

Burgh Baby said...

I had planned on saving mine to have some of the fabric made into a blanket or Christening dress if I ever had a little girl. The little girl part worked out, but the saving part didn't. A cat kinda sorta peed on it. Really.

ria said...

mine is still sitting at my dad's house 2 years later...i saw a cool idea about trash the dress photoshoot, http://www.trashthedress.com/

Mermanda said...

Renee, there is no judgment here. Maybe you'll get some good ideas from people's feedback to this post. I am curious to see what people recommend.

Mermanda said...

Burgh Baby, oh... no. Pee is not a good look. Sorry :(

iartaday said...

so i'm not married, but i think this is kind of a cool idea. they're calling it "trash the dress" - but of course, they aren't throwing it away.
http://www.trashthedress.com/
you get yourself a bang-up photographer and go have a photoshoot in your dress in places that the dress is probably going to get messy - but the photos i've seen have been absolutely beautiful. it's sorta like your once in a lifetime couture photo shoot. random, but just a thought.

there's also several great sites where you can sell your dress second hand for another bride to love that's less - bizarre.

jiveturkey said...

Mine is in storage at my parents' house (due to my lack of closet space) in one of those fancy boxes the dry cleaners store it in after they clean it. I never gave much thought to doing anything with it other than hanging on to it Just Because. I think it would be nice to go the consignment route, especially b/c I'm sure a lot of brides go that way these days, but I'd have a hard time letting go of it.

Kim said...

I'm a bad person to ask--mine is sitting at my parents' house, uncleaned, after two years.

sarah marie p said...

Oh noes! I just wrote a hellsa long comment and blogger ate it! Bad!

Anyway, I was telling you about how I did a "Trash the Dress" Or "High Fashion photoshoot" after the wedding with our photographers and it was so much fun! I didn't roll around in mud but we took pictures in random neighborhoods, on train tracks, in an alley, in an elevator, in a parking garage, in a cool hotel. Maybe you could do something like that?

But I didn't know what to do with my dress after that. It got dirty from the second shoot and it has dirt on the bottom ... but it's currently hanging in the spare room closet and it still needs to be dry cleaned. oops.

Angela said...

I suggest donating it. It could give another woman a lot of happiness!

Jorden and Kristin said...

I've decided that from my dress I am going to have a gown made for my babies to wear, OR, i'm going to use it for motivation to get back into shape after this baby so I can do a trash the dress session! :)

Hillary said...

mine is hanging in our coat closet

it hasn't been cleaned

actually, I haven't even looked at it since the morning after the wedding when I zipped it up in its garment bag

I am a bad bride

stefanie said...

Mine is hanging in our closet. It was been moving with us since 2005 (when we got married). Sometimes I wear it and dance around in it. Just because it feels good. I don't plan on ever selling it or giving it away. Sorry, I am very helpful here.

Tam said...

Cleaning costs $200-$300 I ADORED my dress, but sold it FILTHY DIRTY for a $700 profit.

I'm awesome like that :)

Jane said...

I am going to sell mine when I'm done with it. But I'm an unsentimental jerk about stuff like that.

Kyla Roma said...

I had mine dry cleaned for well under $100, and have it at home now. I'm saving mine so that someday my girlfriends and I can all do a trash the dress session together =)

Sarah said...

i say donate it. it's such a beautiful dress, i'm sure there is a bride-to-be somewhere who would be beyond thrilled to wear it.

paisana said...

Mine (three months later) just made it to the "I need to get it cleaned" stage. Until then, it was decorating my bathroom.

I was quite tempted to use it as a Halloween costume this year.

Tia said...

I got married out-of-state, and my best friend brought it back in a box with her so I wouldn't have to ship it. 1.5 years later, it is still smushed up in that box in a closet. I'm no help either!

Becky said...

Google "brides against breast cancer." You can donate your dress and it gets sold at trunk shows around the U.S. and all the proceeds go to families with a breast cancer patient. I read a testimonial on their site one time from a woman who said the money her family received allowed them to buy Christmas presents for their kids that year!

Be sure to leave yourself some time though - you don't have to donate it right away. Sometimes it's nice to look at your dress for awhile before saying bye to it!

Rae // theNotice said...

So gorgeous. Maybe see if your city has a dress-recycling programish thing? I'm pretty sure ours has a couple -- a few where you sell it to a shop and they resell it, and (I *think*) one where you can donate your dress, and it will be lent out to brides who can't afford their own dresses.

Meg said...

Trash the Dress is really cool, but if you're hoping to be a "good person" and donate it...you can't trash it!!

Maggie said...

I say do a trash the dress session! my fiancé and photographer pretty much decided for me that they wanna do that.

if you feel guilty about doing that, then I'd vote for donating it.

Just Fine Just Dandy said...

Wow, lots of great comments. I like the "trash the dress" idea a lot. Sounds fun.

My boyfriend's sister bought her wedding dress off Craigslist and then sold it almost a year after her own wedding on Craigslist to another bride. She said that it was neat to know that at least three brides had worn the dress on their special day.

Katie said...

I bought my dress on OnceWed! I highly recommend it. I definitely appreciate that another bride sold her beautiful dress at a slightly discounted price so that I could be beautiful too. ;)

You could also donate or reuse the dress for something else...

raeleighjo said...

my momma saved hers. she said if i want to wear it just like she did, that's cool, and if i want to do anything else with it, she's good with that too. basically if i want to hack it up and make an entirely new dress, she's fine with that. : ) so i'll have her dress (in some way, shape, or form) and my dad's momma's diamond from her engagement ring put in the middle of my wedding band closest to my heart.

SAP. : )

Mermanda said...

I really don't think I can trash the dress. First of all, between our engagement portraits and wedding photos, I really can't see a need for MORE professional photos of me. I mean, I'm as vain as the next person, but really... that seems overkill to me.

I think I'll have it cleaned and after spending enough quality time with it (nerd alert) I will see if I get any interest on Craigslist. As much as I love the idea of my future daughter wearing the dress on her big day, that's a lot of pressure to put on an unborn (unconceived!) child. Not everyone wants to wear the same dress that her mother did. But again, I love the idea...

Gwen said...

Being a tiny little thing like I was when I got married, I don't think you'll have much luck with consignment. I tried it but the gals at the shop said there was a lot of interest in it (it WAS gorgeous, natch) but the dress was too small for everyone who tried it on.

I took it back and used it for Halloween a couple times (think dead bride). One time I wore it to drink beer in my backyard.

Eventually I gave it to Goodwill. I've regretted that ever since I did it.

For all of these reasons, I am in the "preserve it" camp.

julia brooke hustwit said...

I think if you donate it to a good cause (not GoodWill, but one where you know it will be used again as a wedding gown) then you won't regret it. That being said, from the picture that you posted, it looks like it could be a rocking cocktail dress if you just cut the skirt short and had it hemmed. Then you could wear it to Christmas parties and other formal galas, etc.

julia brooke hustwit said...

Moreover, you could save the extra fabric that you cut off to give to your daughter for her dress. She may not use it, but she might come up with something creative... She could make a garter from it or you could make a christening gown from it. My mom tried to save me some lace from her wedding dress for mine, but it got lost along the way :(

FrenChic said...

If we decoupaged it and dyed it... would you wear it again?? That would be a new life!

Marcy said...

I had my cleaned and now it is taking up space in a honkin' huge box in my closet. I loved my dress and just can't part with it. I have two daughters now so maybe one of them will use it (or a piece of it) for their wedding dress some day. Perhaps they'll just play dress up in it like my sister and I did with our mom's dress...

Non Sequitur Chica said...

Give it away! That is what I am probably going to do with my dress. I'm never going to wear it again, I have plenty of pictures of me in it, and I can make some other bride really happy.

Erin W said...

I know for prom dresses they have charities to give them to underprivileged high school girls, maybe there's the same sort of thing for wedding dresses?

your wishcake. said...

I don't know if you ever heard my $10 wedding dress story but...needless to say, after the wedding it was shoved into a cardboard box and put in the garage.

I know: WHO AM I?

(I did love my dress, but I didn't have any attachment to it, really. For the record. And it was pretty, I swear.)

At least I've had it in the closet for the last year or so. I'm waiting to have more married friends, then I'm planning on having let's-wear-our-wedding-dresses-together shenanigans which include, but aren't limited to:

1. Wine nights.
2. Going to The Olive Garden and acting completely normal despite the stares from strangers.
3. Disneyland. Splash Mountain in a wedding dress? Yes, please.

PLEASE COME JOIN MEEEEE! I need more married friends before I go off the deep end and do this by myself.

yosemite said...

Thank you, very interesting to read . I also love lace wedding dresses !

wedding said...

very nice wedding dress.I hope I can own one on my wedding.

leeqiang said...

Martina liana
2011 wedding