What to Do with Your Dress After the Wedding

Gather ideas on how to repurpose your wedding dress after your "I dos."

If you can’t bear the thought of your beloved bridal gown spending decades in a box, there are a plethora of options for what you can do with your dream dress.

Photo: Justin Marantz

how to repurpose your wedding dress

Those who deem wedding dresses as too expensive often cite the fact that you presumably only wear the gown for one day, possibly even just a handful of hours. That’s because traditionally women will have their gown cleaned and preserved, where, generally, the dresses then stay in storage. Sure, there’s always the thought that their hypothetical future daughter or even granddaughter might wear it, but how often does that actually come to fruition?

If you can’t bear the thought of your beloved bridal gown spending decades in a box, there are a plethora of options for what you can do with your dream dress. Even if you have a sentimental attachment to the frock, there are plenty of ways to keep it in your life but also make it a useful item (or two). 

- Turn your dress into a christening gown for your future children.
- Participate in a “trash the dress” session, creating memorable photos.
- Make a glass pendant or a darling headband with the lace.
- Have your gown shortened and dyed to become a cocktail dress. Depending on the style, you could even wear it to someone else’s wedding someday!
- Decorate your home by creating lampshades, making a decorative throw pillow, or even using the fabric from your gown as the background for a shadowbox with your wedding invitation.
- Sell it to a secondhand store or on a website. You'll recoup some of what you spent, and a future bride can get a great deal.
- Donate it to help those in need. Various charities will sell bridal gowns and use the proceeds for a good cause, and Brides Across America provides dresses for military brides who otherwise may not have the means for their dream dress.
- Throw a fun party for your married friends where you all agree to wear your wedding gown.
- The skirt could be used to make several elegant clutches to use at the nuptials for the women in your family.
- Incorporate your dress as part of your Halloween costume.
- With the right seamstress, your gown could be transformed into beautiful lingerie, which would be perfect for an anniversary.

For more ideas, find out if wedding guests should wear black to a wedding, learn how to perfectly preserve your wedding dress, gather ideas for your "something old" accessories, and view images of bridal gowns from real weddings in our photo galleries!

Opening photo by Michael Carr Photography; Planning & Design by Ann Whittington, Event Planner