What to Do With Old Wedding Dresses: 10 Brilliant Ideas

What to Do With Old Wedding Dresses
What to Do With Old Wedding Dresses: 10 Brilliant Ideas 5

Introduction : What to Do With Old Wedding Dresses

Having an old wedding dress sitting in your closet can be a dilemma. It holds sentimental value, but you may feel unsure about what to do with it. Fortunately, there are two main options that can help you give your dress a new purpose: repurposing it into new items or donating it to those in need. In this article, we will explore ten brilliant ideas for what you can do with your old wedding dress. What to Do With Old Wedding Dresses : 10 Brilliant Ideas

1. Donate the Dress for Stillborn Babies’ Burial Gowns

Donating your wedding dress to create stillborn babies’ burial gowns is a deeply meaningful way to give your dress a purpose. These donated dresses are used to create beautiful and delicate garments that provide comfort to grieving families during their time of loss.

By donating your bridal gown, you can make a significant impact on the lives of these families, offering solace and support during their difficult journey. The emotional significance of contributing to this cause cannot be understated, as it allows you to honor the memory of these precious little ones.

How to Donate Your Wedding Dress What to Do with an Old Wedding Dress

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Here are some steps you can take to donate your wedding dress for stillborn babies’ burial gowns:

  1. Research Local Hospitals or Funeral Homes: Start by looking into local hospitals or funeral homes that have established connections with bereaved families. Many of these institutions have programs in place where they accept donated wedding dresses.
  2. Check Online Resources: Websites like Angel Gowns or other similar organizations specialize in collecting donated wedding dresses specifically for this purpose.
  3. Ensure Compassionate Use: Whether you choose a local institution or an online resource, make sure they handle the transformation process with care and respect.

The Power of Personal Stories

Sharing personal stories or experiences can further highlight the significance of this donation option. Hearing about how your dress brought comfort and solace to a grieving family can be incredibly powerful and inspiring.

2. Donate the Dress to a Thrift Store for Brides in Need

Donating your wedding dress to a thrift store is a wonderful way to give back to the community while helping less fortunate brides fulfill their dreams of finding the perfect gown. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Affordable options for less fortunate brides: Many brides-to-be face financial constraints and struggle to afford a new wedding dress. By donating your dress to a thrift store, you can provide an affordable option for those in need, allowing them to have their dream wedding without breaking the bank.
  • Supporting the community and promoting sustainability: Choosing a local thrift store as the recipient of your dress not only benefits individual brides but also supports the surrounding community. Thrift stores often reinvest their proceeds into local programs and initiatives, making a positive impact on the lives of others. Additionally, donating your dress promotes sustainability by giving it a second life instead of letting it gather dust in your closet.
  • Finding reputable thrift stores: When donating your wedding dress, it’s important to find reputable thrift stores that specifically welcome wedding dress donations. Look for stores that have experience in handling bridal gowns and ensure that they have proper storage facilities to keep the dresses in good condition.
  • Success stories: Countless brides have found their dream wedding gowns at thrift stores, thanks to generous donations from individuals like yourself. These success stories highlight how a donated dress can make all the difference in creating a memorable wedding day while staying within budget.

Remember, when donating your wedding dress to a thrift store, make sure it’s clean and in good condition. This will increase its chances of finding its way into the hands of a deserving bride who will cherish it as much as you did on your special day.

3. Donate the Dress for Angel Gowns

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Angel Gowns are a beautiful and meaningful way to give new purpose to your old wedding dress. These gowns are crafted from donated wedding dresses and are provided to families who have experienced the loss of a baby. By donating your dress, you can bring comfort to grieving parents and help honor the memory of their little ones.

The act of donating your wedding dress for Angel Gowns can provide solace and support during an incredibly difficult time. It allows parents to dress their baby in a gown made with love and care, offering some measure of comfort and dignity.

If you’re interested in donating your dress for Angel Gowns, there are several organizations and projects that specialize in collecting wedding gowns for this purpose. Here are a few reputable options:

  1. NICU Helping Hands: This organization operates the Angel Gown Program, which provides bereavement gowns to hospitals across the United States. They accept donated wedding dresses to create these precious garments.
  2. Molly’s Angels: Molly’s Angels is another organization that creates Angel Gowns from donated wedding dresses. They distribute these gowns to hospitals, funeral homes, and directly to families in need.
  3. Brides Across America: While primarily focused on providing free wedding dresses to military brides, Brides Across America also accepts donated dresses for their Angel Gown program.

By donating your wedding dress for Angel Gowns, you can make a significant impact on grieving families and help bring comfort during a difficult time. Consider reaching out to these organizations or others like them to find out how you can contribute to this important cause.

4. Donate the Dress to Charitable Organizations Supporting Military Members and Spouses

Military couples face unique challenges when it comes to wedding expenses, and donating a wedding dress can alleviate some of their financial burden. By donating your dress to charitable organizations that support military members and spouses, you can make a meaningful contribution to their special day. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Highlighting the Challenges: Military couples often have limited funds due to frequent relocations, deployment expenses, and other financial constraints. Wedding expenses can add additional stress, making it difficult for them to afford a dream wedding.
  • Reputable Charities: There are several reputable charities that offer free or discounted bridal gowns to servicemen and women. These organizations understand the unique challenges faced by military couples and strive to provide them with the support they need for their big day.
  • Criteria for Donations: It’s important to emphasize the specific criteria for donations to ensure that your dress reaches the intended recipients. Some organizations may only accept dresses of a certain style or size, while others may have specific requirements for donation eligibility.
  • Guiding Readers: To help readers navigate the process of donating their wedding dress, provide guidance on any specific requirements or paperwork involved. This can include information on how to find charities that accept wedding dress donations and step-by-step instructions on how to complete the donation process.

By donating your wedding dress to charitable organizations supporting military members and spouses, you can play a part in making their special day more affordable and memorable. Your contribution will have a lasting impact on these deserving couples as they celebrate their love amidst the challenges of military life.

5. Repurpose the Dress into Other Items

Repurposing an old wedding dress opens up a world of creative possibilities, allowing you to give new life to a sentimental piece of clothing. Here are some unique ideas for transforming your dress into different types of clothing items:

  1. Elegant Jumpsuits: Turn your wedding gown into a stunning jumpsuit that can be worn for special occasions or formal events. By repurposing the fabric and adding modern touches, you can create a stylish and personalized outfit.
  2. Stylish Formal Wear: Transform your dress into a chic cocktail dress or evening gown by altering the design and adding embellishments. With some creativity and skilled tailoring, you can have a one-of-a-kind outfit that reflects your personal style.
  3. Flower Girl Attire: Use the lace appliques or tulle fabric from your wedding dress to create delicate flower girl dresses. The intricate details and soft fabrics will add a touch of elegance to these adorable outfits.

Remember, repurposing doesn’t have to be limited to clothing items. You can also explore other options such as:

  • Veils: Use the veil portion of your dress to create a beautiful accessory for future brides or special occasions.
  • Shoes: Repurpose the fabric or embellishments from your dress to customize a pair of shoes, adding a unique touch to any outfit.
  • Jewelry: Incorporate elements from your wedding gown into custom-made jewelry pieces like necklaces, earrings, or bracelets.
  • Bras: If the fabric of your dress is still in good condition, it can be transformed into luxurious lingerie pieces like bras or camisoles.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to repurposing an old wedding dress. Get creative and let your imagination guide you in giving new life to this cherished garment.

6. Sell the Dress

If you’re looking to recover some of the money you spent on your wedding dress and give it a new home where it’ll be appreciated, selling it is a great option. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Choose the Right Platform or Consignment Store: Research different online platforms or local consignment stores that specialize in selling used wedding dresses. Look for ones with a good reputation and a large audience of potential buyers.
  2. Showcase Your Dress Effectively: Take high-quality photos of your dress from different angles and in good lighting. Write a detailed and accurate description that includes information about the designer, size, condition, and any alterations made.
  3. Negotiate a Fair Price: Set a realistic asking price for your dress based on its age, condition, original price, and market demand. Be open to negotiation but also know your bottom line.
  4. Handle Shipping Logistics: If you’re selling online, familiarize yourself with shipping options and costs. Decide whether you’ll offer free shipping or have the buyer cover the expenses. Package the dress securely to protect it during transit.

Selling your wedding dress can not only help someone else find their dream gown at a more affordable price but also give you some extra cash to put towards other expenses or savings goals.

7. Pass it Down to Family Members

Pass down old wedding dress, family heirloom

Preserving Sentimental Value

Discuss the sentimental value of turning the dress into a family heirloom and preserving it for future generations of brides.

Storing and Maintaining the Dress

Guide readers on proper methods of storing and maintaining the gown’s quality over time, such as using acid-free tissue paper and avoiding plastic containers.

Incorporating the Dress into Wedding Traditions

Suggest meaningful ways to incorporate the dress into wedding traditions:

  • Displaying it in a shadow box
  • Incorporating small swatches of fabric into bouquet wraps for future weddings

8. Create Keepsakes from the Dress

If you’re looking for ways to repurpose your old wedding dress and create meaningful keepsakes, we’ve got you covered! Here are some ideas and tutorials to help you get started:

Custom Jewelry Pieces

Transforming parts of your wedding gown into beautiful jewelry is a wonderful way to carry its memories with you. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Necklace: Cut out a small piece of lace or fabric from your dress and place it inside a locket pendant. You can also add a charm or bead that holds special significance.
  2. Bracelet: Use the buttons or beads from your gown as charms on a bracelet chain. You can also attach small fabric flowers or bows.
  3. Earrings: Take some delicate lace or fabric from your dress and create dangling earrings by attaching them to earring hooks.

Decorative Throw Pillows

Turning your wedding dress into decorative throw pillows is a creative way to display its beauty in your home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Materials:Wedding dress fabric
  • Pillow stuffing or inserts
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  1. Steps:Cut out two equally-sized squares or rectangles from your dress fabric, depending on the desired pillow size.
  2. Place the fabric pieces together with the right sides facing each other.
  3. Sew along three sides of the fabric, leaving one side open for stuffing.
  4. Turn the fabric inside out so that the right sides are now facing outwards.
  5. Stuff the pillow with filling or insert.
  6. Sew the open side of the fabric together to close the pillow.

Letting Go, Preserving Memories

While it can be difficult to part with your wedding dress, remember that its true value lies in the memories it holds, not the physical garment itself. By repurposing it into keepsakes like jewelry or throw pillows, you’re able to honor those memories in a tangible way while also making space for new beginnings.

So go ahead, gather your crafting supplies and embark on these meaningful DIY projects. It’s time to give your old wedding dress a new lease on life!


In this article, we have explored various brilliant ideas for what to do with an old wedding dress. Whether you choose to repurpose your gown or donate it to those in need, there are countless meaningful options available to you. Remember, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to finding a purpose for your unused dress.

Here are some key takeaways from our discussion:

  1. Donating the dress for stillborn babies’ burial gowns can bring comfort to grieving families and contribute to a meaningful cause.
  2. Thrift stores offer affordable options for less fortunate brides, and your donated dress can make their dreams come true.
  3. Angel Gowns crafted from wedding dresses provide solace to parents who have lost a baby, honoring their memory.
  4. Charitable organizations supporting military members and spouses offer free or discounted bridal gowns, helping alleviate their financial burden.
  5. Repurposing the dress into other items provides endless possibilities for giving new life to your gown.
  6. Selling the dress allows you to recoup some of the initial cost and pass on the joy of wearing a beautiful gown to another bride.

Now it’s time for you to take action. Find a purpose for your own unused gown, whether it be through one of the suggested ideas or a unique approach of your own. By giving new life to an old dress, you have the opportunity to create new stories and memories that will last far beyond its original purpose.

So go ahead, embrace the possibilities and make something extraordinary out of your old wedding dress!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are some ideas for donating an old wedding dress?

You can donate your wedding dress to create stillborn babies’ burial gowns, donate it to a thrift store for brides in need, or donate it for Angel Gowns. You can also consider donating the dress to charitable organizations supporting military members and spouses.

How can I donate my wedding dress?

To donate your wedding dress, you can follow these steps: research and choose a suitable organization or cause, contact the organization to inquire about their donation process, and arrange for the dress to be picked up or dropped off at the designated location.

What are some ways to repurpose an old wedding dress?

You can repurpose an old wedding dress into other items such as decorative throw pillows, custom jewelry pieces, or keepsakes. Additionally, you can incorporate the dress into wedding traditions or pass it down to family members as a family heirloom.

How can I preserve the sentimental value of my old wedding dress?

To preserve the sentimental value of your old wedding dress, you can discuss the sentimental value of turning the dress into a family heirloom, incorporate it into wedding traditions, and create keepsakes from the dress.

What are some meaningful ways to incorporate the dress into wedding traditions?

You can incorporate the dress into wedding traditions by using parts of it to create custom jewelry pieces, decorative throw pillows, or keepsakes that can be passed down through generations as a family heirloom.

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