Creative Things to Do With Your Dress After the Wedding

Weddings are expensive, and dress is one of the highest costs. Even without alterations, the average dress costs over $1,500. It costs a lot for something you’ll only wear once. You can spend a lot of money to keep your dress safe after the wedding or just hang it up in your closet.

But you can get your money back if you don’t care too much about your dress. More and more newlyweds on a tight budget are selling or giving away their wedding dresses.

Sell Your Wedding Dress

It might seem hard to sell your wedding dress. It’s our favorite, partly because you can get the dress cleaned as part of the sale and partly because it has such a great selection.

Any resale service or store will work if you want to find a new home for your wedding dress after your big day. You can make some extra money and let another bride-to-be enjoy the dress.

The Best Place to Sell Your Wedding Dress

You can get anywhere from 30% to 70% of the original price for your dress when you sell it. How much you get depends on who made it, what style it is, and how big it is. You can sell your dress in a lot of different places.


The classic auction site is great for selling all kinds of clothes, including wedding gowns. eBay would be a great choice if your dress came from a bridal chain store like David’s Bridal or Alfred Angelo. Unique dresses from smaller boutiques or designers usually sell for less on eBay than they would on another platform.

Used-Goods Stores

Most cities have shops that sell used wedding dresses. You drop off your dress, and they look at it and decide how much it’s worth. When it sells, you get a share of the money made.

Consider Donating Your Dress

Sometimes, you won’t even get close to what you paid for the dress. Instead of selling it for cheap, you might want to think about giving it away. You can get a tax break if you give it to a charity that qualifies.

You can deduct the dress’s fair market value. Most charities will give you a receipt with the dress’s value so you can use it for your taxes.

But giving away your dress can be a great gift to someone else and a great tax break. Your help can make a big difference in someone’s life, whether giving a bride her dream dress that she could never afford or giving comfort to a family who has lost a loved one. Here are some charities that will take your wedding dress.

The Angel Gown Program

When a baby dies, it’s hard for parents to go shopping for a funeral gown for their child. And sometimes, they just can’t find a gown small enough for a baby born early or stillborn. The Angel Gown Program takes donated wedding dresses and makes burial gowns and blankets out of them. Dresses are given to families for free.

Wish Upon a Wedding

Every day is about their illness, a couple where one person is dying. On their wedding day, they will just be able to enjoy being together. Wish Upon a Wedding gives donated services and dresses to help couples have the perfect wedding.

Brides Across America

This nonprofit has a program for military brides that helps them have the wedding of their dreams. You can donate the perfect gown if it is less than five years old.

Dye Your Wedding Dress a New Color

If you’re sure you’ll never wear an item of clothing again but don’t want to give it away or cut it up, try dying it a new color. Your wedding dress will become a formal gown that can be worn for various special occasions. But we must warn you: Not all fabrics and embellishments work well with color dyes.

For example, lace is porous and won’t soak up color, while a fabric like silk usually takes dye well. This is why you should let a professional dye the garment for you.

Also, make sure your dress is clean before you dye it. Stains could become permanent or get worse during the dyeing process. Talk to a trusted cleaner about whether or not the chemicals they use to clean your dress could react strangely with anything in the dye or fabric of your dress. If so, this could change your plans, so it’s good to know ahead of time.

Alter Your Wedding Dress

If you don’t like the idea of only wearing your wedding dress once, you might want to get it changed into something you can wear more often. Work with a tailor or seamstress to make something new that you can wear repeatedly.

If you want to make your first anniversary even more special, you could give it to your partner as a surprise.

Final Words

Your wedding dress is a very personal thing, and only you can decide what to do with it. But if you can let it go, you can do much with it. You spent a lot of money on your dress. Instead of letting it sit in a closet, you can use it to put money back in your bank account or help someone else.

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About Maki Hojo

Maki Hojo is a student at the University of Michigan. A foodie since birth, she enjoys cooking, eating, photographing, reading about, and playing with any and all types of food. Her idolization of culinary delights is complemented by her active spirit - she enjoys running, swimming, barre classes, and even spontaneous bursts of interpretative dance if the mood strikes her.

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