Here at Modern Wedding we often get asked by brides for suggestions on what they can do with their beautiful wedding gown after the wedding.
Many brides have saved hard to get the dress of their dreams, painstakingly chosen it and focused on its every detail, so it's the last thing they're thinking of before the wedding...but, it will most likely be one of the first things that comes to mind once the dust settles after their big day!
In light of this common question and with the sad news this week that a Canadian woman drowned while doing a 'trash the dress' photo shoot, we've come up with a few alternatives for brides.
The most common practice for brides is to have their gown professionally cleaned and boxed or bagged (some even frame it!), after their wedding. The dress is then tucked away somewhere special and brought out every so often to air and admire!
Pass it on
Many brides have grand visions of keeping their dress for their future daughter or niece in the hope they will want to wear it for their own wedding, or use a part of it for their own gown. Using some of the fabric from your wedding dress is also a popular option for children's christening outfits.
Wedding dresses are also sold in all sorts of ways - by bridal boutiques and websites that specialise in the sale of pre-owned wedding dresses (like The Bare Faced Bride and Still White), in the Trading Post, on eBay, via word of mouth, etc.
If you go through a specialised business they will often sell your gown for you on consignment, which means you will get your money after they sell it.
A word of warning - don't expect to get the same amount of money that you paid for your dress. Even though you think it is the best wedding dress around, in reality it is second hand and brides expect to get a deal!
It's also important that you sell your dress within a reasonable amount of time after your wedding. You don't want to wait 5 years before you sell it, but within 2 years is a good gauge.
A nice idea is to donate your wedding gown to another bride who may not have the means to buy one. You could donate it to your local charity store or to a community service for women in your local area. And if you live in Victoria The Salvation Army's Abbotsford store has set up a bridal department.
The Tiara Project is a also a good option as they are a not-for-profit organisation which provides free formal dresses to young women attending school formals, debutante balls, weddings and other special events, who couldn't otherwise afford it.
From our research we haven't found any other Australian websites which facilitate wedding dress donations but if you communicate to your network what you want to do with your dress, you are sure to get a response. You could also advertise it for free on a selling website, like the Trading Post or eBay.
The ever popular 'trash the dress' photo shoot sees many married brides (and grooms) doing a special photo shoot where they trash their wedding dress in water, in a food fight, with paint or by ripping it - however they want to trash it! While it isn't for every bride it is a fun way to make more memories and relive a little bit of your wedding.
Some brides alter and dye their wedding dress to make it into a cocktail dress or evening gown - depending on the dress style. It's a practical way to get the most out of your dress and it will be special every time you wear it.
So what do you plan on doing with your wedding dress? Would you ever sell or donate it? We'd leave to read your comments.