Repurpose Your Wedding Dress

One night - that's all your wedding dress gets. So what now? As wedding planners and day-of coordinators, we work with a lot of brides and see a lot of gorgeous gowns. We're curious to know - what should you do with your wedding dress after the wedding? Whether you want to wear it again, have it preserved or turn it into something special, we have some ideas to help you decide how you can repurpose wedding dress.

To Have and to Hold - Preserve Your Wedding Dress

For most wedding dresses, dry-cleaning isn't always enough to repair and restore the gown. There are several options to clean and preserve your gown, including local companies that will handle your dress or national services where you can ship your gown and they take care of the details. Not only should the dress be cleaned, but any spots or stains need to be treated immediately.

Gown Preservation is a special cleaning and packaging technique that goes above-and-beyond standard dry-cleaning. Most gowns won't make it through the wedding day without some sign of that special day - your train may have gotten scuffed from outdoor photos or perhaps someone accidently tipped a drink while on the dance floor.

Depending on the type of preservation and degree of damage, expect to pay anywhere from $200-$400 to have your wedding dress preserved. And don't forget to ask questions and read all the fine print before sending your gown away.

Read more about wedding dress preservation at

One Last Dance - Rewear Your Wedding Dress

If you want to wear your dress again, there are several options. From Charity Balls to city-wide events, women are getting the chance to wear their wedding dress again. Going to be in Dublin next April? Take your dress and attend this charity event! Here's a recent article that talks about organizing a "Wear Your Wedding Dress Again" event.

Repurpose Your Wedding Dress

Depending on the type of dress and its details, you could have it professionally dyed or altered. A seamstress can add or remove straps, shorten the length or dye it a completely different color. Click here for more ways to alter your wedding dress.

Repurpose Your Wedding Dress
Left to right: http://www.weddedaway.com

We're so impressed with these two transformations!

If you want your wedding dress to have a second life but don't necessarily want to wear it yourself, why not sell it or donate it to a charitable organization? Brides Across America and Brides Against Breast Cancer are just two of many organizations looking for donated wedding dresses to help out brides who cannot afford one. You can also sell your dress at a consignment shop or online site, such as

Something Old, Something New - Turn Your Wedding Dress Into Something New

Repurpose Your Wedding Dress

Melanie Vaughan, owner of Ribbon Bridal in Beaver, Pa, doesn't recommend dress preservation. "I tell my brides that they can store their dresses in the breathable bags that we give them for as long as they would like as long as it's a dark dry place (the same recommendations the boxes have). I tell them to get their dresses cleaned, store them for a few years, but then do something with their gowns. Make a christening gown, pillows for the bed room, a cute dress to wear on their anniversary. I put my dress in a box for 13 years and when I took it out it was crunchy and had spots all over it!! I also feel that most mothers want to have the "experience" of shopping for their daughter's dress and most likely the daughter will not want to wear the mothers dress."

We love Melanie's idea to turn your wedding dress into something that can be enjoyed for years to come! Pillows, Quilts, Teddy Bears - oh my! Head over to our Pinterest Boards ( to see some of the ideas we found.
What did you do with your wedding dre