After all the months of planning, your wedding day has finally arrived! And before you know it, it is over. What do you do now? Or, more specifically, what do you do with your gown now?
If you are leaving on your honeymoon the next day, consider leaving your reception in a different dress. This way you can leave your wedding gown for someone to take home and you don’t have to take it on your honeymoon with you. You may laugh at me for saying that, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget something like that! Of course you can take your wedding gown with you if you plan to do some fun Trash the Dress photos on your honeymoon…
If you really want to have your exit photo in your wedding gown (and I wouldn’t blame you) just be sure to make arrangements for someone to pick it up for you at your hotel. And don’t forget to make arrangements for your Groom’s tuxedo too – especially if it was rented.
OK, now what? There are several options for what to do with your gown once your wedding day festivities are over.
Re-Sale – If you aren’t saving your gown for future generations, and you just can’t bring yourself to trash it, why not try to sell it? You might have a gown that some other bride has coveted but can’t afford on her budget…and you could help her have her dream wedding. Try listing it on craigslist (beware scams!), eBay, or a consignment shop. Keep in mind you will not get as much as you want for your gown – expect half or less.
Donate it – You can always find deserving charities to donate your wedding gown to…check locally or globally. If nothing else, I’m sure the Goodwill or Salvation Army would gladly accept your donation.
Preserve it – Maybe you have dreams of your little girl walking down the aisle in your wedding dress (but please be prepared for alterations – who knows what will be fashionable in 30 years?)? You can’t just take off your gown and hang it in the back of the closet. Wedding gowns must be preserved. Most dry cleaners can preserve your wedding gown – ask the cleaner that you trust with your clothes on a daily basis. And yes, there is a difference between having your gown cleaned and having it preserved – be sure you know which your dry cleaner is capable of doing. Ideally it will be both. Check Groupon for great deals – but check them out before you buy! Check reviews online and don’t be afraid to ask for references from satisfied customers. Can’t find someone local? The bridal shop you purchased your gown at will likely have recommendations or kits you can purchase (you send your gown to a professional to be preserved).
One more tip – be sure to let your cleaner know of any spills that occurred while wearing your gown…even if you can’t see them. Perhaps you remember spilling some white wine but you can’t find a stain? That doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Letting your cleaner know about potential problems will ensure the gown is wearable in the future.
And finally, consider storage. Your gown should be stored in a box (which will be provided by your cleaners). So think about where you will keep your gown after it has been properly preserved. A closet or some other climate-controlled space is ideal – the attic, garage, or a basement is a definite no.
I saved my first wedding gown. It was a very simple, classic design that could have easily been worn by my grandmother – and I had hopes that someday my daughter would want to wear it. But alas, I wasn’t blessed with a girl. After my divorce, and much deliberation, I finally decided to sell my gown. But even at my bargain basement price, I still couldn’t sell it. Ultimately I donated it to Goodwill – I’m hopeful that some Bride on a Budget found it and fell in love with it like I did.
But what about my second wedding gown you ask? I’ve actually worn it twice since my wedding! With luck, I’ll be able to wear it many more times…
What will you do with your wedding gown?