This Old Dress | Recycling Your Wedding Dress
Whether you got married 20 years ago or last weekend, at some point you're going to look at your wedding dress and think, "Now what do I do with this thing?" Here's some unique, inventive, and fun ways to enjoy your bridal gown around for years to come - or just to have some fun in it!
The Standard | Preservation
The ol' failsafe is to get your gown professionally preserved. If you aren't sure what to do with your dress, you still should get your dress cleaned and preserved soon after your wedding, even if you plan on chopping it up down the road. Like any other type of clothing, stains will set with time, so the cleaning is the priority after your wedding. For readers and brides in the Columbus area, our preferred cleaner and preservation company is Dublin Cleaners.
Giving Back | Donation Options
There are several organizations out there there will accept bridal gown donations. The Angel Gown program turns bridal dresses into custom gowns for final pictures and burial free of charge as a way to help bereaved families who have lost a baby. Adorned in Grace is a resale store that donates all proceeds to benefit human trafficking awareness programs and those who are impacted by human trafficking. For those who have experienced life-altering events or are terminally ill, Wish Upon a Wedding helps couples, regardless of sexual orientation, have the wedding of their dream through vendor and gown donations. Brides Across America, perhaps the most well-known in this list, helps military members find their dream dress. (Please check with each charity if there are donation requirements like age and condition of dress restrictions.)
"Dec"-it Out | Home Decor & Clothing
Turning spare pieces of the dress or even your accessories into home decorations like throw pillows, quilts, pictures, and even a unique piece of art is a great way to turn your dress into something you can feel and use every day, or even into a family heirloom. Christmas decorations especially lend itself to fun DIY projects like making a tree skirt or custom ornaments. Other brides have actually made everyday clothing like scarves (including infinity, square, rectangle, or wrap), cocktail dresses, lingerie, a headband, or even a locket or special piece of jewelry.
Go Sentimental | Something Old for the Next Generation
At the end of the day, majority of daughters will not wear their mother's dress, but if you've preserved your dress, there's plenty of pieces you can make that will stay near and dear to your heart! If you plan on having children, you can turn your dress into a christening gown, baby blanket, or stuffed animal covered in the material of your gown. For their own wedding day, you can even make a pocket square, hanky to carry a bouquet, or even have a panel of your dress sewn into your not so little one's dress or suit/tuxedo.
Do the sensical thing | trash the dress
After all that planning, the stress, the arguments, the crazy uncle who showed up in a 1970s three-piece suit who got too drunk and hit on your sister, you deserve to have some fun in that thing! Trash it. Destroy it. Splatter paint on it and turn it into a modern piece of art you can hang in your entry way. Dive into the ocean in it. Run through the rain it in. Play paint ball in it. Pick up yard waste in it. Do what you love in it, and get a photographer to take pictures of it!