Your Dress, After the Wedding

Until I got engaged and started reading wedding blogs, I had no idea that there were so many options for your wedding dress, after the wedding.

First, there’s preservation.



This is the most traditional option, and it’s a good one if you want to keep your dress, and perhaps pass it down to your future daughter. I’m not very sentimental, though, and I have no true desire to hang onto my dress after I’ve worn it.

There’s trashing the dress.



A trash-the-dress session makes for some absolutely phenomenal photos, and there’s a part of me that would love to do this. But I don’t think it’s going to happen for two reasons. First of all, I’d rather not destroy my dress. And, secondly, these photo shoots cost money—money that we won’t want to spend after paying for the wedding.

I could sell my dress.



There are tons of websites on which a bride can sell her dress. There’s good old eBay. There’s Once Wed, Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses, and of course our very own Weddingbee Classifieds. I could definitely put my dress up for sale. It was so affordable to begin with that I doubt I’d be able to get more than a couple hundred bucks for it, and it may be kind of a pain in the ass for this lazy sloth. But it’s still an appealing option.

I could give it away. Temporarily or permanently.



Mrs. Mouse lent her dress to Mrs. Stripes, which is fabulous and amazing. Meg from A Practical Wedding has organized The Sisterhood of the Traveling Dress, in which Team Practical members pass their dresses on to other readers, for free. I love the sense of community and history that goes along with a borrowed dress, not to mention how ethically and environmentally friendly the whole shebang is.

I could also donate my dress. Brides Against Breast Cancer is just one of countless organizations that accepts donated wedding gowns. They sell the gowns and then use the money to help women suffering from breast cancer. A quick Google search will bring up dozens of similar organizations.

So, yeah. That’s a lot of options. I haven’t made up my mind if I’ll sell or donate my dress, but I’ve got plenty of time to decide.

What are you planning on doing with your dress after the wedding?


Ms. Sloth

Wedding Date:
May 2011
Best of the 'Bee - Just One of Those Times

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  1. Member
    Ms. Doxie 38 posts, Newbee @ 2:25 pm

    I actaully bought mine on and it is fabulous! I think I may end up selling it back on the website after I am done with it for the same amout I bought it for.
    However, I am a bit sentimental so it may be hard for me to sell it.

  2. trailmix Member
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 2:27 pm

    Imma keep my bc I’m a sentimental schmuck like that :)

  3. Member
    LGenz 5409 posts, Bee Keeper @ 2:28 pm

    I think I’m going to have mine made into a christening gown for our (theoretical) children

  4. msjellyfish Member
    msjellyfish 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:33 pm

    I’m keeping mine. I love it too much. I am trying to sell my first dress though!

  5. Member
    JoyfulBee 167 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:33 pm

    Ahh.. To keep or not to keep?

    I’d love to keep my dress, and pass it on to a future daughter. :) I just think it’s one of those dresses that have a chance of being classic for a while…

    However, there’s also a big chance that with the Mister’s genes, my daughters are going to be much taller than me when they get married. ._. what to do? You can shorten a hemline, but I’m pretty sure that lengthening a dress is much more complicated, haha.

    To give you guys an idea, the Mister’s mom is 4’11”, while he and his siblings range from 5’6″ to 6’3″ with the Mister at the top of the list.

    I’m 5’1″, although people in my family are generally taller than me. 😛 What are the odds?

  6. Member
    mdarrah 1205 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:36 pm

    Just a thought that combines a couple for ya: APW posted a thing about a dress store that recently burnt down and they were doing a full community-good of the traveling dress. Its donation, and loaning! :) Let us know what you decide!

  7. sewing Member
    sewing 2649 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:48 pm

    good post. i don’t know what to do with mine. I don’t think I could give it away, and though I’ve toyed with the idea of cutting it up and doing something else with the fabric, that makes me sad too. So for now it’s just hanging in the closet. 😛

  8. Member
    ScooterBride 286 posts, Helper bee @ 2:48 pm

    I’m making my own dress, and I’m doing it in such a style that I could re-wear it. Sure, it might only be for fancier parties, or even Halloween, but I am definately going to wear it multiple times.

    If we end up doing our wedding in another state like originally planned, I’ll probably re-wear it for some photographs I’d really love to do locally.

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Ireland, Guest @ 2:59 pm

    Love the idea of selling it. Most wedding dresses are very expensive and getting a decent return can be beneficial.

  10. Member
    10.10.10 118 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:08 pm

    I considered selling mine. However, the day of the wedding, one of my new daughters asked me to please be careful with “her” dress because she plans to wear it when she gets married. She’s 16 (we have girls). Yes, I cried. And I’m fully aware that she will change her mind by the time she gets married, but I’m saving it anyway. It’s being cleaned for the preservation process now.
    If nothing else, perhaps it can be made into a Christening gown for my future grandchildren (if we have a baby, it will hopefully be before our girls get married, so I can’t hack it up…just in case).

  11. Member
    10.10.10 118 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:08 pm

    Should read “we have TWIN girls”.

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    JtG, Guest @ 4:02 pm

    I always resolved to sell my dress after the wedding, but I got darn emotionally attached to it. It took forever to find just the right dress and a lot of monies to make it fit just right.

    For now it’s nicely packed in a Container Store archival box with lots of archival tissue and stuffed under my bed.

    Similar to Blushing Bee above, I’m hoping to someday use it for Christening and Baptismal gowns. That kind of defeats the purpose of packing it away so carefully, but the sentimental part of me just had to pack it away oh so carefully.

  13. Member
    icelara 272 posts, Helper bee @ 4:46 pm

    I am renting my dress, so I’m just gonna give it right back! I’m not sentimental at all….I just wanted to wear a dress I loved, and I am getting exactly that without having to worry about what I have to do with it after.

  14. Member
    Minutiae 2416 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:07 pm

    I’ll probably keep mine. It will make a great dress up for future grand kids. :)

  15. Member
    redbullfanatic 489 posts, Helper bee @ 5:23 pm

    We did a TTD and I thought for sure when we got back I’d put it up for sale but I just can’t do it. I’m normally not attached to articles of clothing but I guess it’s more special and it’ll hang in a closet for years.

  16. Member
    marieta 339 posts, Helper bee @ 5:28 pm

    I haven’t figured it out. There will be no daughter to pass it to, so there’s no point to that. But I’m one of those sentimental people who does tend to hang on to things. I’m guessing it will sit in my closet for a while, though I may give it away at some point.

  17. Member
    mrspaetz 3812 posts, Honey bee @ 7:02 pm

    TTD. Still on-going after 1.5yrs since our wedding 😛

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    MissSailboat, Guest @ 7:03 pm

    I plan on having part of my dress made into a christening gown/outfit for our future children.

    The Trash the Dress photographs are incredible, but I don’t think I would be able to spend more money to destroy a dress I’ve already spent money on.

  19. Member
    nmeyer01 130 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:11 pm

    I love my dress so much but I feel like I may sell it! I mean, I’m never going to wear it again, if I had a daughter I would never expect her to wear it, and it’s just this bundle of money that I could be making back!

    Who knows!

  20. Member
    OctPumpkin 593 posts, Busy bee @ 7:46 pm

    Good post! I bought mine from Brides Against Breast Cancer and might donate it back, although they only carry gown styles 1-2 years old. @MissSailboat: @LGenz: great idea about the christening gown.

  21. Member
    mightywombat 5045 posts, Bee Keeper @ 8:42 pm

    Mine is being designed and made for me by a dear friend, so I don’t think I could bear to get rid of it or destroy it. I guess that leaves preservation!

  22. Member
    that girl 71 posts, Worker bee @ 10:18 pm

    I’m wearing my sister’s dress, with some temporary alterations, and assume she will continue to lend it to others after me if they ask.

    Much like your self, the idea of selling it seemed like to much work and she only hung on to it originally becaue a friend of hers wanted to wear it. The friend didn’t end up doing so but lucky for me I get to.

    She is not sentimental and said I could cut it up so I could have the short dress I originally wanted, but I AM sentimental and refuse to!

    Everyone is different for things like this…even sisters:)

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Allyn, Guest @ 9:36 am

    I am actually chopping off the bottom, dying it, and re-purposing it to a (really, really stupidly expensive) cocktail dress

  24. Member
    kml21636 128 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:47 am

    I saw where someone purchased a very inexpensive dress…$30 maybe? and “trashed” that. So if you really really want the shots, you can always find a nice maxi dress or something on sale and still hang on or sell your wedding gown.

  25. Member
    Miss 1Cent 168 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:27 am

    I’m definitely going to find a place to donate. The Bridal Garden in NYC takes pre-used wedding dresses, re-sells them, and proceeds go to the education of NYC children (in underprivileged areas.) I HATE trash the dress personally. I think it is a ridiculous way to ruin something for no good reason.

  26. Member
    xLailax 414 posts, Helper bee @ 11:48 am

    Tough. What have you decided?
    I haven’t found my dress yet, and I’m really hoping I dont change my mind – but my plan is to get a dress that I can reuse (so its not just a wedding dress). Maybe I’ll cave.

  27. mouse Member
    Mrs. Mouse 5771 posts, Bee Keeper @ 2:41 pm

    Letting someone borrow your dress is the awesomest! I’m so glad Mrs. Stripes was able to get some extra mileage out of my dress! I’m all about getting as much wear out of it as possible, which is why…you’ll have to see what I’m going to do with my dress next. Ha!

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