What to Do With the Dress After Your Wedding?
Many women struggle with what to do with their wedding gowns.
The average dress costs more than $1,300 in the U.S., a significant amount of money to spend on something you’ll only wear once.
Chances are, your wedding dress was something that you fell madly in love with the minute you tried it on for the first time. It was probably something you had to dig deep into your savings account to afford and will forever be the most expensive thing hanging in your closet. It’s definitely one of the top things you will remember when you look back at your wedding memories. But as hard as it is, selling your white dress for some cold hard cash may be the right option for you.
How Much Money You Can List it For?
You may have paid a couple thousand dollars for your wedding dress, and while you won’t make all of that money back selling it used, you can make up to 50 percent back if you sell it within two and a half years. Depending on the style, fabric, designer name, and condition, you could make quite a lot of your money back selling it second hand.
Before putting the dress up for sale, make sure you are ready to say goodbye to it. Some people hold on to their wedding dress for sentimental reasons or because they have hopes of one day giving the dress to a relative. Just make sure you are ready to trade it in for money before selling it.
How Quick It Sells Can Be Based on What You Do.
Keep the dress in good shape after your wedding by getting it professionally cleaned. If it’s in good shape you’ll have a better chance of selling it. Try to sell it within a couple of years, so that the style is still popular and well sought after.
If you don’t know what to do with yours, consider these options:
While preserving the dress wasn’t for me, many brides opt for this traditional approach.
Depending on the dress and your chosen method of preservation, the cost can range anywhere from $200 to $800.
Some brides open the box on a milestone date, such as their 10th, 15th or 25th anniversary.
Pass It Down:
If you intend to have children — or have siblings with children — you can hold onto the dress and pass it on when the kids are ready to get married.
While your daughter or niece may not want to wear the dress as-is, she can alter it or use a piece of it to make her veil. It can be a nice way to add the “something old” to the wedding.
Some brides remove the bodice of the dress and frame it in a shadow box with other mementos from the wedding, like your invitation or place cards.
You can have it done professionally, but it’s also an easy DIY project. When I looked up the materials needed to follow this tutorial, the total cost was less than $100.
Where You Should Go to Sell It ?
There are plenty of online stores that specialize in re-selling wedding dresses like preownedweddingdresses.com, as well as eBay, tradesy, and for those more daring, Craigslist. If you’d feel better selling it to a brick and mortar shop, you can find local consignment shops to sell it at. Or get only 50 percent of the sale at Merry Go Round.
Dresses on eBay usually sell for lower prices, but Tradesy specializes in higher-end items, so you’ll get more money. It’s free to list, but they do take a 9% commission.
You can also look for bridal consignment shops in your area. They’ll handle selling the dress and you’ll get a portion of the purchase price.
Depending on the make of the dress, you can sell it for anywhere from 30-70% of its original cost. At the same time, you’ll be helping another bride get her dream dress.
Many charities accept wedding dresses, and they’re tax-deductible donations.
Here are four great options to consider supporting:
Adorned in Grace: Sells dresses to raise money to support victims of human trafficking
Make a Wish: Provides gowns to terminally ill brides who want to get married
Everyone’s Dream Come True: Gives dresses to brides in need so they can have a beautiful gown for their wedding
Angel Gowns: Creates bereavement gowns for babies that don’t get to come home from the hospital
If the idea of wearing it just once makes you sad, you could consider a “trash the dress” photo shoot.
Many brides wear their dresses to have pictures taken at the beach or in the countryside. The dress will likely be ruined, but you’ll have beautiful and special photos to remember it by.
There’s no right or wrong way to handle your dress after the big day. It’s an intensely personal decision.
Photos Published by Binders Gardens Venue