What To Do With Wedding Dress After Divorce? 6 Great Options

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Weddings are often thought of as a happily-ever-after moment in life. However, not all marriages come with that fairytale ending. Divorce is an unfortunate reality for many couples.

One thing that some women struggle with after divorce is what to do with their wedding dress. It’s a symbol of love and commitment that now holds different meaning.

If you’re in this situation, it’s important to know that there are great options for what to do with your wedding dress. You don’t have to let it collect dust in your closet or throw it away without any consideration.

In this blog post, we’ll cover six excellent choices for how to repurpose or donate your wedding dress. Each option has its own unique benefits, whether it be sentimental value or making a positive impact on someone else’s life.

“Your wedding dress deserves more than just being thrown away. By taking one of these actions, you can give it new purpose and meaning.”

So if you’re ready to explore some ideas for what to do with your wedding dress after divorce, keep reading!

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After the end of your marriage, you may be wondering what to do with your wedding dress. One option is to donate it to a charity. Not only will this allow you to get rid of an item that may hold negative memories for you, but it can also benefit someone else in need.

Research charities in your area

The first step in donating your wedding dress to a charity is researching your options in your local area. Some national organizations that accept wedding dress donations include Brides Across America and Wish Upon A Wedding, both of which provide wedding dresses to military brides and those facing serious illness or other life-altering events.

There may be other charities in your specific community that accept wedding dresses. Local women’s shelters, bridal shops, and even religious organizations may have programs in place to help brides who cannot afford a wedding dress.

Choose a charity that aligns with your values

When selecting a charity to donate your wedding dress to, consider choosing one that aligns with your values and beliefs. For example, if you are passionate about helping veterans, consider donating your dress to a military-specific organization such as Brides Across America.

If you prefer to support causes closer to home, research local charities that accept wedding dresses and inquire about their mission and how they use dress donations to aid those in need.

Ensure the charity accepts clothing donations

Before making any final decisions about where to donate your wedding dress, make sure that the charity actually accepts clothing donations. While some may specifically request wedding dresses, others may not have the resources or storage capacity to handle large clothing items like dresses.

If you are unsure whether a particular charity accepts wedding dresses or clothing donations in general, reach out to their program coordinators or representatives for more information. This will help ensure that your dress is not only put to use but also appreciated and valued by the organization.

Donating your wedding dress after divorce can be a meaningful way to give back to those in need while also allowing you to move on from a difficult period in your life. By doing research, selecting a charity that aligns with your values, and ensuring they accept clothing donations, you can make a positive impact and find closure at the same time.

Sell it online

Take high-quality photos of the garment

To sell your wedding dress online, you need to take good photographs that showcase the true beauty of your gown. Start by taking clear pictures in a well-lit area. It’s important to show different angles including the front, back, and sides of the dress. Capture details like embroidery, lacework or beading so potential buyers can see them clearly.

You could also hire a professional photographer if you want your dress to stand out from the rest. A high-quality image will attract more attention and increase your chances of selling faster.

Research online marketplaces to sell the garment

There are many online platforms where you can sell your wedding dress post-divorce such as StillWhite, Nearly Newlywed, PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, Once Wed among others. Compare their features, fees, and commissions before choosing one, this will help you pick the best option for your circumstances.

Each platform has its terms and conditions when it comes to payment processes and shipping requirements. Be sure to read through these carefully to avoid any misunderstandings with buyers.

Set a fair price for the garment

Determining the right price for your wedding dress can be challenging, but there are several factors to consider. Keep in mind the initial purchase price, age, condition, designer, material used, and other unique elements about the dress like alterations made must be taken into account while setting a price.

Search for comparable dresses on sale on the same platform and see how much they are going for, this helps you create proper pricing expectations. You can also consult a consignment boutique or an experienced wedding-dress seller for guidance in this area.

Be transparent about the garment’s condition

To ensure that you make a successful sale and avoid disputes with the buyer, be honest about your dress condition. Mention if any repairs have been made or other imperfections like discoloration or stains.

“Disclose any significant damage to the dress upfront by being honest in the description. If there are stains you know of, take close-up photographs and clearly call them out in your posting.” -Ashley Buzzy McHugh, wedding vendor and planner

If possible, provide videos showing how the gown moves when worn; this gives potential buyers an idea of its flow and how it would look on them. You want the buyer to be happy with their purchase, so honesty is necessary.

Transform it into a new garment

Divorce can be an emotionally draining experience, and sometimes the sentimental attachments we have to certain possessions can make it difficult to move forward. If you’re struggling with what to do with your wedding dress after divorce, consider transforming it into a new garment that you’ll actually wear and cherish.

Brainstorm ideas for the new garment

The first step in creating a new garment from your wedding dress is figuring out what you want it to become. Some popular options include cocktail dresses, skirts, blouses, or even lingerie. Take some time to consider your personal style and any upcoming events you might want to wear the garment to. Do you want to repurpose the entire dress or just use specific parts of it?

“A wedding dress has such significance; hiding it away in a closet seems like such a waste.” -Hana Sadiq

One creative idea is to turn your wedding dress into a christening gown or baby blanket that will be passed down as a family heirloom. Another option is to create multiple garments that can be worn by different members of your family, each piece having its own unique story.

Research sewing patterns and techniques

If you don’t have any experience with sewing or crafting, this may be a good opportunity to learn a new skill. There are many tutorials and resources available online that can guide you through the process of creating a new piece of clothing from scratch. However, if you don’t feel comfortable working on your own, consider hiring a seamstress or tailor who specializes in custom designs.

“Custom work requires communication with a client. It’s never easy. You put lots of passion into it. But the reward is when you see the customer really happy because she loves what you did.” -Reem Acra

When researching sewing patterns and techniques, focus on tips that will help you work with delicate fabrics like lace or silk. You may need to purchase additional materials such as lining fabric, thread, buttons, or zippers depending on the garment you want to create.

Acquire any necessary materials and tools

Once you’ve decided on a design and researched how to make it happen, it’s time to gather your supplies. Start by carefully disassembling your wedding dress so that you can access all of the individual parts. Make sure to take photographs before you start cutting anything up so that you have a reference if needed later.

You may need additional fabrics to complement your wedding dress material, such as chiffon, satin, or tulle. Other essential materials include pins, scissors, measuring tape, and a sewing machine. Plan ahead and purchase more than enough fabric just in case any mistakes are made.

“To acquire harmony in dress, two things are necessary: perfect cleanliness and perfect neatness.” -Edmund Burke

Transforming your wedding dress into something new requires some patience, creativity, and hard work. However, this process can be incredibly cathartic and rewarding, allowing you to move forward from difficult emotions while creating something beautiful that represents your resilience and strength.

Keep it for sentimental value

The wedding dress is an iconic symbol of your special day and holds a lot of significance. Even if you go through a divorce, holding onto the memories associated with your wedding dress can be comforting. Here are some ways to keep it:

Store the garment properly to prevent damage

It’s essential that you store your wedding dress in the right manner so as to prevent any type of damage to the fabric over time. First, ensure that it has been cleaned professionally before storing. Next, use acid-free materials to wrap it up in tissue paper or muslin cloth. Lastly, place it inside a box to protect it from dust, light, and humidity.

Reflect on the memories associated with the garment

When holding onto your wedding dress for sentimental reasons, it’s important to take the time to reflect on the happy memories it represents rather than only associating it with the ending of your marriage. It’s helpful to pull out old photos or videos of the wedding and reminisce about those special moments.

Consider passing the garment down to future generations

Your wedding dress can bring joy throughout generations if kept safely. If you don’t have children yet, consider leaving the option open to pass it down to them one day. It’s also possible to donate it to a museum or preservationist who would treasure it and look after it well.

Find ways to incorporate the garment into your home decor

You can turn your wedding dress into something decorative for your home by framing it or creating a display with other items from your wedding day, like a picture frame, flowers, or invitations. This way, you can still showcase the beauty of your cherished gown without having to wear it again.

“Wedding dresses are such an important and special item in a woman’s life, and sometimes the emotional connection to them is too strong to let go of. It’s understandable that some women choose to keep their wedding dress for sentimental value.” -Leah Frazier

Use it for a Halloween costume

If you have been divorced and want to do something creative with your wedding dress, why not use it as part of your Halloween costume? Here are some ideas on how to incorporate the garment into your spooky ensemble.

Brainstorm costume ideas that incorporate the garment

You can use your wedding dress to create a variety of Halloween costumes such as:

  • The bride of Frankenstein
  • A zombie bride
  • A ghostly bride
  • The evil queen
  • Vampire bride
  • A Gothic princess
  • Black Widow

Accessorize the costume as needed

To complete the look of your Halloween costume, add accessories that match the theme. For example, if you’re dressing up as a zombie bride, add fake blood, dark makeup, and messy hair. If you’re going for a vampire bride, accessorize your costume with fangs, red lipstick, and black nail polish.

Make any necessary alterations to the garment

Your wedding dress may not be practical for a Halloween costume without making some changes. Consider shortening or ripping the hemline, cutting off the sleeves, or adding grungy details like lace or chains. However, before making permanent changes, ensure that it’s okay with you emotionally to alter your wedding dress in this way. Another option is to purchase a cheaper white gown and make necessary adjustments to fit your desired costume

“Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative.” -Judy Gold

Using your wedding dress as part of a Halloween costume is a fun and creative way to repurpose this sentimental garment. You can incorporate the dress into a variety of spooky costumes by accessorizing, adding alterations and styling it according to your costume ideas.

Have a trash the dress photoshoot

Divorce can be a painful and emotional process. But one way to put a positive spin on it is by having a trash the dress photoshoot.

This unconventional, post-divorce ritual involves taking your wedding dress and purposely getting it dirty or ruined in a fun and creative way while being photographed. It’s an opportunity to let go of negative emotions and look forward to new beginnings.

Choose a location for the photoshoot

The first step is choosing a location for your photoshoot that fits your desired theme. Perhaps you want to have it at the beach, in a forest, or even a cityscape.

If you’re unsure where to start looking, consider searching online for inspiration and unique locations. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Images can offer plenty of ideas.

Research photography styles and poses

To ensure you capture the perfect shot, it’s essential to research different photography styles and poses ahead of time. Determine what style speaks to you and aligns with the overall vision for the shoot.

You may also want to think about specific poses that highlight certain elements of the dress, such as its train, neckline, or back details. Again, browsing through social media platforms can provide great ideas and inspiration.

Consider hiring a professional photographer

While it’s entirely possible to DIY your shoot, consider enlisting the help of a professional photographer who has experience shooting trash the dress sessions.

A pro will have the necessary tools and know-how to ensure every shot comes out beautifully. Plus, they’ll likely have valuable suggestions and insights into poses, props, and overall composition that you may not have thought of yourself.

Be prepared to part ways with the garment after the photoshoot

If you decide to go through with a trash the dress photoshoot, keep in mind that your wedding dress won’t be wearable after it. Based on how much damage is done to it, you may need to consider throwing it away entirely.

“You know what? I’m just going to throw my wedding dress into the ocean and see if he comes back to me” -Jennifer Aniston

Consider donating or selling any accessories like veils, belts, shoes, or jewelry from your wedding day instead of tossing them out with your dress.

While trashing your dress might sound crazy at first thought, it can serve as a form of emotional release and turning an unhappy event into something fun and memorable. Just think about everything else you’ll have to hold onto instead!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some options for selling my wedding dress after divorce?

There are several options for selling your wedding dress after divorce. You can try selling it online through websites like Stillwhite, PreownedWeddingDresses, or eBay. You can also try selling it through consignment shops or bridal boutiques that specialize in pre-owned wedding gowns. Another option is to sell it through social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Make sure to take clear photos of the dress and provide accurate descriptions to attract potential buyers.

Can I repurpose my wedding dress into something else?

Yes, you can repurpose your wedding dress into something else. You can transform it into a christening gown for your child or grandchild, or convert it into a cocktail or evening dress. You can also use the fabric to create a quilt or other keepsake item. If you are not skilled in sewing, you can hire a professional seamstress to repurpose the dress for you. Consider the sentimental value of the dress before making any alterations, and make sure the repurposed item is something you will cherish and use.

How do I decide if I should keep or get rid of my wedding dress after divorce?

The decision to keep or get rid of your wedding dress after divorce is a personal one. Consider the emotional attachment you have to the dress and whether it brings you joy or pain. If keeping the dress brings positive memories and feelings, consider preserving it for yourself or future generations. If the dress brings negative emotions or you have no use for it, consider donating, selling, or repurposing it. Ultimately, choose the option that feels right for you and aligns with your values.

Are there any charities or organizations that accept wedding dress donations?

Yes, there are several charities and organizations that accept wedding dress donations. Brides Across America provides wedding dresses to military and first responder brides, while Wish Upon A Wedding provides wedding dresses and other services to couples facing serious illness or life-altering circumstances. The Angel Gown Program repurposes wedding dresses into burial gowns for infants who have passed away. Check with local charities and bridal shops to see if they accept wedding dress donations, and research organizations that align with causes important to you.

What should I do with sentimental items attached to my wedding dress after divorce?

Deciding what to do with sentimental items attached to your wedding dress after divorce can be challenging. Consider the emotional significance of each item and whether it brings you positive or negative emotions. If the items bring you joy, consider preserving them in a memory box or incorporating them into a new keepsake item. If the items bring negative emotions, consider donating, selling, or repurposing them. Ultimately, choose the option that aligns with your values and helps you move forward in the healing process.

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