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What To Do with Your Wedding Dress After the Wedding?

For many brides, choosing ‘the’ wedding dress to say ‘I do’ in is one of the biggest decisions to make when planning their special day. And when it comes to picking out their dream wedding dress every bride’s experience is different. You may have a room full of friends and family sipping champagne and eagerly awaiting you to reveal the next beautiful bridal gown for consideration or possibly you’ve chosen to spend this special time with that one person who has been by your side through every momentous life experience and who you trust implicitly to help you choose your perfect wedding dress. Equally, the style of wedding dress is incredibly individual to each bride blending your personal style with the styling of the wedding to create the perfect wedding day look for you.

No matter whether you had a team of family and friends or a more intimate affair when selecting your stunning wedding dress and no matter if you chose a lace or satin wedding dress, a wedding gown with long sleeves, an A line wedding dress, a mermaid shape bridal gown or perhaps a knee length wedding dress, one question all brides face after their wedding is what should I do with my wedding dress?

According to Grazia in 2020 the number of weddings per year in the UK stood at more than 250,000 and with the national average for a wedding dress in 2020 being £1385 it is a very relevant question for many brides. And whereas a wedding suit can be worn again time after time to other weddings and special occasions a wedding dress can’t.

But worry not! We’re here to help with a list of suggestions, simply continue reading to find out more.

Professionally Clean and Preserve Your Wedding Dress

After the wedding itself and possibly the minimoon or honeymoon, getting your wedding dress professionally cleaned should be first on your to do list regardless of your plans for your bridal gown. With all the merriment of your special day we’d expect there to be a few marks here and there, from the photoshoots and dancing the night away to your wedding DJ or band. Although the marks are a sign of just how incredible your wedding day was, you don’t want them sticking around permanently. If you purchased your wedding dress from a bridal boutique it’s worth asking them if they could recommend a professional wedding dress cleaner, many wedding dress shops have a specific company they have worked with in the past and know the quality of their work. It’s also worth asking friends and family who they have used for their wedding gowns. If your preference is to store your wedding dress after it has been cleaned, then it is worth asking the professional cleaners whether they can also box up your wedding dress after cleaning as there are certain techniques which will help preserve your dress for longer for example storing the dress with acid free tissue paper. Many brides store their wedding dress so that they can simply look at it and reminisce in years to come or with the view to possibly passing it on to someone close to them to wear on their special day in the future. We all know weddings can be very expensive and with the wedding dress taking a large proportion of the budget, being able to pass on your dress to another bride to be not only gives a sentimental connection but also helps financially and environmentally.

Frame Your Wedding Dress

Another option after cleaning is to frame your wedding dress. If you would like to store your wedding dress but would also like to look at it on a more regular basis then framing your wedding dress might be the perfect post wedding option for you. As long as you have space, the benefit to framing over boxing your wedding dress is framing will allow you to look at your wedding dress anytime you desire without having to keep unwrapping it. The more frequently you handle your wedding dress the more natural oils from your hands will come into contact with the delicate fabric which could cause discolouration. Therefore, experts recommend unboxing your wedding dress once a year to check it’s ok before carefully repackaging the dress with the acid-free materials originally used in the preserving process.

Keep Your Wedding Dress to Renew Your Vows In

For many happy couples there comes a time in the future where they feel the time is right to renew their wedding vows. Through professionally cleaning and preserving, your wedding dress will be in the best condition possible if you decide you would like to wear your wedding dress for your vow renewal. However, if your style or perhaps your body shape has changed over the years and your dress is no longer the perfect fit then taking a section of fabric from your stored dress to incorporate into your new wedding outfit can be a lovely sentimental touch. 

Repurpose Your Wedding Dress

When it comes to repurposing your wedding dress the options are truly endless. So, let’s start with dying, this way of upcycling will give you huge scope to reuse your wedding dress, transforming it into a dress that can be worn to special occasions for years to come. You could also upcycle your wedding dress by cleverly changing the skirt length and other elements of the dress depending on the original cut and design to transform it into a new piece of clothing. Indeed, many brides choose to create a special dress which can be worn on their 1st wedding anniversary.  However, you’re by no means limited to only dress designs when altering your wedding dress, changing your wedding dress is a chance to spend time discussing ideas with your tailor and really get creative. You could create a new underwear set, perhaps a top, jumpsuit or a pair of shorts or even a clutch bag.

Creating A Keep Sake from Your Wedding Dress

As with repurposing your wedding dress, when it comes to wedding dress keepsake ideas the list is endless but a few of the options we like most are as follows. If you and your new husband are planning on starting a family in the future, a lovely option for your wedding dress would be to create an outfit for the little bundle of joy and with so much fabric to play with you could create a matching bonnet and booties, we can’t think of anything sweeter. You could also look at creating a keepsake for your home which you’ll be able to look at daily and reminisce over one of the most special days of your life. We love the idea of a patchwork quilt or throw or even cushions.

Trash The Dress Photo Shoot

Definitely one of the most fun things to do with your dress after the wedding is to have a Trash the Dress photoshoot. While this may seem a little strange to want to ‘trash’ a dress which has cost a lot of money it gives you an opportunity to spend the day wearing your wedding gown again, smiling, laughing with your husband, and creating some truly memorable photos. For a Trash the Dress photoshoot you can really think outside the box with what you would like to do, from shoots in nature, think ocean dips and muddy windswept moorlands to actual mud fights or for a pop of vibrancy why not throw colourful paint powder similar to the Hindu festival of colour ‘Holi’, you really can go as crazy as you want!

Donating Or Selling Your Dress

If, like an increasing number of brides, sustainability is an important element of your wedding then you could look to either sell or donate your wedding dress. Recycling your wedding dress in this way could not only benefit yourself and other brides but the environment also. With your wedding dress being such a big purchase and a considerable proportion of the wedding budget, being able to sell your dress will allow you to recoup some of the outlaid money which you could then put towards the honeymoon or perhaps a deposit for a home or home improvements. There are a large number of websites which specialise in preowned wedding dresses so it’s worth doing a little research for which will offer you the best price. Selling your wedding dress also benefits future brides to be who are possibly looking for a more sustainable wedding dress option and also those who may not have the budget available to buy a new wedding dress. If you like the idea of making some money from your dress but don’t like the idea of letting go forever then you could look at the growing number of websites which rent clothing, this could be the win win solution for you.

If, however, you are happy to simply see another loved up bride make use of your dress and have the wedding of her dreams that she may not have been able to afford otherwise then you could simply donate your wedding dress. This could be done by either taking it to your local high street charity shop or you could look at one of the more specific charities who for example work with military brides or those charities who are happy to receive wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and suits which they then make available to students who aren’t able to afford prom attire.


So, there you have it, some of our favourite suggestions for what to do with your wedding dress after your special day. But whether you choose to store your dress, upcycle it, trash it, sell it or donate it, it is important to make the decision that feels right for you and if you are looking to do something a little different get creative and have fun!


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