You dreamed about your dress for your entire life. You dog-eared countless bridal magazines of the designs you loved, and then, you said “yes” to the dress. You walked down the aisle, said “I do” and danced your first dance in it — so now what?
Every bride has a different idea about what to do with her gown after the big day. Some brides feel more sentimental and others are more indifferent. Either way, there’s an option suited for every bride’s gown after the wedding day has come and gone.
We’ve gathered five ideas for your dress after “I do”:
1. Preserve it: Whether you save your dress in hopes that your future daughter will wear it on her wedding day, or just because you want to have it forever, we love the idea of preserving your wedding gown. Ask your wedding dress shop for a local recommendation of a business that offers the special dress cleaning and packaging technique. The local shop may even have a coupon for a discount on the service — bonus! Dress preservation involves carefully cleaning the delicate fabric, removing stains (no stain is too small to overlook — they turn brown in time) and bundling it in acid-free tissue in a special box. *Remember: Preserve your dress AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Stains get harder and harder to lift as time passes.
And just because you put it in a box doesn’t mean it has to stay there forever. We’re seeing (and loving!) a trend on the rise — wedding dress parties. Maybe for your anniversary or a wedding dress-themed bachelorette party, there’s always an excuse to get out your gown.
2. Donate it to a good cause: If preserving your dress isn’t for you, donating it to a worthy cause is a rewarding option to consider. Brides Across America offers free dresses to military brides who can’t afford a dress of their own. Other dress donation services for a good cause to consider are Brides Against Breast Cancer, the Angel Gown Program and Brides for A Cause.
3. Lingerie, anyone? If you’re not attached to preserving your dress in its original form, why not make it into something else? Transform your dress into a special lingerie set and surprise your hubby for anniversaries to come.
4. From one happy occasion to another: Preserve your dress to later make a custom christening gown for your babies from the memory-filled fabric. Not crafty? Fairy Godmother Creations will do the work for you.
5. Trash the dress: “Trashing the dress” is becoming a popular trend among brides. Whether knee-deep in turquoise water or dancing in the rain, these pictures are typically shot a day or two after the wedding when you’re relaxed and don’t need the dress anymore. One thing’s for sure — you’ll capture one-of-a-kind pictures.