We receive a lot of questions about this very topic; Legend brides wanting to know the best way to care for their dress, and also from others wanting to know if we’d buy their dress from them to sell on (Spoiler alert: the answer is no btw).
There are actually lots of options other than storing or selling your dress… here are 7 different ideas for you to consider.
1. Have a cherish/trash the dress shoot
It’s a shame to only wear your dress once. Why not book a fun creative shoot with your photographer for a more relaxed and playful set of pictures? You don’t have to trash your dress but we do LOVE this awesome trash the dress shoot with ZT Photography’s and their bride Amanda…
“Like all brides I knew my dress as soon as I tried it on. Of course I felt like a million dollars on our wedding day but at the same time a little sad that it would be its only outing. When I said I wanted to trash my dress most people didn’t approve but I would rather celebrate my dress than vac pack it and store it in the cold, dark loft forever more. Boy was I right! I had an amazing shoot and I love my pictures.”
2. Have your dress remodeled by a seamstress
We love when a bride brings her dress back to us for revamping after her wedding. It’s fantastic to see the transformations… making full princess skirts into cocktail dresses, dying the fabric, adding overlays – the options are endless and mean you can wear your dress again and again. If you like the idea of this from the start, we can design your dress with future modifications in mind.
It makes a lovely 1st anniversary surprise to be able to go out for a celebratory meal actually wearing your wedding dress (and not feeling crazily overdressed!)
3. Create a family heirloom
I love the idea of using your dress to make something that your family is going to use and cherish on a daily basis or through the generations. Traditionally wedding gowns would be passed through the generations or turned into Christening gowns, however there are many more options. Our mum cut up her dress so that we could play dress up and pretend to be princesses… needless to say it was our favourite!
I recently came across this lovely idea of making a locket out of the lace of your dress so you can wear it every day. Or how about having a gorgeous bear made or throw pillows using details from your dress. The ideas are endless.
4. Donate it
One of the most inspiring trends at the minute is to donate your wedding dress to a fantastic cause. A few of our brides have donated dresses to The Wishing Well Foundation who organise weddings for terminally ill people. There are also charity shops specifically for wedding related items. Oxfam has 11 specifically bridal outlets in the UK. I love this idea – someone else gets to love your dress AND you get to help people. WIN!
5. Put it on display
One of our brides bought a display mannequin so she could see her dress every day. She has a perfect little enclave at the top of her stairs where her wedding dress now resides… how cool is that? I have also seen people getting their wedding dresses framed in shadow boxes just like Real Housewife of Beverly Hills star Adrienne Maloof
6. Sell it
A lot of brides sell their dresses after their wedding. We often get asked whether we buy dresses to sell on. This is not something we do – we are bespoke dressmakers. We don’t carry a stock and we create everything from scratch to our brides wishes.
We have looked into places to recommend. There don’t seem to be any physical shops or agencies close to us to sell dresses through BUT there are specialist websites that may be better options than eBay. The two we hear most often are Sell my Wedding Dress and Bride 2 Bride… neither of which we have experience in but they might be worth a try.
7. Store it
Probably the most common option is to store your dress. It seems like the obvious option for most brides; to keep your dress to pull out in future and relive your memories. I can’t stress enough that you need to have your dress professionally cleaned. Don’t simply pack your dress away as fabrics can degrade without the proper care. The right box is also extremely important. Our favourites are from The Empty Box Company – all handmade and exceptional quality – and flipping beautiful too.