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Josie Daga Headshot

My Divorce, My Wedding Dress and Happy Endings

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When you get divorced, what do you do with your wedding dress that's too expensive (and too beautiful!) to throw away, but just doesn't feel right to keep anymore?

Well, if you're me, you decide you'll try and sell it. After all, the dress was gorgeous, I'd paid a mint for it, and it wasn't its fault I'd gotten divorced. Problem was back in 2004, I couldn't even sell it.

I tried ebay (but only got offers for less than a 10 percent of the value), message boards (too cumbersome and no bites) and I couldn't even find a consignment shop (in my major city) that would take it. So I decided, I'd create my own way, and I built a website to help brides buy and sell preowned wedding dresses.

Turns out, I wasn't the only past bride who wanted to sell her wedding dress and, to my surprise, the site grew rapidly.

As it grew, I thought it would be filled with dresses from divorces and broken engagements from brides like me who had a pretty wedding dress but no use for it.

But I was wrong.

The site did fill with beautiful dresses -- thousands of them in fact -- but most sellers were happily married gals who loved their dresses so much they didn't want to keep them.

No one is more shocked about the site's success than my own mother. She can't imagine a bride who doesn't want to keep her dress. But that's her generation, and this is ours.

Our generation is full of modern brides who love their wedding dresses so much they want to sell them. They don't want to see the dress they adored and felt amazing in sit in a closet never to be worn again. They want to pass it on to another bride who will love and appreciate it too.

Like Gail, who said "Now that I have worn my dress, I do not want it to stay in the back of my closet.  It is truly a work of art and should make another bride feel beautiful." And Carolyn who told me "It would be sad to store such a gorgeous dress, so I want another girl to be able to wear it and feel incredibly beautiful." Or one of my favorite stories, Millicent, a bride who bought her dress pre-owned, wore and loved it, then sold it again to another bride she knew loved the dress as much as she did. (Oh, and did I mention the dress traveled over 17,000 miles in the process from the US to Africa and then to Australia...proving to me that the desire to share a stunning wedding dress is a global modern bride phenomenon).

I'm thrilled to report that I'm very happily married again. I wore an amazing wedding dress for my second ceremony. But it's not in my closet. Like my first dress, I passed that one along too. Now, like thousands of other wedding gowns that have been sold, both of my pretty dresses have happy endings.