Whether they're silk, satin or lace, wedding dresses are so much more than just pieces of fabric. For many brides, their dress is the embodiment of their personal style and love story. Modern women get very few fairy tales these days, but they can wear a princess dress on their wedding day and feel magical. With all of this emotion and nostalgia swirling around, deciding what to do with your gown post wedding can be very difficult.
Personally, I loved my gown and kept it in my home office for over a year so I could see it every day. Then after more than a year, I realized that it was impractical to keep an Italian silk confection on constant display (and I desperately needed room for more office equipment). I had my dress professionally preserved, and it currently awaits its future fate in my closet.
Below are ten much more creative things to do with your wedding dress:
- Was your wedding dress your favorite aspect of your wedding (aside from your fiance)? If so, you can keep its memory close to your heart by creating a necklace with fabric from your gown embedded in it. This works especially well if your gown had lace that can be accented against a dark background. You'll also get to beam and tell anyone who compliments your necklace that it's actually part of your wedding gown!
- Another option for your dress is to transform it into custom lingerie for your first anniversary (and beyond). You'll get to recreate that magical moment when your spouse took off your wedding gown in an even sexier way!
- Feathering your newlywed nest? If you're crafty, you can place a section of your dress behind your wedding invitation in a shadow box and create instant art that commemorates your big day and covers a blank spot on your wall.
- Preserve your dress for use a future christening gown. This way you get to keep your dress and use it in a new way on another of life's happiest occasions. Fairy Godmother Creations is a company that specializes in turning wedding dresses into adorable christening or baptismal dresses.
- Keep your gown for your future daughter or daughter-in-law. This seems a bit far fetched, but if you love your dress and can envision it walking down the aisle in the future you should have it professionally preserved. You never know what the future holds!
- Save your wedding dress for a sister,cousin,goddaughter or future daughter's garter or bouquet wrap. This idea allows you to pass down your dress and connect your special day with important women in your family. It is also SO much more realistic than expecting your child to wear your gown.
- Host a bridal themed cocktail party and have all your friends wear their gowns and then go out on the town. What could be more fun the getting dressed up with your best friends and sipping champagne to toast newlywed life? The photos and memories will be fantastic.
- Feeling generous? Donate your gown to a charity Brides Across America provides free wedding dresses to military brides who couldn't otherwise afford one. Another great cause is Brides Against Breast Cancer, who use the proceeds from donated gown sales to help cancer patients across the United States.
- If you splurged on a designer gown, there is a way to recoup some of the cost. Sell it on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com. They have over 20,000 gowns for sale and charge a one time $25 fee to list your wedding dress. You can use the money you make for a fabulous dinner date or weekend getaway.
- Trash your dress for amazing and unique photos. I'm not a fan of ruining beautiful things, but there are some incredibly artistic ways to photograph your dress in a non-wedding setting. My favorites are brides who wear their dresses in the ocean and manage underwater kissing or incorporate their hobbies or spouse's hobbies into the photo shoot (think horseback riding or fire fighting).
Whatever you end choosing to do with your wedding gown, be glad that you met the love of your life and had the opportunity to be a bride. Also note, many of these ideas can be done with the same dress so there's no reason to only pick one.