While I was planning my wedding, I participated in a local online message board on The Knot. I made friends with women who were getting married at the same time I was, so we went through the entire experience—from engagement to marriage—together.
After our weddings, there was one question we all asked: What are you doing with your wedding gown?
Many of my fellow newlyweds paid to have their gowns cleaned and boxed, not knowing whether they’d be saving it for their daughters or just keeping it in the closet indefinitely. Some tried (usually unsuccessfully) to resell their dresses.
A couple of the more crafty women repurposed their gowns. One dyed her knee-length dress pink, hoping to wear it for another occasion. Another made pillows for her couch, and another created a quilt.
Then there were the brides like me: After the wedding, I hung my dress in the closet and left it there. For years. Over time, I pushed it further and further into the recesses of the closet, until one day I asked myself, “What the heck am I going to do with this dress?” It was beautiful, but I obviously wasn’t planning to wear it again.
After thinking through my options, I decided to donate it. My charity of choice was Brides for a Cause, which benefits Wish Upon a Wedding. I simply put my gown—garment bag and all—in a box, shipped it to Brides for a Cause, and received a donation receipt in my mailbox two weeks later. I contacted the organization after about a month or so, and was told that a very happy bride had purchased my dress. I was thrilled.
Brides for a Cause isn’t the only nonprofit organization that accepts wedding gowns. One of the most well known is Brides Against Breast Cancer, which contributes the proceeds from each sale to programs for cancer patients and their families. Another option is Brides Across America, which donates wedding gowns to military brides.
Donating my wedding gown was easy and made me feel great—it’s another excellent way to give back to charity with your wedding. I highly recommend it! Your gift may just make another bride’s day.