Can I get rid of my wedding gown?

tripletmom83August 19, 2012

Hi everyone. We went to spend the weekend with my parents and they sent me home with my wedding gown that they have been storing for me for thirty-five years! So now what do I do with it? It was never preserved or cleaned, so the hem is dirty. Can I donate it as it is? I don't want to spend the money to have it cleaned first. I think I should get rid of it rather than store it (and I have absolutely no place to store it) and then have my children have to feel guilty about getting rid of it after I'm gone. Throwing it in the garbage just seems wrong though.

I think I am going to suggest to my daughter that she consider selling her wedding gown now, while it is still in style and in good condition. I never even looked at mine again except once when I was showing it to my daughter.

Anyone know what to do with a thirty-five year old wedding gown?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can try selling it, or if there is a community theater or school
drama department that accepts donations of clothes fo costumes, they
might be really happy to have it. You would be surprised how many
people shop thrift stores for costuming, so a donation to your favorite
thrift store is another option.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No one in my area takes dirty clothing... gowns included.

You can have it cut up to make christening gowns, or photo album covers, etc.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What might be of use to someone is the lace trim or fabric. I would put in on Craigslist(for free)or Freecycle.

You've got me thinking now too. I have mine(25years old) which was preserved but it is not something my daughter will wear or use. She did say she would like the headpiece. Why am I keeping this? I didn't even really love it!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes! Yes, you can.

I donated my 1980's era dress to the local high school's theater, and they've used it as is several times, and then recently remade it into a totally different style. It was a whole lotta dress, LOL - Princess Di era.

But had I known about the Mary Madeline Project, I might well have sent it there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mary Madeline Project

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is a hard one!

Recalling the time, love, money put into the selection of this one article of clothing makes getting rid of it so hard for me too! I even have my prom dress; it was special too because up to that time it was the only fancy dress that was ever bought for me as opposed to a hand me down or Goodwill.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I free cycled mine :). Had a lot of interest, too. I think Freecycle or Craigslist are good options.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In 1979 I bought my wedding dress "off the rack" at a nice ladies' dress shop. I still have it in my closet. I had stored it for years in a downstairs closet that was a "little" damp and I saw mold/mildew developing along the bottom hem. Had it dry-cleaned and got it beautifully clean and it now hangs upstairs in my bedroom clothes closet. I was quite thin in those days (92 lbs) so (of course) it no longer fits. My two daughters are in serious relationships but I'm sure neither would want my dress. But I can't let it go.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 8:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you want to donate it, call your local charities and ask if they will take it in its current condition (i.e. not cleaned). I've bought quite a few articles of clothing that needed some cleaning after purchase, but it depends on the extent of the grime and what the store policies are. I've gotten some great items at great prices by being willing to take a chance on cleaning them.

Others have mentioned the option of freecycle or craigslist. My DD's teacher last year liked to do non-traditional quilting, and wedding dresses were one of her favorite fodders. I've turned a few garments into more traditional quilt pieces over the years, and had never thought about doing it with fancier clothing- although, that is what a lot of Victorian quilts were based on. So people who sew and do that kind of crafting might be interested in it.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mary C, Loved the idea of the Mary Madeline project, but their site says they are not accepting any gowns at the moment.
I think I might try to spot clean the hem of the gown and maybe try freecycle. It will be hard to part with, but I think I can do it.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I sent a bunch of white fabrics and lace to a lady who also makes burial(so sad) clothing for hospitals.

Her email address is :

She said she made 1600 outfits last year. She sent me a really sweet thank you email along with photos of what she makes.

Anyway, you could email her if you're interested and ask her about your dress.

If not, then Freecycle is great too.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

my grandmother made a beautiful christmas tree skirt out of hers.a great reminder of her wedding every year when she got it out!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

By all means, let it go! I had no problem with donating mine once daughter was about 14 and already 5 inches taller than I am. Too bad I let it take up valuable space for so long.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not too bad for sentimentalists, though. I have mine from 1968. My mom made it and beaded it. My dtr has the one I made for her, too, from 1996. Some things just seem worth keeping, even if their purpose has been served. They don't seem to take up that much space.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I got rid of mine about 10 years ago. I'd had it preserved, but I looked in the box. It was 15 years old at the time. In spite of the preserving, it was starting to yellow and was getting brown spots. I gave it to Goodwill. I figured someone could use it for Halloween or something like that.

Plus, I got married in 1987. At the time I thought the dress was georgeous. Now I can't believe how tacky and utterly hideous it was!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 4:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Painteddragon. I love the Christmas tree skirt idea. I haven't done any real sewing in years, but my daughter-in-law is quite the seamstress. So I asked her if she thought she might like to do that, and hand it down to my little granddaughter. It seems like the perfect way to hand it down. not shackling the kids with something that would be a burden to them. My DIL is going to look at it and see what she can do. Thank you so much for your suggestion.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 7:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That sounds perfect. My mom's wedding picture looked like hers would have made a beautiful satin tree skirt.

I bought a white on white silk dress in a dept. store for our small wedding in '64. Let my girls play dress-up in it and, before they were out of grammar school, my youngest split the seems in the hips. It lived out its life in their toy box.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 12:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also agree with perhaps theatre departments at schools, colleges, and universities.

I have my gown from 2006. I was going to donate it to Brides against Breast Cancer, but now it's too old. It is cleaned and preserved in the large box. I had my veil boxed separately so I could keep it.

I know women who bought gowns from Brides Against Breast Cancer.

I could perhaps try to sell it, but the demand really seems to be for couture designer gowns.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brides Against Breast Cancer

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When my daughter got married she displayed both of her grandmothers old wedding gowns at the reception. It was a very rustic, vintage reception. It was very cool. She also had a table with wedding pictures of her grandparents and loved ones who were gone.

Just another idea!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know this thread is years old, but my wife and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary a week ago and we got her dress out of storage and she wore it and we had pictures taken that matched the poses of a few of our wedding pictures.

she looked just as beautiful as she did the day we got married and as a bonus we had our teenage daughter also wear the dress and got some pictures.

All in all a wonderful event that I'll remember for a long time. Well worth the "hassle" of having that dress stored all these years.

Sometimes "clutter" is still a good thing. to all you ladies out there, keep your dress. The challenge is to fit into it 20 years after your wedding :)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 4:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have my wedding gown from 1962 and have wondered what I should do with it. It isn't fancy with beads or lace just a nice tea length gown. I have also never had it cleaned. I have noticed what to me look like rust stains on it. I have wondered what to do with it just like the others have stated. You have given me many ideas.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know this is an old thread, but looks like some new interest of late. So just saying I saw this in another thread. Might give some of you another idea for re-purposing that old wedding gown!

"â¢Posted by annkh (My Page) on Tue, Jun 24, 14 at 17:29
One of the things I pulled out of a closet over the winter was my wedding gown (we were married in 1987). God knows why I kept it this long - out of sight, out of mind, I guess.
My Mom heard about a woman who makes American Girl dresses from old wedding gowns. I brought her my dress, and she's making an AG dress for my niece (she's 9). So fun to already have her Christmas present figured out!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Update: I picked up the dress on Saturday. The woman who sewed it had it on a doll, on a stand, and seeing it made me cry! I am rarely speechless, but this did me in.

My niece is not getting this dress. I'm going to buy myself a doll and display it in my house. It is far too beautiful for a 9-yr-old to play with.

The rest of the dress went to another friend of my Mom's who makes christening gowns for babies.

Oh, and I will post photos when I have the doll!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 5:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can't wait to see the pictures! Are you going to get an AG doll to look like you did when you wore the dress?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 6:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No, I think they're a little creepy, and I have no need to spend that much. The dress is the the showpiece, not the doll.

Funny thing is, I never had dolls as a little girl. I was (and still am, I guess) a tomboy, and was much more interested in cars, Tonka trucks, and Legos than dolls. I did end up with a Barbie somehow, but mostly my best friend and I used Barbie dolls to herd up our large collection of Breyer horses.

My Mom is going to buy me a doll, my first - after 52 years.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't have a doll yet, but I do have photos of the dress. I'll have to scan a photo of me in my wedding dress, so you can see how closely it matches.

This post was edited by annkh on Sat, Aug 2, 14 at 15:05

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I finally got around to scanning a wedding photo. Remember, this was 1987! Gosh, I can hardly remember when DH's hair wasn't gray...

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow. Seeing the original, I have more appreciation for the doll version.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

annkh - I was married in 1988 and had the same color bridesmaid dresses! Must have been a popular color! I unpacked my wedding dress last week after moving to our new house and don't know what to do with mine either!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was also married in 1987 and my gown was preserved until i opened it prior to our 25th wedding anniversary and dh and I also had photos taken -- I was thrilled it fit!

The style is something my daughters would never favor (it was the 80s!) and the sizing wouldn't work either. My daughters have said they'd like to take a piece of it and attach it or incorporate it to their own, when the day comes. I love that idea.

I also love the idea of making something else with the leftover fabric. We don't have Christmas trees or christenings so those options won't work but I do think there must be other options I've yet to think of. Thank you for the thread and, for me, this is one item I'm happy I've kept.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love this thread and the idea of a Christmas tree skirt.

I am divorced and would not want to see anyone wear the dress, even though I made it myself. But it would look nice as a skirt under my seashell tree. Mom will have a heart attack when I cut that beast up.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 2:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This seems like an older posting, but I had my wedding dress for over 30 years from my ex. Why in the world did it go wherever I went? I heard about a place in TX, that people cut up the gowns and make little white gowns for babies that are stillborn, kids in hospice. I sent my gown there and made a terrible abusive situation I was in being married to my ex, to use my dress wisely for families that need it. If you want a receipt, you need to send an envelope. If anyone is interested, let me know. It's in my tax pile for deduction, otherwise I would have put it on here.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 24, 2015 at 1:09PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Where to donate a 15yo nebulizer
Years ago, when my now-17-y-o was a little one, he...
Loved This Book!
I just (quickly!) read "The Life-Changing Magic...
I am donating like a madwoman!
In 2006, we put our home on the market, and to get...
Get rid of cookbooks, and cook more?
About a year ago, I got rid of most of my cookbooks...
How to get your kid (young, or young adult, or adult) to declutter
On one of the other threads (the "madwoman"...
Sponsored Products
Large Ceramic Green Apple
Hampton Bay Track Lighting 4 ft. Linear Track Section Bronze EC750OBR
$19.98 | Home Depot
Elegant Home Versailles Double Door Wall Cabinet - ELG-549
$57.41 | Hayneedle
9'x12' Oriental Rug Washed Out Oushak Hand Knotted 100% Wool Zero Pile Sh19176
1800 Get A Rug
Low Voltage 801 Track Head with Barn Door by WAC Lighting
$80.91 | Lumens
Burlap Print Giclee 14" Wide Ceiling Light
Lamps Plus
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™