Whilst moving I found my wedding dress hidden under my bed in amongst Christmas decorations, bedding and memory boxes from Alice’s newborn stage. I’m not really sure why I had held onto it since my divorce but I wasn’t quite ready to let go as I felt like I was discarding a small part of Alice’s history, especially as she was there on the day in bump form! I have fond memories of trying my Mum’s wedding dress on as a kid and I guess I had kept it with this in mind. Now I’m moving in with my other half it feels weird to store my wedding dress from my first marriage somewhere in our house and I feel ready to let go of it, but what to do with it? I feel like I still want to honour this part of Alice’s history but don’t think that this actually requires me keeping it anymore.
I’ve done some research and there are various options open to the post-wedding wedding dress:
You go through months of searching to find ‘the one’ (the dress that is!) and after your big day that’s it. Understandably many Brides want to keep their wedding dress as a reminder of the most special day of their life. If you are looking to keep yours then be sure to look at getting it dry cleaned and specially boxed to ensure it stays in beautiful condition for those times you want to put it on and dance around the house whilst hubby is out- we know you do it!
Trash the dress
Donning your beautiful dress post-wedding and hiring a photographer to snap you trashing it has become a bit of a thing. I’m not sure how I feel about this personally, having seen some pretty pricey pristine wedding dresses walk out of the dress shops I’ve worked in, but live and let live. If you’re less OCD than me then a trash the dress shoot actually looks pretty fun, whether you’re rolling in mud, having a paintball fight or glittering up Glastonbury style these shoots can make for some great photos to go beside your big day shots.
Not sure what to wear this Halloween? You could always pull a Miss Havisham and give everyone a treat in your wedding dress, just maybe don’t lock yourself away and keep it on forever though yeah?
Wedding dress party
C’mon, fess up, we’ve all watched that episode of Friends and wished we could sit with our mates and drink beer in pretty dresses, or is that just me?! If you are anything like me and fancy the idea then why not invite the girls over, don your dresses and crack open the beer and popcorn.
Donate it to a charity shop
I know of a few local charities who have been able to allocate whole sections or even whole shops to wedding attire. Donating your dress can make the world of difference not only to the next Bride who gets to enjoy it but also to the charity as selling it on will help them to raise vital funds to keep doing their great work.
Donate it to a special cause
This list brings me to the option I have decided to go with. A few factors have helped me to come to this decision, firstly I was around 6 months pregnant when I got married so my maternity wedding dress doesn’t really lend itself to being worn again and is pretty niche to sell on through a charity shop. Secondly, I’m now divorced. Sure, a trash the dress shoot could have been an option or wearing it for Halloween Millie Mackintosh style, but sizing was definitely an issue-see point 1! Thirdly, I felt attached to it on Alice’s behalf. Just because her parents are divorced I want to be careful not to erase her past simply because our relationship didn’t work out, but do either of us really have a need for my wedding dress? Probably not. So I have decided to donate it to a charity who lovingly transform preloved wedding dresses into beautiful outfits for stillborn babies. There are a few charities to choose from that work hard to transform dresses into beautiful gowns for stillborn babies and provide them free to parents through local hospitals all over the UK. This feels like the perfect solution to ensure my dress can be used for something special again. Considering I was pregnant at the time I wore it and was so lucky to have a healthy baby girl I love that I can pass it on to a charity helping those who weren’t as fortunate as me, and one day when Alice asks where it is I can tell her it went on to do better things for a family when they really needed it. The donation process is slightly different for each charity but I’ve been in touch with Cherished Gowns & Heavenly Gowns about donating mine and am hoping one will be able to receive mine soon. There are only a few charities in the UK who do this, and as with most charities resources are tight. It can take some time for them to accept a dress donation dependant on availability of volunteers who can do amazing things with a sewing machine, but the wait will definitely be worth it.
What have you done with your dress? I’d love to see pictures if you’ve trashed it or if you’ve done something totally different pop me a comment below! Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to be kept up to date with the latest goings on!