Wedding Dress ~ to keep or not to keep?

Wedding Dress - to keep or not to keep and some resources to donate to if you decide

Okay so last week I shared with you some of the ways I’m an organizing and cleaning rebel.  That was a lead up to this post.  I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile now but it’s a pretty touchy subject so I refrained BUT I can hold back no longer.  You see I’ve been married for 18 years and for 18 years I have stored my wedding dress away underneath a bed.  This bed that the dress fits under now belongs to my daughter which means that my dress is currently being stored in my daughter’s room.  She’s thrilled as you can imagine.

After I got married, in a blind love state frame of mind I guess, I stupidly shipped my dress off to a company in Toronto to have it professionally cleaned and boxed up so it will last forever and ever.  Ha!  I thought my dress would come back to me in a nice little compact box.  Instead the box that was returned to me is huge (its 38 inches by 25 inches).


The entire bust, puffy sleeves (I know what was I thinking with those puffy sleeves!) and part of the skirt were stuffed and shaped as if I was going to have it out on display somewhere in my home for the rest of my life.  Can you imagine the box sitting open in the corner of my living room?  Yikes!


wedding-dress 2

I was so upset the first time I saw the box because I knew I’d made a super big mistake.  Not only was I going to have to store this sucker somewhere but I couldn’t even take my dress out of its preservation to try on now and again if I wanted to.

wedding in hawaii

Plus to make a pathetic story even worse, my dress almost killed me.  Okay that might be a slight exaggeration BUT when I bought my lovely dress I foolishly didn’t take into consideration how hot it would be in Hawaii where the wedding was to take place.  Yes I got married in Maui and I almost passed out at my wedding thanks to this dress.  My wedding dress with all its puffy sleeve glory and layers upon layers of hot hot hot (and not the sexy hot either) crinoline nearly suffocated me to death.  Seriously I’m not making that up, it was ridiculous.

wedding in hawaii bridge

So as you can imagine this dress that nearly killed me and that I’ve now stored for 18 years just kind of annoys me.  I’ve wanted to part ways with it for years but I’ve come to realize that this is frowned upon in most circles for a number of reasons including my daughter may want to wear it one day.  Ha!  My daughter is 16 and she has made it perfectly clear she wants nothing to do with this dress.  Ever.

wedding in hawaii sunset

It’s not like me to care about what “society” says I should or shouldn’t do with these types of organizing dilemmas, after all I am a rebel! So why have I kept it this long and not donated it?  Well for one, I would hate to subject someone else to those terribly puffy sleeve. Just kidding…kind of. Second maybe it’s the idea that it would be fun to have in on display (or wear!) at a big 40th wedding anniversary party.  That would be fun right?  I think it just comes down to the fact that I’ve had the storage space for it and haven’t needed that particular space for anything else which would have made the decision to toss it really easy for me.  It’s not taking up precious closet space either.  Instead there it sits under the bed and I pretty much just forget it’s even there.

And I suppose that’s where it will stay until I decide what to do about it or until I need the storage space for something else.

So let’s open up this friendly discussion shall we.  Here are some questions to start us off:

  1. Do you still have your wedding dress and how long have you had it?
  2. Where and how do you store it?
  3. Why are you keeping it?
  4. If you parted ways with your dress, what did you do with it?
  5. Have you ever regretted getting rid of it?

Let’s talk about it!

To keep or not to keep your wedding dress?  That is the question 🙂


And if you are braver than I am and want to part with your gown, here are some excellent resources that you can donate your dress to and they will put it to good use.


Angel Dresses Canada
Forever Loved Angel Gowns
The Brides’ Project
Floriana Wedding Project

United States:

Brides Across America
Mary Madeline Project
Wish Upon A Wedding
Angel Gown Program
Brides for a Cause


Filed under: Closets, My Life, Purging


281 Responses to Wedding Dress ~ to keep or not to keep?

  1. 1
    Peggy says

    What an interesting topic! Yes, I still have mine but it is not preserved as yours was. It’s hanging in the hall closet. I cannot imagine parting with it. 🙂

    Your blog is always an interesting place to visit!


    • 1.1
      Jeanna says

      Interesting how many brides go through this…can’t part with it, but yet it annoys them to keep it…what to do! Why not have it re-purposed into a NEW heirloom your children or grandchildren would love to have, and use, for generations to come. I have been purchasing old gowns and offering to make them into items like table cloths for special occasions, Christmas tree skirt, or other items.

    • 1.2
      martha says

      I had my wedding gown made into a Baptism dress!My husband and i were married at age 20 and we had our daughter a year later.being a soldiers wife,we moved around alot as he got transferred several times.It wasnt untill our daughter was 14 that we finially had her baptized as the husband got out of the military.Being catholic,i had my wedding gown made into the traditional,white,poofy,top of the knees baptism dress with the matching bonnet.The dress was so cute and adorable,the daughter just loved it.With the dress she wore the lace anklets and white patent leather shoes and had the traditional white cloth baptismal diaper and rubberpants and tee shirt on under the dress.All of her friends who came to her party thought she looked very cute and infant like.I was thrilled that my wedding gown got another use as a babptism dress and bonnet and the daughter was happy to wear a part of ‘mom’

      • Hazel says

        To Martha-We adopted our daughter at age 14,just two months short of her 15 th birthday.We made arrangements to have her baptized and christened at our parish during sunday morning mass.I took my wedding gown to a seamstess and had it made into an ankle length baptism/christening gown with the boufant shoulders and high neck.A bonnet was made from the same material to match the gown.A month after she turned 15,we had her baptism and christening done at sunday mass.She wore lace anklets and white shoes with the gown and bonnet and a white tee shirt with the cloth diaper and white rubberpants under the gown.She looked very cute and infant like in the outfit,and The rubberpants over her diaper fit her blousy and crinkled under her gown!

    • 1.3
      Kimberly says

      Ive had my wedding dress for 17 years. We were married for 18 years. We are divorced now. We are still good friends and it took me quite a few years to decide to sell it. My girls didnt want it

  2. 2
    Jennifer says

    While your daughter may not wear (and will continue to loathe!) your dress again, she may want a piece of it for when she gets married. You may not want to think of chopping that dress up into pieces, but imagine a “something old” coming from your dress? I chopped around the moth holes on my mom’s veil to create my veil ( Maybe she will want to use a part of your skirt for her bouquet wrap or to make a sash or a shawl or something? I don’t have any pics of my mom’s original veil (or any pics handy), but it was my favorite element to the wedding and I thoroughly enjoyed telling everyone, “This was my mom’s veil from 1971 (or was it ’72?)!” They have been married happily for over 40 years and I can only hope that veil imparted the same longevity to us on our wedding day.

    Also, no one else is going to take that dress and say, “It’s perfect!” So you might as well plan on hanging on to it another 10-20 years and offering it to her then. At 16 I wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with my mom’s wedding stuff either, but at 31 I did.

    • 2.1
      Donna says

      Yes, or perhaps creating an adorable Christening gown that can be passed on from generation to generation, or cute little purses that can be “something old” for the bride? I like the idea of recycling the gown this way much better than expecting that my daughter would actually want to wear the gown instead of picking out her own.

      • Kelly says

        We had my wedding dress turned into a Christening Gown and a Romper (did not know at the time that I would have 2 girls). Now I can say that both my girls, and my nephew have worn my wedding dress! And if for some reason one of the girls wanted to, the bodice of my dress is still completely intact and could be used to make a new dress.

    • 2.2
      Becca says

      I agree. She may not want it now, but when she gets married, she may want a piece of it. I was married when I was 19 and wouldn’t have fit into my mother’s dress. It didn’t occur to me to use pieces of it.

      My sister was married a few years ago and altered my mom’s dress to fit her. It came out really beautiful.

    • 2.3
      Suzanne says

      I have my (19 year old) wedding dress. I did not preserve it and it has developed awful yellow stains, so it will never be worn again. My niece recently got married, and for a shower gift, I made a photo album for her, using pieces from my dress and veil. It came out so beautifully and was so well received, I decided that I will continue to do this for every girl in our family, until, at last, there is no dress to store anymore! Hopefully my own two girls will use some of my dress just as Jennifer did!

      • Tara Bilbao says

        I also agree. I think preserving a piece or bit of the gown would be a great way to pass along a cherished item since no-one will use the dress as it is in the future. Perhaps a piece can be added to your daughters dress or veil or even a wedding pillow. I would think that could give you some “piece” of mind not having to deal with storing the whole gown especially since it irritates you. Deconstructing the dress will not alter any happy memories you have of your wedding day or marriage. Perhaps you will feel relieved.

  3. 3
    Robin says

    Don’t get rid of it! I would regret it. Keep it and then maybe your daughters or daughter in law would want to incorporate a small piece of it. I’ve heard of cutting up moms dress and wrapping a piece of fabric around the bridal bouquet or sewig a piece into the dress. I have mine. Ya huge and a pain but I’m keeping it. It’s in the closet and that sacrifice of space is worth it.

  4. 4
    April Shepard says

    I still have my wedding dress from 8 years ago. I’m not ready to part with it in high hopes that my daughters will some day be able to wear it, or at least use part of it in their own. Sometimes I think that’s wishful thinking…I never wanted anything to do with my mother’s dress. I store mine at the top of my closet, where I have plenty of room. It has been washed and is sealed in a bag and then placed in a box. I haven’t taken it down since we moved to this house 5 years ago. I wish I had the courage to donate mine. :/

  5. 5
    Carol says

    I still have my dress in a box in the top of my closet. My daughters will never wear it, and I now have 2 granddaughters with one on the way. I have considered cutting it up, dying it, an making dresses for them out if, .or even doll clothes.

  6. 6
    Liz M. says

    I still have my wedding gown & inherited my mother-in law’s wedding gown. I had to soak her gown in oxy clean for 12 hours to get rid of stains from being in storage for 50 years. Anyway, I am in-cooperating the two gowns into one heirloom quilt.

    This is one way of keeping your wedding gown.

    • 6.1
      Kristin says

      Love this idea!!

    • 6.2
      Suzanne says

      I had never thought of a quilt, but my daughter and I are getting into making some small ones. That might be perfect! My girls is so tiny compared to what I was, not that I was big, she’s just extremely thin (but healthy, don’t worry!).

      • Suzanne says

        Which of course means that I still have my dress, which has been preserved and boxed and lives under our bed – almost 20 years now! And I don’t regret it. We get it out and look through the clear cover every once in a while. I love it and I have the room to store it, so it passes the purge test.

    • 6.3
      Angela says

      Yeah – I love this idea too. The thing is if you aren’t artsy crafty or a good sewer yourself, who would do this for you, would it be worth the cost AND how would it wash (in terms of practicalities)

      • Liz M. says

        In my opinion, it is definitely worth making a quilt out of your gown. It will be an heirloom and I rather would have a quilt made of it than to keep the dress. I don’t have any children in this life time but someone in my family will definitely cherish a quilt!

        Now most of the wedding gowns nowadays, you can actually wash it in the machine gentle cycle and hang dry. That is what I did to my gown. I have my gown all cut out. I am going to make a crazy patch using just my wedding gown fabrics. Now the bodice part will be the center of my gown and crazy patch around it.

        Lastly, I would not put in the dryer even when its quilted. The heat will melt the sequence and beads.

        • Angela says

          That sounds lovely. I wish I could see the finished product

    • 6.4
      Sarah says

      How would you keep the fabric from yellowing as it would hanging in a closet though? I have a lot of lace and bead work in my train so I would be terrified to put it in the washer, even as a quilt!!

  7. 7
    Melissa says

    Mine is hanging in my closet but it is not a big extravagant item (we had a summer wedding that originally was planned for outdoors). I have not gotten rid of it because it is not a hindrance but I would definitely not keep it if it was a larger dress. I would keep part of it for my daughter (if I had one but I have a boy) and would not keep the rest of it. It is not different in my mind than keeping ancient hand me down mismatched china just for the sake of it.

    • 7.1
      Angela says

      that’s a good point!

  8. 8
    Jennifer says

    Yes, I still have my wedding dress. It is stored in the huge box like yours. I am planning on taking it apart and making a ring bearer pillow and a flower girl basket cover for each of my children. If they choose to use them one day at their wedding great otherwise they can do as they please with them.

  9. 9
    Jackie Osmond says

    I still have my dress, stored in a box (not professionally I might add and still looks like it did the day I married), in my closet for the past 16 yrs. I keep mine not because my daughter would want to wear it, she may, she may not, more likely the latter and that’s ok! I just want to keep it, it is mine and it’s sentimental. My parents celebrated their 50th a couple of yrs ago and my mom’s dress was displayed at the party, the granddaughters had fun trying it on and it meant alot to me to see and feel the dress that my mother wore so I think it would be fun to do the same at our 50th someday.

  10. 10
    Jenny says

    I keep mine in a box very similar to yours. I keep it because it is irreplaceable. I get rid of a lot of things, but if something cannot be replaced, I hold onto things if I am on the fence about it. I know that if something were to happen to it beyond my control or I just didn’t have room for it, I would probably never miss it. But, until then, I keep it in an awkward corner of my closet. But, I also loved my dress and it only brings wonderful memories! 🙂

    • 10.1
      Angela says

      I like your point that it is irreplaceable…..but then it is an item used primarily for a single event in your life (unless you are crafty and can recycle it into some other sentimental item.) – I kinda wish I had hired one and then I wouldn’t have the quandary! LOL

    • 10.2
      Kim says

      I have similar feelings for my dress, Jenny. I got it professionally cleaned and boxed when there was a sale at the local cleaners. I loved the dress and don’t want to take steps to assertively get rid of it but if something happened to it, I think I would be okay with that.

  11. 11
    Kerri says

    I never preserved my dress (although I kept telling myself I would!) It had been sitting in the closet for years. We decided to have a photo shoot with my little girls (aged 3 and 6)! They loved getting all dressed up with a veil and posing for the camera! I captured some really funny and beautiful pictures. I hung it back up in the closet after my 6 year old said she wanted to wear it to her wedding… we’ll see!

  12. 12
    Teri says

    There are several things you can do with a wedding dress. Make a (or three) Christening dress or a little girls Easter dress from it. A ring bearer pillows for when your kids gets married. Etc.

  13. 13
    Heather says

    Do you still have your wedding dress and how long have you had it?

    I still have my wedding dress. I was married almost 19 years ago.

    Where and how do you store it?

    I keep it in my closet.

    Why are you keeping it?

    It is just one of those things that I wish my mom would have kept for me to see. It’s like a living history of our family. I don’t keep much. I have one tub of things from my life plus my wedding dress and I often purge the stuff in my tub that no one else will care about. But I think it is important to keep some things from our history.

  14. 14
    Angie - Easy Living Mom says

    Thanks for posting about this! I still have mine, but I don’t like to just hold on to it. This gives me some good ideas of what I can do. I’m sure my daughter will want to buy her own, so I won’t keep it for her. I might use a piece for her, and then donate it.

    • 14.1
      Angela says

      This sounds like a great compromise 🙂
      Perhaps the people that professionally preserve these items could offer the service of cutting it up – maybe keep the bodice in tact for possible future use but then cut off a large piece of fabric form the skirt or train and simply fold or roll for possible future use and then the boxes wouldn’t be so big and cumbersome to store! OR maybe it could be 2 smaller boxes if done this way????

  15. 15
    Kimberley says

    This is PERFECT timing for me! I just organized my closet and had this exact internal debate, the dress won and remains hanging in my closet. Perhaps I can get some help/advice on this;
    1. I have had my dress for 7 years
    2. It is just hanging in my closet, uncleaned, un-packaged, in all it’s huge, white fabric laden glory
    3. I don’t have the heart to just throw it out BUT I feel like it is too dirty to donate and it has some wedding day alterations done do it (aka people stepping on dress causing to rip and bridesmaid sewing bustle back up where ever they could…..I literally had to cut myself out of my dress after the wedding).
    4. I think I would be totally fine with parting ways with my dress, but not sure I could just throw it away 🙁
    Would it be worth paying to get it cleaned at this point (not really sure those grass stains will ever come out) to donate it? I am REALLY good at getting rid of things but this is a tough one!

    • 15.1
      Taylor says

      Kimberley – I’m the same way – mine’s unboxed, uncleaned and well, frankly, pretty stained around the hem. I’m not ready to throw it away, but I’m also not really all that ready to invest in having it cleaned, as it was a $99 dress (a pretty one that had been discontinued) and I don’t want to spend $$$ attempting to have it cleaned.

  16. 16
    Leni says

    Do you still have your wedding dress and how long have you had it? Yes, been married for almost 22 years.

    Where and how do you store it? It was in a box like yours until my daughter got engaged last year. Now it is hanging in my closest in a dry cleaning bag.

    Why are you keeping it? Sentimental reasons. My daughters had a ball trying it on. Oldest didn’t want to wear it. Youngest (16) I could see totally taking it apart and using it to make another dress. I’m fine with that. They can do whatever they like with it. If she doesn’t use it, I will probably hang on to it. Just because it reminds me of the lady who made it for me.

  17. 17
    kategriss says

    I’m married for less than 3 years so for now I’m keeping the dress. It’s a “summer” dress (without sleeves) so when folded (yes I folded it) it takes a tiny space. Maybe I’m gonna take a picture and just get rid of it ? But for now I’m okay with keeping it.

  18. 18
    Victoria says

    I have been thinking about this very subject recently… I have been married for 42 years. Both my daughters are married. My oldest used the headpiece from my veil… Each daughter wanted her own dress. I ripped open the hermetically sealed box years ago when a friend came over, probably the day before her wedding, saying she couldn’t find a dress. She wore mine. I wore it to a ‘themed’ valentine couples party… I have a high ledge in my closet where the box is stored. But I dusted the box the other day…apparently it had been a very long time… And I thought…why am I keeping it….?
    The idea of finding my mom’s or grandmother’s wedding dress in an attic…sounded very romantic…I think the ‘realist’ in me is going to win….

    • 18.1
      Rande says

      I agree with you. I’ve been married 35 years. My dress was worn by a couple of other people, one added lace on the bottom. The dress isn’t spectacular but the bodice is beaded and nice, typical late 70s design and my veil is also beaded. I think! It’s just hanging in a closet. We’ve moved several times and are moving again in another week. Now I am at a crossroads. Agree with you that the ‘realist’ side says to part with it. It’s time to downsize, minimize, and other ize words. . . Two grown sons, not married. What’s the chance their future wives (if they even decide to marry) would want or could wear my dress? I was small, probably about a size 3 or 4 and short, hence the added lace. Also, I am super impressed you could wear it to a party. Now I want to try mine on….

  19. 19
    Kirsten @ One Tough Mother says

    So, I’ve been married twice…which means I have 2 dresses. The first dress was your typical LARGE, long, very ornate gown with a huge train…the works. I, like yourself, had it preserved in a massive box for safekeeping. I’ve had that one for 12 years.
    My 2nd dress is a lot more casual and is currently on a hanger in our closet in the guest room. I’ve had that one for 5 years (this Friday, actually – YAY!). 🙂
    Anyway, I have them both and will keep them both because I have a daughter from my first marriage. I love the thought that she may one day wear my gown that I wore when I married her dad, but even if she doesn’t wear it, in my mind, it’s hers. She can do with it what she wants.
    I keep the second more casual dress because I will wear it again, in 5 more years when we celebrate our 10 year anniversary and renew our vows. And if my daughter wants to wear that one instead of the formal gown, she can do that, too!

    I hate the big box, but it’s not something I could ever get rid of. I don’t keep many things like that so this one is pretty special. 🙂

  20. 20
    Jean says

    I was married 20 years ago but am now divorced, with no children from the marriage. I ended up donating my dress to an organization that was collecting them for a project overseas. It’s not taking up space in my closet and it went to a good cause. My mother’s dress from 46 years ago, however, is hanging in my closet. Not sure what I will end up doing with it. Maybe display it for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

  21. 21
    Rete says

    I kept mine for the longest time (longer than the husband! didn’t have the fancy dress the 2nd time around lol) more because of all the yardage of fancy fabric than for any sentimental reasons. I’m a quilter, and fabric is my life! I finally cut it up into largish pieces for easier storage because I’m planning to make some of it into a white/cream crazy quilt with other fabrics I’ve been saving. They all fit into a bankers box size storage bin until I get around to crazying it up 😉 Every time I go to a quilt show I get a few more cream fabrics to go into that quilt…. one day!

  22. 22
    ~~Rhonda says

    I will celebrate my 36th wedding anniversary this year. Yes, I still have my dress. It just hangs in a storage closet. I made the dress myself. Nothing fancy. It doesn’t nag at me as yours does you, Laura, so I am fine with hanging on to it. I know none of my three daughters will want to wear it at their weddings. But I would be willing to make a ring pillow from it, if they plan to use one, or a christening gown should they want to baptize a future grandchild of mine. The dress has hand tatted lace that my grandmother made for the neckline and the cuffs. If I ever get rid of the dress, the lace will be saved and used for another project…maybe a baby bonnet that my grands can wear.

    I say get rid of your dress. You don’t want it, your daughter doesn’t want it. If you want to save fabric and/or decorative items from it for other projects, and can’t make yourself cut it up, send it to a seamstress to do it for you. I’ll be interested in hearing what you decide. 🙂

  23. 23
    Debbie says

    I have kept my wedding dress (30 years) and will never get rid of it. It’s simply too sentimental. I have my silk bouquet as well. I’m just a sappy, sentimental fool but that’s ok. I can still get in it, miraculously. I have a picture of my daughter trying it on when she was a teenager. So anyways it hangs in our closet in a zippered bag that was supplied by the bridal shop. True story, I even still have the receipt from the purchase! LOL

  24. 24
    Mel says

    I got married 8 years ago, and my dress is hanging in my closet. Not preserved, not even professionally cleaned. It is the last dress my grandmother made, and I love it. My daughters are both in love with it. It isn’t taking up precious space in my home, and it isn’t something that was mass-produced. I’ll be keeping it, but I would never presume to tell someone else what they should do with their wedding dress. I think the more precious thing to keep is the vows that were made the day you wore it.

  25. 25
    Kristi says

    I do not still have my wedding dress. I have been married for 4 1/2 years and I think I got rid of it sometime last year or the year before. Before that, I had it cleaned and then it just hung in my closet. I didn’t want to pay the money to have it preserved and I didn’t really want to store it in my closet. I have 3 boys and am finally pregnant with a girl, but figured that IF I did ever have a daughter, she probably wouldn’t want to wear it anyways. (I pray she doesn’t have my weight issues and so it wouldn’t fit her anyway). I tried to sell it online or to other dress businesses, but when that didn’t happen, I finally just donated it to Good Will. I had hoped to find an organization that specialized in wedding dresses or formal dresses, but couldn’t find one. I was at the Good Will a few weeks later and saw it being sold for $35! I was kind of upset, (it cost me around $500 plus alterations) but at least it was out of my closet. I have pictures of me in the dress and that’s enough. I really try to simplify as much as possible and not keep things that I don’t use/need. I’m never getting married again, so hopefully it will provide happiness to many others. Good luck with your decision. =)

    • 25.1
      Arian says

      This comment is basically my story too. I’m trying to get up the nerve to just donate it because I really want the closet space. I’ve had it about 10 years and think I’m feeling guilty that I don’t feel sentimental about it. Think I’d have to stay away from the Goodwill for a while so I wouldn’t see what they sell it for!

  26. 26
    Julie says

    What you were thinking with those puffy sleeves is that you loved this dress enough that you wanted to be married in it to the person with whom you would spend the rest of your life! Don’t make fun of it; you chose it because you liked it and it was also the style back when you did get married! Everyone was wearing it! I hate it when my kids make fun of the outfits that I had them wear in pictures. I ask them, “Do you think I dressed you in the exact opposite of what everyone else was wearing, the exact opposite of what the style was back then? No, I chose that outfit because it was what everyone was wearing and because it looked cute on you!” You look beautiful in that dress, that dress that you chose because you liked how you looked in it. As to whether to keep it or not, I still have mine, in a box as big as yours and in a closet for almost 28 years. I know my girls will never wear it (the only things worse than my wedding dress is the hat I wore, according to them), but the only way I would get rid of it would be to make some sort of keepsake from it. Maybe a ringbearer pillow or a garter for when my daughters get married. My two cents!

  27. 27
    Fergee says

    I still have mine…12 years later. It hangs in my closet, behind everything else and doesn’t bother me, so I keep it. What DOES bother me is that my sister in law borrowed it when she got married, and didn’t get it cleaned…it has giant cake and coffee stains on the front. Once in a while I pull it out to try it on or show my kids, and someday maybe one of my girls can wear it as a Halloween costume 🙂 The veil I will keep for sure, but the shoes are long gone!

  28. 28
    Mary says

    I have mine from 11 years ago hanging in the basement. Not preserved, but cleaned. It has a stain on it that won’t come off so unless somebody dyed it for a different use, it’s not going to be worn as a wedding dress again. A few years ago, I saw a web-site for a person who made Old World Santas out of wedding dresses and that’s what I was going to do with my dress. However, she no longer has that business. I keep hoping I can find somebody who can do that for me. I don’t have a huge interest in keeping it, and don’t have a good place to store it. Nobody I know has ever worn or used their mother’s wedding dress, and I don’t anticipate my daughter will want mine. Her body type is also completely different than mine, and the dress as a whole garment will never work for her. I have seen people re-use family member veils but don’t know anybody who has use any part of their mother’s wedding dresses. There are organizations that accept donated wedding dresses for people who are financially challenged to go buy a new one, but my guess is the dress has to be fairly recent and relatively still in style. I loved my dress but don’t feel a need to hang on to it.

  29. 29
    Brenda says

    I had mine professionally cleaned/sealed, just like you. I, fortunately, have it stored in my mother’s attic. After almost 23 years, I still have no intention of getting rid of it. But, if my daughter would not like to wear it, and I can’t imagine that she would, the idea of making a christening dress, or some other keepsake (maybe a stuffed bear or doll clothes – a bridal dress for an American Girl??? ), something…. would be lovely. My grandmother made me Barbie clothes out of my grandfather’s old boxer shorts and I still have those! And those silly boxers weren’t even a sentimental piece of clothing!! 🙂 They are one of my treasure’s and they make me giggle, every time I think of them.

  30. 30
    Lisa says

    This was so funny to read as I also have my wedding dress of 35 years in my closet, along with my mom’s wedding dress and now my daughters. My mom’s box is fairly small, mine bigger and my daughters all stored for life like yours. I struggle also with what to do with all 3 of them. Someone mentioned having a baptismal gown made out of mine, a nice idea. But, will I ever really do this?
    The top of my closet shelf is storing 3 wedding gowns and my moms is getting very worn and old from storage. I would not want to wear mine again nor would my daughter, but I love my daughters wedding dress and it cost much more than mine did.
    I will continue reading comments as I am trying to organize, de-clutter and simplify.

  31. 31
    Sara says

    I would NEVER get rid of my wedding dress…but I guess that is a personal choice!! Even if the styles change, which they always do and it looks like a crazy person’s dress, I will not let it go. I think it is a very personal special part of me that I could never let go of.

  32. 32
    Sharon says

    I rented my wedding dress, almost 20 years ago. Never regretted it. It was nothing my daughters would be interested in. It was over the top with long sleeves and all kinds of garb on it. At the time, getting a gown with a detached train was at the top of the list, which it had. I had no good advice from anyone on such matters. I’m still happily married, but it’s almost painful to look back and think about how clueless I really was! :-)) Glad it’s not hanging around to remind me. :-)))))

  33. 33
    Marissa says

    I donated my dress on our 10 year anniversary, I was keeping it for no other reason other then sentimental reasons. My dress was like yours puffy and layered for a July wedding in Southern California… If I had the chance to go back and do it over again I would have bought a more comfortable weather permitting dress.

    I only kept the veil, as its been in my family for a few generations..

  34. 34
    Emilie says

    I love the idea of turning ti in to ring bearer pillows and flower girl baskets or to put it out at a milestone anniversary (25th, 40th, 50th, 60th etc). I like these ideas since I have three boys, so no daughter to wear it anyway. I had mine preserved and it is still at my parents house in the closet in my old bedroom. I would have a hard time parting with it although I have not seen it or really thought about it in the 15 years I have been married.

  35. 35
    Jasmine says

    I actually rented my wedding dress. I admit that I struggled with the idea initially, but after lots of input from married women who struggled with storing their dresses I decided I’d rather put my money into the wedding photography and video and preserve the memories in that way. I absolutely loved my dress, but I can’t imagine where I would find the space to preserve it now. Though I do have two daughters and sometimes have minor regrets of not saving it and making handkerchiefs or other heirlooms for them, those regrets are fleeting. I have plenty of other heirlooms such as my christening gown that I’ve passed down (and takes up much less space).

    • 35.1
      Susan says

      I rented all of the brides maids dresses and everyone was very happy that I did.

    • 35.2
      Amanda says

      I rented my gown as well when I got married 6 years ago and I have no regrets! It was absolutely beautiful (detailed beading, an open lace-up back, and gorgeous train) and I paid a whopping $150 for it–which included cleaning and alterations. I’m pregnant now with my second son (and our last kiddo) so I don’t really have to worry about a daughter to pass all or some of it on to…but I do still have my veil (a gift given to me by my mother-in-law) and my jewelry which I made myself. Keepsakes that are easily stored and could be borrowed by a future daughter-in-law if she is so inclined. 🙂 I totally get why some women choose to save their dresses but it wasn’t for me. I was glad I spent the money on the photography and video, like Jasmine mentioned.

  36. 36
    Mary says

    I hope my last post didn’t sound snotty to those who are keeping their dresses. I certainly didn’t mean it to, but as I re-read it, I’m afraid it does. I don’t have any problems with people saving their dresses, or having their daughters use them. It’s great that they can be used again. I’m just hoping to find somebody to remake mine into the Old World Santa like the one I saw online. Absolutely gorgeous and really used the most beautiful parts of the dress. Unfortunately, I don’t have the talent to do that…

  37. 37
    Fergee says

    Oh! Something else I have been considering is doing a “trash the dress” photo shoot with mine! It would be hilarious after all this time, and I could even have my daughters dress up in too and have their pics taken!!

  38. 38
    Carrie says

    I am not at all the sentimental type, but the practical type. I fully support re-selling the dress or donating the dress so that someone else who can’t afford a brand new dress might be able to have a nice dress that they might not otherwise have. I did not keep my wedding dress. For myself, I couldn’t see storing the dress forever. At the same time, I understand people wanting to keep their wedding dresses. It is a symbol of one of the most important days of their lives.

  39. 39
    Anita says

    Oooh, your story did hit a good point. I have been married for almost 36 years, and I still have my wedding dress. It hangs in my closet. Do I take it out and have a look at it? No! It reminds me of how small I was back then! A few years ago, about 13 years now, my daughter was in a fashion show and wore the dress, along with about 5 other young ladies in their mother’s wedding gown. Since then, she has gotten married, and is saving her dress for her daughter to wear in a possible fashion show. Her gown is currently stored at my house, because her house is small!
    In all, I think I will still hang on to the dress (mine) for years to come, because it does not take up a lot of room, as a box does.
    Who knows, maybe my granddaughter will want to play dress-up one day!

  40. 40
    Mashel Rathmell says

    I actually think reusing anything from a wedding is not only clutter freeing but also eco friendly. I own a bi yearly wedding sale for Brides to resell their item to new brides. If your selling your dress it should only be within the last 5 years to resell at drastic markdown. Sadly many dresses get kept to long and fall out of fashion. When someone ask me about those dresses that have been held on to I suggest different reuses for them. you can make a pillow for you bed or baby blankets from the material. You can also have a christening gown created for a new baby. Donate it to a local theater for costume material. A lovely table runner for the brides table could be created to use at a daughters wedding. It can live on as something new.

  41. 41
    Glenda says

    I kept my wedding dress preserved just like you for like 20 years. I don’t even have a daughter to pass it down to. Anyway I realized that it really was not very valuable to anyone after so many years so I gave it to my neighbor’s daughter to use for dress up. I have no regrets. I have beautiful pictures to look at to remember it plus much more space. Just remember the dress is not the memory.

  42. 42
    tjbeads says

    I ceremoniously chucked mine into a dumpster. Bad marriage; bad divorce. A little part of me regrets not giving it to my mom (who made it) to re-purpose the fabric and trims, which cost a ton. I don’t lose sleep over it though. It was a symbol of a poor decision and 11 years of pain and I needed to get it out of my life. I’m happily re-married and we went hiking for our wedding, so no dress to keep this time. We wore matching hiking/fishing style vests and I still have everything that I wore (still use them). 🙂

  43. 43
    Jennifer says

    I recently got divorced…I still have my wedding dress. I have 2 sons. I just don’t have the heart to get rid of it. I like the previous comments about making something out of it. I loved my dress, it has been the only thing I have worn that has made me feel like a princess.

  44. 44
    Diana says

    I will be married 40 years this September and I still have my wedding dress. Neither of my daughters want to wear my dress. It’s old fashioned and nothing like the styles of today. I don’t blame them. It should be their day to wear “their” dress. If they want some of the 6″ border lace around the very long train, they are welcome to it. I’ve just kept it for no sentimental reason, just don’t know what to do with it! So until I can figure it out, it’s going to stay in the pink plastic bag that’s been it’s home for almost 40 years.

  45. 45
    Amanda @ Serenity Now says

    Thank you for sharing this post!! I have a very similar box in our master bedroom, and it’s driven me nuts for years. It doesn’t fit under any of our beds, and we just don’t have the space anymore to keep it. I feel like maybe I could sell it on Craiglist, but part of me just wants to donate it and be done. :s I wonder if my mom would freak out? :s

  46. 46
    Elizabeth says

    I have been married for 35 years and kept my wedding dress for, count them, 30 of those years. My daughter used my veil when she married, but was totally not interested in the dress. I don’t blame her…I am not sure why I loved it! However, someone told me about a lady near by who took wedding dresses and fashioned tiny, tiny,tiny beautiful christening dresses. These were donated to the NICU who kept them for very premature newborns whose parents wanted them baptized immediately. I could not imagine a better use for the dress, and off it went! It had been preserved at the level available in 1978 and was in amazingly good condition. My daughter kept the veil and I kept the lace pillow my grandmother made for the ring bearer. She then donated her dress as well ( after her family was complete with 2 sons).

  47. 47
    Jennifer says

    The same week my husband had his vasectomy was the same week I donated my wedding dress to Goodwill. We have three boys. There’s no way any of their future wives would EVER want their mother-in-law’s dress, and I was certainly done with it a long time ago! I’m NOT a sentimental person at all, though, so the decision was quite easy.

  48. 48
    Kim says

    I kept my wedding dress for 19 years until my first grandchild was born and then my mother made his christening gown from the train. I’m hoping the gown will be worn by all of my grandchildren . I was like you, not knowing what to do with the long sleeve lace bodice button up the back monstrosity but thanks to my mother’s idea the moment I saw my grandson in his gown I felt so connected to that special day and I hope that future generations will wear the christening gown and the story of where it came from be etched in their memories.

  49. 49
    Tammy says

    My sleeves were poufier than yours. 🙂 My 13th wedding anniversary is coming up soon, and I still have my dress. It was never cleaned and I just have it hanging in the back of my closet, glamorously covered with a garbage bag. I didn’t want it cleaned and preserved because then I’d never be able to get it out and look at it. I don’t want to even think about getting rid of it. My grandma made it for me…I was the only granddaughter she made a wedding dress for.

  50. 50
    Debbie says

    So funny to come across this topic as I just recently had a discussion with a very close friend of mine who happens to be a very good seamstress. I have been married for 20 years and have 2 boys. Currently, my dress is stored (not preserved) in my hopechest. It takes up a lot of room, and I have been exploring different ideas on what to do with it so that I can somehow still enjoy it rather than having it packed away taking up space that I could be using to store something else … after conversing with my friend, this is what we came up with … she is going to make a small shadowbox for me and somehow use scraps of material from my dress, and also, I still have my bouquet, so she is going to incorporate some of the dried flowers and maybe my invitation. I plan to hang this in my bedroom so I can look at it every day and smile when I think about the day I married my husband. In addition, she is going to make me some throw pillows for my bed, and I am going to have her make my boys each a hankie to carry in their pocket on their wedding day. Another suggestion was to have a christening outfit made for any future grandchildren, however, I already have 3 christening outfits, so I don’t need any more of those! (One was from my husband when he was christened, and it was made out of his mother’s wedding dress!). It will be very hard for me to know that I am cutting up the dress, but I am never going to wear it again, and this way, I feel that I will still be able to enjoy it.

  51. 51
    coleen says

    I don’t have my wedding dress or the veil. I had my dress turned into my daughters christening gown. I’ve been married for 40 years, so the style of dress was very plain, pretty but plain. My husband’s aunt made it for me. My veil, well I made that also and it got torn, so I got rid of it. I have all the pictures from the day and I even still have the pattern for the dress. I used to have my mother-in law’s dress, but when my daughter and my niece got married, I had a friend use some of the fabric, lace and buttons to make small photo albums and a ring bearer pillow. I do still have her head piece.

  52. 52
    ter@waaoms says

    My dress is still in a box…

    In the US there is a non-profit company called Mary Madeline Project ( ) where you can donate dresses to be made into little burial outfits for babies who have died. I would like to do something like that when they are available in Canada, and I just looked and it seems that they might be sending to Canada now. I will email and find out.

    • 52.1
      Andrea says

      I had no idea something like this existed. Thank you for sharing this.

    • 52.2
      Karen says

      I just looked this up. Unfortunately, they have too many dresses and not enough seamstresses, so are not accepting any donations right now.

      • ter@waaoms says

        That’s too bad…. I think we need to give this organization more awareness so they could get more volunteers. (and I need to learn to sew!)

  53. 53
    Sue Kemp says

    Yes I saved and preserved my wedding dress from 1979! Thought I would pass it down to my daughter someday. It took a long time to have children. She is 14 and will probably not want my dress. It is in a large box with a plastic window to see the dress. i store it on a shelf in my closet.
    i would love if she took a piece of the lace and incorporated it in her gown. My mom lent her gown to a friend and never got it back. It would have been fun to try it on, but I never cared for her gown. I think it has more sentimental value than anything else.

  54. 54
    nicole says

    I actually really like puffy sleeves! Reminds me of Anne of Green Gables!

    I do still have my wedding gown after almost 8 years. It is simply stored in the bag is came in hanging in my closet. I have actually put it on a few times (a year after our wedding, after my first baby was born etc.) to see if it still fit. Most recently I put it on to dance with my 3 year old little princess. No, after 3 babies, it doesn’t fit anymore, but she LOVED it! I have no plans or hopes that she will wear it herself but I like the idea of making something out of it and having pics of her taken in it, and if I can ever possibly fit into it again my daughter and I will do something fun all dressed up!

    However, since yours is really not something you care to keep and since it annoys and taunts you, I would definitely suggest you get rid of it.

  55. 55
    Sandy Williams says

    I still have mine. I’ve been married for almost 13 years and I think I’ve kept it this long because I feel like I’m supposed to? I don’t know. It’s tradition, and I feel like the tradition is there for a reason. I have two boys, no plans for any more kids, and can’t picture cutting up the dress. It’s so pretty! But I’m never going to fit in it again, and I don’t have it boxed and preserved – it’s taking up way too much space in the guest closet.

    I’ve thought time and again about getting rid of it. I’m not sentimental, and I hate just storing things. I have to make a decision though. I need that closet space!

  56. 56
    Georgia says

    I still have mine as well. It annoys me, too. But my daughter is marrying age, but just hasn’t found Mr. Wonderful yet. So I will save it until she gets married. If she wants to have it updated and wear it or use it in any way for her wedding, I am good with that. After that though, it is out of here! I sold my wedding china that I rarely used 3 years ago. I haven’t missed it at all.

    • 56.1
      Suzanne says

      Thanks for bringing up the wedding china/dishware. I have struggled with that! I finally sold the crystal glassware last year, but can’t figure out what to do with the dishes that we never use. I’d like to put my china hutch to better use!

    • 56.2
      Jodi says

      I still have my wedding dress from 32 years ago, though it is stored at my parent’s home. I know it will never be worn again, but possibly be recycled for some other use some day.

      I sold my wedding china a year ago and do not regret it. It spent 31 years packed away as I never had a place to display it, thus it was used less than a handful of times. I really liked the pattern but could see no reason to continue “storing” something I would not likely use. I did start using my good stainless flatware in exchange for my everyday set of stainless. I decided after using it for 30 years, it was time to use my good set for the next 30 years of my life. Perhaps in the future I will give my everyday stainless set to my son or daughter for them to enjoy.

  57. 57
    Melissa says

    I also had my dress professionally preserved. And, I toted that huge box through 3 moves. And, then, even after having a daughter born, i decided it was ridiculous to think of it getting reused by her. I’m not crafty, so recreating it in a Christening gown or whatever was far from my mind. I donated it to a wonderful organization: where it could be used to raise money or to be used by someone that could really benefit from a beautiful dress that might not be able to buy it. I’m a hugely sentimental person, and I kept that dress for 6 years before donating it. But, when i realized what a huge amount of space it took up, and that I rarely looked at it – choosing to look instead at my easily accessible pictures and other mementos – it was an easy decision when I found that organization. I’ve never regretted it, and I look forward to dress shopping (and passing along this fine tradition of helping others) with my daughter.

  58. 58
    Andrea says

    Yeah- mine never got cleaned, It’s been almost 6 years. it’s still in the garment bag, complete with grass stains and all from my outdoor wedding. I don’t plan on getting rid of it. If we had a fire- I wouldn’t be heartbroken either. That said- it’s alone in a closet in a spare bedroom. I loved my dress- it was beautiful, it was a piece of a wonderful day. But, I know it’s not one in a million. I’m sure it’s 1 of a million since I got it at one of the chain stores. My little budget friendly dress… lol I think getting it altered cost as much as the dress, oh to have that waist size again… Come to think of it- of all the purging and downsizing I’ve done, I rarely attach much sentiment to clothing. I think I’ll keep around a bit longer, maybe we’ll have kids, maybe someday it will serve another purpose. For now it stays put as is. 🙂 That’s all.

  59. 59
    Stephanie Hicks says

    I still have mine, 14 years now…it’s stuffed into an old plastic comforter bag. I’ll never wear it again and since I don’t have a daughter, I’m sure it’s just going to waste away in that bag. I wanted to wear my grandmother’s dress, but since they didn’t preserve them like they do now, by the time I got to it…well, it wasn’t in good shape. My mother decided to make my garter (not the throw away, of course) and a little purse out of material and lace her dress as well as my grandmother’s dress. She also made the same for my sister. She saved the good material from both dresses, in hopes someday she’d have grandchildren who would also benefit from the dresses. This year, my niece will be making her first communion…her little purse and rosary case are made out of my mother and grandmother’s wedding dresses. My son and nephew both were made handkerchiefs from the dresses, so when they get married all we have to do is embroider the date. I’ll be doing the same for my son with my dress…and maybe a little purse and garter for his future wife (assuming I’ll like her!). Another idea would be to make a pillow for a ring bearer out of the dress…the possibilities are really endless. Of course, it’s sentimental to hold on to your gown…but the memories and to the years that follow are what really count. No sense in holding onto it as a whole, but there are many little ways you can keep it alive and share with family members!

  60. 60
    Amy @ Homestead Revival says

    I realize it isn’t practical to keep every wedding dress and let’s face it… some are just not that pretty OR they are so trendy, they won’t be something someone else would want to wear 20+ years later. HOWEVER, I did wear my mother’s wedding dress when I got married (it was also worn my her sister and would have been worn by my only female cousin, but she passed before her marriage). Two generations in one dress! And the first generation was MUCH smaller than me… how I ever got into that dress, I’ll never know! It was later used in a vintage style show and the lady who borrowed it never returned it. When SHE passed away, her daughter returned it to my aunt in pieces, but we were able to have a seamstress put it back together. I’m hoping one of my 3 daughters MIGHT be interested in wearing it, but each will get to decide for themselves. At this point, the dress has so much “history”, no one wants to part with it!

  61. 61
    DeDe@DesignedDecor says

    I still have mine from18 years ago, preserved in a box like yours. It is a slim line dress no trane and could be worn today. I have no sentimental value to it, because 1-it is from my first marriage and 2- I have boys. I moved this thing with me to my new house after marrying my second husband. Now the dress is sitting at the bottom of the basement steps reminding me to do something with it! It has been sitting there since Thanksgiving, LOL. Now after reading the post, maybe I will keep it and use the material?

  62. 62
    Dawn says

    I believe your daughter will not want to wear this dress. She will want the fun of picking out her own dress. Take the skirt off ( not even all of it if it’s very big) and fold or roll it up. That won’t be too bad to store somewhere. Then when the time comes she can make a lovely ring pillow, Christening gown or something out of it. I’ve seen way too many women save dresses for 25 -30 years for nothing. It also saves your daughter from feeling guilty about telling you she really doesn’t want to wear that MOM!

  63. 63
    Lara says

    I was a poor college student and I had to pay for my my own dress (almost $600 with accessories) and most of the other costs associated with the wedding (as apposed to most girls i knew whose parents paid for everything). To me I had worked so hard to pay for it that I kept it. However a few years later when my sister got married (she also had to foot the bill herself) she asked for my dress and I gladly let her have it! She had to have it taken in, but it was such a blessing to have a “new” free of charge. I think I mostly wanted to make sure my money had been well spent.

    My mother kept her dress because she was 100% sure her daughters would want to wear it. But it wasn’t stored well and when we got married it had turned yellow. not to mention we, her daughters, thought it was ugly! She said if she new we weren’t going to use it she would have saved money and just rented a dress.

  64. 64
    susan says

    I still have my dress from almost 40 years ago. Though the wedding was almost a disaster from beginning to end, the marriage has turned out quite well! I did not have my dress professionally cleaned, so now it is yellowed with age and hanging in a zippered bag in our closet. When our first grandchild was born almost 11 years ago, I seriously considered, taking my dress apart to make a bassinette skirt. Our daughter did not want me to do that. So, it’s still hanging there. I don’t think anyone would mind if I got rid of it, but our granddaughter is turning into quite a fashion diva, and I wonder if she’d take it apart to use some, or all, of it when she gets married. I may cut it up and do different things with it, but I don’t think I will get rid of it.

  65. 65
    Jodi says

    I wore my mom’s wedding dress so I’m sure I’m one of the few to keep it, obviously I’m glad my mom kept hers! But we had it preserved and it’s up on a closet shelf because the box is too deep to fit under our beds, yet we have a HUGE walk-in closet so it’s truly not taking up needed space. We’re coming up on 15 years! I have two boys so there is the “will it be needed/wanted?” occasional thought but I just can’t part with it. It was a timeless design, when I tried it on at a bridal store to get a veil to match, several other women wanted to try it on so that’s a plus!

  66. 66
    Sarah Moore says

    I will have been married for 10 years next month and I still have my wedding gown. I have been on the fence from time to time about whether I should keep it. It is a gown that I could see my girls wearing at their weddings if they want to. I still have yet to have it cleaned and preserved but I did store it in a space saver bag so it shouldn’t yellow. I do have plans to take my girls out and have pictures taken of them in my gown while they are still little. I think that is a memory that would be fun to frame for their weddings. Other than that I have considered turning it into a quilt at some point. Then it becomes a decorative heirloom which would look awesome on my bed.

  67. 67
    Colleen F says

    Yes, I still have my wedding dress, for almost 24 years now. I never did get it professionally cleaned, but it is hanging in my closet. My plan for the dress is to make 2 baptismal gowns out of the dress. I will give one to each of my children so that they can use it for their children.

  68. 68
    Sharon P says

    I plan to have mine turned into a quilt…one day when I can afford it. My $1200 designer dress was only $350 when I bought it as it was off-the-rack and “last season”. I’ve been quoted $800-$1200 to turn my wedding dress into a quilt. Seems more functional than just keeping it in the dressing bag or “preserving” it or keeping it for a Christening outfit.

  69. 69
    Melissa says

    Very good topic today Laura. I’m curious what you end up doing with your dress. I still have my dress, it’s been almost 17 years now (in May). It’s hanging in my closet in the plastic bag it came in. I bought it at a 2nd hand shop, got a great deal, I would NEVER choose this dress today and I think I’d discourage my girls from wearing it. We have wedding pictures of the dress so I don’t know why I’m keeping it. It’s starting to rust around the sequins. I never had it cleaned, and never had any intention of storing it or sealing it. I’ve just been lazy. I think I have a small problem throwing it out, it is usable fabric..or it was..before it started to rust. Maybe I should let my girls have it as a dress up dress…and then when its worn out, toss it. Great post today, thank you.

  70. 70
    Darlene says

    I wore my mother’s wedding dress (circa 1959) for my wedding in the 90’s. It looks almost exactly like Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. I altered it slightly by adding a longer train and lining the lace jacket. I bought lots of extra fabric (that was also used in the train) and had it professionally stored with dress in hopes that my daughter or potential granddaughters might someday wear it also.

  71. 71
    Mary says

    Wow, it seems like I’m the only one who has gotten rid of her wedding dress! I was married six months ago and I recently sold it to another young bride. It’s a beautiful dress and I’d much rather see someone else getting to enjoy it on her wedding day than to see it hanging in a plastic bag in my closet.

    • 71.1
      Susan says


      You are the smart one in the group! You sold the dress while it was still in style!

  72. 72
    Sarah says

    My dress is currently being cut apart and made into my daughter’s First Communion dress. I really stressed about it, thinking my daughters might want to wear it someday. But I’m really happy and excited that I can share my special day, that was almost 9years ago, with my daughter now. 🙂

  73. 73
    Kelly in Oregon says

    I got married in August of 2007 and donated my wedding dress (and bra, slip, veil, shoes, etc.) in 2009. I have never regretted it for one second!!!! I knew it would just take up space for who knows how long, I figured even if I ever have a daughter she won’t want to wear it, and if I want to look at it I can look at a wedding picture. I loved that dress and it was perfect, but I figured I would donate it right away (I meant to donate it sooner… it just took me a while to actually get around to doing it) so that it would still be at least somewhat trendy when someone else gets to wear it on her special day! Oh… and I’m almost certain I donated it to Brides Against Breast Cancer, but I can’t recall for sure!

    • 73.1
      Kelly in Oregon says

      Oh – and my mom actually BORROWED her wedding dress from a friend! So smart, talk about minimizing clutter!

  74. 74
    Penguin lady says

    I have recently inherited my grandmother’s wedding dress after my dad passed away. I don’t particularly want it, but he wanted me to have it. What I think I will do is keep it for a year, photograph it, and then see if I can sell it for the vintage lace and fabric. I wish I could donate it to a small local museum, but I doubt anyone would want it.

    I do have my own wedding dress and I hope it is good enough for my daughter in 20 years. It is a pretty classic dress and I still love it, 13 years later.

  75. 75
    Linda says

    I still have mine…preserved and on a shelf in the basement. We’ve been married 23 years and don’t have cildren, so there’s no reason for me to hold onto it, but we have the storage space. I did display mymother-in-law’s dress at their 50th anniversary part and it was a big hit. After she passed away, I contacted some ladies I read about in the paper who do historical fashion shows of old clothing and donated it to them. Reading all these ideas, if I were you, I’d save something…maybe the veil to potentially use as a part of a child’s wedding and getrid of the bulky dress. Donate to a drama department maybe?

  76. 76
    Stace says

    I sold my wedding dress to a friend of my sisters who was younger and didn’t have a huge wedding budget, so I sold it to her for about 1/3 the cost to me – she was thrilled for the bargain and the dress fit her perfectly, I was happy to make someone else so happy for their special day. No regrets ever.

  77. 77
    Fonda says

    I have been married for 32 years next month. I unfortunately did not have my wedding dress preserved soon enough and it incurred a horrible Kool-aid stain. It is now boxed up and waiting to be turned into keepsakes for my grandchildren to use in their weddings — ring bearer pillows and the like. Though the idea of a quilt really sounds good too!

  78. 78
    Jane says

    I still have my Wedding Dress and why on earth I kept it I have no idea. I ‘was’ married for 18 years and have been separated for a few years now. I think it’s in the back of my spare closet somewhere. I will be moving from my current residence soon and I think at that time I will take a look at it and if it’s still wearable I will donate it to our local Theatre Group.

  79. 79
    Tracie Kaczor says

    I did the same thing! My girls are 16 and 19 and wanted to see it so I opened it…there was a stain on the front! After 20 something years can’t go back to the gown preservation company cause it’s out of business! It’s not my girls’ styles so we decided they could remove parts, like the lace, to use in their own dresses.

  80. 80
    Rebecca Jo says

    I still have mine as well… in my parent’s closet at their house! That’s how to store it 🙂

  81. 81
    Brooke @ Inside-Out Design says

    I love this discussion!! I just recently liberated myself (or rather, my closet) from my giant wedding dress and it felt so freeing!! I don’t regret it at all!! I’ve been married for almost 10 years and for almost that entire time I’ve been carrying my dress with me from house to house just because it’s “what people do”. I’m a pretty sentimental person but I’m also a very organized person and I don’t like keeping a sentimental item unless I can actually DO something with it. Display it in a way that looks stylish, or at least have it somewhere easily accessible and somewhere that it isn’t taking up valuable space. My dress was doing none of those things, it was just in the way all the time, and I had no delusions about my daughter wanting to wear it. The only thing that held me back from getting rid of it was the sentimental side of me wanting a piece of that special day. So I ended up buying a really pretty frame and framing a scrap of the dress that was left over from my fitting, then I saved my veil and framed that (here- and I even saved the beaded headband I wore and stuck it up on my mantel. (I promise it looks good.) Then I dropped the dress at Goodwill and haven’t thought about it since! 🙂

  82. 82
    Neks says

    I’ve been married for almost 14 years. I didn’t have my dress professionally cleaned or packaged, just stowed away in a box. My mom let me try on her wedding dress once in a while. It’s a tradition I’ve done with my two girls. They love trying it on and posing for photos. Precious memories!!

  83. 83
    Susan says

    I still have my dress after 15 years of marriage. I paid around $200 to have it professionally cleaned. I don’t know why I’m saving it, I don’t even have a daughter. I guess I’m taking the lazy way out because we have lots of storage space.

  84. 84
    Shelby says

    I rented my wedding dress. I wanted a dress that cost over $5,000 (this was 21 years ago) and I am way too practical to spend that kind of money on something I would wear for 4 hours. So, I found out I could rent the exact same dress (made by Bob Mackie!!) for about $200. I have a sister who is 8 yrs older than me, and all I ever hear is how much she hates having her dress in a box and lugging it around (she moves a lot) she never has space in her house to store it, etc etc.

    It sounds like its time to let your dress go. Find someone who cannot afford a wedding dress and pass it on :). I think you will be happy to be free of it

  85. 85
    cubanese says

    I have had my dress from my first wedding professionally cleaned and stored too! The box is huge. When I divorced after 7 yrs.I had no room for the drrss.My parents kept it storred in their home.I remarried had a civil service paremts held on to the dress.I hot divord afer3 yrs. I remarried first husband by a miracle.14 yrs later the dress is backin my possesion and taking up a chunk of mom was cleaning out her place and told me take it or she would donate it.So there it sits on the basement and I have 3 soms..I know their future wives will have their future wives will havetheir. Own dtess.But there it sits amd all I know is..that itsis gorgeous with crystals lby the neck amd shoulders..lace ..a heart shape see thru back with 100’s of buttom.. dowm the back..I wanted to give it to someone special on my life but do not have I think I will sell it..or just keep jolding on to ot..I loved loved that dress.

  86. 86
    Marcia Francois says

    WOW, I knew this post would have a lot of comments 🙂

    This is one touchy subject.

    Okay, I think I’m going to blog my answer tomorrow and link back to your post 🙂 Should be fun to see what people say!

  87. 87
    Stina says

    Ha! Love it and love reading all the comments and thoughts on this. I still have my dress. It has a few red stains from the bouquet on the front and I never had it professionally cleaned. It is hanging in one of those enclosed portable closet thingers down in the basement. We had a friend take our pictures on film and we didn’t get most of them. That makes me sad and I’m determined to get back to that size and get some “bridal pics” done…maybe some with my husband, too (oh, yeah…him! lol. jk!!) for our 10 year anniversary late next year. After that? I don’t know…I’d probably sell it or donate it.

    On the other hand…we do have a two daughters. Our oldest is getting baptized later this year and I’ve also toyed with the idea of converting it into a dress for her to wear right after. I don’t know…it’s less than $80 to just buy a dress for her and probably over $1000 in therapy bills for me after trying to use my greenie skills to convert my dress into one small enough for her. The very thought makes my eye twitch and I giggle like a crazy person for a few seconds. ;0)

  88. 88
    sues2u2 says

    I *gasp* rented my dress. My husband was in the USAF & knowing our life was going to be lived overseas mostly, I decided that rental was the way to go. That was nearly 22 yrs ago. Now I wish w/ all my heart I had bought my dress. I know my daughter wouldn’t want it for her wedding but she would’ve loved to have had some memento besides my garter. It would’ve made beautiful heirloom christening gowns or even used part of the lace in my daughter’s dress. Also, my parents inherited my great grandmothers gown. All of the girls in the in family have tried it on usually when they are around 9 because grandma was tiny! One cousin did wear it for her first wedding but with lots of alterations. That one is the keeper! Of course, it is over 110 yrs old too.

    • 88.1
      Debi says

      I have been married for 35 years. I am the mother of 6 children. One of my daughters wore my veil on her wedding day.
      My oldest daughter is a photographer, and for our 35 anniversary she took pictures of me wearing my wedding dress! My 20mo. old granddaughter ran in for some of the photo’s… husband LOVED the pictures.

    • 88.1
      Monica says

      I borrowed my wedding dress and all the bridesmaid dresses from my aunt, so there was never this dilemma. I like the ideas of re-vamping it into something different–christening dresses, quilt, or re-made wedding dress.

  89. 89
    Jennifer says

    For those of you interested in donating…I work with an organization that provides all kinds of items for families who experience the death of a child (Threads of Love) and our local chapter here (San Antonio) uses donated wedding dresses as burial gowns and also to line the custom caskets. Depressing, I know. But for some women who were holding on to theirs without any idea of what to do with them it felt like a really meaningful gift to give.

    And for myself, married 15 years, I still have mine (in one of those huge boxes) and I plan to hang onto it to recycle pieces into items for my children’s weddings and everything that is left will go to Threads of Love.

    Love this topic!!

  90. 90
    Karen Cendro says

    I was married to my first love in 1986. I too preserved the dress only to pull it out when my stepdaughter was old enough to play in it. My husband passed away in 1995. I have no regrets…and no idea where that dress is today. I remarried in 1996 to a bachelor who wanted a big wedding. So a new white dress arrived. It too got preserved after my wedding. Last Christmas our nieces visited so I pulled the dress out of its box. The girls had such a memorable time and the photos are so cute of their “bridal” day. I have no daughters to pass it on to….but it’s back in the box for the next time little girls want to play. I think I’ll keep a piece of it to hand to my son when he marries.

  91. 91
    Nicole M says

    I’ve had my dress for almost 25 years…and I have preserved just as you do. However, I can’t remember what I did with it! I know it’s around my house somewhere:). I’ve honestly never thought of getting rid of it. But my daughter, who will turn 16 this year (and I have another daughter who is 6)…will probably never want it. I’m looking forward to reading what others have done with their dresses.

  92. 92
    Laura Jane says

    Wow, apparently this is a popular topic! This is a tough subject. Personally, I’ve been married 3.5 years and my dress is in our guest room closet.

    My mom and her sister wore the same wedding dress and it’s still at my grandma’s house. My cousins and I have taken it out, tried it on, and had a lot of fun with it. Although we’d never actually want to have worn it in our weddings! It was also yellowed.

    I vote maybe you remake it into something that you will like and use. I wouldn’t get rid of mine. It’s just too special even if it is sentimental clutter.

  93. 93
    Andrea says

    OH MY goodness! Don’t get rid of that dress! Think of maybe your daughter’s daughter wanting to see Grandma’s dress or maybe that future girl may want to re-purpose the material for something stunning!

    DON’T throw it! It’s beautiful. Maybe when you’re a Grandma one day you’ll want to share it. Think future vintage, lol.
    Really, please keep it.
    : )

    I still have my mine & will never turf it no matter how storage annoyances may be!

  94. 94
    Tina says

    I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog about wanting to give up your wedding gown. Personally, I still have mine. it is stored in our guest closet. I have onky been married for 7 years. We have one 6 year old child. Here is my dilema. Do I sell it or do I keep it for her? By the way I am a Homeschool mom. 🙂 If I sell it she will not be able to say whether or not she wants it. If she doean’t want it I can always have it turned into something else. She could want it to use parts of it to make her own dress. But I wouldn’t ask her till it is the right time like once she is engaged. That would be the beat time to ask her. Well for me personally I would go with keep it. Right now she is too young to really think about what she truly wants. She may resent you for giving it away/donating it/throwing it away when the time comes for her to get married. Just think, she may not want the whole dress but just parts of it to make her dress and so she can say she is wearing your dress. 😉 Just a thought. My mom kept hers only to find out many years later it started to fall apart. She had to throw it out. 🙁 It made me sad but I understood why she had to do it. Well these were my thoughta on the subject. But whatever you decide to do I will not hold it against you. Also, don’t worry what society thinks. Society is wrong most of the time any way. 🙂 Just sayin’. Hope you can figure out what to do. Have a blessed day. 🙂

  95. 95
    stacey says

    I still have my dress but it’s not a ‘wedding dress’. It’s just a long formal cream colored sheath style dress. I come from a long line of Justice of the Peace weddings. I don’t think any female on either side of my family going back 5 generations had a specially made just for the wedding dress, though all of them but me did buy a special dress/outfit for the wedding that they then wore on formal/special/church type occasions for years and years afterward. So my perspective is sort of skewed on the subject.
    I had fully intended to wear mine again on other dressy occasions but by the time I encountered another one where a floor length sheath dress would be appropriate, I had gotten too fat for it. Honestly if it didn’t hang mostly forgotten in the junk closet in a dry cleaning bag I probably would have donated it by now. I’ve been married 20 years come this November & I am holding onto that dress now for one reason – a Trash the Dress photo shoot, where they take photos of you & your spouse in grimy, wet, otherwise non-pristine locations. It’s our 20th anniversary present to ourselves.
    Plus a lot of Spanx because I am still 20lbs too heavy for the dress.

  96. 96
    Elisabeth says

    I am obviously not normal! 🙂
    I got married almost 6 years ago. I frugally spent about $100 on a dress from goodwill with another $100 to clean it. I happily wore my grandmother’s headpiece from her veil (the veil had rotted) and it went stunningly.
    After we were married we moved into a small apartment in order to save money for a house. Oh the memories! This small apartment had a closet where I was required to keep my bike when I wasn’t riding it along with my wedding dress. I am not a seamstress so a pillow or quilt was not an option. I gave it away to a missionary so that he could send it to Africa where someone else could enjoy the blessing of a beautiful dress. I knew God had blessed me with it and I wanted it to go on blessing others instead of sitting in a closet and driving me batty.
    I did regret it once–it would have been nice to have taken some more pictures in it; however, I have my wedding pictures (oodles of them!) and my memories from that day and that’s enough. I still have my grandmother’s headpiece with my veil attached (its a smallish box that isn’t an issue to store) (my sister wore it also!) and I will be saving that in hopes that my daughter will wear it. If she doesn’t no hard feelings…however, my grandmother is gone and there’s no way I am getting rid of that bit of history.

  97. 97
    Stephanie @ CrayonMarks&TigerStripes says

    Mine is hanging out in a bag that a comforter came in lol. I always meant to get it preserved, but I never did. And now reading all these comments, I don’t think I want to! I have put it on a few times just for fun 🙂 In fact, it was a motivator for me to lose my “marriage weight” so I could get back in it! And I did get back in it! WHOOHOOO!!! I don’t think I could ever get rid of it!

  98. 98
    KittyMadeMe says

    I had mine cleaned and boxed and it’s wedged on top of the wardrobe. I keep it for sentimental reasons I guess. I doubt either of my girls would wear it but…who knows?! What if it becomes their dream to wear it on their big day?! What if…

  99. 99
    Katherine says

    I’ve been married for almost 6 years. My dress is in the bag it came in, stored in one of our closets. I would like to think that my daughter might wear it someday, but I would guess she probably won’t. And that’s okay. I would like to keep it and try it on at those big milestone anniversaries. I’m about the same size, although the weight has shifted with having 3 kids, so who knows if it will work.

    My grandma kept her dress, and for their 50th anniversary her daughter put it on and showed it off. It was such a sweet sentimental thing. I’m going to keep mine for stuff like that, even if it does spend most of its time in the closet.

  100. 100
    Kari says

    Yup I have mine! As well as my shoes, tiara, veil and purse. Why??? I’m not entirely sure! I LOVED my dress! Part of me keeps it for my daughter even though she probably won’t want it. It’s 10 years old now. Who knows how old it will be then. I had it preserved too. It is stored in my closet, but I have to say my preservation looks better than yours. I’d be upset with that too I think. I can’t wait to see the other comments.

  101. 101
    Kristina says

    I have been married for 7 years and still have my wedding dress. I did have it cleaned and sealed in a box and it is under my bed. I will pull it out every now and again just to look at it. It means alot to me but I am keeping it for my daughter whether she will wear it or not (especially the way the styles change so much) but I want her to have the option. Or at least she could take part of it for something on her wedding day. I saw something out there on Pinterest where you have your daughter sit on your bed and you put the dress on her and it lays out on you bed and you take a picture of her in it…which I have thought of and thought it would be a very beautiful picture!

  102. 102
    Elizabeth says

    Wow, call me unsentimental, but I sold mine within a year of marrying and got 50% of my purchase price. I sold it to a really sweet bride who had a dress mallfunction (the seamstress hemmed a little too much) and she said she loved my dress more than her first. She shared photos of her in it on the big day and it was not only great to get some money back for that sucker, but also SO great to share in someone else’s day…at least in part.

    The day was amazing, but the dress is just a dress. I don’t regret selling it at all.

    • 102.1
      Susanne says

      You were smart selling yours while it was still in style! And sweet that she shared some photos with you.

  103. 103
    Shana says

    My wedding dress is hanging in my closet. We’ll be married 34 years this month. My mom made my dress & it didn’t fit, so she made another one & my sister wore the first one as my maid of honor. I’m not sure if she still has it or not! I’m not sure why I keep it. It’s nothing fancy & probably could be worn to any function, retro is back! I have 2 boys. My step daughter is already married. I really do like all the idea’s on how to reuse these dresses though. I think I’m going to check into the Mary Madeline Project. I really like that idea. Or christening dresses for premies… my first was a premie.

  104. 104
    Kristin says

    I kept my dress and pull it out every year on my daughter’s birthday. She loves to wear it around the house. She says it makes her feel like a princess. And when she passes by our wedding photo she says, “see Mom, I’m a princess like you!”

  105. 105
    Lorraine says

    I saved mine because it was hand made by my mother in law. Last year, after 21 years, the box was opened and I had a clutch made from the lace of my bodice. My niece carried it on her wedding day, and will pass it down to her sisters when the time comes. I will have one more made to pass along to my sons, with the hope that their brides and my granddaughters will too some day. My niece made a barrette from her mom’s veil which she wore on her day, and she also wore my wedding earrings to her rehearsal dinner. Cannot begin to explain the emotion both my sister and I felt seeing my niece honor us with her sense of tradition. Wish there was some way I could post a picture. So glad I saved my dress!

  106. 106
    Susanne says

    The dry cleaners wrecked my wedding dress so I stuffed it in the box and put it under the bed at my Mom`s. She was so upset because she`d taken it there without consulting with me about it. I was sick about it but trying not to show her I was because she already felt bad enough. It`s probably still there and we`ve been married 30 years this year. In hindsight I should have marched right back to the drycleaners and made them pay for it. I think it`s fun to keep it until one`s girls (if you have them) grow up and at least try it on and you get a picture but the likelihood that they will wear it on their wedding day is super minimal. After that I would probably just put it on consignment.

    • 106.1
      Elizabeth says

      Pinterest has a shots going about of young girls (3-7 or so) wearing their mother’s dress. The thinking is to have the shot framed for their wedding day. Sounds like a plan to me!

  107. 107
    Pauline Pichoff says

    I kept my wedding dress for 17 years – taking up space in various closets as we moved from house to house with the military. About 6 months ago a friend who is a costume designer needed a particularly traditional late 80’s/early 90’s style wedding gown for a stage show she was designing the costumes for and she asked to use mine…..didn’t know whether to be pleased or annoyed!! So it went on the stage for a four week run and I’ve since donated it to her collection…..if I ever feel like looking at it again I know where it is and every couple of years it’ll show up on a stage somewhere:-)

  108. 108
    April says

    I just got rid of mine during the 31-day challenge. I donated it. We just celebrated our 10-year anniversary about 10 days ago and with 3 boys I have resigned myself to the fact that none of them will probably want my dress. I had thought of getting rid of it for years, and honestly I was ready to not think about it anymore. The space in my closet and the space in my head has been put to better use. … and honestly I hope that someone else will have a lovely day in that dress!

  109. 109
    Brenda says

    I have been married for 22 years. I too had my dress preserved in a box. I have thought about having my dress made into a christening gown. I have also watched the show where they take the mother’s wedding gown and make a completely new dress out of it. Such a great idea. Even if it is only a small amount of the dress. No plans to get rid of my dress any time soon. 🙂

  110. 110
    Juanita says

    Hi, I foresaw this issue with a wedding dress, and despite protestations from the mother, grandmother, aunts and sister, I had a red wedding dress. Now it hangs in my office at work— which as a drama teacher has come in handy. It’s been in a whole range of school productions, and worn to prom by various exchange students over the years. It’s probably the best value item I’ve ever owned…. It’s also 2 piece (which looks like a dress when worn together) so has had a double life for other formal events.

  111. 111
    Karen@Candid Diversions says

    Mine is preserved & stored in a (smaller than yours) box in my parents’ attic. They are OK with this since they have plenty of space.

    I would never just get rid of it but I could see us cutting it up some day for different uses like a memory quilt or even to make the ring bearer’s pillow for my daughters’ weddings. (My mother-in-law made our ring pillow out of dress scraps and it was beautiful.)

    And as far as my mom’s dress is concerned: I didn’t wear my mom’s dress but I did wear her veil. So you never know…

  112. 112
    Debbie says

    My wedding dress was custom made for me because at the time I was 4’8″ tall and weighed 90 lbs. I didn’t have any daughters so a few years ago I decided I wanted to use my wedding dress in a different way. I am making a crazy quilt and using parts of the dress and veil in the quilt. This way I am not storing something that no one would ever use and I am still honoring my wedding dress by reusing it.

  113. 113
    Sarah says

    I still have my wedding dress, we have been married for 10 years and the dress is huge. It is in the bag from the bridal shop. I know I should have it cleaned, but we got married at the zoo and I ripped some of the fabric and I am pretty sure it has goose poo on it. It takes up SO much room in my closet. In the next few weeks I plan on shoving it into a Space Bag and tossing it into the attic. I am WAY to sentimental to part with it. I have my mother’s bridal gown and my grandmothers in the attic so it will have some friends. One day if my daughter or granddaughter or random family member wants to see it or borrow it that would be fun. It is a piece of my story, my history and I had a great time in that dress. When I am dead my family can do with it as they will and that will be fine. Until then… it will collect dust and be in the way. It is just a wedding dress, but it is mine and I want to keep it. 🙂

  114. 114
    Laura Oller says

    NICU Helping Hands in Ft. Worth Texas uses old wedding gowns to make gowns for premie babies who don’t survive. If I was going to get rid of mine I would donate it there. I still have it from almost 6 years ago. However this post might have given me the courage to open the preservation box and let my daughters try it on and take some pictures. 🙂

  115. 115
    Kathie says

    We celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary in January this year. I made my dress of white velvet with my grandmother’s help and just could not part with it. My mother packed the dress in blue tissue paper and stored it in an old blue Samonsite suitcase. It has been out for my girls to try on when they were in their young teen years and then placed back in the paper in then suitcase. It has stayed beautifully white although slightly wrinkled after all this time. My daughter-in-law did put it on display at our Golden anniversary celebration along with other treasures like wedding gifts that we still use. I like the idea of recycling it to other pruposes. Thank you for the ideas. I am now ready to part with it.

  116. 116
    Laurie says

    I still have it preserved in a box in my attic. Not much is up there so it’s not really taking up valuable space. Maybe my daughter will want it, maybe not. But I can’t bear to part with it, and I’m sure she will want to see it someday even if she doesn’t use it.

  117. 117
    Lori says

    I kept my dress for a couple of years and then found a seamstress that turned it into 2 Christmas stockings and a small tree skirt. Now, I get to remember that day during a great time of the year.

  118. 118
    Anita says

    I kept my wedding dress for 3,5 years (I am almost 4 years married now). I did not know what to do with it. I thought about donating it to charity, but where? And than one day I watched tv and someone asked for second hand wedding dresses for her store in Kenia. People could hire them and with the money she made with it, she supported homeless children. I knew I found a knew place for my wedding dress and contected her. So, my dress traveled around the world and ended up in Kenia somewhere. I love the idea. (I am from the Netherlands).

    • 118.1
      JennySue says

      What a great idea! Could you share the contact info for this company?

  119. 119
    JoannaTopazT says

    I have been married almost 14 years. My wedding dress was cleaned and is stored in a (large) box under my parents’ bed at their house. (I think my sister’s might be there, too.) I’m not sure if my daughter will wear it, but she did have a big interest in looking at it last year when she was five, so we got it out and let her look. I want to save it long enough for her to have the option of wearing it, especially since my mother (a very talented seamstress) made the dress; that was part of my parents’ wedding gift to us. There is no guarantee my mom will still be around by the time my daughter gets married, so I have no intention of getting rid of the dress. At my wedding, the veil I wore had originally belonged to my aunt – she wore it about 40 years before my wedding.

  120. 120
    Laure says

    In a conversation a few years ago, I learned that traditionally where I’m from in Europe — small homes — wedding dresses would be worn by the bride, and then, once she had children, the fabric would be used to make a christening gown and a First Communion dress (I’m Catholic). The adult size meant there’d be enough fabric to make both. I love this idea — it respects the dress and the sentimality without letting it be clutter, and saves $ too.
    As for you, I’d get rid of it. Donate it. Let someone who cannot afford a new wedding dress purchase it from a thrift store and have the wedding of her dreams after all.

    As an aside, I also heard of someone who didn’t preserve her dress but, instead, by way of frugal fun, would pull it out and wear it every year on her anniversary and she and her husband would go out, ride the bus, whatever and have fun attracting lots of attention. She loved it, so for her — keep it and wear it!

  121. 121
    Darla says

    I have two wedding dresses. My first dress I sent off and had it preserved, only mine came back with the arms crossed and the bodice completely full of stuffing, it looks like a mini coffin. I was very overweight but I have kept it just in case my daughters wanted it. But my mother has had it for years (siince my divorce) For my second marriage that was just about six years ago, I have that dress hanging in my closet. It is two pieces and I just love it. I was much skinnier the second time and it is more of a “clean lined” dress. So for now they both stay. No need to get rid of them, I still have my first communion dress, but my grandmother made that for me.

  122. 122
    Donna says

    You could donate it to a military couple that doesn’t have much money. I could not stand for the dress to be taking up space, it’s not useful and some young woman would really appreciate it.

  123. 123
    Michelle S says

    I am so glad you wrote this. I just got rid of my gown about a month ago. I was struggling for years with the same question and fear of guilt. I do not regret my decision at the moment and I hope it stays that way. I have a young daughter and the thought ran through my head “what if she would want it” who was I kidding it is highly unlikely that she would. I am sure her sense of style will be way different than mine. The trends at the time they will be married will play a role n their decisions also. I couldn’t keep lugging the useless baggage around.

  124. 124
    Jenny says

    I still have mine and we’ll be married 30 years this year. Giant box under our bed too. Our daughter just got married and never once did she think about incorporating a single part of it to her wedding day. My in-laws, however, celebrated their 50th last summer and her wedding dress was displayed on a mannequin along with the framed pictures and other displays. Kind of fun to see her dress style from 50 years ago.

  125. 125
    Charlene says

    After 42 years of moving my wedding gown back and forth during our moves, I realized that the dress was no longer sealed in the plastic bag. When I opened the bag, the taffeta was brittle and the satin was in horrible condition. So it wasn’t a hard decision to cut up my wedding dress. Being a seamtress, I cut out and kept all the bling from the dress and a couple of pieces of fabric that was still ok. I have used part of the trim on a pillow for my bed and will keep the rest for future use. I have no regrets about doing this as there was no way that the gown was wearable and my girls are not interested in it.

  126. 126
    Karin says

    I have still have mine. This year I will be married 25 years. It hangs in a closet (with all the “off-season”coats. I will propable throw it out once my youngst daughter will be taller than me. Then I am sure noone will fit into it………..

  127. 127
    Ashley says

    My husband and I got married in 2002, and I did the same thing — had it heirloomed and stuffed it under a bed. 🙂 We had the space and it wasn’t an issue . . . until my husband decided to go to seminary and now we’re moving into a 2 bed/1 bath apartment. I opted to give away my dress to our former pastor’s family; he has two daughters, one of whom has a serious boyfriend. I don’t regret giving it away because it will go to good use — the wife said she plans to loan it out until her first daughter is ready to use it! I like the idea that my dress will “participate” in the start of more than one happy union!

  128. 128
    Raye W says

    I didn’t keep mine. I have plenty of photos to remind me of it, and I don’t equate my marriage or wedding with what I wore…… so it wasn’t all that difficult to let it go. I have no problem upcycling things, and wedding dresses are great for that.
    Ring bearer pillows for your childrens’s weddings, covering for flower girls’ baskets, wedding album photo cover or lining, it’s easier to save pieces than the whole dress. Pillow cases, trinket bags, even just hair ribbons, there are lots of things that can be made with the dresses. Donating to charity is great, but unless it’s an up to date style, chances are it’ll only be used as a costume, or cut up and recycled anyway.

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    Tina says

    We moved house one year ago. And at the time I really wondered, why I still hang on to my wedding dress. It hangs in the wardrobe in our guestroom and takes much of space, because of its broad skirt. But it seemed that getting rid of it is just not done. But after reading your post and some of the answers, I’m more determined than ever to put it up for sale. Our wedding was five years ago, so the dress will hopefully not be too much Out-of-Date… Tina

  130. 130
    Gaye @CalmHealthySexy says

    My mother kept her wedding dress and both my sister and I wore it when we got married (just slightly reworked by a seamstress). And we still have it, even though I only have sons and my sister has no children. So I am in the “keep it” camp – you never know what your daughter will want to do by the time she gets married.

  131. 131
    Veroncia says

    All i can say is Christening / naming dress / suit.
    I married in 1987 and had my dress made via my design and the store bought my dress back off me for what it cost me as they wanted it for a window display! I had some fabric and lace left over from the dress so the girls christening dresses were made out of that. Not only would my girls never have worn the thing because it is also of the puffy sleeve era, they take after my hubbys side of the family and are 6′ taller than me and i was desperately underweight then – so – even if they liked it it wouldn’t fit them.

    If your family does naming or christening ceremonies then keep the dress for your grandchildren – or make the ring cushion or flower girl dress for your children’s wedding – as other people have said “something old” for the special day

  132. 132
    Teresa says

    Before you read my answers, just know that if you don’t want your dress and you are positive that your daughter doesn’t want you dress then you should most definitely gift it to someone else. That way they might not have to do what I did to have a wedding dress.

    Do you still have your wedding dress and how long have you had it? My wedding dress was actually a white prom dress. Very simple, you might even say plain, white dress. I had a very short engagement. Got engaged in October and was married in December, at the end of my first semester of college.
    Where and how do you store it? I didn’t have the chance or the responsibility of storing my dress.
    Why are you keeping it? I didn’t keep the dress.
    If you parted ways with your dress, what did you do with it? My wedding dress went back to its original owner (a dorm mate) shortly after my wedding ceremony
    Have you ever regretted getting rid of it? I’ve regretted the fact that I was unable to keep my wedding dress many times. I ended up divorced, but with a beautiful girl child from that marriage. I’ve always regretted not being able to offer her the opportunity or choice of either wearing my dress or not.

  133. 133
    Mleue says

    okay, I haven’t read all the posts you have and there’s the chance that someone has already written what I’m writing, but here goes nothing: I suppose that by your own text you can see how we change our minds. When you were getting married, the puffy sleeve dress looked beautiful. Nowadays you look at it and you find it atrocious. The same thing happens to your daughter. Nowadays, she finds the dress a crime, but when and if she gets married, perhaps restoring her mother’s dress is an idea that will appeal to her then. As parents we can only hope to do our best. What if as time passes your daughter comes to wish something vintage and decides to take some of the lace to use for herself? What if you one day have grandchildren who would like to keep a reminder of grandma to their wedding days?
    I’m not one who keeps things. I’m not sentimental that way and I’ve gotten rid of some amazing things because I figured they didn’t “fit my life” anymore… My daughter then saw photos and asked for those things and I’m telling you, it didn’t feel good not to have thought forward.
    Perhaps keeping the dress isn’t what you want to do, but keep parts of it that can be used in the future. It’s not like you will make money getting rid of it or that someone else will wear it as is anyway.
    Just my 2 cents.

  134. 134
    Sara says

    Yes, I still have my dress and like you I have mine preserved like you. Right now it is stored on am upper shelf in my daughter’s closet. I don’t think she knows it is there. I haven’t even looked at it since we moved to our different house 8 years ago. We have been married for 16 years. I doubt if my daughter would ever want to wear my dress, but like it was mentioned earlier she might want to a piece of it for her own dress. There is also a chance of we could make my dress into a Christian gown for a granddaughter. I have heard of this been down after my daughter was baptized or I would of done this with my dress myself.

  135. 135
    JennySue says

    Yes, I still have mine but I’ve only been married for (almost) six years. I have it stuffed into the top shelf of a closet- it is in a huge box like yours. I am so ready to sell/donate it but my husband is way more attached to items than I am and he would not be OK with getting rid of it yet…. I have two boys and if the next is a boy then my husband won’t have the “but our daughter could wear it one day” excuse.

  136. 136
    Carol says

    This has been a sore subject b/t my husband and my self for 24 years. He wants to put the giant box, puffed sleeves and all, it the attic. We live in Houston. Not much can go in the attic. He has a pair of waders in the same closet which is basically like a human body. My daughter is getting married in three months. Needless to say she does not want to wear it. But we are using my veil and making a new veil for her. My sisters both made ringbearer pillows out of the sleeves of theirs. My daughter does not want me to cut mine up. Recently a cousin sent me a,picture of my grandmother in her wedding dres in 1911. It made me wonder what happened to that dress. Maybe one day a granddaughter or great granddaughter will think my Princess Diana-like dress is the bomb.

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    Martha Holder says

    I’d cut a piece of the lovely lace out to tuck in a shadow box with the wedding picture and then joyfuly donate it or burn it! 🙂

  138. 138
    Olivia says

    I’ve been married 8 years and still have my dress, it was ruined even before my wedding (my mom accidently melted a hole in the front of the skirt the night before while steaming it), my daughters (2 and 4) will never wear it, patched up as it is, because I’m sure they’ll want their own like i did. I originally wanted my mother’s veil and asked my grandmother who was storing it to send it to me but it had been torn and ruined by younger cousins who had played with it for dress up. My mom felt bad about not saving her dress and veil for me (she felt even worse about burning my dress) so she hand made me a veil similar to the one she wore on her wedding day. I hope one of my daughters or maybe future granddaughters will want to wear my veil that my mom made me but as for my dress I think maybe I’m holding on to it cause I already lost my wedding ring and had to replace it. I guess I feel if I throw it out (which is the only option cause it can’t be reused as is) I’ll lose the last thing I have from my wedding bedsides the pictures. The idea of displaying it at an anniversary party sounds fun and good valid reason so that’s my new reason for keeping it in the same garment bag it came in lol

  139. 139
    Elizabeth says

    I recommend a small book to you — Love, Loss, and What I Wore. It’s about the role that clothing plays in our lives over time.

    I still have my wedding dress almost 30 years after the fact. No one will ever wear it. I might cut it up into fabric squares and offer them to my sewing daughter. Other than that, I look at the dress periodically and think about how thin I was. LOL!

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    hsmominmo says

    Hi Laura! What does your daughter think about it?
    I faced this exact dilemma a few months back, and after almost 29 years of sentimental hoarding, er, I mean, safe-keeping, I made a HUGE decision. I finally accepted that no one would want to wear my dress again. So my youngest daughters played dress-up-bride and let their older sister (who was planning her wedding) take fun photos. Then I started taking it apart. I took the veil off the headpiece and my daughter wore it with a beautiful new comb when she married in February. I also cut out from the layers of lace and crinoline and satin to make the ring bearer pillow (carried by our youngest son), and decorate the flower girl basket (carried by our youngest daughter). I also cut the long, fitted cuff area off the end of the sleeve and gave it to the florist to cover the stems of the bride’s bouquet to surprise my daughter. Now I have keepsakes that might actually be used again and again and passed down from one generation to another, which didn’t happen with the dress all in tact. And I’m so pleased!!! Don’t regret it for a minute, though the first cut difficult.

    You can see a couple of pics on posts I made here:

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    Shannon aka design says

    Don’t want to sound awful but I totally got rid of mine several years ago. Not going to wear it again and I highly doubt it will be at all fashionable when my girlies get married! I’m perfectly happy with memories and photos!
    P.S. Hubby and I have been VERY happily married for 17 years this coming weekend!

  142. 142
    Susan says

    I’ve been married 28 years and still have my wedding dress. It was never cleaned or preserved, and I keep it in my mother’s cedar chest that I inherited. I got it out once when my daughter, now 20, was about 8 years old, for a ladies’ meeting at our church. It was wedding themed, and those of us who could brought our wedding dresses. My little girl tried it on during the “fashion show” portion of our meeting, and had lots of fun doing ti. The bad thing is that, even by then, the lining of my dress was full of moth holes . . . but I still hang on to it. My daughter is much taller and larger than I am and a totally different body shape, so she could never wear it for her own wedding (and it’s not her style at all!), but I’ll keep it till she gets married to see if she wants to incorporate some of the lace or trims into her own dress. I’m very sentimental, so I know the sentimental value is what’s keeping me from getting rid of the dress!

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    Stephanie says

    Mine was cut into my boys’ baptismal outfits. They each had their own (first baby was a premie and itty bitty) to do with what they want.
    I used the top beading section for a pillow for our master bed. It currently lives at my mom’s house though. Once our boys are older, we’ll bring it to our house.
    I had no interest in wearing or altering my mom’s wedding dress. My cousins and I all wanted to use part of my grandma’s dress. She had buttons down the back, and those were turned into earrings for each of us to wear at our wedding (and later).

    • 143.1
      Jenn says

      I love the idea of taking the dress apart and using it. My mother-in-law had her wedding dress made into a baptismal gown that each of her grandchildren have worn. THAT is truly a family heirloom.

      Love the earring idea, too!

  144. 144
    judith says

    Dump the dress! It makes you think bad thoughts: hot, stuffy, nearly killed you, paid all that money to have it boxed, taking up space under the bed. Your pictures and current memories are enough. Let your daughter be free to make her own memories.

  145. 145
    Rachel says

    I have been married for 8 years and I got rid of my dress last year. My dress was a last minute pick after the seamstress at the dress shop ruined my dress 3 weeks before my wedding, with so little time before the big day I had to choose something off the rack. I did not like anything I saw so I just went with the dress that my mom and the bridal consultant liked the best. Because I didn’t like my dress, after 5 years of marriage and my husband losing a large amount of weight we hired a photographer and had a trash the dress shoot. It was a blast! ….but it didn’t totally trash my dress so a few months later I found out a friend from church was hosting a princess tea party for her daughters birthday and I gave her the dress to alter into a dress up dress for her girls, I then gave her daughter my tiara as a birthday gift.
    I do not regret getting rid of my dress at all!

  146. 146
    Cindy Brooks says

    I let go of my wedding dress, but it was an easy decision because I also let go of the husband and have had an upgraded husband for almost 20 years 🙂 I donated it to our local high school drama department. They loved getting the dress and the veil for their costume closet!

  147. 147
    Amy says

    My dress has been in a basement closet now for 15 years and cannot imagine ever parting with it. I did not have it preserved, but did take special care to buy a large canvas garment bag for it to remain in.

  148. 148
    Jenn says

    Yes, I still have my dress. Like you, I sent it way to have it “preserved,” and I was amazed at the large size of the box it came back in! Like you, my first thought sixteen years ago was, “Where am I going to keep that?” Since then, I’ve moved it two two different apartments and two different homes — never once thinking of getting rid of it.

    Living in a fairly large house now, I can store this monstrosity in our guest room closet; however, it always irritates me just how much valuable storage space it takes up.

    I’m not sure I can ever part with it, and yet I’m not sure why in the world I’m keeping it! Do I REALLY think my daughter will wear it someday? No! It wouldn’t ever cross my mind to even ask her to wear it. I’m very curious to read posts from women who HAVE gotten rid of their dresses — mostly curious to see if they have any regrets.

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the topic of this post!

  149. 149
    Ashley says

    I’ve been married 5 years now and still have my dress. I hate storing it but I have a younger cousin that everyone calls my mini me and is my shape and size so there is a possibility of her wearing it in a few years!

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    Darla says

    I borrowed my dress from my best friend/MOH and she wore the dress I wore in her wedding. I guess the dresses were cursed since neither marriage lasted. She still has it, why I have no idea, they didn’t have any children. I do however have my parents wedding attire. We displayed her dress and his Navy uniform at their 50th Anniversary party and they have been boxed in my closet since 1999. When my daughter gets married, a portion of the lace will be added to her bouquet. That way she has a part of her MeMa & PaPa with her.

  151. 151
    Anne says

    Not hugely sentimental about many things; but have cleaned my dress, big boxed it and stored it for 28 years. Still happily married w two sons, so minimal chance of usage. Sort of like the ideas for incoporating into future family heirlooms. Interesting post!

  152. 152
    Kathy says

    Mine has been hanging in my guest bedroom closet for 29 years. I held on to it mainly for sentimental reasons and at the time it was the most expensive dress I had ever purchased. Well over the years I have spent more than the $500 on other dresses and I didn’t think twice about donating those,

    Mine was never preserved and it still looks hideously GREAT. The veil/hat and the arm ring for holding the train did turn colors. I soaked them in Oxyclean and the yellow disappeared. Over the years I had thought about taking it apart to make pillow, drapes, wreathes or baby blankets but I haven’t been able to take the scissors to it.

    Did I say it is hideous looking? We had no children and I have taking pictures of my niece when she was 2 playing dress up in the petty coat and hat with veil. I tried to sell at a garage sale…did I say it was hideous looking? No sale.

    One day I will reinvent it to something that is pretty and I use or see on a daily basis.

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    Erica says

    if you are getting rid of it…donate it to a group that makes berivement dresses for still-borns or babies that don’t survive the NICU. It will FORVER be a keepsake for serveral families.

  154. 154
    Debbie says

    I got married almost 9 years ago and I really wanted to rent my wedding dress so that I wouldn’t have the problem of what to do with it afterwards, but I couldn’t find a dress that I liked to rent. Ended up buying one for about $350 from a wedding dress store going out of business. It’s now sitting in a closet (not preserved) in my parents’ house, so out of sight, out of mind, I guess! I want to donate it, but it may be considered “too old” now…I wish I had done it early on! And I have 2 boys, so no reason to save it for future generations.

  155. 155
    Tracy @ says

    Yes, I have my wedding dress. I had it preserved similar to yours, and I keep it in a niche of my closet that does not fit clothes due to the closet organizer setup. I would not consider parting with it. There is so material that even if my girls decided not to wear it, they could have a veil made from it or use the applicas.

  156. 156
    Jeanne says

    Mine has been hanging in the closet for 28 years. No bag, no professional cleaning, no nothing. I’m surprised it hasn’t collapsed from dry rot by now.

    I could never in a million years imagine my daughter wearing it, but she MIGHT like a piece of it used for something on her wedding day. That is the only reason I haven’t donated it by now. Well, that and the fact that my husband is the sentimental one around here and would be appalled. 😉

  157. 157
    Maria says

    I designed and sewed my own wedding dress when I was just 19. We were too poor to have it properly cleaned after the wedding, but I stored it away in a zippered, plastic garment bag. We kept it 31 years. At some point our daughters used it to play dress up. While planning our oldest daughter’s wedding last year, she decided she wanted to wear my dress. We dug through the attic and finally found the dress dumped unceremoniously in an old cardboard box. I took a deep breath and plunged the whole thing in a bathtub full of cold water. After a long soak and a gentle wash, it came out beautifully. I redesigned and altered the dress for my daughter and she wore in in her November wedding. I blogged about this and other handmade elements on my blog,

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    Dedra Rainey says

    I made a Christening dress for my daughter and a suit for my sons. They are both so special!

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    Brennan's Mom says

    My first wedding, complete with puffy sleeved white wedding gown, ended in divorce… I did have the dress preserved but ended up donating it to GoodWill many years after the divorce (I tried to sell it, with no success). I do have regrets about giving it away, but only because it would have made an awesome Halloween costume – my niece wanted to go as a zombie bride…

    I made my second wedding dress and was insistent that I make it a dress I could wear any spring/summer day… So I did! We had a garden wedding (In our garden) but I’ve never worn it since and it sits in my closet. I will keep it because it’s very pretty and I could see using the fabric (it’s blue) for a daughter in law’s “something borrowed/blue” if my son marries (or something like that for any grandchildren)… My baby is only 5 tho’, so I’ve got a lot of years before that would happen.

  160. 160
    Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life says

    I still have mine. It is stored in a closet. I would like to store it in a box similar to yours, but just have never done it. I had my mom’s wedding dress for a long time, and when I went away to college, it got ruined by being improperly stored. She passed away when I was 8 and I was hoping to wear her veil or reuse part of her dress at my own wedding. I was devastated when I had to throw out her dress. I guess that is part of the reason I am holding onto mine, because I have so many regrets about my moms.

  161. 161
    Nicola says

    My sister had an amazing $5000 dress for her wedding and it fit me perfectly, so I wore it for mine a few years later. Afterwards I gave it to a Filipino immigrant worker that we know, who shipped it back home to be rented out as a princess dress for parades. It makes me happy knowing it helped her out financially and that I don’t have to store it. 🙂

  162. 162
    Ginny says

    1. Yes, I still have my wedding dress. Like you, I had it preserved. I will have been married 29 years at the end of May.

    2. It is stored in the preservation box on a shelf in our master closet. It isn’t in the way.

    3. Unlike you, my eldest daughter has said she would like to use part of it in her own wedding dress someday. The chances are excellent that we will have to hire someone to make her dress because finding a modest wedding dress these days is next to impossible, so being able to use part of my dress is appealing.

    Right now, I can’t imagine getting rid of my dress. It has deeply sentimental value, especially because my husband has incurable cancer and will probably not live more than a few years at most. Holding onto that piece of the past is important to me right now. If it turns out that Sarah does not use part of my dress, I will probably cut it up and repurpose it somehow, perhaps as a special dress for a granddaughter, pillows, or even just take the lace off and use it on a special project. It just occurred to me that I could even dye part of it and use it in a mother-of-the-bride dress. Since I sew, I can see these things happening.

  163. 163
    Becky L says

    I still have my wedding dress after 35 years. I finally took it out of the big box, like yours (except mine had a window in it after you open the lid…reminds me of a casket!) I took photos of it and now it’s in a dress bag that’s archival. It is in my closet. Not sure what to do with it. It’s one of the things that is hard to get rid of. Maybe daughter will get married and use it or never get married. It’s a memory from England, where I bought it and married in it. Sigh. Link above has my photos of wedding dress if you or anyone else it interested in seeing mine. My daughter’s friend was married in her grandmother’s dress, it was pretty, and so different than what women wear today. Nostalgia and saving money as well works. But fashions change as well. Do what you wish with your dress and don’t feel bad about it.

  164. 164
    Gwen says

    Kept it in a cedar closet for almost ten years. Finally got annoyed at the space it took up. Donated it over six years ago. No regrets whatsoever. I have great photos of our wedding in our album. The album is much smaller than the dress. 🙂 anytime it is an unuseful item that takes up storage space for sentimental reasons, I take pictures of it and send it on its way, and yes, I have two back ups at least of the photos. 🙂
    Got rid of the wedding crystal also and never looked back.
    When it is hard to let go of, I try to find someone that I know thati can bless with the items. Finally parting with the cute baby boy clothes after my fourth son outgrew them was easier to give them to a precious boy at church. Now I still get to see the cute outfits. 🙂

  165. 165
    Vynette Arnell says

    Ok, true confessions. I have my wedding dress from my first marriage stored under my bed, while I cheerfully donated my wedding dress from my second wedding years ago. The thing is that my grandmother handstitched this beautiful dress and even carried the fabric on her lap on a train from Las Vegas to Los Angeles where she could have it machine pleated, and then on the train back to her home in Las Vegas. My mother wore that dress on her wedding day and my whole life I wanted to be married in that dress. Neither of my daughters want to be married in it and so I continue to store it under my bed. I can’t bear to part with it.

  166. 166
    vikki says

    1.Do you still have your wedding dress and how long have you had it? Yes 13 years

    2.Where and how do you store it? First I used it as wall art for a few years, hung on a hanger on a hook on the bedroom wall. Then I put it in a space bag and sucked out all the air. Every now and again I pull it out, show the kids, air it.

    3.Why are you keeping it? Everyone says my daughters will want it, it was hand embroidered by me and published in a magazine so its special.

    4.If you parted ways with your dress, what did you do with it? donate it to the embroidery guild or to charity … I have dreamed about cutting it up and making it into handbags too 🙂

    5.Have you ever regretted getting rid of it? n/a

  167. 167
    elizabeth says

    I am donating mine this month. I have pictures. I have a video. I don’t have a daughter. I don’t need it. I hope someone who can’t afford an expensive dress can enjoy it and feel blessed.

  168. 168
    Alicia says

    I think I’ll be the odd one out on letting it go, but I also don’t have a daughter. I see a lot of great ideas from some of those I skimmed about using part of it, not a bad thought. I am divorced and mine has hung for about 7 years in the closet. I ended up throwing it in the washing machine after I never got around to having it preserved and listed it on craigslist once, but it’s still in there. Im having trouble donating it because Im afraid someone will not really use it. I have a friend who bought one at a thrift store once to use for a zombie parade. I guess it shouldn’t matter. 😛 Good luck!

  169. 169
    Leslie says

    I’m not sure what you’ve decided to do with your dress, but if you do want to donate it please consider contacting Heartline Ministries!

    I realize that most North Americans wouldn’t buy it, even if it is in great shape simply because of the style – but here in Haiti dresses like this are a HUGE hit. The bigger, and more ornate the better.

    Heartline Ministries has a fabulous ministry to Haitian women including maternal health care for pregnant women before and after they deliver through their maternity center, a literacy program and a sewing school and sewing program that allows the women to earn an income by making purses and jewelry. In the past they have requested used wedding dresses that ladies in the program can “rent” to give them affordable options. I don’t have direct contact info, but you can visit their website at of find them on facebook at Heartline Ministries – Haiti.

  170. 170
    Krissy F. says

    I have had mine hanging in the closet for 11 years. I think of altering it for our 15 year wedding anniversary…my husband has been deployed twice overseas with the army and am thinking of renewing our vows. I don’t know if you can alter yours? or take peices of it to create a new dress for your 20th anniversary?

  171. 171
    Tiffani says

    I loved mine too much to donate or give away. I’ve stored it under my bed in a bin and would love to use it for a baby quilt at some point or to have a daughter maybe some day use? It’s only been 6 years and I’ve got the space for it. I’d get rid of a lot of other stuff before I would get rid of the dress. I also thought it would be fun to wear at a vow renewal, assuming I lose the 15 pounds I would need to fit in it. But if you look back at your dress without fond memories (for almost killing you) I say find it a new home!

  172. 172
    Jill Fl says

    We came back to the house after our wedding, I changed out of my dress, hung it in the then empty coat closet and it’s been there ever since! In two weeks we’ll have been married 22 years! It was my mom’s dress and when I went to my grandma’s to look at it, she got it out of a black garbage bag in the basement!! So it’s held up pretty well after almost 50 years considering that it was never professionally cleaned or preserved!

  173. 173
    Brandy E. says

    Honestly, I tossed it. I cut out a square and took some trim off first so I can make my son a pocket square from it if he wants it for his own wedding. I don’t have a daughter so I guess it’s less of an issue? 🙂

  174. 174
    Pam says

    For 32 years my dress has been in storage. Every so often the girls, I have 3, would try it on. Even as teens the girls never fit into it so I knew they would never wear it. Two are now married and have bought their own beautiful dresses. As the something old they used a hand embroidered hankie my grandma made. I am not really attached to it and I know our thrift store says they go like hotcakes, but I have never given getting rid of it much thought.

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    Melissainkdesigns says

    I sold mine shortly after my wedding. I have photos of it from all angles, so I feel like it could be recreated, if my daughter so desired. We didn’t have the room and needed the money and it just didn’t make sense. I don’t know anyone who paid much attention to their dress post-wedding. There are short-lived moments where I wish I still had it. Overall, though, no regrets. My mom toted hers around for decades, finally to dump it off at Goodwill one day. I think getting rid of it rids you of a huge weight. My two cents.

  176. 176
    Sandi says

    I still have mine. I have a 2 1/2 yr old daughter and will keep it and if she doesnt want it then i plan to use it to make christianing gowns for her’s and her big brothers kids. If they dont want that then i will leave it in my hope chest

  177. 177
    Madison says

    I am keeping my wedding dress. It will be 5 years in August. I decided to pick a wedding dress that could be used for other occasions. It is a 1950’s style tea length dress, so the style is very versatile. I tied a black sash around the middle of it once and wore black pearls and wore it on a cruise ship for the fancy night. Currently I don’t fit into it and my Weight Watchers goal is to eventually fit into it again. I have no problem purging clutter and ect. but I allow myself this one. I feel like marriages are celebrated enough and anniversaries should always be a bigger deal than we make them because they are accomplishments and take a TON of work. I agree with all the other previous posts. Keep it and ask or pay some one you know to make a quilt, baby blanket, shadow box…ect. I love my moms wedding dress, it is yellowed a bit but I know it could be made into something gorgeous. If you want to donate it, go for it! Go with your gut, but maybe your frustration isn’t that it is under your bed but maybe that it should be displayed some where better.

  178. 178
    Christie says

    I also have my dress professionally cleaned and sealed in a box. It’s survived a flood and several moves. Just recently I realized that my only daughter will never be able to wear that dress because of size. I think I’ll hang on to it (stored in the cedar chest) and maybe part it out when my daughter gets married. I doubt I will ever be able to fit in that dress again…sigh… Glad to see I’m not the only one who has a boxed up wedding dress!

  179. 179
    Merit says

    Get rid of it. You have beautiful pictures of you in it, and it’s only a dress. The fact that your daughter is not interested even adds to the “get rid of” side. The spouse and family is more important than the dress, absolutely.

  180. 180
    Tamora says

    My husband and I will be celebrating our 15th Aniversary this year. I got rid of my dress two years ago. I donated it. And I don’t miss it at all. It was just hanging in my closet and when I cleaned out the closet, I just decided I didn’t want to store it any more. …Still have the husband though!

  181. 181
    Kendra says

    I’ve been married 25 years and intend to keep my dress forever. It is timeless (thanks to me not choosing a ridiculous headpiece), I loved it from the moment I saw it and I still do. And yes, I can still fit into it! 🙂 I have no children of my own and I certainly don’t expect our “borrowed” granddaughters to wear this, but every time I look at it it brings me joy. So that’s that.

  182. 182
    Adrienne says

    I say donate it. We’re celebrating 15 years next month, and my dress still hangs in a hall closet in the vinyl hanging bag it came in. A couple of times my children have looked at it, but I don’t have a great sentimental attachment to it and kind of forgotten about it. Your post has made me think about letting it live on with another bride. I bought it at a bridal resale shop, and I like the idea of it continuing to be useful rather than collecting dust in a closet. I didn’t have the heart to cut into the beautiful damask fabric for christening gowns, etc., and I don’t expect either of my daughters to care about it. I always say, “Memories take up the least amount of space!” and since your gown is memorialized in lots of pictures, who needs the real thing? Go for it.

  183. 183
    Rachel says

    My family is pretty unconventional, my mom got married in a mainly black and orange paisley mini dress in 1972 (which I wore a lot as a teenager!) and she still has. I got married in a red floral kimono 10 years ago and I still have it. One day, I’d like to have it framed and hung up in my bedroom but haven’t gotten around to it yet. It’s cotton and easy to store for now, though! If I were to get rid of it, I would probably scan the fabric or take a high resolution photo of the fabric to remember the print. I can’t imagine getting rid of it, though!

  184. 184
    Diane Berrett says

    You may think this answer is “too special and gaggy”. Having said that I’ll tell you I had a similar problem. Couldn’t decide what to do with the dress, and was too cheep to do what you did with it. My kids at one point wore it as a dress-up. No lie. For some strange reason it never did yellow. Anyway, at my daughters wedding who also did not fit my dress and didn’t want to wear it if it had fit, I got my grandmothers dress which has been specially saved. Took it out of the wrapper carefully and put it on display at a table with a picture of them on their wedding day. Also put my dress with a picture of us on our wedding day. (My mothers dress is long gone) Also I found out the mother of the groom also still had her dress so we added her dress and picture. It made a really nice display and we had quite a few comments on it. So anyway…Just to let you know I was finally glad I still had the dress!

  185. 185
    Robin says

    40 years AND FROM THE FIRST MARRIAGE. I thought the girls might wnt to wear it but no way I resides under the guest bed as I too had it preserved The second wedding dress not fancy hangs in that bedroom closet. Why isi it so hard to let them go I don’t know but there they are…

  186. 186
    G says

    I still have my wedding dress from 10 years ago, keeping it at hubby’s behest, mostly. Given various factors which I won’t detail, I will likely be able to make a decision regarding its ultimate disposition within, oh, 10 years or so, at which time our daughter will be 16. If she does not want it, and hopefully if she cannot fit into it because it’s just too darn big for her, it will be donated. I’ll never wear it again. I likewise wore it in an outdoor wedding, and it was downright miserable… besides the fact that the thing is white, too long, and not machine washable… it just doesn’t have a place in my life anymore. So, it sits in my daughter’s closet, waiting.

  187. 187
    Michelle says

    One of my nieces uses her wedding dress to take annual birthday photos of her daughters in, so on her daughter’s 1st birthday she took a photo of her wearing the wedding dress. She has done this each year of both of her daughters lives. It is a creative way to make use of the wedding dress as time goes by, and to make the dress mean something special to your kids too. The resulting photo album is a great time lapse of a child’s life.

  188. 188
    Amanda says

    I’m 16 and I know that my mom still has her wedding dress. I have no idea where she keeps it but I hope she keeps it until my wedding so I can take some part of it! Even if it’s just to make a ribbon to tie around a bouquet of flowers, I think it would be nice and I’m sure my mom would appreciate it. I’m happy she kept it because it’s so funny to see how times change!! Her’s is also lace and has puffy sleeves ahaha

  189. 189
    cheree says

    guilty: I have been married for a little over 10 years. My dress is hung in my closet in the original bag it came in…

  190. 190
    Angela says

    I loved reading everyone’s comments and thank you for opening up this discussion. I still have my wedding dress stored in a box under my bed after having it professionally cleaned so I could do SOMETHING with it but wasn’t sure what at the time – sell, keep for future daughters or what?
    It annoys me every time I think of it sitting there for years and years and potentially YEARS!
    After a few years I thought of selling it, but there wasn’t an easy way of doing it. Now I wouldn’t be able to sell it without taking it out of the box for a potential buyer to check and perhaps try on??? All too much hassle.
    I would love my daughter to use part of it one day but that wil be for her to decide and really it seems a bit silly to hold on to such a LARGE item for her to MAYBE use a little bit of it – even just enough for a ribbon as many people have suggested. If that is what you end up doing then you might as well just cut a piece out of it and store that!
    The reality is, its JUST a dress (albeit generally a very expensive one!) after all the hype and excitement of the big day dies down a little. I dont really NEED my dress to remind me of the occasion or for sentimentality – I have PLENTY of photos for that.
    Realising that generally a child wants to create or choose their own dress I think the DILEMMA that has stopped me doing anything other than storing at this point is as follows:
    * It has been too difficult to find an easy avenue to sell it
    * Although I would like to keep a piece of it perhaps for my daughter or to use in some other sentimental way, if I take a piece of it THEN what do I do with the rest of the dress? You cant sell or donate a dress which has pieces cut out of it! so then it would seem a waste.
    * The dress was expensive (as far a s normal dresses go, but certainly not as extravagantly priced as some dresses I know people are wearing) and I think the MONEY side comes into it – you know that thing you talk about?

    THE SOLUTION for me would be for someone to want to buy part of the dress to use for themselves, and then they could give me back any large pieces they dont need OR a charity who I could donate it to, who would then modify it to sell and I could then have my piece of it too.

    As this is an unlikely solution to find, I will probably end up trying to sell it and deal with the inconvenience of that! Because it is really just a thing, and I would NOT MISS IT one bit if it were GONE our of my life!

  191. 191
    Penny says

    I wore the same dress as my sister . I recently cut it up and made ” lovie” tag blankets for each of our kids to have 2 each. So our grandchildren will have small blankets made from our dress.

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    Angela says

    Actually, Having read all this has inspired me to try selling mine again and I have just posted it on an online site !!! Will see how it goes.

  193. 193
    Julie says

    I sold mine a couple years after our wedding. It was sold through an online secondhand wedding company and I used the money to buy an upright freezer:-). I did however keep my veil.

  194. 194
    Lei says

    Tree skirt… that’s what I’m thinking of doing with mine. My 4 girls have tried it on and taken photos but not really into the style of 30 years ago. I no longer have the room to store it but do need a new tree skirt!

  195. 195
    Samantha says

    oh my goodness – great questions!!! my answers and then i’m off to read what everyone else has to say :-)….

    Do you still have your wedding dress and how long have you had it? yes! still have it and this july it will have been 10 years since the day i walked down the aisle in it.

    Where and how do you store it? the dress is preserved, in a box much like yours, and stored away in a safe spot. currently it’s boxed away with all of our storage items.

    Why are you keeping it? i am keeping it for several reasons. i guess i always dreamed of having a little girl and maybe having her use an element of the dress in her own wedding dress. by no means am i hoping she will wear my dress. not at all. but i would love it if her “something old” is a piece of my dress added to her dress. it could even be a small piece of the dress sewn on the inside of her dress. however, if she wanted to wear it – that would make me happy too. but i would never ask her to or hope that she would. i may also be keeping it thinking one day my husband and i might renew our wedding vows. wishful thinking that i would still fit in the thing, but that’s a reason. and finally, i just love the dress so much. before i sell it to someone, i’d rather wait to see if the previous reasons end up panning out…and then i’ll sell it.

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    Lynda says

    I hung mine in my closet when I was married. After he “unmarried” me, it got boxed up. About 20 years later, a very wise friend was helping me pare down & we donated it to the American Cancer Society thrift shop. No regrets at all.

  197. 197
    Heather says

    If I were wearing a white dress, this is the dress I would go for. Don’t underestimate the power of “vintage” or “classic” looks on women who have no desire to be trendy!

    If you can donate it to a local charity that does wedding dress drives, do that. There’s one locally that does sell the dresses as a fund raiser, the dresses are really reasonably priced–most under $100, or about 90% off their original price in today’s market. But they also have a free section for really-out-of-style dresses, anything with damage that could need to be harvested for fabric, that sort of thing.

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    Linda :) says

    I had mine made into a christening gown that I hope that one day when I have grandchildren they will wear it..

  199. 199
    Ginny says

    I did the box preservation thing too. I’ve been married 15 and half years. It is stored somewhere at my parents house, & I totally forgot which room. I remember a few years ago freaking out because my parents moved it. Yet, I still can’t remember where I found it at, lol. I don’t think I could get rid of it, but no idea why really. I have a hard time parting with anything memory related, so I’m bad to take advice from, lol.

    I’ve been reading you for awhile, and in all honesty it seems silly for you to keep it. I think it is clear you are ok with parting with it, just from your post here. You have pictures of yourself in it already. I think I’m more horrified by your pictures being stored in the garage then anything else, lol (scrapbooker here)

  200. 200
    Beth says

    Thanks to your 52 week challenge, I pulled my wedding gown out of the closet when I tackled that project and I have been considering where it’s new home should be for a month now. It was preserved and boxed, gold box no less, and does not fit under a bed. I’ve been married for 18 years and love the gown. My kids like to look at it so I am inclined to hold onto it for a bit longer. And while I am not crafty in any way, I like the idea of using it, or pieces of it, in a quilt or such as other readers have suggested. So for now it will most likely end up in the basement until I decide to rearrange THAT space…

  201. 201
    Debbie D says

    Had mine 30 years this July…not preserved at all, have kept it in a footlocker in an acid free fabric bag inside locker. Daughter #1 didn’t use it and doubt daughter #2 will either…but our 16 year old just might….she LOVE vintage….and uggh my dress is vintage.

    But regardless I am keeping it…. my mom did not and I ALWAYS wished she had since I was maybe 8 or 9 yrs old.

  202. 202
    mare says

    If you have the space, keep it! I agree with other posters about how you daughter may want part of it some day. I plan on using my mom’s wedding dress when I get married in the next couple of years. Yes, it is from the 80’s, but can be altered and being “green” is all the rage anyway!

  203. 203
    KL says

    Yup, I stil have my dress. I got married over six years ago. My wedding dress is in an enormous box in the back of my closet.
    I am a little sentimental about my dress. I loved wearing it (though in hindsight, I wish I’d had more back/shoulder coverage) and still think it’s beautiful. On the other hand, it’s been sitting in a box for years, I highly doubt anyone else is going to want it, and we have lots of pictures of it. I also have my bouquet and my veil to remember our day.
    I think the only reason I still have the dress is that my mom bought it, and I’m afraid she’ll be upset if I get rid of it.

  204. 204
    Lynn says

    I have my dress (from 1984) AND my mother’s dress (from 1960). My Mom wouldn’t let me “change” her dress in any way, so I wasn’t able to wear it. I WILL let my daughter do so–to BOTH dresses, if she wants. . .Storage is not a problem for us because they are BOTH stored at my Dad’s house! 🙂

  205. 205
    Jennifer says

    Might sound a bit odd, but my suggestion is to donate it to charities that make tiny gowns for babies who pass away. There is an amazing foundation called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep that provides sweet memories for families that lose their little ones all too soon, and I can’t recall where I saw it on their site but I know there are charities that make gowns for these precious little ones. I would just google to find a charity nearby that offers that service.

    • 205.1
      VBarkley says

      Oh, that is a lovely idea. I am familiar with the charity – professional photographers donate their time to take photos of stillborn infants or terminally ill infants so families will have something to remember them by. Some people may think it morbid, until you visit their site and see how much healing this brings the family, to never forget that the little one was a part of their lives.

  206. 206
    Joanne says

    After 25 yrs of storing a similarly huge box, and no children to even give such a dress to, I asked my husband if he minded if I got rid of it. He didn’t care. Oddly, this was right before he deployed for a year to Afghanistan. I decided, for myself so I wouldn’t regret it, that I better wait till he came home safely before I got rid of it though. I finally dropped it off at the Salvation Army in the last year. Early 1980s called. They want their dress back.

  207. 207
    Jackie says

    This is actually a really timely topic for me. I got married 2 years ago and have been debating with my husband what to do with the dress. After returning from our destination wedding, the dress has hung on the door to my linen closet, taking up space, until about 6 weeks ago when I finally sent it to the dry cleaner to be cleaned and boxed up. I wanted to sell or donate the dress, but my husband felt weird about it. I don’t see myself wearing it again, and I doubt that if we have kids my daughter would want to wear it. I was ok with letting it go, but my husband thinks is symbolizes something for us. Since it seemed important to him, I am having it preserved, but I know the first time he complains about the giant box taking up room in our closet, I won’t think twice about giving it away.

  208. 208
    Linda says

    You’ve gotten many responses, but I’ll share mine anyway. I was a tiny thing when I got married (tall and thin), but felt huge. But… 30 years later when my daughter married, I made her wedding gown. I remade my wedding gown for my then 8 year old daughter to wear as flower girl, and used some of the left over pieces for the ring pillow and her flower basket. During her playtime after the wedding she tripped and the dress wasn’t repairable. But… it’s okay. I got married and my flower girl daughter got to enjoy wearing her mom’s wedding dress. I disposed of the rest of it without regret.

  209. 209
    JaynEryn says

    Do you still have your wedding dress and how long have you had it?

    Yes, I still have it and it’s been two years.

    Where and how do you store it?

    It’s preserved and in our bedroom closet.

    Why are you keeping it?

    Because it hasn’t sold on Kijiji. I ordered it from a picture that I absolutely loved, but unfortunately, the lady at the store wouldn’t order the size I wanted (for some reason she thought I would need a 10, and I’ve never worn anything above a 6), so we “compromised” and she ordered an 8. When it arrived, she said, “Oh, I guess we _could_ have ordered the 6. Even with altering it didn’t fit properly and I did not feel like myself on my wedding day. Everyone loved the dress except for me.

    Anyway, after reading all these posts, I’m thinking if it doesn’t sell, maybe I will make it into a quilt. I’d rather it be something useful. 🙂

  210. 210
    Ginny Gafford says

    I still have my wedding dres. I’ve had it for 5 years. My sister got married in February and we’ve both talked about taking our dresses to a place that buys them from us. They then sell the gently used dresses. We had a girlfrienf buyher wedding dress from there, as it was her second wedding and they didn’t want a big to do.
    My dress is hanging at my parents house, up in a closet and has been since we got married.
    I know my girls will want their own dresses and what’s the point in keeping my dress? I may only get $50 for my dress but i won’t have the pain of toting it around if we or my parents move again.

  211. 211
    Janet Jones says

    Since my mother made my wedding dress I refuse to get rid of it. I had a fabric scrap left and put it on my boquet. It’s in a small box and it’s something I will always keep.

  212. 212
    Kimberly says

    I am having my dress (which has also been boxed and under the bed for fifteen years) made into a wedding ring quilt with the material from the dress for the rings to give to my daughter on her wedding day.

  213. 213
    Lois Jones says

    I have my handmade wedding dress that is shortly going to be over forty three years old. My dress was made for me by an excellent seamstress that was also like a second mother to me. She told me to go find the dress I wanted and then she duplicated it for me. My daughter would not fit in it and I have three grandsons who will likely not want their intended to wear it either. So I have contemplated opening the sealed box but have not yet. I do like the idea of saving something from it for the future just because of the special lady who hand sewed every bead and attached beautiful hand made lace. Can you tell I am a little bit attached?

    However, I can give you another dilemma to ponder. I have the wedding portrait of my daughter who was divorced over fifteen years ago not. I can not display it. However, I do love the way she looks in it and remember fondly how happy she was at the time. What is a mother to do?

  214. 214
    Rhoda Fowler says

    My wedding is not in a shape for anyone to use but I would like to make keepsakes for something my granddaughters to be able to pin inside their gown so I will be there in a little way when they marry. Any suggestions?

  215. 215
    Karen Mc says

    I’ve still got my dress, 22 years, I promised myself that when the day came, and my daughter was ready to marry, that I’d offer, but our tastes are not the same, and there will be more beautiful dresses, that will catch her eye, she’s only 16, so I still have time to spend with my dress.

  216. 216
    Karen Mc says

    Forgot to mention that when the time comes I’ll donate my dress, someone out there can make wonderful memories too. It may be someones treasure, even though it’s no longer mine, but it was once, I’m widowed now so I’m glad I don’t have to send it away just yet 😉

  217. 217
    VBarkley says

    I’m reading all these stories, and I implore you, do not get rid of your wedding dresses! I’ve never been married (yet), and couldn’t have worn my mom’s dress if I wanted to (I’m 5 inches taller than her), but I love any and all things vintage, a hopeless romantic, and would love to take an heirloom dress from a family member or in-law and have something done with it so I could either wear it or use it creatively in some way. My mom came from a large, poor family, saved up for several years and was one of the few in her family to have a real wedding – everyone else just eloped. I remember as a kid asking her where her dress was; she told me so many people had borrowed it that it fell apart and she got rid of it. She’s suffering from dementia and in a nursing home now. A few months ago, I was going through some things of my grandmother’s, and I found a photo of one of my aunts who had died from leukemia before I was born – she was wearing my mom’s gown in the casket. Ummm, so now we know what really happened to my mom’s dress.

    Anyway, someone in your family may want it someday. It’s one of the few things you should save. 🙂

  218. 218
    Roxanne says

    My only daughter is getting married in June and although she bought a new Essence of Australia lace gown, she plans to wear my 1985 wedding dress as her “going away” dress at the end of the reception buy removing the puffed sleeves, modifying the neckline to a sweetheart and cutting it short. The bottom is ruffled organza so it will make a precious “party dress”. I’m honored that she will be wearing it on her wedding day and even more surprised that I was actually her size at one time since it zips right up! GREAT ideas to use the rest of the dress for a Christening gown! Thanks for sharing!

  219. 219
    Jeannie says

    I had my dress preserved after my wedding 28 years ago because I thought that’s what everyone did with a white dress (except my mom because hers was fuscia! And of course THAT wouldn’t yellow. She hung hers in the closet.) I didn’t do it thinking I would have a daughter some day who would want to wear it. I liked my dress because it was simple, inexpensive, and I picked it out myself. No one could go with me the day I found it — and it happened to be the first one I tried on. I thought, and still think, it was perfect and made me feel beautiful.

    It is a fairly big box (24×36 maybe) but I’ve always had room to store it. Over the years, each time I’ve moved, I take a peek at it through the blue cellophane window. It brings back small memories and feelings that I don’t think I’ve shared with anyone.

    I suppose if

  220. 220
    Jeannie says

    I had my dress preserved 28 years ago after my wedding because that’s what I thought everyone did with a white wedding dress (except my mom because hers was fuscia! And THAT would never yellow. Hers just hung in the closet.). I didn’t do it thinking that one day I would have a daughter who would want to wear it. I liked my dress because it was simple, inexpensive and I picked it out myself — No one could go with me the day I found it.

    The box is rather big (24×36 maybe) but I’ve always had room to store it. Over the years, each time I move I peek at it through the blue cellophane window and remember small things that I don’t think I’ve told anyone. I thought, and still think, it was perfect for me. It made me feel beautiful — for that one day.

    I suppose if I had divorced I wouldn’t have kept it. But seeing my husband carefully handle the box whenever we organize let’s me know it is special to him, too. And since I had boys, I knew the chances of their wives wanting to wear it were slim to none. Plus, I don’t know that I’d want to share it.

    However, as chance would have it, we have been raising someone else’s daughter for the last 12 years and she has expressed an interest in my dress. Maybe, just maybe, in the next five years or so I might be willing to loosen my grips and create new memories with something as silly as an old, clearance-rack prom dress that etched deep, secret feelings of love and beauty into a very average girl who remained a very average woman.

    As I said to my kids each day before school:

    Have a good day! Choose the right! Remember to smile!

  221. 222
    Cindy Baker says

    I say keep it! You will regret getting rid of it. I don’t have my wedding gown….my mom got rid of it years ago, when she was upset with me or something.(not sure what she did with it) I was crushed when I found out she got rid of it. It still bothers me to this day. (even though I’m now divorced!)
    But here’s what I wanted to share with you…I saw an idea in a wedding magazine once. Both the mother of the bride and the grandmother of the bride displayed their wedding gowns at the daughter’s wedding!! (on dress maker’s forms) With photos of the mom and grandma in their gowns nearby, it was such a sweet, touching, memorable display at a wedding! I wanted to do this at my daughter’s wedding, but, as stated above, I don’t have my dress.
    So consider keeping the dress….stand the box up in the back of a closet, up high on a closet shelf….I’m sure there is a spot for this precious keepsake!

  222. 223
    stacy says

    per my daughters request only age 12 right now I am keeping my wedding dress to be altered into whatever type wedding dress she wants when she is ready to get married. but on the other hand my sisters wedding dress I used to make a princess canopy bed for my daughter I also made a pillow out of the bodice. and a christening dress out of

  223. 224
    Hailey says

    I was married just four months ago and I have no intention of keeping my wedding dress. It’s gorgeous and it did its job beautifully on our wedding day, but I have no use for it anymore. Sure, it cost money and buying it was a wonderful bonding experience with my mom and my other female relatives, but I know that there are plenty of other women out there who can’t afford dresses like mine. That’s why, once things settle down (we are moving into our first house next week! :-D), I have every intention of donating it to a place like Brides Across America, a charity for military brides. I understand the sentimentality and the hesitation in giving up such a personal, expensive item, of course. But I didn’t touch my own mother’s wedding dress, and I have the sneaky suspicion that my own one-day daughters most likely won’t want to touch mine either.

  224. 225
    Pamarlo says

    I still have my dress preserved and next year it will be 30 years old. It is a 1980’s style dress with big poofy sleeves. I have thought about having someone update it for me. Of course my daughter said NO and she is not built like me but I have a couple of nieces that might be interested if it was updated. I went to my nephew’s wedding last month and his bride’s mother died when she was 11, so she made her lace dress tea length and did some other alterations to update it and she wore it to the rehearsal dinner. She also used lace on their bouquets. So I might do some things to it for some of the girls to use. Any ideas on updating the dress?

  225. 226
    Aly says

    I just got married at age 50 in April…finally. I have no children and won’t have any. My mother lent her wedding dress out and never got it back. She was heartbroken but I’m kind of glad to not have had to feel obligated to wear it. It was exciting shopping for mine and it’s gorgeous.

    So I’ve been looking for places to have the dress cleaned and preserved and it occurs to me that there may not be a reason to preserve it. I may just want to clean/sell it. Feedback?

  226. 227
    Carrie says

    I’ve had my dress hanging in the original garment bag from the bridal store for almost 17 years. I have a little sentimental feeling towards it but am scared that I will regret giving it to goodwill. I’ve wanted to toss it for years and I don’t have children to pass it along to. My solution for now is to get a space saver bag to compact it as small as possible.

  227. 228
    Alex Kelly says

    I got married 3 months ago and did not want to store the dress but wanted to make use out of it instead of donating. It was also quite cheap so not worth selling.

    I have been keeping the below blog as a record of everything I have made so I can remember what I did with it.

    I have also agreed with my Mum I will keep enough for a boy’s Christening outfit (We have a family girl’s outfit).

  228. 229
    ashley says

    hi, i love this blog post ! i am currently thinking of ideas for my dissertation and am thinking of basing it on the idea of throw away wedding fashion, your comments are all just fantastic to read !

  229. 230
    Linda says

    I don’t have the contact information, but I’ve heard of at least one organization that takes donated wedding dresses and makes burial gowns out of them for babies who were stillborn or died shortly after birth. I still have my gown after 30 years of marriage and have contemplated donating it to them.

  230. 231
    Scooter says

    After 17 years of marriage and closet renovation I decided to try to sell my dress. I had it dry cleaned/hermetically sealed and was disappointed to find a couple of metal looking spots on it. Took it to the dry cleaner who said it would cost $300 and pointed out some yellowing under the arms. I asked why this would happen if it was sealed and he said the chemicals used to clean wedding gowns can turn the fabric yellow. So I bit the bullet and decided to try washing it. It’s not a bit, billowy, puffy dress and we bought a new washer recently which is gentler on clothes so I bit the bullet. Sprayed some pre-wash on the spots and under the arms, with a tad of Clorox, and wah lah, perfectly clean! If I can’t sell the dress I’m going to donate it. I have no children and after so many years of the big box taking up space, which I don’t have now since we re-did the closet, and downsizing in other ways, I’m ready to part with it. It’s not serving any purpose by being in a box and I’d like someone to wear it for their own special day.

  231. 232
    Deb says

    Im married 37 years and I did part with my wedding dress. What I had done is I have three daughters and the first one got married two years ago. I asked each one if they would wear it and they said no and they tried it on. So what I decided to do is have it cut up and I had a friend make three ring bearer pillows, money bag,3 nose gades for the flowers and with the rest a christening outfit. This way each girl has something old to remember by. So I felt that it went to good use by giving each of my daughters apart of my wedding.

  232. 233
    Lorraine G Stewart says

    Hello ladies! My daughter Grace launched a business that transforms older, vintage wedding dresses into beautiful custom-designed keepsake gifts, family heirlooms and gifts for daughter- brides. you might want to check out

    She also has a service called StoreTheDress for those baby boomers who are perhaps downsizing and want to safely store their dress but are not quite ready to repurpose it..

    it may help those of you trying to let go of an item that has emotional value that seems to grow over time.. people love her work and literally cry with when they see how exquisitely she has transformed a dress that has been boxed and sitting on a shelf for years- so worth it !

  233. 234
    Elaine says

    I kept my dress that my Mother had made in 1971. Never sealed and it hung in a garment bag until a year ago when our youngest Daughter was getting married and wanted to wear it! Yellow and all! My Mother at age 91 altered it to fit her and it was beautiful. Styles do come around sometimes. The dress originally was simple so that helped. Our Daughter was married in Japan. Just her and our Son-In-Law. But I was able to see pictures! They were married in the church his parents were married in and she wore my dress. So sweet.

    • 234.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Wow that IS so sweet Elaine, thanks for sharing!

  234. 235
    Cindy Woolsey says

    I had my dress for 46 years. My husband passed away last Sept. and I”ve been cleaning house. I took my dress to a friend who is making pillows for my daughter and me and a bear for my granddaughter. We have pictures and this way can keep a little bit, but not the huge box. It was hard to do tho.

    • 235.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      This is such a lovely idea, thanks for sharing Cindy!


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