Five Smart things to do with your Wedding Dress after the Big Day


The cake is cut, the bouquet has been thrown, the band has packed up and guests have drifted off home. No doubt every aspect of your wedding was planned down to the last detail but have you worked out what to do with your dress?


While many brides understandably want to keep the dress as a reminder of their special day, there are some alternative creative and thoughtful ideas out there for those who want to honour the memory of their wedding in other ways.


Whatever you decide, the one thing that you mustn’t do is to leave your dress languishing for years in plastic on a hanger at the back of your wardrobe.


Here are five smart things to do with this precious item after the big day.

1. Clean and preserve it

Whether you get married on a beach or in a barn, it’s quite likely that you’ll put the dress through its paces on the big day, and even if there are no obvious signs of damage or staining it is advisable to have it professionally cleaned after the event.

Marks that are left to ‘set-in’ can be almost impossible to remove at a later date. Once cleaned your dress should be enveloped in acid free paper and stored in a preservation box to prevent yellowing and the damage that can be caused by exposure to dust and light.

You should also avoid storing it in places that experience extremes of temperature, like your attic or basement, as this may encourage mildew to form.


Click here for more details on our wedding dress cleaning and preservation service


2. Trash it

‘Trashing’ the dress is a fast growing trend that involves having a post wedding photo shoot during which you wreck your wedding dress in spectacular style. This is a great way to have some fun and make some more memories of your wedding.


Some brides choose do it on the day, for the enjoyment of all their guests, and then they can relax for the rest of the celebrations and not worry about messing up the dress. It may be that you’re not ready to do that straight away, but you could wait until your first anniversary to ‘trash the dress’. It’s certainly a good reason to have a party.


Here are just some ideas for ways to ‘trash the dress’: in the surf at your beach wedding, paint balling, quad biking through muddy puddles, an underwater photo shoot, horse riding, jumping in the swimming pool or into the river, a food fight… the sky’s the limit and you could even get your bridesmaids and the groom involved.


3. Repurpose it

Repurposing or upcycling in general is becoming increasingly fashionable these days, but people have been converting their wedding dresses for generations. It’s a great way to hold on to a part of something so treasured and symbolic of one of the most important days of your life, without giving over too much storage space.


And let’s face it fashion moves on and, just as you wouldn’t want to get married in your mother’s 1980s Lady Di inspired affair, the dress that you got married in is unlikely to be what your daughter would choose for her wedding. However, a lovely way to keep the dress in the family and use for the next generation is to have it made into a christening gown or blessing dress for your own children and grandchildren.


Here are just a few of the things that brides have made from wedding dresses: lingerie, occasion dresses, cushion covers, photo album covers, christmas tree skirts, quilts and whatever else you can dream up.


4. Sell it

According to figures from wedding planning website Bridebook, the average wedding in the UK costs around £27,000. These figures are based on 20,000 nuptuals celebrated in 2016 and, after catering, the second most expensive item in the budget is the dress. This figure doesn’t include the honeymoon and if you live in London or the South-east you should budget for another £10,000 on top of this.


It’s no surprise then that more and more brides are choosing to sell their dresses in order to recoup some cash. If you decide to go this route you are not only giving another bride the chance to wear your stunning dress, that might otherwise rarely ever see the light of day, but you’re also helping to offset the cost of that glorious honeymoon.


5. Donate it

Of course you could also donate the money you get for your dress to a favourite charity or check out Brides do Good who will sell your dress for you and put the proceeds towards working with the United Nations in their international campaign to end child marriage.


Another meaningful avenue for donation is to give your dress to be remade as funeral clothes for Angel babies, who were either still-born or died shortly after birth. There are various non-profit organisations who work to ease the pain and bring a little comfort to parents and families during this time of heartbreak.