The Recycled Bride

Have you ever thought of selling your wedding dress? For some, the mere thought actually gives them heart palpitations, but for others, the day is done and the attachment is gone: why not make some money by selling the gown? Currently, there are a few sites that specialize in selling your dress for you and for many brides at up to 70% of what you paid!

Typically, according to, most gowns will resell for at least half of the original price of the gown.  Depending on condition and ability to alter or change to perfectly fit the new owner, these gowns are a great way to make some money after your big day and also a way for new brides to have a dress that may have previously been out of their price range when it was brand new. For eco- friendly brides, there is also a large recycling sentiment to buying a used dress.  Some even consider it their something new and something old.

Junko Yoshioka Estee

We have read all over some of the things modern brides are doing when they sell their gowns.  For some, it comes down to recouping some of the expense of their dream wedding, while for others, it is a way to clean house and treat themselves to something new they can actually wear again.  One bride we spoke to decided to sell her Vera Wang gown and buy a gorgeous piece of jewelry to commemorate the day.  Every time she wears it (everyday!) she thinks of all the wonderful memories her marriage has brought to her life. The trend continues with brides gifting their grooms with luxe watches with beautiful inscriptions and in other ways like treating yourself to a surprise anniversary trip to mark a year of marriage.

Vera Wang Eliza

Many brides are still unsettled about whether they could actually part with their gown. We are totally on the fence! On one hand,  there is nothing more romantic and traditional than saving your dress for your daughter’s wedding or being able to hang it beautifully in your closet to see amongst your other clothes as a reminder of your personal style and the most fabulous dress you might own. To the contrary, we kind of love the modern idea of using the dress as a catalyst for something new in your married life. Either way, the dress will always live on forever in your wedding photographs and can we seen at anytime just by glancing through your albums.

Preserving Your Wedding Gown

Perhaps the most exciting and anticipated detail of the wedding planning is selecting your dream wedding dress, but what happens after its moment in the spotlight? Don’t neglect your beautiful gown after your nuptials are through. Instead, consider having the dress preserved so it can be enjoyed for years to come.

What is dress preservation?

Specialists meticulously clean your garment, ridding it of any stains from the wedding day, and then carefully package it to ensure that it doesn’t yellow over time or get damaged in any way. After assessing the gown’s specific details, including materials used, decorative embellishments, and stains, a cleaning specialist will determine a specific cleaning method for the gown. The dress is then wrapped in safe materials—typically acid-free tissue paper or unbleached muslin—and placed inside a sealed box.

Why should you preserve your dress?

Not only did you spend major bucks on your wedding gown, it also carries the significance of your special day. By preserving a gown, you eliminate the threat of it becoming yellow, permanently stained, wrinkled, or misshapen. A preserved wedding gown can also be used later in life, whether for a vow renewal ceremony or for your own daughter’s nuptials.

When should you preserve your dress?

Professionals recommend that you have the dress cleaned and preserved as soon as possible after the wedding. This will ensure that stains are treated quickly and efficiently before having time to set and that the dress will not face the chance of becoming ruined or damaged in any way.

Who should preserve your dress?

To guarantee that your dress is handled professionally, make sure you select a specialist in wedding gown preservation. While many dry cleaners will boast wedding gown cleaning services, not all of them are created equally. Speak to a salesperson at the boutique where you purchased your dress and find a recommendation, or scour the internet for reviews on local vendors.

How much does it cost?

Prices may vary depending on a number of factors, such as intensity or number of stains, dress fabric, and city of the cleaners, but on average, you can expect to pay between $200-400 to have dresses cleaned and boxed.

Are there any alternatives?

If you don’t want to foot the bill to have your gown professionally preserved, or you simply don’t care about keeping it, there are a few alternative options. For starters, you can try to package the dress yourself by wrapping it in a white sheet and storing it in a sturdy box. Some brides opt for a “trash the dress” ritual where gowns are destroyed after the wedding (either by fire, water, or simply rolling in the mud) and the affair is captured on film. Lastly, if you want to actually use your wedding gown again, why not have it dyed and shortened into a cocktail dress. Many wedding boutiques and designers offer this as a service who want to re-purpose their gowns.