Well Worn

Give your gown new life after your wedding day. Written by Angela Flynn

Once you’ve said “I do,” what do you do with your wedding dress after the big day? From donating to repurposing, there are countless ways to honor those glamorous gowns after the wedding.


There are several options for dress donation. Locally, there’s The Brides Project, a non-profit organization based in Ann Arbor. They accept wedding gown donations, as well as veils, shoes, belts, and other accessories. Simply fill out their form online and either ship the dress to their shop or drop it off (they recommend calling ahead before dropping off items). The donation is tax deductible and gives other brides the opportunity to buy the dress of their dreams at an affordable price. Additionally, all purchases benefit the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. “Everybody wins with this,” says Jan Romans, director of The Brides Project. “The bride that donates wins because she’s doing a great thing, the bride that buys wins because she gets a great deal and a great dress, and of course the cancer patients win, and that’s who we really want to help.”




Make some fast cash by selling your dress via consignment shops. Once Again Bridal Shop in Clinton Township offers brides an opportunity to pocket some cash after their big day. “If you enjoyed your dress that much, somebody else would like to enjoy it as well, at a little bit of a lesser price,” says storeowner Patricia Mok. “You also can recover some of your money that you spent on just the dress.” The shop accepts dresses three years old or newer and will determine the reselling cost. Once it sells, they send the bride a check for 50 percent of the selling price. As a bonus, they also sell accessories, bridesmaid dresses, and mother-of-the bride dresses on consignment.



Not sure what to do with your dress? Or perhaps you’d like to keep it as an heirloom to pass down to a family member? If so, having the dress professionally cleaned and preserved is an ideal option to ensure its longevity. Janet Davis Cleaners in Royal Oak is one local dry cleaner that can carefully pack away your dress until it’s ready to be worn again.




Sure, there might not be another reason to wear a full bridal gown after the wedding is over, but those yards of satin and lace can be transformed into a new garment. Companies like Unbox the Dress can stitch dresses into keepsake robes, pillows, ornaments, and more.