Your wedding is now a beautiful memory. The wedding gifts are put to use, thank you cards mailed, and you and your spouse are diving into married life. What are you going to do with your wedding dress? Keep it hanging in your closet indefinitely? Depending on the style of dress, we may be talking about quite a bit of closet space.
Statistically speaking, few brides wear their mom’s wedding dress, but given the average cost of weddings, wearing a pre-owned gown is gaining acceptance. Why not consider donating your gown? There are a large number of charitable organizations that make good use of pre-worn gowns.
Brides Across America
So far, approximately 14,000 gowns have been donated to this organization targeting military brides. Can you imagine trying to plan a wedding while on deployment far from home? Or trying to plan a wedding with a loved one half a world away?
Check their website (BridesAcrossAmerica.com) for additional information about donating. Complete the questionnaire provided and submit; once reviewed, you’ll be notified about your donation (inventory needs vary from time to time, with some sizes fully stocked); instructions are included on how to pack and ship your gown. A tax-deductible receipt will be provided.
To keep the inventory of available gowns trendy, donated gowns must be current within the last five years. All sizes are welcome. Bridal salons around the country participate twice a year in hosting events for military brides.
On average, 2,000 military brides per year have benefited from this organization. Brides Across America also accepts veils and other bridal accessories with the exception of undergarments, including slips. What a unique way to honor our military service women.
Brides Against Breast Cancer
This non-profit organization sells donated gowns; the proceeds are then shared among cancer-related charities. Their website (BridesAgainstBreastCancer.org) indicated that the organization recently restructured from its home base in Atlanta, Georgia under new management.
Angel Gown Program
The Angel Gown Program transforms wedding dresses into burial gowns for babies who never get to leave the hospital after birth. Fifteen burial gowns can typically be created from one wedding gown. All of these gowns are handmade by teams of volunteers and are shipped nationwide. Gowns must be cleaned before donation.
Visit their website (NICUHelpingHands.org) for more information on donating to this special service organization. Having a beautiful gown for a child to wear is a blessing at a time of unimaginable sorrow.
The current dilemma facing the Angel Gown Program is not a lack of available dresses, but the cost of shipping. In most cases, parents have little time to plan funeral services for their child. Getting the gowns shipped for fast delivery is a priority. Information on monetary donations is included on their website.
A number of donation options are highlighted on the DonateMyWeddingDress.org website. Options range from regionally specific charities, disease/condition specific, economic circumstances, and more.
Rather than storing a gown with the idea that maybe, in the distant future, a daughter might want to wear it, donate your gown to help someone else. It will become their special dress and a lifetime memory. Consider this one of the ultimate pay-it-forwards!