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What do I do with my wedding dress?

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By: Patrice Marrero

The perfect wedding dress can take up a huge chunk of your wedding budget. You don.t want to wear it just once, and let it sit for eternity, taking up precious closet space. The route you take may depend upon how sentimental you are, as some will leave your gown in less than perfect condition. Here.s a few things you can do with your dress after your wedding.

Have a "Trash the Dress" Photography Shoot
A few years back, a new trend in wedding photography provided internet buzz for millions of blushing brides. Photographers love to shoot these fun and whimsical "Trash the Dress" shoots. The simple gist is that a former bride wears her wedding dress to do things like boogie board in the ocean, or hop on a four-wheeler and drive through the mud. You can get some entertaining shots and put them together as an anniversary gift for your first anniversary. It should be noted that you could cause irrevocable damage to your dress participating in one of these types of shoots. Sometimes, you can still get the wedding gown professionally cleaned, and it will come back to you good as new.

Professionally Clean Your Wedding Dress to Hand Down or Sell
After your big day, you will probably find stains that stick out against the bright white of your dress. Depending on your venue, you may even have a layer of dirt along the hem. While there is always the option to bring your dress to the normal dry cleaners, you may want to consider using a company that specializes in restoring and preserving wedding dresses. My cousin took her Vera Wang dress to her neighborhood dry cleaner. It came back blue.

It may cost a little bit more, but that will not happen with a company that specializes in special occasion dress preservation. These companies know exactly how to get your wedding dress back in tip-top shape, whether your gown is made of silk, lace or satin. You will get your dress returned to you in a special box, to keep it safe from dust, sun and other environmental factors. You can then either sell your like-new dress, or keep it in hopes your daughter may wear it someday.

Repurpose Your Wedding Gown
If you are not set on keeping your dress in one piece, there are many ways to get more use out of your gorgeous wedding dress. If you plan on starting a family, you can use the fabric to create a sentimental christening gown. Each child in your family can wear it, and then it can be passed down as an heirloom to your grandchildren.

If your dress is just too perfect to never wear again, consider dying it! Pick the color you look best in, and get that dress ready for your next black tie event. If it's a little too poufy to wear in public (as a non-bride), talk to a seamstress about removing some of the fabric. If you just don't have room for your entire wedding gown in your closet, but you'd like to keep it for sentimental value, consider using the fabric to make a veil. It will be easy to store, and you can give it to a special person, such as your daughter, niece, or a close friend, later in life. Figuring out what to do with your wedding dress can be tough. If you're stuck, consider donating your gown to charity. There are so many women who can't afford to purchase a brand new dress. If one of them finds your stunning dress the next time they go to the thrift shop, you could make their wedding so much more memorable.