Goodbye to the wedding dresses

wedding dress

“What should I do with my old wedding dress?”

One of my friends reached out and shared that she was ready to do something with her old wedding dress. She didn’t want to keep it anymore, and she wasn’t sure if it was worth trying to sell it. “You’re good with money — do you think it’s worth anything?”

I wasn’t sure. The first thought that popped into my head was that I’ve seen wedding dresses hanging in our local Goodwill store priced at $30-$40. We often donate clothes and household items to Goodwill, but I wasn’t sure if my friend would want to walk into our local store and see her beautiful gown hanging there.

I wasn’t sure I’d want that fate for my dress either. But what do you do with an old wedding dress? My own wedding dress had also been hanging in the back of my closet for years.

As our conversation continued, I wondered if I shouldn’t do something with my dress too. But what?

Then, I had an idea. One of my friends from high school is a professional photographer, and she donates a portion of her time to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, which provides memorial photography to families who have suffered the loss of a baby. Through what she’s shared with me, I knew that the stillborn babies are often dressed in beautiful white burial gowns. Volunteers sew the gowns, and they use donated wedding dresses as the fabric to create their gowns.

I shared this with my friend, and she immediately said, “That’s it. That’s what I want to do with my wedding dress.”

While I hadn’t given much thought to my own wedding dress prior to this conversation, I suddenly knew that I too was ready to let go of my own wedding dress and donate it for the same purpose. 

I reached out to my photographer friend. She put me in touch with one of the volunteers who sews the dresses, and I made arrangements to drop the dresses off at the seamstress’s home. 

A few days later, my friend brought her wedding dress over in a large box. I took my dress out of the closet and opened the garment bag it was hanging in. We set them on the couch in my living room for one last look.



We looked at each others’ dresses for the first time since we attended each other’s weddings. We admired how beautiful the dresses were.

And then, we let them go. 




  1. Angela says

    I would like to donate my dress for the same purpose. Would you be able to send me the name/number of the seamstress?
    I live in McHenry.
    Thanks so much!

  2. hammars says

    My friend had hers made in baptismal dresses for her twin granddaughters. Done by a local seamstress. Another great idea!

  3. Kat says

    I love this idea, Jill. This article made me wish that I still had my wedding dress to donate. I might have a communion dress that I will see if I can talk my daughter into donating after the big day.

  4. Betsy says

    I have a dress my mother wore and I wore and I would love to donate it to a good cause. Can you email me the name etc. of the seamstress also.

  5. Wendy says

    It is a custom in Italy to take the Mother’s wedding dress and re-make it into a first communion dress for her daughter. This is, of course, for Catholics.

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