What can I do with an old wedding gown?

I have my mothers old wedding gown. I can't bring myself to get rid of it because it meant a lot to her. What can I do with it? Is there someone I could take it to? It's to brittle/fragile to wear. Thanks in advance.
q what can i do with an old wedding gown
  71 answers
  • Yellow Barn Interiors Yellow Barn Interiors on Feb 28, 2017
    Thrift shops will take them.
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    • Yellow Barn Interiors Yellow Barn Interiors on Mar 01, 2017
      Yes, in fact you could add some other things in the shadowbox that relates to her grandmother's life and so it could be a framed shadowbox of her grandmother's history. She could just take a photo of someone (maybe herself) wearing it and put the photo in the shadowbox and that way she could pack the dress away if she doesn't want to cut it.
  • D D on Feb 28, 2017
    The deacon at my church had his mother's wedding gown made into beautiful vestments for the priest and deacon.
  • Harleybiggirl Harleybiggirl on Feb 28, 2017
    I can't believe you would even want to get rid of it. I would love to own my mother's wedding dress. Just keep it, as is, or find out how to preserve it.
  • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Feb 28, 2017
    I won't get rid of it just wanted to re-purpose it. Possibly something that I can leave to my granddaughter some day. I wonder if I could still try and preserve it somehow with how fragile it is. Then the question of who do I trust with it. One false move and it's gone.
    • 16999903 16999903 on Mar 21, 2017
      I would cut it up and make squares and lace decor and create a shabby chic blanket or decorative throw for a hand me down. I have my gown as well....my daughter didn't wear it, and I have two grandsons. It won't be used as a dress in my lifetime.

      There is also an organization that repurposes wedding gowns into sweet little burial gowns for still born babies or babies that fail to thrive early on. It's so touching to see them. It helps the parents by giving them something special to help put closure on the loss of their little one.

      Even make Christening gowns for infants.
  • Cathi Cathi on Feb 28, 2017
    What about making christening gowns for her great grandchildren? Frame some lace with a photo of her in the dress, maybe make handkerchiefs for the family members...or maybe someone will wear it one special day!
  • Nancy Nancy on Mar 01, 2017
    I am an antique dealer and I have done several wedding gown fashion shows with gowns dating from 1900-1960. Believe it or not, I have washed many a gown. I also worked in a museum (so don't try this yourself). If a dress is in poor physical condition, stains, large tears, I take it apart. Often, there is a lot of beautiful, salvageable fabric available for sewing projects. I have made seven christening gowns, wedding pillows and flower girl dresses from several donated wedding gowns. If the gown was never cleaned and stored properly right after the wedding ceremony, most likely it has absorbed nicotine smoke. One woman gave me a wedding gown made of Valencienne lace from her first marriage in 1946 that she kept in a grocery bag in her closet. Well actually her SECOND husband gave it to me. He hated the fact that she kept it for 60 years. I washed it, steamed and ironed it and put it on a mannequin in a wedding display with forty other gowns. When I can only salvage a small bit of fabric, I make lace christening bonnets or wedding handkerchiefs. I once made 15 pairs of wedding garters from a 1930's satin gown. They were saved for the future weddings of fifteen great-granddaughters. The point of all this. Your mother looks so lovely in that dress, make something from the fabric and cherish it. Even if its just a simple bridal collage with her fabric as a backing, her wedding invitation and that beautiful photo. Thrift shops don't usually take in fragile, unwearable dresses.
    • See 3 previous
    • Deborah W Deborah W on Jul 13, 2019

      I too have a wedding dress from the 80's and live in Georgia! If you or someone else could use it, please contact me!

  • Charly Charly on Mar 01, 2017
    I agree with Nancy from Detroit. There are so many things you can make from the fabric of the dress. My sister-in-law made curtains for her bedroom window. She cut her veil down and made her two daughters veils for their First Communion. The tiara from the veil was used by her daughters when they got married. Please don't just toss it aside. The items you can make from that dress will gift a lot of ladies and the memories alone will last a lifetime.
    • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 01, 2017
      That dress isn't going anywhere. I would like to recycle it, I just didn't know what I could make with it and still keep the integrity of the where it came from. Thanks so much for your thoughts.
  • Kat Kat on Mar 01, 2017
    what a gorgeous dress!! yes, preserve and use it somehow. if you quilt or sew, how about taking the lacy layers and make bedskirt for daughter/grandaughter, lacy pillow sham, make a memory box/picture (lace, flowers, invitation etc), use lace for a scrapbook (remember some years ago when everyone was making fabric covered scrapbooks/picture albums?), bible cover, pillows, southern wide brimmed hats, cover lampshades, attach lace to material for a tablecloth for special occasions, curtains, edging on blankets........
  • Diana Clabaugh Diana Clabaugh on Mar 01, 2017
    People have made teddy bears out of wedding dresses to keep as memories.

  • Bernice Grace Bernice Grace on Mar 01, 2017
    You could contact nicuhelpinghands.org and donate the dress to . They take the dress to be made into burial gowns for infant that have died. That make beautiful gowns using the material, beads and lace. They give these to the parent.
    • Erin Jones Erin Jones on Mar 06, 2017
      This was going to be my suggestion as well. It would be very special to a family that has suffered such a loss.
  • Felice Birdsall Felice Birdsall on Mar 01, 2017
    You could make it into a baptism dress. Made one for my kids and my grandkids have used it. Will admit that I was a wreck taking a scissor to the material. You can use "stitch-witchery" to adhere any embellishments, like lace flowers, to the dress.
  • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 01, 2017
    What great ideas. Thanks so much.
  • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 01, 2017
    Thanks Janet. Got some good ideas.
  • Mo Gray Mo Gray on Mar 01, 2017
    From my gown, I made a "Treasure Bag" for each of my two granddaughters. They get their treasure bags each Christmas, Easter, and birthday--completely redecorated and filled with little "treasures", including dollar coins tucked into each pocket. As they get older, the little gifts can get more special. Big Sister just got her ears pierced, and she loved getting her first dangle earrings in her Treasure Bag! Each time I redecorate the bags, I save their decorations in a sandwich bag, labeled with the year and event. Plus, I take a photo of them to help me remember what I've put in them. I don't get to be with them very often, and this has been a special way I can connect with them and pray for them as I spend time putting their bags together.
  • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 02, 2017
    What a great idea.
  • Ms.18420290 Ms.18420290 on Mar 02, 2017
    I made ring bearer pillows for several family weddings
  • Jer14389674 Jer14389674 on Mar 02, 2017
    My daughter made bed dolls for her daughters, with hers. Dresses and bonnets. Used the same cloth dolls as used for pillowcase dolls.
  • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 02, 2017
    That's an idea. Thanks.
  • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 02, 2017
    I love that idea. Could make one for my granddaughter when she gets married some day. Thank you so much.
  • Kate Sullivan Kate Sullivan on Mar 02, 2017
    Use parts of it to make sentimental Christmas ornaments or pillows. Enlarge and frame your sweet mother's wedding photo, using the fabric as matting. Make a shadow box, adding swatches of the prettiest parts of the fabric. Take the gown to a conservator to frame using acid-free products... a beautiful decoration for little girl's bedroom.
  • Arlie Murphy Arlie Murphy on Mar 02, 2017
    I used lace from mine to make garters for my daughters when they got married.
  • Reblcant Reblcant on Mar 02, 2017
    Since you have a granddaughter, why don't you make a garter and a purse for her wedding day? make something like a scarf or shawl for your daughter. As you keep saying to people, you don't want to give it away you want to repurpose it.
  • Dawn Dawn on Mar 02, 2017
    Maybe you could take a piece of the gown and add it to their own gown for their own weddings? I like the idea of making a purse out of the gown. I can't do that with mine. It's purple! And I'm not haging children to pass it on.
  • Me Me on Mar 02, 2017
    Really? It's beautiful. Donate it for another person to use.
    • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 03, 2017
      Sadly it's in no condition to be worn. Got fragile over the years from poor preservation. Don't want to get rid of it as it's my moms and she passed in 2015. Thanks.
  • Judy Judy on Mar 02, 2017
    Good evening, there are lots of programs that ask for wedding gowns, especially for service ladies, who can't afford one. They want one, to wear, before their hubby is transferred away at sea., or they go to serve our country. Look in your yellow pages, and look under used clothing, or ask where groups are, that gives clothes to service folks, before they leave on a trip. You may also ask tv stations for they know who to give the clothes to. Especially the call in programs, or noon time programs. This is a lovely program, and you will be deeply blessed, by blessing another person, also. Lots of best wishes, always.
    • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 03, 2017
      Unfortunately the gown is in rough shape and can't be used that way. Thanks for the suggestions. Have a great weekend.
  • Cnd16659309 Cnd16659309 on Mar 02, 2017
    We have a group of ladies called Warm Hearts, Warm Babies who sew newborn baby items for moms who do not have any baby clothes. One item they make is from wedding dresses. It is a burial gown for newborns who do not survive.

  • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 03, 2017
    That is one amazing group. I will keep this as an option. My mother loved babies so I will keep that in mind. Thank you for sharing that.
  • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 03, 2017
    I don't have a daughter but I do have a granddaughter and that is an option. Thanks.
  • Michele Vargo Michele Vargo on Mar 03, 2017
    Great idea. Thanks.
  • Judy Judy on Mar 03, 2017
    Since the gown is in rough shape, you may consider having a seamstress, or a friend,  and have her do some sewing. This may be for a smaller person, or make a wedding dress for a doll, or a small image, for yourself, just to keep, or give to a needy ill child, in a hosp. All these ideas, would be worth the consideration. Best wishes, Judy. Michele, I wish you the very best, in this matter, for a wedding gown is so precious, for this truly is a example of important times in your mom's and dad's life. Or, perhaps a small doll, or a image in a store front, could be made from this example. Thinking of you, and do let us know the final result, ok?
  • Rei11256847 Rei11256847 on Mar 03, 2017
    I took my wedding dress train off and made Christening gowns for my children. Is there enough of the lace in good shape to do something on a small scale like that?
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    • Cathy Cathy on Mar 03, 2017
      There is an organization that makes burial dresses for stillborn babies, or babies that are born too soon. They use appropriate parts of the dress. What a sweet sentiment for a loved garment.
  • Aleta Hebner Aleta Hebner on Mar 03, 2017
    I used pieces of mine to wrap my daughters wedding bouquet!