I loved getting married, it really was the happiest day of my life. The wedding dress was always a big part for me, but never THE main event of the wedding. I set myself a budget and I stuck to it when it came to buying the dress. I knew what my dream dress was, a Jenny Packham number I had seen a few months prior to going dress shopping, however the price tag was not ideal and I told myself that my budget was just that, a budget and something that needed to be stuck to. Our main money for the wedding went on the venue and the food and drink, after all we were asking our friends and family to fly all the way to Ibiza, the least we could do was feed and water them properly
So off I went on my merry way and bought a lovely Alfred Sung wedding dress, which I loved!………….I got married, the dress got filthy and then it stayed in its cover for months after the wedding.
Roll on a year and I decided that the dress needed an airing, and it deserved to have its own photo taken again! so I enlisted the help of Jon at S6 photography and a trash the dress shoot happened. The dress got even more dirty and was packed away in its cover for the 2nd time and there it stayed for another year!
2 years on from my wedding and the dress was still hung up in the spare room doing not very much! I would take it out occasionally, look at it and dream of being slim enough to get in it again. But what was I supposed to do with it?
I decided that it needed cleaning and after that I would decide its fate! So off it went to the cleaners to get sparkly new and mud free. The only thing is when it came back from the cleaners, although fresh and clean-looking, all the memories from the wedding day had gone. All the fake tan marks, the swimming pool marks, the mud from the trash the dress shoot had gone, and in doing so so had the memories. The dress suddenly had no sentimental value to me, by washing away the dirt so the emotion behind the dress had gone to.
I felt detached from it and it just didn’t feel like mine any more.
So there was the question again, what should I do with it?
Then one day I found myself reading Love my dress and a post about Oxfam and a project they were working on together and I had a lightbulb moment!
Lots of Charity shops take wedding dresses but Oxfam have a whole host fo specialist shops across the country that specialise just in wedding dresses…………and here my thoughts went to donating my dress to Oxfam instead of actually selling it, or storing it in the loft.
A few years ago Oxfam played a big part in my life, I used to volunteer in a shop every saturday when I lived in Nottingham, as well as that I was part of the Oxfam campagne group and went on marches for them, arranged charity stalls at local fairs and then put on large-scale charity events for Oxfam and it was here that my interest in event management started!…….so it seemed the obvious choice to donate my dress to such a worthy cause.
My charity work has taken a massive back seat since I moved to Sheffield and especially since I started working for my self, so I feel that donating my dress and letting the proceeds from it go to such a worthy cause has kind of made up for my charity slackness!
So a couple of weeks later, I took my dress out of it’s cover swished it about a bit and said good-bye to it. The next day Nik took it up to the York Store under my strict instructions and left it there, ready for another lucky bride to hopefully fall in love with it as much as I did.
- Fore more information go to: www.oxfam.org/weddings
So the moral of this story is…………
1) If you are thinking of keeping your wedding dress for posterity DON’T WASH IT! the memories are in the dirt!
2) If you can bear to part with it why not donate it to a worthy cause? just think not only will another bride get the joy you did out of wearing your dress, but Oxfam will benefit hugely from the money that will be made from it!
If you don’t fancy donating it, here are a few other ideas for you
Trash/Rock/Cherish/Love the dress Photo Shoot
Great idea and I think every woman should do this if possible. I did mine on my one year wedding anniversary. It was an amazing experience and I have some beautiful pictures of the dress now. So if you do get a chance please do one. Before my trash the dress shoot I had to loose half a stone just to get back in the dress, and even then it was a very snug fit!
There are many wedding sites that specialise in selling pre owned wedding dress. These sites will take your dress and sell it on to someone who wants to wear it, your dress gets worn once again and loved by another bride. Quite a romantic way of looking at it I guess. You could sell it independently, you could put it on EBay, you can sell it to a shop that sells per owned wedding dresses.
Saving it for your first Christening
Tradition states that you are meant to save your wedding dress to be made into a christening robe for your children…….well I’m not intending to get my children christened (sorry God) I don’t go to church, and neither me or Nik have been christened ourselves, so a little impossible. I will however be having a baby naming ceremony.
Saving it for you husbands funeral
Another tradition I have heard of is that you save your wedding dress, for your husband’s funeral, die it black and wear it on the day??
Put it on a frame and hang it on your wall
Now I kind of like this one! Making your wedding dress into art, this way it stays preserved but you get to see it. I’m not sure how much a frame that big would cost, but it sounds like a pretty cool idea, and maybe one I would consider
Put it on a mannequin.
Another nice idea, but maybe not so good in terms of keeping it clean. I can imagine that wedding dresses’ aren’t that easy to dust! And leaving in a corner of the house sounds like a dust rap waiting to happen
So what did you do with you wedding dress after the wedding? or what are you planning to do? Is it still hanging up in the wardrobe? have you stored it away? Are you planning a shoot with it? Or have you got something even more creative in mind? I would love to know your thoughts, you ideas and your plans. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Big Boho Love