5 things to do with your wedding dress AFTER your big day

You agonised over options and shelled out a month’s (ok, two months’) wages for it. But what should you do with your dress after the wedding? Nicola Love has some ideas…

I recently stumbled across my wedding dress in my spare room cupboard. The garment bag was shoved to the back, next to some old Christmas decorations and 100ft of hessian I swore I needed for my big day but really didn’t.

Given the impact of the dress (namely on my bank account), it felt like a bit of a waste, which got me thinking “ after the wedding, what should you do with your dress?

your wedding dress after

IMAGE: Tracy Gow Photography

1. Clean it

Unless you’re going to trash it, the first stop for your dress should be the cleaners. My gown was stained from champagne my husband had spilled on me about two seconds after we said ˜I do’.

Johnsons Cleaners offer a specialised bridal service which returns your dress carefully wrapped and presented in a beautiful ivory box, which will preserve your squeaky clean dress in the years to come.

2. Keep it

When your dress is looking new again, holding onto it is a valid option “ and the route most brides seem to go down.

While you probably won’t ever wear it again, it’s one of the most sentimental pieces of clothing you’ll ever own. If you’re going to hang on to your dress, instead of leaving it to gather dust, look into framing it.

Your wedding dress was a work of art, so it might as well be treated as such.

IMAGE: Emma Gray Photography

3. Pass it on

You’re not going to wear your wedding dress again, but someone else might.

Charity shops welcome wedding dress donations and even host special events geared towards brides-to-be. One branch of Oxfam in Clarkston,Glasgow, is entirely dedicated to making wedding attire accessible for those whose budget won’t stretch to a bridal boutique.

Alternatively, if you want to make some cash back, look at selling on second-hand wedding dress sites.

IMAGE: Emma Lawson Photography

4. Craft it

If you don’t have the space to hang onto your dress but don’t have the heart to give it away, look at having it turned into something else. Some brides have their dress altered into something they’d wear again!

You could even incorporate some of the fabric into a necklace or earrings so, technically, you still wear your wedding dress every day. (My granny says my dress would make a nice quilt but I remain unconvinced.)

5. Trash it

While preserving, donating and repurposing are all sensible options, you could always trash your dress instead. The off-kilter trend, also known as rocking your frock, is exactly as it sounds.

After the big day, brides put their wedding dress back on only to expose it to the elements for a photoshoot, usually involving water, mud or paint (this option will probably make your mum wince).

Trashing the dress doesn’t always mean literally trashing it though. One wanderlusting bride took hers travelling the world, taking incredible photos in each new place she visited “ so see if your dress will fit in your suitcase for the honeymoon!

Here’s one real bride’s experience with the ‘trash your dress’ trend…

A couple of weeks after tying the knot last year Sammy Birnie put her wedding dress back on and headed out to Glen Dye with new husband Mike. Not keen on her gown “sitting in the loft forever”, Sammy embraced trash the dress.

The couple pulled a series of eye-catching stunts; Mike doused Sammy in mud by whizzing past her on a quad bike and the couple showered each other in champagne before rounding the shoot off by covering themselves head to toe in colourful paint.

“My mum was quite disapproving to start but she loved the photos in the end,” Sammy says. “We just wanted to do something different and make more memories.”

Read our top tips on the 15 things you should do after your wedding