Not sure what to do with your wedding dress collecting dust in your closet taking up precious square footage OR those bridesmaid dresses the bride swore you could wear again but never will? Consider donating it to one of the ten charities below. It’s important to note that, overall, donating your wedding dress will most likely come at an additional expense to you – many of the shops require dry cleaning or at least an additional monetary donation; that also doesn’t include the cost for shipping your dress to the non-profit if you don’t live in the area and some even want a self-addressed stamp envelop to send you a tax donation receipt. The upside to the extra financial burden is that your dress will eventually make someone very happy and the sale proceeds will go towards various causes, plus you’ll be practicing eco-feminism because you won’t be sending your dress to sit in a landfill.
- Baby Burial Gowns – Donate your wedding dress so it can be turned into burial clothing for babies. The outfits are handmade by volunteers and donated to NICU and hospitals, who then give them to grieving parents in order to ease their suffering and funeral logistics. Donations are not tax deductible at Angel Gowns, but are at The Mary Madeline Project, which is a 501(c)(3).
- Sex-Trafficking Prevention – Adorned in Grace, a shop in Portland, Oregon accepts wedding gown donations for resale. All proceeds go towards raising awareness and prevention of sex trafficking and at-risk youth in the city. It seems to be a very religious non-profit, which focuses heavily on Christian reform and moral guidelines.
- Make A Wish But for Couples – Wish Upon A Wedding is a nonprofit organization that grants weddings and vow renewals for couples facing serious illness or a life-altering circumstance. All approved ceremonies are completely free to the couple through wedding professional donations. There’s a link for wedding dress donation but it doesn’t really go anywhere, so if this is the organization you’d like to donate your dress to I suggest emailing them directly to learn more.
- Support the Troops – Through wedding gown donations, Brides Across America gives free wedding dresses (no older than five-years to keep fashions fresh) to military brides and fiancés. The idea is to ease the financial and planning burden of associated with weddings and being in the military. The giveaway event is hosted twice a year across the country at participating bridal salons. Your donation is tax-deductible.
- Southeast Michigan Girls In Need – Every Girls Dream, Inc. (As a feminist bride I have to point out the name is problematic, as getting married is NOT every girl’s dream and it’s healthy to acknowledge this) takes gown donations and gives them to women in financial distress in the Southeast of Michigan. Brides must provide several examples of financial-need proof first though. And those donating a wedding gown or any other formal wear are asked to provide some monetary assistance (min. $30) towards cleaning the dress if need be. Your donation is tax deductible.
- Fight Cancer – Originally from Canada, The Brides Project migrated down to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The store accepts wedding dresses and accessories no older than 2011. Proceeds go towards Cancer Support Community (CSC) of Greater Ann Arbor, which helps support free services to those touched by cancer in the area. Donations are tax deductible, but it’s highly encouraged that an extra donation of $25 be included to help with administration expenses.
- New York Kids’ Education – The Bridal Garden, a non-profit Manhattan bridal shop, accepts wedding gown,veils, headpieces, sashes, boleros, shawls, and jewelry donations that are fashionable within the last five years. Dresses sell from $600 to $4,000, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the education of disadvantaged youths in NYC (though exactly where and how is unclear). Your donation is tax deductible.
- Dress for Success – The mom and pop, non-profit store, Cherie Amour in Maryland, accepts wedding gowns, other formal attire and accessories – even vintage and antique dresses. They take care of dry cleaning too. Proceeds go towards supporting Success In Style, which helps provide those in need with business attire and interview coaching. Your donation is tax deductible.
- Brides for a Cause – Yet another Portland bridal boutique that accepts gown donations no older than 2010 (vintage dresses are sometimes accepted with special consideration). They take care of dry cleaning and your donation is tax deductible. A portion of the proceeds goes towards the charity, Brides Foundation, which is a national grant-making foundation that supports various women-focused charities (though it didn’t list which ones). It claims to have raise $400,000 in just four years.
- Widespread Charity Support – Fairytale Brides, another Maryland store, accepts wedding dress, formal wear and accessory donations but asks that they be professionally cleaned first and must be no older than five years. Sales go to a wide variety of charities including: Victims Rights Foundation, Suited for Change, Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation, Kids Wish Network, Emerge, Inc. It also funds international students in Haiti through St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church and in West Africa through the Victims Rights Foundation, but also domestically with their biggest donations going towards Rockville H.S. Seniors to attend the first year at Montgomery College. Your donation is tax deductible.
Related articles that highlight wedding ideas with good causes:
- Jewelry that Empowers Survivors of Human Trafficking
- Wedding Dresses That Make The World A Better Place
- An Engagement Ring’s Second Chance
- Easy Ways To Green Your Wedding
- Creating a Socially Responsible Wedding
- Worried about A Wasteful Wedding?
- Jilted Bride Donates Wedding to Homeless