I am continually reminded that I have the best clients and thus, friends on the planet. Not only do they place their trust in me to preserve their family's memories, but they are incredible people who give back to those around them without hesitation. One of my 2016 brides mentioned to me in passing that she was donating her dress after their wedding day and I asked her for more details. That conversation birthed this post and additional information if you're looking into what to do with your wedding items, particularly your wedding dress, after your Big Day.

1. Clean it! Preserve it.
Crown Cleaners (in West Des Moines) was recently quoted at approx. $190 for clean + preserve. They ship out to Minnesota that specially handles wedding dresses, and their price includes shipping. 

Frederick’s Quality Cleaners (also West Des Moines) quoted about $145 for a clean-only option, and about $245 for clean + preserve.

Bridal Elegance (in Urbandale) also quoted $200 for clean + preserve which includes the dress packed in a box.

"At first I was leaning towards clean-only and packing my dress away in a vacuum-seal bag that came with it, but the Internets claims that this can cause “permanent” creases in your dress. Since it’s only about $50 more to get it preserved, I might just go that route and have it packed by a professional. My thought is that it would be a waste to pay for cleaning only to pack it away improperly and then damage the dress."--Dena, bride

2. Donate it to your local funeral home to have burial gowns made. A mom I know who sadly lost her little girl, tried looking for a dress for her little girl to wear to be buried in and simply said, "There isn't anything beautiful enough." She was subsequently so thankful for something that worked perfectly through this service of their local funeral home. Contact your local funeral home (Hamilton's, specifically, if you're in the Des Moines area) or The Mary Madeline Project

3. On a more joyful occasion, I've seen pieces of a mother's dress be used to create a Baptism or Dedication Day dress for their newborn (girl or boy!). Think a satin gown possibly fringed with some lace...

4. Additionally, you could donate to any of the following three organizations where the proceeds either go towards supporting families affected by cancer (http://www.thebridesproject.org/), disadvantaged children's education (http://bridalgarden.org/) , or assisting young women find the prom dress of their dreams (https://glassslipperproject.org/).        

5. Some brides makes something else out of their dress like a quilt and include their husband's wedding day suit shirt as well. 

6. Lastly, you could use a portion of the lace of your dress to become the fabric cover of your wedding album. Or use a portion of your dress in a shadow box with your invitation to commemorate the day and have pretty artwork for your walls.

Hope this post helps inspire some ideas if you want to do something with your dress after your Big Day, whether it be keeping it for generations in your own family or donating it to a worthy cause! 

Blessings in the planning!