What to Do With Vintage Wedding Dress

What to do with a vintage wedding dress? Vintage wedding dresses hold sentimental value for many brides, often representing cherished memories and timeless beauty.

In this article, we will explore the various ways in which you can preserve, repurpose, donate, sell, restore, display, and pass down a vintage wedding dress. Whether it’s finding the right home for your beloved gown or creatively showcasing it in your home, we’ve got you covered with tips and ideas for embracing the sentimental value of vintage wedding dresses.

Vintage wedding dresses have a unique history and story behind them, making them more than just a piece of clothing. They often hold sentimental value not just to the original wearer but also to future generations. In this section, we’ll delve into the emotional significance of these dresses and how to honor their timeless beauty.

From practical tips on preserving and maintaining a vintage wedding dress to creative upcycling ideas and professional restoration services, we will cover everything you need to know about what to do with a vintage wedding dress. Whether you’re looking to give your gown a new purpose or pass it down as an heirloom, there are plenty of meaningful options available. Let’s delve into exploring the sentimental value of vintage wedding dresses and discover the possibilities that lie ahead.

Preserving the Dress

Vintage wedding dresses hold a special place in the hearts of many brides, as they are not just a garment but also a treasured keepsake that carries significant sentimental value. Preserving these delicate dresses is essential to ensure they remain beautiful and intact for years to come.

Proper Storage

To maintain the pristine condition of a vintage wedding dress, it is crucial to store it properly. Avoid using plastic bags or hangers made of metal, as they can cause discoloration and damage to the fabric. Instead, opt for acid-free tissue paper and a cotton garment bag to protect the dress from dust, light, and moisture. Store the dress in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Before storing a vintage wedding dress, it is advisable to have it professionally cleaned by someone experienced in handling delicate fabrics. Be sure to address any stains or discoloration promptly to prevent them from setting in the fabric. Additionally, schedule regular inspections of the dress to check for any signs of damage or deterioration. Lastly, consider having the dress resealed every few years to ensure its preservation.

Climate Control

Maintaining an optimal environment for storing a vintage wedding dress is essential. Extreme temperatures and humidity can accelerate the deterioration process of delicate fabrics, so consider investing in a climate-controlled storage unit if needed. This will help prevent yellowing, mold growth, and other common issues associated with improper storage conditions.

By following these tips and tricks for preserving vintage wedding dresses, you can ensure that your cherished gown remains as beautiful as the day it was worn.

Upcycling Ideas

Vintage wedding dresses hold a special place in our hearts, not only for the memories they represent but also for their timeless beauty and unique designs. If you find yourself with a vintage wedding dress that no longer serves its original purpose, there are plenty of creative ways to repurpose it and give it new life. Here are some upcycling ideas to consider:

  • Transform it into a christening gown: If you have children or grandchildren, consider repurposing your vintage wedding dress into a beautiful christening gown. The sentimental value of using the same fabric from your wedding dress will make the occasion even more special.
  • Create heirloom keepsakes: From handkerchiefs to jewelry, there are various ways to create meaningful keepsakes from your vintage wedding dress. Consider having small items made for family members as a way to share the sentimental value of your dress.
  • Design home decor pieces: Use the lace, beads, and other embellishments from your vintage wedding dress to create stunning home decor pieces. From throw pillows to framed artwork, there are countless ways to incorporate these special details into your home.

If you’re wondering what to do with a vintage wedding dress that no longer suits your needs, consider these upcycling ideas as a way to honor its sentimental value while giving it new meaning and purpose.

How Much Do Designer Wedding Dresses Cost

Remember, upcycling a vintage wedding dress requires careful consideration and thoughtful planning in order to preserve its integrity and ensure that it continues to be cherished for years to come.

Donate or Sell

When it comes to deciding what to do with a vintage wedding dress, one option to consider is donating or selling the dress. Many brides find that they no longer have use for their vintage wedding dress and would prefer to see it go to someone who will appreciate its beauty.

However, finding the right home for a vintage wedding dress can be a daunting task. There are several avenues to explore when looking to donate or sell a vintage wedding dress.

Donating Your Vintage Wedding Dress

If you are inclined to donate your vintage wedding dress, there are several organizations that specialize in providing gowns for brides in need. Charities such as Brides Across America and The Bridal Garden accept donations of pre-owned wedding dresses and provide them to military and low-income brides at no cost. Donating your dress not only gives it a new purpose but also helps support a meaningful cause.

Selling Your Vintage Wedding Dress

For those looking to sell their vintage wedding dress, there are various online platforms where you can list your gown for sale. Websites like Stillwhite, PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, and Nearly Newlywed cater specifically to the sale of secondhand wedding dresses. These platforms allow you to showcase your dress to potential buyers and connect with brides who are searching for a unique and timeless gown.

Choosing the Right Option

Whether you decide to donate or sell your vintage wedding dress, it’s important to select the option that aligns with your personal preferences and values. Consider whether you would like your dress to bring joy to another bride in need or if you would prefer to pass it on as an heirloom through selling it.

Ultimately, finding the right home for your vintage wedding dress is about ensuring that it continues to be cherished by someone who understands its sentimental value.

Restoring the Dress

Restoring a vintage wedding dress to its former glory often requires the expertise of professional restoration services. Whether the dress has yellowed with age, has stains that need to be carefully treated, or delicate lace and beadwork that need to be repaired, entrusting the task to skilled professionals can ensure that the dress remains exquisite for years to come.

Here are some top restoration services and tips on how to choose the right one for your vintage wedding dress:

  • Research reputable restoration experts: Look for experienced professionals who specialize in working with vintage fabrics and delicate embellishments. Check online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have had their own vintage dresses restored.
  • Visit the studio or workshop: Before committing to a restoration service, schedule a visit to their studio or workshop. This will give you an opportunity to see examples of their previous work and discuss your specific concerns about your vintage wedding dress.
  • Ask about preservation techniques: Inquire about the methods and materials used for preserving antique fabrics and trims. A trustworthy restoration expert will be able to provide detailed information on how they intend to handle your dress with care.

With professional restoration services, you can breathe new life into a vintage wedding dress, allowing its timeless beauty to shine once again. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your treasured gown is in good hands and will be preserved for many more years of enjoyment.

Displaying the Dress

When it comes to vintage wedding dresses, many consider them to be more than just clothing; they are cherished pieces of history and family heirlooms. Whether you’re the bride who wore the dress or a family member who has inherited it, finding a way to display the vintage wedding dress in your home can be a meaningful and beautiful tribute.

There are several unique and creative ways to showcase a vintage wedding dress that not only preserve its beauty but also honor its significance.

One option for displaying a vintage wedding dress is to frame it. This can be done by carefully arranging the dress within a large shadow box frame, allowing it to be showcased as a piece of art on your wall.

Another idea is to use an antique dress form or mannequin to display the dress in a prominent area of your home, such as in a bedroom or dressing room. This not only allows the dress to be seen and appreciated but also adds an elegant touch to your interior decor.

How Much to Tip Florist Wedding

For those who prefer a more subtle approach, incorporating elements of the vintage wedding dress into your home decor is another option. For example, using sections of lace or fabric from the dress as part of a custom-made quilt or throw pillow can add sentimental value to these items while also keeping the spirit of the dress alive in your home.

No matter which method you choose, displaying a vintage wedding dress in your home can serve as a beautiful reminder of love and family history for years to come.

FramingArranging the dress within a large shadow box frame
Dress Form or MannequinUsing an antique mannequin or dress form for display
Home Decor IntegrationIncorporating elements of the vintage wedding dress into custom-made quilts or throw pillows

Passing Down the Dress

Vintage wedding dresses hold a special place in many families, often being passed down from generation to generation. If you have a vintage wedding dress that you’d like to pass on to future generations, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that the dress remains well-preserved and cherished for years to come.

First and foremost, it’s important to properly store and maintain the vintage wedding dress before passing it on. This includes having the dress professionally cleaned and preserved to ensure that it is free from any stains or yellowing. Once the dress has been properly cleaned and preserved, it should be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and placed in a museum-quality storage box to protect it from dust, light, and humidity.

When it comes time to pass on the vintage wedding dress, consider having a meaningful conversation with the recipient about the significance of the dress. Share stories about your own wedding day and any sentimental value attached to the dress. This can help evoke a sense of connection between past and present generations, making the act of passing down the dress even more meaningful.

In addition to passing down the vintage wedding dress itself, consider including any accessories or keepsakes that were worn with the dress, such as a veil or jewelry. These additional items can enhance the overall sentimentality of the heirloom and provide future generations with a more complete picture of their family’s history and traditions.


When it comes to what to do with a vintage wedding dress, the possibilities are truly endless. Whether it’s preserving it for sentimental value, upcycling it into something new, or passing it down to future generations, there are so many ways to honor the timeless beauty of these special garments.

Vintage wedding dresses carry with them a sense of history and nostalgia that simply can’t be replicated by modern-day gowns. By preserving, restoring, or creatively repurposing these dresses, we not only pay homage to the love stories they once represented but also contribute to sustainability by giving new life to old garments.

For those who have a vintage wedding dress tucked away in their closet or attic, now is the perfect time to consider what to do with it. Whether you choose to display it in your home, donate it to a bride in need, or transform it into something entirely new, embracing the timeless beauty of vintage wedding dresses is a meaningful way to honor the past while looking towards the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Old Wedding Dresses Worth Anything?

Old wedding dresses can certainly be worth something, especially if they are well-preserved and in good condition. Vintage and designer wedding dresses often hold value and can be resold or repurposed for a new bride.

How Old Does a Vintage Wedding Dress Have to Be?

The term “vintage” typically refers to clothing that is at least 20 years old, so a vintage wedding dress would have to be from the 1990s or earlier. However, some people consider anything from the 1920s onwards to be vintage.

Can You Repurpose a Wedding Dress?

Yes, wedding dresses can absolutely be repurposed. Many brides choose to alter their mother’s or grandmother’s dress to fit their own style, or use parts of the dress for other sentimental items like christening gowns or decorative pillows. Repurposing wedding dresses is a meaningful way to honor family traditions while creating something new.

Send this to a friend