After the last glass of champagne has been drunk, the honeymoon plane landed home, the cake stored in the freezer or eaten guiltily… It’s not over! There’s more!

Clean and store it


A wedding dress all boxed up from the Heirloom Box Company

Probably the most popular option, dedicated bridal dry cleaners can clean your dress while looking after the silk and laces you so carefully chose.

There have been stories of brides who have successfully cleaned their dresses in bathtubs, but unless you know the proper cleaning methods for the fabrics of your dress, this is one task best left to the experts!

Wedding dresses are usually stored by the cleaner for preservation in one of two ways- bagged or boxed.

A box allows you to store the box on top of a wardrobe and often has a clear viewing window so you can still see inside. Acid free with special coatings the box is normally archival quality. The dress is filled out with acid free tissue paper to maintain the shape, cotton gloves can also be bought so when you handle the gown you don’t put body oils onto the gown which may stain it over time. This is a good choice if you don’t plan on looking at your dress often but still want to keep it.

A bag allows the dress to hang in your wardrobe reducing creases of time. By having the dress bagged it’s easier to view in all it’s glory. Bear in mind if you have a large dress and a small wardrobe you may run out of room to store it! Hanging a dress may also weaken any straps on the gown.

Gown preservation can start at $AU200 but can be much more expensive depending on the size and fabric of your gown. Ask your dress store for who they recommend and ensure your drycleaner has experience with bridal gowns!

Trash it!


Trash The Dress By Uber Photography

Trash The Dress is a concept that is still new to Australia but is definitely starting to snowball (Polka Dot Bride will be speaking to someone that knows all about it soon!

A nice way to rid yourself of all things wedding with some spectacular photos is what has become known as ‘Trash The Dress’. Taking you and your dress to unusual places and creating art! Depending on how much you ‘trash it’, the dress is often still fine to be cleaned and do with what you wish after the session.

Restyle It

There have been many stories of brides successfully re-modelling their gowns to wear to other events. A slimline gown with minimal detail could be dyed black and turned into an evening gown. The bodice can be removed and you’ll have a different top to wear to a ball. A good seamstress will be able to help you achieve this.


Stacia restyled her wedding gown into a short cocktail frock. (Image courtesy of Craftzine)

Sell It

This option always makes me sad, but I am fully aware not everyone is as sentimental as me! There are a few ways of selling your wedding gown

  • Ebay
  • Bridal Websites with classifieds
  • Trading Post
  • Newsletters
  • Second hand wedding dress stores

It’s a good idea to have the dress cleaned before you put it up for sale – in fairness to other brides! Remember to take full length and detail shots with measurements and entertain the possibility of having potential buyers try the gown on.

Donate it

There are brides out there without hundreds of even thousands of dollars to spend on bridal gowns. In the USA there are numerous charity organisations just for this purpose (such as the I Do Foundation who sell your dress and donate the money to the charity of your choice.) but I am yet to find an Australian based one. An option is to take it to your local op shop such as the Salvation Army and see if they will take it. Alternatively list it for free on the Trading Post.