How To Recyle Or Re-Use Your Wedding Dress
April 17 2015

With this years wedding season commencing for me next month it’s got me thinking … what about all of last years brides and the brides before that?

I like to imagine them living a life full of beautiful memories from their special day, the kind of memories that make you smile from the inside out and that are prompted by a sparkle of  light catching their wedding ring, a photograph of them and their loved one tucked away in their purse, a song on the radio that they danced the night away at their wedding reception or a glimpse of their wedding dress handing in the back of their closet.

But let’s pause for a minute and give that stunning dress a little more thought. More often than not it is the most beautiful, personal, extravagant dress a women will ever purchase in her life time. The amount of time, effort and sentiment that goes into finding the perfect wedding dress is incomparable.  So, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could help create even more memories and joy for another bride by recycling your wedding dress? Well you can! But not only that you can support and encourage many worthwhile causes in the process.

Here are my favorite ways to recycling your wedding dress:

  • Donate it to the likes of Oxfam who have a dedicated bridal section on their website. They also have eleven bridal departments across the UK offering specialist advice. Many dresses are donated by designers, so future brides can buy the wedding dress of their dreams, whilst helping to support Oxfam’s wonderful work.
  • Sell it via the likes of Sell My Wedding which is the UK’s dedicated online marketplace for all your pre-loved wedding items. Then if you are feeling extra selfless you could donate the money to Gift Of A Wedding a distinctive charity which provides free weddings to people with a terminal illness, regardless of age, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  • Pass it on by offering your wedding dress to a local theater so that it can become center stage once again!

Other outstanding charities and organizations, in the UK and beyond, who are also working miracles through the wedding industry are The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation a non-profit organization which organizes and funds weddings for people who have a terminal or life limiting illness. Brides Against Breast Cancer who reach-out, educate and help cancer patients and their families through their “Nationwide Tour of Gowns” bridal shows. Donate The Dress who is raising funds for the Dessert Flower Foundation to support their first UK Female Genital Mutilation Support Center. As well as The Angel Gown program which is a very special cause indeed run by the NICU Helping Hands organization. The Angel Gown create and gift beautiful custom made funeral gowns for babies who loose their lives before they leave hospital from donated wedding dresses. Lisa Grubbs, the wife of a specialist for premature babies and founder of NICU Helping Hands believes the passing of a child is a scared event that, much like marriage, should be honored and says “There’s something hopeful about the start of life, about a wedding, and to me, it’s that full circle. This child who is so loved by it’s parents, being wrapped in love by a bride.” I encourage you to familiarize yourself with these charities and their inspirational stories.

However if you are not quite ready to part with you beloved wedding dress just yet why not consider one of today’s most talked-about weddings trends Trash The Dress a.k.a Fashionista Bride, where you book a photographer not once, but twice. Weeks, months and sometimes years after saying “I Do!”

Fashionista Bride is a photo shoot with your wedding dress after your wedding day that allows you to bask in the knowledge of hindsight.  But above all Fashionista Bride is about personal style, love and celebration. It is an emancipating and self-loving experience that celebrates who you are and where you are in your life story. The true style and personality of the bride is captured, rather than maybe ‘a certain look’ that is sometimes portrayed due to expectations, traditions and stereotypes on the wedding day. There are no limits and there are no rules. You can choose to be inspired by the pages of your favorite fashion magazine and go all editorial on the streets of London, play dress-up and create a balloon wonderland or throw caution to the wind along with buckets of powered paint and imagine you’re rejoicing at the Holi festival in India. It is your story to tell how ever you like.

The beauty of a Fashionista Bride shoot is that you have the freedom of time. Some brides have a solo shoot whilst others book them with their partner to mark an anniversary. Either way it’s never to late to book one. So if you wish Pinterest had been invented when you were planning your wedding contact me to talk about how we can make your vision a reality.

And for all you gorgeous brides-to-be out there I hope your weddings are as fabulous and fun as this …

Hair & Make-Up: Bethany Swan

Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone supplied by Blackburn Bridal Couture

Jewellery: MBC Diamonds 

Hair Accessories:  Prissy Marilla

Flowers: Victoria Vaughan

All images retouched by Photographer’s Edit