Author Topic: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?  (Read 5995 times)

gbbi_977

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Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« on: October 27, 2015, 04:08:05 PM »
Hi Mustachians,

I posted awhile back on advice on how to sell my wedding dress. I got some great feedback but the consensus was it will be hard to shift unless it's a top designer (it's not a well known one - Aria) and a current style.

I've since pulled the dress out and noticed it has obvious perspiration marks on the white silk. I've tried my best to get these out using internet remedies (vinegar solution) and though they've faded, they're still noticeable.

So my thinking is: I won't have a chance of selling it unless I first get it cleaned to get those marks out. Wedding dress cleaning costs around $150 (standard industry rate apparently). There's no guarantee that they'll be able to get the marks out (wedding was three years ago - I know, I should have dealt with this earlier, but I had a destination wedding and send the dress home with my parents to another country, and only just got it back).

If I get it cleaned, I'm risking $150 that they'll be able to get the marks out AND that someone will buy it for more than that.

If I just donate it or somehow get rid of it, I save myself a bit of hassle.

FWIW, the dress was bought by my mother (we paid for our own wedding but she wanted to contribute) and cost $900 + tax when new. Also, I don't love it - in fact, I had deep regrets about it the day after the wedding and have always regretted not going for a different style. So I don't feel a deep attachment. Plus with the stains, I don't really see the point of keeping it to 'hand down'.

So, do you think I should donate it? And my main question is (because I'm fairly decided) are there any worthy ways of doing this? Should I just take it to a charity store? Advertise on Craigslist as free?

Meowmalade

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 04:22:01 PM »
There are plenty of registered non-profits where you can donate your dress for a good cause and get a tax write-off!  They'll take care of cleaning and anything else necessary before it goes to its next owner  :)

Brides for a Cause is local to Portland OR, as is Adorned in Grace.  There are some other suggestions here which might make more sense for you, depending on your location and cause preferences.  I would definitely go for a wedding dress charity instead of some random store, because then they'll take care of it properly and find it a good home.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 05:28:15 PM »
DONATE!!! Totally do this now, while the dress is still current and accepted by most of the charities. I wish I'd done that instead of ending up with a giant preservation box taking up most of my closet space. I wish I could donate to the military bride one or the cancer patient one but they won't accept a dress older than 5 years. :(

I'm hoping to get up the nerve to donate it soon, but still overcoming years of hoarder/packrat programming and can't bring myself to do the goodwill general donation now... but if I had any of those other charities (where they specifically give them to brides instead of selling them) I would do that in a heartbeat.


gbbi_977

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2015, 07:37:46 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions! And please keep them coming, because unfortunately all those options require cleaning and/or are not in chicago...

I took the dress out again today after getting fed up with the sweat marks last week and I do think they've faded since I started trying to get them out, so I'm cautiously optimistic that this dress could be usable again. But I'm still none the wiser on how to donate it.

I've thought about just putting it on Craigslist as free but I'm worried it will end up on a hoarders pile or in some other fate where it won't get used. I'd love to know it is making a difference in someone's life, even if only small.  And ideally, I'd like to be able to get a tax deduction.

Any other advice?

k$money

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 09:40:53 PM »
Following because I have the same issue. Not worth paying the cleaning fee!

TrulyStashin

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2015, 11:09:27 AM »
Donate it to Goodwill and when it leaves your hands release it entirely -- emotionally and physically, let it fly.  If no one can use it, Goodwill will recycle the fabric.  If someone can use it, then someone will.  Free yourself of thinking about it.

I write this with love and compassion, not snark.....

It has become a burden on you and continuing to think about who might use it or whether it has landed in a hoarders pile is an energy suck away from more important things like whatever is happening in your life today.

I mean really, think about how many minutes of time you've used on it already:  pulling it out of the closet, internet research on pit stains, cleaning pit stains, putting it away again, hauling it back out a week later, posting here.  60 minutes?  90?  Ugh. 

Is it worth the energy you're spending on it?  I'm guessing not.  Be free.

JPinDC

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2015, 11:22:20 AM »
I recently heard of this non-profit local to DC which accepts used wedding dresses and resells them. The workers are volunteers and the net proceeds go to charities that support women. I don't know much about which specific charities or how much the boutique costs to operate, but you could look into that if you're interested. They also accept donations by mail.

You can view their website here: http://www.fairytalebrides.org/

ETA this link as well. They donate upwards of 2,000 dresses a year to military brides who can shop for free at stores around the country. Looks like the closest participating boutique to Chicago is in Highland, IN and you can see them all here: http://www.bridesacrossamerica.com/register-by-list
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 11:27:50 AM by JPinDC »

MsPeacock

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2015, 04:03:18 PM »
Donate and be done w/ it. I went the whole route of having mine boxed and cleaned - which was expensive even 20 years ago. Then I had this big stupid box taking up space in my house and life for a long time until I finally donated it. I wish I'd done it years before. What was I ever going to do w/ that dress? I was never going to take it out again. I was never going to wear it again. It wasn't interesting to look at in the box. I guess if I'd had girls (no kids at the time - and I ended up having two boys) or had nieces that were the right age it could have become something awesome for the dress up box. I have plenty of photos of the dress and I kept the headband and veil as keepsakes (which take up very little room).

All of this is just another argument for not spending a ton of money on a wedding dress . It isn't like people are wearing dresses handsewn by themselves and their 6 sisters anymore - which might constitute a reasonable hand-me-down or heirloom.

gbbi_977

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2015, 09:11:30 PM »
Donate it to Goodwill and when it leaves your hands release it entirely -- emotionally and physically, let it fly.  If no one can use it, Goodwill will recycle the fabric.  If someone can use it, then someone will.  Free yourself of thinking about it.

I write this with love and compassion, not snark.....

It has become a burden on you and continuing to think about who might use it or whether it has landed in a hoarders pile is an energy suck away from more important things like whatever is happening in your life today.

I mean really, think about how many minutes of time you've used on it already:  pulling it out of the closet, internet research on pit stains, cleaning pit stains, putting it away again, hauling it back out a week later, posting here.  60 minutes?  90?  Ugh. 

Is it worth the energy you're spending on it?  I'm guessing not.  Be free.

Heartily agree with letting go of things! But I think I'm willing to do just a tad more research to see if I can help someone get use out of it...I loved your post, you must be a fellow Marie Kondo fan or her spiritual kin :)

gbbi_977

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2015, 09:13:48 PM »
Donate and be done w/ it. I went the whole route of having mine boxed and cleaned - which was expensive even 20 years ago. Then I had this big stupid box taking up space in my house and life for a long time until I finally donated it. I wish I'd done it years before. What was I ever going to do w/ that dress? I was never going to take it out again. I was never going to wear it again. It wasn't interesting to look at in the box. I guess if I'd had girls (no kids at the time - and I ended up having two boys) or had nieces that were the right age it could have become something awesome for the dress up box. I have plenty of photos of the dress and I kept the headband and veil as keepsakes (which take up very little room).

All of this is just another argument for not spending a ton of money on a wedding dress . It isn't like people are wearing dresses handsewn by themselves and their 6 sisters anymore - which might constitute a reasonable hand-me-down or heirloom.

I agree, although I don't think I'd hAve quite so much regret about the amount spent if it had been a dress I completely loved...

So I've listed it on CL for $200 and will knock it to $100 if I can't find an easy 501c option in the meantime.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2015, 01:07:06 PM »
Donate it to Goodwill and when it leaves your hands release it entirely -- emotionally and physically, let it fly.  If no one can use it, Goodwill will recycle the fabric.  If someone can use it, then someone will.  Free yourself of thinking about it.

I write this with love and compassion, not snark.....

It has become a burden on you and continuing to think about who might use it or whether it has landed in a hoarders pile is an energy suck away from more important things like whatever is happening in your life today.

I mean really, think about how many minutes of time you've used on it already:  pulling it out of the closet, internet research on pit stains, cleaning pit stains, putting it away again, hauling it back out a week later, posting here.  60 minutes?  90?  Ugh. 

Is it worth the energy you're spending on it?  I'm guessing not.  Be free.

Heartily agree with letting go of things! But I think I'm willing to do just a tad more research to see if I can help someone get use out of it...I loved your post, you must be a fellow Marie Kondo fan or her spiritual kin :)

Yep!  Though I'm a recent convert.  I've struggled with letting go of stuff and I had this same dilemma with a wedding dress (which I never wore).  I tried and tried to sell it. It must be worth SOMETHING.  Nope.  It hung off the corner of my closet door's frame trim for at least 9 months while I tried to squeeze some $$ out of it.   I've done the same with the saddle I've been dragging around for over a decade.  And a toddler bed.... And ......And....

About two months ago, I started divesting and it is a wonderful feeling.  The reality is, with a few exceptions, our stuff is worth little to nothing and it's not even all that special from anyone else's stuff.  It's just an energy suck.

Good luck.  It will feel great when it leaves you.  Like losing weight.

TrMama

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2015, 01:25:19 PM »
After lugging mine through 2 x-country moves and letting it take up way too much space in the front hall closet I got fed up one day and stuffed it into a donation bin.

Best. Feeling. Ever.

MandalayVA

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2015, 01:30:03 PM »
I gave my wedding dress and veil to Goodwill.  I have my pictures and memories.

gbbi_977

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2015, 01:35:53 PM »
I gave my wedding dress and veil to Goodwill.  I have my pictures and memories.

This seems to be the consensus. I'm going to give it another month (it's in our half-empty spare closet so not bothering me in the meantime) and then let it go as an early Christmas present!

BUT I have a dumb question about donating to Goodwill/thrift stores - they give tax deductible receipts, right? How does that work? Do they estimate the resale value of the dress? I assume it's not the value of the original dress. Do I need the receipt from when I purchased it?

honeybbq

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2015, 01:43:35 PM »
Donate it and know you've made someone's wedding!!

begood

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2015, 08:43:50 AM »
My parents toted around my mother's wedding dress and veil from 1947 to 2014, through thirteen moves. They added my dress to the pile in 1988 and moved it a few times too.

Last year, I had a quilt made from the two dresses. The quiltmaker used the lacework and buttons from the dress, and the Belgian lace from my mother's veil. Her dress was cream and mine was white, but they're beautiful together in a patchwork of fabric. She embroidered my parents' names and wedding date and our names and wedding date on the quilt. The oversized twin quilt cost about what it would have cost to have the two dresses professionally cleaned and boxed, and instead I have something beautiful AND functional AND meaningful.



Elle 8

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2015, 10:19:54 AM »
BUT I have a dumb question about donating to Goodwill/thrift stores - they give tax deductible receipts, right? How does that work? Do they estimate the resale value of the dress? I assume it's not the value of the original dress. Do I need the receipt from when I purchased it?

In my experience donating to the Salvation Army and Savers, they give you a blank receipt and leave it up to you to determine the value for tax purposes.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2015, 12:44:53 PM »
BUT I have a dumb question about donating to Goodwill/thrift stores - they give tax deductible receipts, right? How does that work? Do they estimate the resale value of the dress? I assume it's not the value of the original dress. Do I need the receipt from when I purchased it?

In my experience donating to the Salvation Army and Savers, they give you a blank receipt and leave it up to you to determine the value for tax purposes.

+ 1 for Goodwill.  My wedding dress still had the tags on it.  I took pictures and am claiming the full amount that I paid ($1100) b/c it wasn't worn ever and was already marked down from it's original $2400 price.  Close enough.  YMMV

justajane

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2015, 12:53:23 PM »
I've let my dress languish in the closet for 10 years. Haven't even looked at it since the big day. It was slushy that day, so I'm sure there are stains around the base precluding it for donation, even if it were in style enough to be used. At this point, I guess I'll save it to make something like a ring pillow or something else in the future.

MicroRN

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Re: Should I get rid of my wedding dress?
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2015, 01:39:37 PM »
Sounds like you have the right plan.  My sister donated hers after she got divorced, and got a blank receipt to fill out for it.  Who knows, maybe another Mustachian will find it at Goodwill!  My mom saved her wedding dress, and no one wore it.  My great-grandmother's handmade convent lace veil, however, has been worn by several generations at this point.   

For the people who can't stand to get rid of them, you can have it turned into a quilt or various other projects.  My mom cut down our christening dress and made it into a doll one.  I have a friend who had her wedding dress turned into her older daughter's first communion dress.  If you're considering donating it though, you probably aren't that attached to it.     

I'm keeping my wedding dress - but it's a bright red cotton sundress.  We had a casual outdoor wedding, and I wanted a dress that could be worn again.