After the wedding, there are many options for recycling the wedding gown. The most obvious is to preserve the gown for someone to use in the future. Preservation kits are available at many bridal shops that make preservation as easy as tossing the gown into a postpaid box. If, however, you want the dress to have a life outside a sealed box, here are some other options.
Restyle the gown
In the past, when fabric was expensive and scarce, women took their best dresses apart and put them together in new styles as long as the fabric was still serviceable. Why not turn a wedding gown into a debutante dress or prom dress by bustling the train or removing the train? Add straps or cap sleeves to a strapless gown. Add lace or beads to a simple gown.
Reuse the skirt fabric
Many wedding gowns have yards and yards of fabric in the skirt. This fabric may be enough to make a flower girl dress or a christening gown for a special little friend or relative.
Rescue a damaged dress
If a dress has been damaged in storage, there may still be parts of the gown that can be saved. Lace trim can be removed most efficiently by sliding a single-edged razor blade between the trim and the dress fabric. The lace might then be used to trim a ring pillow for a future wedding or to adorn a graduation dress for a daughter some day.
Use bits and pieces of fabric from an old gown to make heirloom pincushions or a wall quilt. Future generations may enjoy small items such as a keepsake bridal garter trimmed with lace from a grandmother’s wedding dress.