What to do with a wedding dress after divorce

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Divorce sucks. But if it’s your best option to walk into a healthier and happier life, you have to start by getting rid of all the items that bring up the memories you’ve had with your spouse. That includes your wedding dress.

Tearing up and burning your bridal gown after divorce is one way to dispose of the dress. But that’s a lot less ethical, and it won’t leave you feeling like you’ve made a difference in your life.

So we’ve come up with some creative ways to part with your wedding dress once the hype of the big day is over and being married no longer makes sense.

Why You Should Get Rid of Your Wedding Dress After Divorce

You should part with your wedding dress after divorce for two reasons:

  • To free yourself from emotional clutter
  • To remove physical clutter from your surroundings

Just because you promised the “for better for worse until death do the two of you part” doesn’t mean you deserve to go through a terrible or abusive marriage.

And after freeing yourself from what seemed like a lifetime of imprisonment and misery, the last thing you want to keep in your closet is a piece of clothing that reminds you of the painful memories you didn’t sign up for on the aisle.

9 Ways to Dispose of a Wedding Dress After Divorce

Here are 9 exciting things you can do with your wedding dress after a divorce:

1. Wear It One Last Time to Your Divorce Party

Throw a divorce party to celebrate the end of your marriage and the beginning of a new life.

Instead of wearing something new to the bash, give your wedding dress one last public outing. You can have the gown transformed from a blushing bride look into a more mainstream re-style for the party.

2. Burn It

That’s right!

You walked out of your marriage because you’ve had it. And the last thing you should be keeping with you is a wedding dress you’ll never need.

So, burn it as a way to demonstrate the starting point of a new life.

3. Donate the Dress to NICU Helping Hand’s Angel Gown Program

The Angel Gown Program by NICU Helping Hands comfort mothers who’ve lost their newborns in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.

Volunteers worldwide participate in the program by donating their wedding dresses, which NICU Helping Hands convert into baby gowns for the final send-off.

In addition to providing the families with beautiful garments for their babies’ final journey, the program also offers mentorship to help families get through the difficult times of losing their loved ones.

So if you’ve been through a divorce, you never want to keep your bridal gown with you, and you wouldn’t mind donating the dress to a unique cause, you can give it as a gift to NICU Helping Hands.

4. Mail it as a Gift to His New Girlfriend

If you’ve been apart from your ex-husband for a while, there’s a high chance he has moved on – and he’s probably warming up in another woman’s arms.

Find out about his new girlfriend, and if you feel particularly cheeky, have the dress mailed to her on the next occasion.

You have to decide whether doing this would be worth the cost.

5. Donate the Gown to RSPCA

RSPCA is an England-based organization that promotes animal welfare. They work to protect animals and make sure they can live free from pain and suffering.

The organization is always looking for donations of blankets, sheets, and towels to keep the animals warm and as comfortable as possible.

You can donate your wedding dress to them, and they can have the luscious fabric repurposed into something useful for the animals.

6. Repurpose the Gown into a Sexy Cocktail Dress

Transforming your bridal gown into a sexy cocktail dress isn’t meant to carry the negative memories with you.

Far from it, it’s a great way to upcycle the piece of clothing you wore to say “Yes, I Do” into an evening dress that’s sure to turn heads in the streets.

Dye it into a spring color or shorten it to show some legs.

It’s more fun if you have a little sewing experience because you can put your creativity to work to make a beautiful cloth from a dress that would have otherwise flooded your mind with many bad memories.

7. Gift the Dress to Military Brides Strapped for Cash

You can donate your used wedding dress to a military bride strapped for cash through Brides Across America.

Started by Heidi Janson, Brides Across America helps women waiting to say “I Do” to someone they love to do so more cheaply than they would if they had to save up and buy expensive wedding dresses at full price.

8. Sell the Gown Online & Make Money Fast

Here’s the deal:

You only wore your dress once. And if you preserved it well, either at home or with professional help, there is a high chance it’s still stylish and in desirable condition. 

So why not list your gown for sale online and make extra money from it?

An online marketplace such as Vinted or Stillwhite gives you the platform to list your dress for sale, communicate with prospects, close a deal with an interested buyer, and get paid.

How cool is that?

9. Repurpose the Dress into Something New & Beautiful

Instead of tearing up and burning your wedding dress after divorce, consider repurposing it into something completely new – and more beautiful.

From a decorative pillow to handbags to baptismal baby shoes, there’s no limit to what you can repurpose your wedding dress to after divorce. A little creativity and thinking outside the box can go a long way to transform your wedding dress into something new. Check out some companies that repurpose wedding dresses.

Frequently asked questions

How do I dispose of a wedding dress?

If you don’t want the hassle of sending your dress somewhere, check with your local thrift store to see if they take wedding dress donations (many do, but this fluctuates based on demand and need in your area). If you itemize your taxes, get a receipt so you can deduct the donation.

Can I still wear my wedding ring after divorce?

In a divorce, the wedding ring is usually seen as separate property since it was given as a gift. There are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, each partner gets to keep their respective rings.

Should I keep my wedding photos after divorce?

You don’t need to leave framed family photos scattered through the house or a photo album on the coffee table (or digital file on the desktop of your computer), but you should try to save many of them for your kids. They will want to look at them from time to time, and that’s ok.

Why would a divorced woman wear her wedding ring?

Even the most amicable divorce can be a destabilizing, traumatic, and life change. Holding on to the ring can help a former spouse feel grounded, and weather the transition from coupled to solo.

When should I take my wedding ring off after divorce?

Some people remove their wedding ring the moment the other spouse moves out. Some remove it after the divorce is final. You might choose somewhere in between, but it’s also not uncommon for people to leave them on after divorce for a period of time.

Do men get engagement rings back after divorce?

The husband/groom can request to have the ring returned even if state laws recognize the item as a pre-marriage gift. The court may require the husband to provide valid proof of ownership. Nevertheless, the ring usually gets back to the family in this case.

What does it mean when a woman wears her wedding ring on her right hand?

According to some legends over the years, women buy them for themselves as personal declarations of independence and a celebration of single life. The right-hand ring is simply just a celebration of you. Also called “dress” or “cocktail” rings, the ring — and its symbolism — dates back to the 1920s.


Disposing of your bridal gown after divorce will do more than make you feel better. It will free you from terrible memories you’ve had over the years, make you a lot less remorseful about life, and give you the emotional empowerment you never had before. Plus, you can do a good deed or recoup some of the cost and treat yourself!

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