How to Preserve and Recycle Your Wedding – The Dress & Accessories

No matter what your wedding budget was, you spent money.  If you want to preserve items from your wedding like your bouquet and wedding dress it may be tempting to find the most affordable option.  Whether you just want to preserve the memories, or you are hoping to pass your dress to your daughter, you really want to choose the right preservation.  If you don’t want to save the remnants of your wedding and would rather make a part of your money back, there are ways to get the most return on your items.  Here are some great ways to make sure you get the most out of the things you bought for your wedding.


The Dress

When selling – Make sure to have the dress professionally cleaned.  Prospective buyers will be less likely to spend money on something if they aren’t sure if stains will be able to be removed.  A steamed, wrinkle free dress is also easier for a bride to see as THE dress for her. You can list a dress you have had cleaned for a little more. You can list the dress for a bit more than you would like to get, just have a firm bottom line in your head and refuse offers for less unless you really just want to get rid of the gown.  Check out bridal boards and used wedding item forums to see what dresses like yours go for used.  Including your veil, shoes, shawls and other attire items in a bundle with the dress can also be a great selling point.  Those items, as you know, quickly add to a bride’s attire budget.


When saving – If you are preserving the dress a good cleaning is still essential.  The longer stains set the harder they will be to remove.  Your daughter may not use all of the dress, she may just use some of it to have hers made, but you still want the fabric stain free. Some things, like sugar, won’t show as stains right away but can yellow and discolor the fabric of your dress over time.  Even if your dress passes muster with a visual inspection, have it cleaned before you store it.  The person cleaning your dress should be able to provide bags and or boxes made of special materials meant to minimize the damage that time alone can cause to the delicate fabrics of a wedding dress. 



Your accessories can be a great money maker after your wedding, or easy to store mementos.


When selling – Be sure to provide model numbers and brands, if you have them, to prospective buyers. As always a picture is worth a thousand words.  If you provide pictures of you wearing the item be sure to provide your height as well to give brides an idea of the size of an item when selling things like shawls and veils.  Take measurements of the items and provide sizes if it applies.  Be realistic in your asking price.  Look around on the site you are using to sell your items to get an idea of what similar items are priced at when used and what percentage of your purchase price you can expect to get for your item.


When saving – Be sure to use proper padding and packaging materials that won’t damage your items.  Research each item individually.  Some items need to be stored with acid free paper, or need to be stored with plenty of room in the container. A hope chest is a large, usually wooden box that you can place all of your wedding items in to prevent the crushing of individual packages.


For more tips on this topic, come back for our next post, How to Preserve and Recycle Your Wedding – Flowers, Favors & Décor.

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