Updated: Nov 25
Tori's wedding dress from her wedding June 26, 1999.
Original photos by Reflections Photography Martin Wyand
My wedding dress was beautiful and timeless. And my wedding was in 1999. And my wedding dress sits in a box waiting for my nieces to dream of wearing it.
It was immediately cleaned and preserved in case it would be in the “near future” possession of someone wanting to wear it.
Well, I did not have children, and my nieces are about 10 plus years away from marriage. I am never going to wear it again, myself. So, what can I do with this gorgeous dress where it can be meaningful for someone else?
Well, there ARE places where I can pay it forward and donate this to a charitable organization where it can have some purpose. Perhaps you’d like to consider donating YOUR dress to one of these worthy causes, too!
THE ANGEL GOWN PROGRAM The Angel Gown® Program provides comfort for bereaved families through the gift of a beautiful custom made gown, made from wedding gowns donated by brides, for final photos and for burial services. After brides from around the world donate their wedding gowns to NICU Helping Hands, a team of over 700 seamstresses throughout the United States create garments that a family will use to wrap their precious baby in for their final journey. These garments are a gift of love from both a bride and a seamstress to honor the memory of a precious baby and its family. The gowns are provided free of charge to any hospital or family requesting our Angel Gown® garments.
ADORNED IN GRACE: “Adorned in Grace Design Studio is an outreach to teenage girls for the purpose of building relationships through mentoring, workshops and life skills training. Participants learn to re-purpose and redesign the silks, satin, lace and beading from donated gowns into fun fashions, accessories and gift items. The Design Studio encourages teen advocacy in the fight against sex trafficking and provides tools so that they take a stand on behalf of their at-risk friends, family and classmates, rather than becoming victims.”
BRIDES FOR A CAUSE/WISH UPON A WEDDING: Brides for a Cause is more than a bridal store – it’s a bridal store to raise funds for charity! We are exclusively partnered with Wish Upon A Wedding, a non-profit organization dedicated to granting weddings and vow renewals for couples facing serious illness or a life-altering circumstance. Brides for a Cause is partnered with Wish Upon a Wedding to raise funds for their cause by reselling donated wedding dresses on their behalf. 50% of the gross sales go directly to Wish Upon a Wedding. All expenses are paid by Brides for a Cause to ensure the Wish Upon A Wedding percentage is not affected by expenses Donate or purchase your wedding dress from Brides for a Cause and help grant weddings for deserving couples. Officially launched in January of 2010, Wish Upon a Wedding has chapters across the country ready to serve couples in need. Wish Upon A Wedding grants weddings in all 50 states as well as urgent wishes. Since 2010, Wish Upon a Wedding has granted more than 95 wedding wishes for couples facing life-threatening illnesses across the country.
BRIDES ACROSS AMERICA: “Brides dream of having the perfect dress and a beautiful gown is an essential part of every bride’s special day. Brides Across America plays a role in making their dreams come true by giving a military bride a free wedding gown during a Brides Across America’s Nationwide Gown Giveaway. Events are held twice a year in partnership with bridal salons across the country. Deployments, financial hardships, and other challenges unique to servicemen and women can make it difficult to plan a wedding.”
FAIRYTALE BRIDES ON A SHOESTRING: “The Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring Boutique is a special place. A portion of all sales proceeds goes to two other not-for-profit charities: Victims’ Rights Foundation, which performs volunteer support services on behalf of victims of violent crimes and attacks and The Rockville Pregnancy Clinic, which serves those facing pregnancy related and sexual health issues to empower their clients to make healthy life affirming decisions.”
DONATE MY WEDDING DRESS: A wedding dress donation website that helps a bride find the right home for her wedding dress…. a charity that matches her sentiments.
BRIDES ACROSS AMERICA: “Brides dream of having the perfect dress and a beautiful gown is an essential part of every bride’s special day. Brides Across America plays a role in making their dreams come true by giving a military bride a free wedding gown during a Brides Across America’s Nationwide Gown Giveaway. Events are held twice a year in partnership with bridal salons across the country. Deployments, financial hardships,and other challenges unique to servicemen and women can make it difficult to plan a wedding.”
THE BRIDAL GARDEN: “After the most joyful day of your life, share the happiness by donating your gown to The Bridal Garden. Making a donation is easy and convenient. For each gown you donate, you will receive a receipt as proof of donation. Donations to The Bridal Garden are tax deductible. Best of all, you will feel the satisfaction of knowing your donation will benefit education for New York City’s disadvantaged children. At The Bridal Garden, we have curated a fabulous collection of one-of-a-kind wedding gowns for sale at up to 75% off the original retail price. Our vast network of couture designers, exclusive retailers, and individuals generously donate their gowns to us. The Bridal Garden is not only a bridal boutique, but also a not-for-profit charitable organization whose proceeds benefit education for disadvantaged children. The mission of the BCS is broad and ambitious in its focus: BCS strives to inspire academic excellence by encouraging life-long learning as well as building self-respect and respect for others in hopes of shaping responsible future leaders and contributing citizens.”
ONCE WED: Each year, more than 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade – UNICEF “A portion of the revenue brought into the site goes to International Justice Mission which supports justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and violent oppression. IJM’s mission is not only rescuing people from these horrific conditions, but also giving them the tools and training they need to provide for themselves and their families. We think the world of this organization, and commend this group’s fight against sexual slavery and the abuse of children.”
THE BRIDE’S PROJECT: “We are a nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to raising funds for the programs of the Cancer Support Community (CSC) of Greater Ann Arbor through the sale of donated bridal gowns. Once-worn gowns donated by brides or unsold gowns donated by bridal shops are available for brides-to-be to purchase at a considerable savings. All profits from the sale of the gowns go to the CSC to support programs and services for people touched by cancer.”