To say wedding dresses are expensive would be an understatement. While there are some reasonably affordable dresses available for sale in certain boutiques and consignment shops, it’s not uncommon for couples (or their families) to spend thousands of dollars on a dress for the big day.

According to, the average cost of a wedding dress in the U.S. is roughly $1,053, however, there are many dresses which cost much more than this amount. Spending such a large amount of money on a dress that’s only worn for a couple hours might seem illogical to some, and it begs the question: what should I do with my wedding dress after the big day?

Sell It

This should come as no surprise, but selling your wedding dress is always an option. Assuming you have no plans to wear or reuse it, you might as well recoup some of the money spent on it. You obviously won’t get the full sticker price, but you’d be surprised to see how much brides are willing to pay for used dresses.

See below for a list of marketplaces and mediums to sell your slightly used wedding dress: 

  • eBay
  • Craigslist
  • Wedding dress-specific marketplaces, such as
  • Consignment wedding boutiques

Preserve It

Even if a bride never wears her wedding dress again, she may still want to keep it for sentimental purposes. A bride can always look at her wedding dress to reminisce about her big day. After all, there’s no wedding accessory or item that holds more significance than the bride’s very own dress.

Preserving a wedding dress isn’t always an easy or simple task due to the very nature of wedding dresses. Their large flowing structure combined with embellished rhinestones and other accessories make it vulnerable to the effects of dust, moisture and time. If you’re going to preserve your wedding dress, you must keep it sealed in a dust-proof, waterproof and air proof bag that’s placed away from natural sunlight.

Donate It

If you’re really feeling generous, you could always donate your wedding dress to a charity or nonprofit organization. Brides For a Cause is a wonderful charity that helps fund weddings for couples with terminal illnesses. Donating your dress here will give you the peace of mind knowing that it’s going to a good cause.