I am a bit melancholy today.

I got married in 1997 wearing a beautiful wedding dress that cost me $600. It was — and probably always will be – the single largest expenditure that I ever made on clothing.

Since the wedding, the dress has hung in a bag in our basement. Not quite forgotten, but not fully appreciated, either.

I am still in love with this dress, but I’ll never wear it again. Not only do I not plan to get married again, but  I am not fooling myself that at this age (and temperament) I can lose the 50 pounds required to fit into this size 8 again.

The fabric is a gorgeous heavy matte satin. The dress has a scoop neck, short sleeves, a fitted bodice, and a full skirt with a short train. The only adornment is a beaded belt. I felt like a queen in this dress, not a princess. So I’d like someone else to also fall in love with it and wear it and feel special, even if only for a day.

There are quite a few charitable organizations across the country which accept wedding dresses for resale. They benefit all sorts of worthy causes. There are others which donate the dresses – or sell them very cheaply – to cancer patients, military brides, and other ladies who might not have the resources to obtain a wedding dress on their own. And at least one charity converts the gowns into burial gowns for infants who did not survive to go home from the hospital; that one really tugged at my heartstrings.

But as I do my research, most of them seem prohibitive because:

  1. Most require the dress to be professionally dry-cleaned prior to donating
  2. Shipping costs run around $20
  3. Most take dresses no older than 2007 – regardless of style.

Now I’m not stingy but I am temporarily unemployed and we’re in need of ready cash to start this new lifestyle. So a cash outlay to make a charitable donation was not what I was seeking.

I did find a local charity here in Michigan that did not have those criteria – but a note on the website says they have a “surplus” of mid-size wedding gowns right now and are not accepting size 8 dresses. Phooey. (The group that makes the burial gowns is also not accepting dresses at this time – they have more than they can use.)

So. My last idea is to reach out to some friends who play dress-up at RenFests to see if the dress can be upcycled. If no one wants it, I guess I will donate it to a local charity thrift store.

But that will be hard, really hard. I do so hope that my wedding dress can be given new life and make someone else happy.