02 March, 2015

What to Do With Unwanted Wedding and Bridesmaid Dresses

I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to update since the last one! Over the past three weeks, I have traveled back and forth between Texas and California, and attempted to pack up my things in order to prepare for a cross-country move from California to New Hampshire (I will write more about this in the future).

Thankfully, it will be a cross-country road trip, which is something that I've always wanted to partake in!

As you can see, I've been super busy because I am packing up my entire life here in California!

Anyhow, enough about me. Today, I want to talk about a cause that is very near and dear to my heart: turning unwanted formal dresses into angel gowns for others.

Like many of you, I have formal dresses that I've worn only once or twice, and are now just hanging there in my closet, where my wedding dress is also stored at.

Of course, I have the options of donating to another girl or re-selling them, but I chose not to, for the following reasons:

  • If I donate them to a thrift shop (secondhand store), for example, they will be touched and picked over by countless hands, until they start falling apart and get thrown away. Even if they don't get abused, who knows how long they would hang there in the store before they go out of style?
  • If I try to re-sell them, I would get only about 20% of the retail value of each dress (on average, a $100 resells for $20; a $500 dress resells for $100, etc.), so the low re-sell value just isn't worth my time, in my opinion. 
When I saw my wedding dress a few years ago, I knew immediately  that it was just the right style for me. I was also hoping to convert it into a knee-length dress at some point, and wear it each year on my wedding anniversary. However, that is now impossible to do, two babies later!

Thus, I've decided to donate my wedding and formal gowns to Angel Gowns by Diane

What are angel gowns? Angel gowns are burial gowns for babies who didn't make it, or left us too soon. These gowns are made from donated wedding gowns, and other formal dresses.

Why do I want to donate to Angel Gowns by Diane? When babies are born prematurely and pass away as a result, they are often too small to fit into the baby clothes that are commercially available. Thus, parents often have two choices: bury their children wrapped in a hospital towel, or doll clothes. 

I believe that a human being, no matter how young, deserves more dignity and respect than that.

Even if the babies are large enough to fit into commercial baby clothes, shopping in the baby department and seeing other happy parents of healthy babies could be too painful.

Angel Gowns by Diane, founded and organized by a grandmother, takes donated gowns, converts them into angel gowns, bonnets, vests, and wraps, for both boys and girls. Afterward, these gowns are then donated to hospitals, free of charge, for parents to dress their babies in.

One dress can make a lot of tiny angel gowns and bonnets!

The good people at Angel Gowns by Diane don't work with just wedding dresses, they also make angel gowns out of bridesmaid and prom dresses as well, as long as the colors are appropriate.

The gowns with drawstring bottoms are for baby boys who can't wear pants, whether due to their small sizes, or the circumstances around their medical/developmental issues.

Angel Gowns by Diane donates the finished products to hospitals, free of charge. This charity is operated out of the kind hearts of volunteers; it's not a money-making business.

Since September 2014, the organization has helped (or will have helped) 1,200 families!

Look at some of the beautiful wraps and bonnets, too! Some babies are born so early that they are too small to wear anything, so a wrap is more appropriate.

To donate to Angel Gowns by Diane, all you'd have to do is e-mail the organization or send them a message on Facebook for the address. I've gotten a few of my friends and family members to join me in donating their formal gowns as well!

Other ways to help if you are unable to mail a dress:
  • Sell your unwanted dresses and donate the money to the Go Fund Me page for Angel Gowns by Diane HERE
  • Spread the words, either by sharing this post, or Angel Gowns by Diane's website and Facebook.
**I did not get paid for this post. All opinions stated here are my own.

Long time, no talk! What have you been up to these days?
If you have a blog, feel free to leave a link with your comment; I'd love to visit! :o)


  1. Oh... you are really such a wonderful woman, really! I am here struggling with tears, because I totally agree with you. Donating to this amazing institutions is the best. I can't imagine parents buying clothes to bury their children, while others are there buying clothes and smiling... it's just too painful. I didn't know about this organization, it's wonderful.And things like this post draw attention to what life is about - helping, giving, sharing. A friend (?) of mine is now on a cold war with me on internet, in a petty childish behavior, for reasons that I have no idea, and it made me sad. But alas, it's nothing, nothing compared to what life really is! Thank you for sharing this post - this is much more important in life than girlie-behavior. You are just amazing!

    1. Awww, thank you, Denise, for your thoughtful response! Sometimes I find myself getting upset over things that are not a very big deal, in the grand scheme of things, and when I realize that there are people facing worse problems, I'd remember that there are more important things in life.

  2. This is such a sad but beautiful cause, I hadn't even heard of Angel Gowns but if I ever have a dress to donate I will :)

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

  3. Love this cause I never heard of this cause But it really is inspirational :)

    Serene xoxo


    1. Thanks! It's a new movement that deserves recognition. :o)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Thanks!
      I was hoping to save my dress for my daughter (if I were ever going to have one), but now that we have two boys and are finished with having children, I didn't know what else to do with it. Lol.

  5. I’m in love with your blog! It was so interesting to read your posts and also I’d like to say that you have beautiful photos! I’ll be happy to see you in my blog!)

    Diana Cloudlet

    1. Thank you, Diana. I'd love to visit your blog. :o)

  6. Oh gosh, this post brought tears to my eyes...what a great organization for such a great cause. I had no idea before this so thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  7. Wow! From Cali to New Hampshire!?! You guys are always on the GO! Anyway, beautiful cause as far the wedding dresses go. So happy you informed me of this... whenever I do get married (yeah, that will happen) I will know what to do with my used dresses. :)


  8. I hope you have a great move!! This post made me cry. This is such an amazing way to use your wedding dress. Thank you for this post.

  9. Such an amazing way to reuse dresses. This post bought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Keisha xo

  10. We spend so much on the gowns and hardly wear it later on. Nice post Tammy

  11. a great way to recycle dresses, and for such a worthy cause! I think everyone should get on board with this, it's so much better than dresses being hung unused for years until they go out of style x

  12. I have to agree, this post had me in tears as I'm a mom too. That's really so sweet of you to donate your dress ... And it sounds like an AMAZING organization ! Thanks for bringing some more info on them too.



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