In June of 2021, my wife and I were finally able to have the wedding reception we dreamed of after privately tying the knot in a courthouse in front of strangers at the beginning of COVID lockdown. She looked absolutely beautiful in her wedding gown, but now that more than a year has passed, she's started to look for ways for her dress to have another life.

Leo Ayala/The Polished Portrait
Leo Ayala/The Polished Portrait
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What to Do with your Wedding Gown

Many people choose to save their dress as a keepsake or even to pass down to the next generation. Still others participate in the popular "destroy the dress" tradition where brides are photographed playing in the mud, swimming, and otherwise artfully trashing the dress that was once gleaming white. But what about donations? Here are some surprising options if you want to give your wedding dress a second life in New York.

Angel Gowns-Capital Region, NY via Facebook
Angel Gowns-Capital Region, NY via Facebook
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Angel Gowns in New York

One option is donating your wedding dress to an "Angel Gown" organization (above). These groups are comprised of volunteer sewers who create burial gowns for parents who have tragically lost their baby. One local option is Angel Gowns of the Capital Region, based an hour north in Albany, NY.

Leo Ayala/The Polished Portrait
Leo Ayala/The Polished Portrait
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Donation to Local Theaters in the Hudson Valley

Another option you may not have thought of is a donation to a local theater company. "When I did shows, we were glad to find pieces like that and keep them if we needed them for productions", mentioned one local resident. Your local high school or college drama department may be a great place to start.

Donate Your Wedding Dress for a Cause

While these groups are national, there are several organizations who accept donated wedding dresses for varying causes. Brides Across America help source gowns for members of the military, first responders, and healthcare workers. Becoming a Cupcake helps Ugandan woman who have survived sex trafficking and forced marriages.

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Local Donations for Wedding Dresses in the Hudson Valley

While there are many unexpected routes you can take to donate your dress, don't discount "traditional" local options like donating the dress to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill store. The People's Place in Kingston, NY is another great local choice.

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