I have stared at my wedding dress, hanging in my wardrobe, nearly every day for over a year, since I got married last April. It just hangs there in it’s pretty zip up bag taking up what seems like a quarter of my wardrobe and every time I look at it I wonder to myself what I should do with it.
There are always several options of course. I could try to sell it, but after having it altered on five separate occasions leading up to the wedding, as I was pregnant at the time and my poor dress just had to get out of the way, I’m not sure it will handle being altered again to suit someone else. Someone suggested making christening outfits for my children out of it, but our kids aren’t having a christening as this just isn’t our thing. I could keep it, hanging in the back of my wardrobe taking up way too much space, gathering dust and desperately needing a dry clean, but it just seems like such a waste of something so beautiful.
Then someone I know suggested I look into a little charity called Angel Gowns for Angel Babies and consider donating my wedding dress to their incredibly worthy cause. Angel Gowns have only been around since early 2013 and as yet are still quite unknown, so you can be forgiven for not having heard of them before, I hadn’t until very recently. The idea behind this heartfelt notion is that all the love you had and shared on your wedding day that is symbolised in your dress, is sewn into every seam of the beautiful burial gowns that are created from it for babies that have passed away.
Angel Gowns started in Texas and moved into Australia very quickly, seeing a need in many places for their contribution to grieving families at what can be the hardest time of their lives. Gowns made by volunteer seamstresses to be given to families of tiny angels who grow their wings too soon and do not make it home from hospital are a very small token that can make a big difference. These gowns are made with love and care from donated wedding and bridesmaid dresses and are then given to hospitals and neonatal intensive care units Australia wide and in several other countries. Families can request one directly or any hospital can request them, completely free.
Donated dresses don’t even need to be dry cleaned; all you need to do is workup the courage to part with it, knowing it is going to make an incredible difference to a number of families somewhere in a time of unimaginable heartache. When a seamstress receives a dress it is deconstructed and each fabric is gently hand washed ready for sewing into angel gowns. Once the gowns are complete they are hand washed again before being beautifully packaged and sent off to where they need to go. Each dress can make between 12 and 20 angel gowns.
Each angel gown is donated to the family along with nappy, bonnet, booties, angel wrap, keepsake and a photo of the bride in her wedding dress if wanted. Once a gown is transformed letters and photos will be sent to you to show you what has been created with your dress. I really cannot think of a more simple but beautiful gesture to families in times of such need and I have decided this is the best place for my dress to go. If you too are interested in donating your wedding or bridesmaid dress then check out their website, or search for angel gowns on facebook.
How long have you been hoarding your wedding dress? Would you consider donating it?