Christmas is the season for giving, and there’s a new trend in the wedding industry that came to our attention this week. In all the lists and to-ing and fro-ing to get presents, and a parking spot at the mall, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in the busyness. St Anthony’s Bridal in Bethesda, Maryland has an idea that made me think about generosity and helping those that don’t have piles of presents under their tree this year.
This charity does two things with donated wedding gowns…they sell them at a hugely discounted price to the general public, or they lend them to brides as their ‘something borrowed’. Their policy is that the bride must have a budget of $3000 or less, 100 or fewer guests, and the marriage performed by a licensed wedding officiant. Brides Of America is another group that gives donated gowns to military brides, either those serving themselves or engaged to someone actively deployed to the Middle East in the past 5 years or awaiting deployment. Wish Upon A Wedding works with brides and their fiances who are facing a terminal illness and have a prognosis of less than five years to live.
Most of us have had a combination of love, luck and a well-paying job that we work hard at to go into any bridal salon in the GTA and try on gowns, knowing there’s a way to pay for it. Probably not in cash, but at least on a credit card we have in our wallet. Maybe this Christmas as you’re getting out your tree and you see your dress in the closet, looking kind of forlorn, you could consider giving it away. You would probably only get 10-20% of what you paid for it if you sell it privately, a little more at a consignment shop.
If you’re still not sure what to do with it, try it on after a full turkey dinner…that may let you know that you’re still fabulous but seriously, you won’t be wearing that gown again. Think about letting it have another day to shine and bringing some joy to a bride that will love wearing it as much as you did on that one special day.