What do I do with my stuff? Part 2 of the wedding dress story.

Not a hotel I have stayed in but my dress did!

Part 2: So continuing with the last post about what to do with your wedding dress once you are ready to get rid of it. I understand not everyone is ready for this and there is certainly NOTHING wrong with holding on to it.  Just like everything else, though, it costs you to keep it in terms of storage space in your home or elsewhere.

I was a June bride and shortly after I got back from our lovely honeymoon, I received an email from the person from whom I had bought the dress, stating that someone named Lien was emailing her about the same dress. I hadn’t even gotten it back from the cleaners yet and I already had an interested buyer? I didn’t have to take the time to write an ad or take pictures and there was already an interested party? Sign me up! I’ll shorten the story and say that by the end of July I had sold the dress to Lien directly in Los Angeles and she was so excited to have this dress for her November wedding in Hawaii. I did keep my veil which was hand made for me by my lovely friend, Anne, although I have yet to put it on since my wedding day.

So let’s fast forward to November, shall we? I had to go to Hawaii for a business trip. I arrived in Honolulu on a Tuesday afternoon and decided to take a stroll across the street to a very nice hotel called the Westin Surfrider. This property was right on the beach and quite a pretty sight for jetlagged eyes. As I walked in the lobby, I searched for the Directory to see what restaurants they had and they had a display of their Events. I saw Lien and her fiancé’s name listed as having their wedding there in one of the ballrooms! I rushed over to the concierge desk to see if it were happening that day—how cool would it have been to see her in my/Robin’s dress? Of course, she might have called Security to have me removed since I technically would have been crashing her wedding. The concierge replied that the wedding had been earlier in the week and they had not updated the Events Board yet. But how cool was that? My dress and I had been in the same hotel 24 hours apart after it had made history in Lien’s life. When I went back to my less glamorous hotel and emailed Lien, she confirmed that she had gotten married on that Monday and was currently on her honeymoon. What a coincidence!

So I tell you this story for entertainment but also to remind you that it is a dress and this one was worn by at least 3 women who loved and adored how it made them look on that day. It made me feel special to know that others were experiencing the same joy and I did wearing it. Here are some other options:

  1. Your dress may be a little older and not current with the today’s fashion so you might have a little harder time selling it. There are other sites like Once Wed and, of course, EBay.
  2. It could be offered to another family member to use for her own design.
  3. Consignment stores are an option as well but I do have to warn you that you probably won’t get what you paid for it if that is a goal.
  4. Donating to Goodwill or another charitable organization is a great choice.
  5. You could even create a piece of artwork out of it, a la Adrienne Maloof.
  6. Some people save the dress and make a christening gown out of the fabric.

So if you are ready to pass it along, think of these options and know that it is going to a worthy cause no matter what you choose.  Your memories are what last forever, not your possessions.

Happy Organizing!

What do I do with my stuff now that I’ve cleared the clutter? The wedding dress story.

What do I do with this stuff now that I’ve cleaned out my closet/drawer/room, etc.? This is an excellent question and one that I help clients with regularly. First off, congratulations on letting go of whatever it is. That takes courage and should put you in a positive frame of mind. Generally speaking, it really depends on what IT is before I can help you determine what to do with IT so I am going to have a series of posts on various resources for getting rid of stuff and provide you some options.

For women, one question that I get repeatedly is what to do with their wedding dress.  This is a sensitive topic for many because it has such strong emotions associated with it plus it was most likely very expensive. It could have been borrowed from a family member or friend. Let me tell you what I did with mine.

Image

A few years ago, I was on my quest for a wedding dress and, as a “mature” bride (yes, anyone over 30 is called Mature), I was struggling with finding one that suited my taste, figure, budget, etc. I tried the traditional, local bridal boutiques, EBay, discounted stores, resale shops, department stores and wasn’t getting anywhere. Finally, I stumbled upon OnceWed, an online store for brides selling their gently used and pre-worn wedding dress. What a miracle! You can check the site for yourself and spend hours searching for gowns by designer, size, price, which I certainly did! Another nice thing they do is list out the exact measurements so that you can determine whether it will fit you since most likely it has been altered. The catch is there are no returns so you’ve got to be really sure that this is the dress you want before clicking “buy.”  You can correspond with the seller to ask as many questions as you like and they typically post a ton of pictures.

So after a few messages back and forth with the seller, I took the plunge and bought my dress without seeing it in person or trying it on. The days before the dress came were nail biters for me because I spent more than I had intended but this dress was gorgeous! I just had a feeling that it was right and, you know what? I was right! The dress arrived at my office and I shut the door and tried it on right there. Thank goodness we hadn’t moved into cubes yet! The crazy thing is, I didn’t have to do any alterations. It was perfect as it was and I was good to go.

Since I had spent more on the dress than I intended, I already decided that I would sell it back once I was finished with it. And here is the main point of this post: it is just a dress and you only wear it one day of your life. This was the most beautiful dress I had ever worn but was I going to wear it again? No. Was I going to have a daughter that would want to wear it? Who knows? Did I have any friends that might want to wear it? No, and I’m shorter than all of my friends and they’ve already gotten married. Do not get wrapped up in possessions because your memories are what last forever, not the actual dress or piece of furniture or other object. Styles change and it is unlikely that you’ll be able to pass the dress along to someone else to wear. I’m not saying it is impossible but think about the cost of storing that dress properly to protect it from the elements and the space it takes up. Think also about the joy of another bride enjoying it as much as you did and feeling as beautiful as you did on her wedding day.

THE Dress

I’ll tell you the story of my selling my dress in a follow up post.

Happy Organizing!