Recently, my friend and I were cleaning out our individual homes, doing the purge pile, the donation pile, the ‘What was I thinking when I bought that?’ pile, and we both happened upon our wedding dresses. This discovery, for both of us, ground our cleanups to a halt and she called me and said, ‘What did you do with your wedding dress?’ I laughed and said, ‘You know, that’s a good question which I was going to ask you.’ After a bit of a discussion, I said to her, ‘I am so glad you asked!’
No One Plans to Get a Divorce
Not one second as I walked down the aisle of my church on my wedding day did it cross my mind, ‘What if this doesn’t work out?’ I had no doubt this would be my lifetime partner, but well, that fell through some 20 years into my fairy tale and separation followed with divorce nipping at its heels. With almost 10 years of my divorce in the rear view mirror, I still have yet to deal with the tangible wedding memories like the professional photos, the VHS video tape, the scrapbook, and yes, the dress. Each item is shoved away somewhere in my house, but for some reason the dress is haunting me more so than the other things.
Over a year ago, I took my engagement ring and made a hell of a beautiful ring out of it and the memories of a failed marriage are no longer part of it. Instead, I see the ring on the hand of a woman who has been through some tough, sad, and disappointing times, filled with nights of tears, but she came out the other end happier, healthier, and so much stronger. So, what about that dress? Not like I can fashion that into a cocktail dress, nor would I want to. So what are my options?
From Trashing It, to Burning It, to Donating It
My friend didn’t ruminate on her dress like I did. She put it in her car and took it to the dump, and another friend who we surveyed said that she burned hers. Not a tear was shed in either case I was told. But the lamenting romantic writer in me struggles with the outcome of mine.
I have been told that, if the divorce was amicable, which mine was for the most part, if you have a daughter, you can refashion your dress for her wedding day, as long as you don’t believe in bad karma associated with it. But there are also other options, too!
There are groups across the country that take old wedding dresses as donations and either give them to military brides who can not afford a dress or if the style isn’t too dated, you can also consign your dress. Either way, it gets the dress out of your sight and it will be used by someone who definitely needs it more than you do.
I think it is safe to say that my divorce is forever, so it is probably time to do something with that wedding dress and all the other stuff left behind. Truthfully, I still haven’t decided what to do with mine, but I am moving closer to making the decision, so in my book, that is a positive step forward.