My FREE Recycled Wedding Dress

It’s official. At my wedding, I will have THE MOST INCREDIBLE wedding dress – with a more incredible story behind it AND ALL FOR FREE! Confused? I understand. I am not very girly and haven’t been dreaming about my wedding gown for years. In fact, after I got engaged, everyone asked me what I would wear (this is the very next question after “Where’s the ring?” and “What’s the date?”… and I couldn’t tell them a thing. I just was not interested. I tried. Really, I did. I bought The Knot’s Wedding Dress Look Book Issue, I browsed wedding sites, and clicked through Martha’s Gallery. But – nada. Nothing. Nien.

But then, as it always seems to go, within weeks of me delegating this job and stopping the search – I found it. My dress.

I was browsing through Recycle Your Wedding over at Ruffled and stumbled upon a strange little ad. It went like this:

“For the past six months, I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out what to do with my wedding dress… my poor little dress has just been sitting in my closet all by her lonesome. It really made me sad to think that in her short life, she only had one day in the sun, only one day of glory. She was such a beautiful dress and did such a good job at making me feel absolutely stunning on my day; she really deserved at least one more spin on the dance floor. So, I’ve decided that the best way to honor our day and the dress is to donate her to another bride on a budget, ensuring she dances again.”

And this was the accompanying picture:

dress recycling

And I fell in love. It was so beautiful and classic and modest (yet sexy). I held my breath and wrote to the lovely lady offering the dress. Then I hoped.

And within days I got an answer, I got picked! Elizabeth Perrin Fairchild, the lovely woman who wanted her dress to find a new home, picked me to share its story. She was thrilled that I was getting married right next to her parent’s hometown and that I had been working so hard to lose weight and become a healthier person for myself and my future husband. We’ve been emailing each other ever since (She was one of the first people I talked to when my dad was diagnosed, when The Boy and I had our impromptu civil ceremony, and when my dad died. Ellie has truly become a friend to me.).

But here’s the REALLY cool part. Elizabeth and I are so thrilled with this dress recycling program and with how it connected us that we’re launching it as a full-scale movement – The Wedding Dress Project ( The Wedding Dress Project allows people to share their wedding dress with other brides, who will then share it with another bride, and so on. We call it “Recycling the Love” and I am really looking forward to sharing my dress (the original Wedding Dress Project) with another bride after my May 2012 nuptials.

dress recycling

The first weekend I had the dress, I tried it on no less than 4 times. WHAT?!?! I had to try it one once to see if it fit, once to show the cat, once to show the dog, and another time to watch a little TV (The guys on “The Big Bang Theory” needed to share my joy). Totally normal and absolutely appropriate wedding-dress-wearings. So, whattya think? Would you gift your dress to a stranger? Would you wear a gifted dress? Share away!

Favorite Wedding Dresses from BHLDN


Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here

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