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I Want To Sell My Wedding Dress

make money by selling your wedding dress


One of the most successful ways to make money fast is to sell something that is sitting around the house. When we started paying off debt a few years ago, we made a quick $1000 by getting rid of stuff. It’s sad to get pennies on the dollar for items you bought at full price, but my philosophy is that it’s money I would not have by keeping things we don’t need or use. That brings me to the question of…..are there things that are too sentimental so part with? Am I awful if I want to sell my wedding dress?

Why Sell Your Old Stuff?

1) Money

I think that one is pretty self explanatory.

2) Less clutter

I believe you can’t be fully relaxed and most efficient if you live in a space full of clutter. Clutter also causes waste when people buy something new because they can’t find the one they already have. Yes, I live with a child that could have been named Clutter Crumb, but we still do a pretty good job most of the time.

3) More Options

One of my biggest pet peeves is having a garage so full of stuff that cars won’t fit. When we moved into a house with a garage, we made a rule never to turn it into a storage unit. We can park our cars, work on projects, or put foster dogs in there. We also have a spare room that is free of junk. This gives us a space for guests or in a pinch, we could rent it out. If we were full of stuff, there would be no choice but to live around the clutter.

4) You Can’t Take It With You

Another reason that becomes more apparent to me as I get older is that if you die with a house full of crap, your loved ones will have to sort through it. I see this every time I go to my parents house. I would not call them hoarders. Their upstairs and most of the basement is clear, but there are a couple of rooms that are stacked with so much stuff that it’s hard to find a path. All the closets are bursting at the seams as well. My Mom gets super emotional if we try to get rid of anything, so that’s a project for my sister and I at some point down the line. I wouldn’t want to leave my daughter with that.

What Are Good Things To Sell And How Do I Sell Them?

Really, anything that makes money. It also depends on the platform you choose for selling.

Yard Sales

Yard sales are great for all the miscellaneous stuff that isn’t worth much or is hard to transport or ship. Yard sales are also a huge pain, but it’s usually only for a few days.


eBay is good for name brand items that are in high demand. Good examples are quality shoes, coats, anything new with tags, collector items,  electronics, or sports equipment. We have had surprisingly good success with old cameras and anything made by Apple. The fees on eBay are certainly something to consider, but it’s an easy way to get rid of stuff if you have quick access to the post office.

We opened our eBay account in 2006 and have made just over $12,600 in sales! Yes, about half of that was used optical equipment from my old practice. Yes, you might have to pay taxes if your eBay sales can be viewed as income,  but still, that’s a lot of money.

Craig’s List

Herring Hall Marvin antique safe

Anyone know what an antique safe is worth?

I think people have great success on Craig’s List, but I have no experience to report. One reason is laziness. The other is our geographic area, but I have seen it becoming more active lately.  I am about to break my trend because our 4-plex came with an old antique safe that I believe is probably worth anywhere from $500-$1000. The antique dealer is willing to buy and move it for less that that, so that’s an option, but I want to see if we can get more. It is really cool, and I’m tempted to keep it, but that violates all of my rules about having stuff you don’t need.


I’m sad to say that our car listed on consignment has not sold yet. I believe the price is too high, so we will probably switch to Craig’s List if it doesn’t sell during tax return season. However, I do really well selling my daughter’s old clothes on consignment. It’s easier than a yard sale and works when stuff is not high quality enough for eBay. It’s not get rich money. The store we use pays 33% to the seller, so if they sell a shirt for $3, we make $1.

What About That Wedding Dress?

I kind of wish I was more sentimentally attached to my wedding dress. I still think it’s pretty, and I am not selling it because I hate my marriage or anything like that. I just have no use for it. It’s not like I can throw it on and wear it out to Applebee’s. I had a great wedding day, but the dress is not what made it special.

I know many mothers think their daughter will want to walk down the aisle wearing a family heirloom. In reality, I’ve never seen that happen. Heck, my Mom’s dress was from the 70’s and was a short design. Even if I had wanted to wear it, she is barely 5 feet tall and I’m 5’7″. It would have been a micro mini, and Jim could have worn a leisure suit while we had disco balls swaying in the background. I have no such illusions for my daughter.

If I remember correctly, my dress cost $800. The style is very classic, so even though it’s 12 years old, it would still work today. I might be able to get a couple hundred dollars for it. That would buy tickets to Disneyland Paris, a bathtub for our new rental unit, or turn into $466 to use for college costs later if we add it to our 529 plan. I could also put it in a Vegas fund in the hope that my daughter will simply want to elope someday and avoid all wedding craziness.

Or, I could just leave it in the closest. Maybe the impossible will happen. My child will be super frugal and love my wedding dress design, thus potentially saving us several thousand dollars in attire costs at some point, hopefully many, many, years down the road.

Would you sell your wedding dress? Have you even know anyone who wore their mother’s wedding dress? Should I have more sentimental attachments?



About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Those sentimental items are sure hard to part with. I just sold some baseball memorabilia on eBay that I was really attached to. But in the end I needed the money to buy other things that would be more valuable to me. My wife had her wedding dress professional sealed and boxed. I don’t know if she would ever part with it. Maybe I’ll casually bring that up in conversation and see what happens. 🙂

    • We have some old hockey cards and sports memorabilia that I don’t think Jim would ever part with. He is way more sentimental than I am!

  2. I’ve often wondered about selling my dress. I never actually wore it, as we eloped, so I’ve wondered if someone would even buy it if I listed it on craigslist. But then again, I’ve through about framing my dress in my closet too, so I’m at all ends of the spectrum. I’d love to heard if you’re able to sell it!

    • I bet you could sell it on Craig’s List or at a consignment store if you decide not to frame it. If I was getting married all over again, I would elope and take a fantastic honeymoon.

  3. I really want to sell mine but my husband has a strange attachment to it lol. He grew up watching his sister play dressup in his moms and I think that’s why he’s holding onto it since having a daughter. I also wanted to have it cut up and made into a baptism gown for kids but was kiboshed on that too…lol

  4. Ooh I think that’s such a hugely personal decision. I know in the past I’ve been attached to what many would consider less sentimental things like my surf board and snowboard. So if it upsets you just wait till the right time. I held off selling those things until I was ready enough. I had a good cry, but now I don’t miss having those things at all. I think of the wise words of Oprah..”If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything.” Eh, something like that. 🙂

    • I guess I’ll do nothing for now because I’m still not sure what to do. I have more of an attachment to odd things as well, like the vinyl records that are taking up space on my shelf.

  5. Nicole and I have spoken about this a number of times though have never pulled the trigger on it. At the end of the day it likely will just continue to sit there and collect dust as who knows if it would even fit our daughter. I seem to remember going to one wedding where the bride wore her mother’s dress, but even if that was the case I would imagine those instances are far and few between.

    • I think it’s a really hard decision to sell a wedding dress. It just feels odd, even though I don’t feel attachment to a piece of fabric.

  6. After 2 years, I still have my dress on a hanger in the closet. I can’t decide what to do with it, though extra cash would be sweet.

    My Mom saved her dress for me or my sister to wear but the sizing wasn’t even close. I wanted to have something from my mom involved in my ensemble so we decided to used the bottom 2″ of her dress to wrap my bouquet. It worked out perfectly!

  7. I know people who rent their wedding dress so I have thought of putting it up for rent.

    I asked my mother in law about wearing here wedding dress. She said she didn’t know where it was but she was touched. So I tried. In the end my dress was really affordable. So I think no could recoup 100% of the cost.

    I have also thought of dying it and cutting it short…. I guess I’m not super attaches to it either.

    • Even if I cut mine off or dyed it, there is no where in Southwest Colorado where I’d need formal wear. I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen my mother in law’s wedding dress. That’s very sweet that you asked yours about her dress.

  8. I don’t really care about my wedding dress either. It just isn’t that important to me. I would need to have it cleaned to sell it though- it has wine on it.

  9. I recently asked my husband if we should sell mine. He said “not yet.” But I’m not too attached to it. My mom’s dress was way too outdated next to the styles when I got married, and I’ve never known anyone to wear their mother’s dress. I love the idea of selling stuff you’re not using. We have done this a lot and freed up space in our garage and basement. I think I hang on to things because I might need them someday, but I’m realizing if I haven’t used it in over a year, with a few exceptions for baby gear, I probably don’t need it.

  10. I’m thinking about selling my wedding dress in order to make some extra money from it. I am afraid of making a mistake though and regretting getting rid of it.

    • I’d give it a few years and see how you feel, although if you do a cross country move, that’s a big item to pack and transport.

  11. I actually did ask both my grandma and my mom if they still had their wedding dresses. My grandma’s was sewn by my great-grandma, and I thought it would be amazing to wear it (it was also beautiful). Unfortunately, somehow they both lost theirs in a move! I’m likely to rent one because of the reasons you listed – it’s a “wear it once and you’re done” thing, and I don’t think it’s worth investing so much into it. I also don’t want to get attached, as I do have a habit of becoming sentimental with a few things!

    • If you can find one you love for rental, that’s a perfect way to go. I can see how you’d lose a wedding dress. They are probably packed away somewhere safe and get misplaced. It’s not like a vital item you’d use every day.

  12. My sister has always talked about wearing or using part of my Mom’s wedding dress when she gets married. But my Mom’s dress was a basic white sundress, which has yellowed a lot over the years, so I’m not sure how that will end up working out.

    I have a friend who is wearing her Mom’s wedding dress for her wedding rehearsal this summer. The dress is short, so it wouldn’t work for the actual wedding, but it’s perfect for the rehearsal. Of course, she’s spent a lot of time and effort returning the yellowed lace to it’s original white.

    On a depressing note, I know in our area there are charities that take wedding dresses and turn them in to beautiful outfits for infants who are stillborn. It’s a great use of a wedding dress that someone no longer wants around, but feels uneasy parting with. Of course, you don’t make any money off of it then.

    • What a heartbreaking but beautiful way to find a final home for a wedding dress. I don’t think they have anything like that where we live, but that’s an option if I decide not to sell it but want it out of the way.

  13. I would absolutely sell my wedding dress of course I didn’t feel that way 11 years ago right after I got married. I paid good money to have it preserved and it made a few moves with us; however, it actually got messed up in one of the moves. I wasn’t upset, though, because by that time I realized I was only having one child and he was a boy and I figured he wouldn’t want my dress and there is no way I plan to be the type of mother-in-law who would even suggest my dress to my future daughter-in-law. I just wish the dress didn’t get messed up so I might have made some money from it.

    • I would not be sad to sell my dress, but I think I would be upset if it got ruined. Not sure what the difference is, but that does sound awful.

  14. I’m divorced and I still haven’t sold my wedding dress or ring. I looked at selling my ring, but couldn’t get any good offers and honestly I’ve just been avoiding even looking at all the crap from my wedding. It’s time to face the music and get rid of it!

  15. I wore my mom’s wedding dress to school once, I think as a costume for Emily Carr? Not sure what I was thinking.

    If you feel comfortable selling your dress, do it! It will make some bride very happy!

    I tried to sell my backup gown once (long story). People kept coming to try it on, but it didn’t fit anyone. I got annoyed, so I donated it. I still have my actual dress, but never had it dry cleaned or anything, so it proably won’t “keep” well. So, I’ll probably come up with a new plan for it in the years to come..

    • I don’t think my Mom kept her wedding dress, but that would have been hilarious if I’d tried to wear it. I would have certainly needed some sort of tights because it would have been way short.

  16. I’m with you on this one. I had no sentimental attachment to my dress. It was pretty and cost me about $300 but I gave it away soon after my wedding. I really saw no need to keep it especially since I would never wear it again. That’s another reason why I didn’t spend a lot of money on it. I gave it to a family member and I heard many brides have worn it since so that’s nice and much more useful than having it sit in my closet.

  17. I had a super cheap wedding and did not even buy a wedding dress. I actually regret that now. But had I purchased a wedding dress, I feel like I would have held on to it for a few years and then sell it. Of course that’s easy for me to say since I don’t have a wedding dress!

    You presumably have pictures of your wedding and your dress. You also have memories from that day as well. You will still have these things even if you don’t have the dress If you are thinking about selling your dress, I say go for it!

    • I am thankful for our pictures and those are better keepsakes than a dress. I did feel special wearing my dress. I’m still on the fence about selling it, but I don’t feel especially attached at this point.

  18. I couldn’t sell my wedding dress. Some stepped on it and ripped it, it cost $300, and I just love it. I don’t have any sort of fantasy that my daughter will ever wear it I just hold it really close to my heart.

    • I made sure my dress was not floor length. We got married outside and I knew I would be catching it up on all kinds of stuff. I think you should certainly keep it if it is valuable to you.

  19. I think it’s a very personal choice and there is absolutely nothing wrong with selling or keeping the dress. I am quite confident that my girls will not my wear dress as it’s … ummm … a lot of dress. 🙂 I loved the dress at the time and that’s all that matters to me. For me, a combination of sentimentality and low-likelihood of selling the dress, keeps it with me.

  20. I just got married a few months ago, and as much as I’d like to say SELL IT, I just can’t bring myself to do that. The logical side of me says “Take the money and run!” but the sentimental side of me says “You can’t sell your pretty dress! Frame it and show it to everyone you meet!” I saw a listing for the same dress online for a pretty decent penny, but for now it’s going to stay in my closet.

    As a side note, my mom did give me her dress as an option. It was damaged a little bit in a basement flood many years ago, but could have been repaired. I do kind of wish I’d done a little more research on getting it fixed and changed up for my style, but my mother actually encouraged me to find my own dress. She wanted me to feel like my wedding reflected me – not her.

    • I’m sure I would never had considered it a few months post wedding, but after it’s been in my closet for over a decade, I’m feeling the need to downsize.

  21. I don’t think there is anything wrong with selling your wedding dress. As you’ve said, it doesn’t say anything about your marriage. I get the idea that some want it as an heirloom and others just for sentimental reasons, but there really is no need to keep it. I was happy when my wife bought a used wedding dress. She refused to pay thousands on a dress that she was going to wear one time.

    As for the heirloom part, I too have never met anyone who has wore their mothers dress. My Mom still has hers, but it too is from the 70s and is orange!

    Lastly, I love finding stuff around the house to sell. I’m a binge of doing this right now myself. My go to places are Craigslist and ebay.

  22. I’m happy to report that I’ve never sold a wedding dress.

    I have a similar issue….but backward. We’re holding on to this GIANT 101 Dalmatians dog that I surprised Cheryl with at our wedding reception. It was a joke between us, but it’s HUGE and we have nowhere for it, so it sits in the back of a closet. Someone should be enjoying it, but I hate selling it because I fondly remember my wedding reception every time I glance at it. I hate being in that spot. I need to give it to a kid who’ll love the heck out of it.

    • So you’re holding onto your wedding dress?

      You can keep it for the grandkids someday. I am a sucker for oversized animals too. I’ll probably keep our daughters rocking horse forever.

  23. If you’re not sure, wait a bit and see. My wife can be quite sentimental, but like you said, it’s not like she’s going to wear her wedding gown again, and she has no children. So she’s sold both her wedding gowns (second marriage) and hasn’t regretted it for a moment. Plus she’s made two other brides happy with bargain gowns. As long as she has the memories and the photos (and keeps me around!), it’s all good. If you do want to pass something on to a daughter or female relative, a smaller memento like a veil, tiara, or jewelry might be more adaptable to current styles and personal tastes.

  24. I’m not very sentimental and I would love to get rid of my wedding dress, but that would require cleaning it first! It’s been almost 5 years and I still haven’t because I’m intimidated by that cost. I’m not sure how much it would sell for after cleaning, given that it was only about $500 to begin with and obviously was altered to fit me.

  25. I saved my wedding dress and had it properly cleaned and wrapped by a professional. Fifteen years later, I took it out to see how it looked. It had yellowed a bit despite the way I had carefully stored it. I agree that the dress will become outdated by the time your daughter is ready to get married and she deserves to choose her own beautiful dress. I also agree that the memories and person you married are what makes a wedding day special, not the dress. And I am sure there are photos of you wearing it – so why not go to an inexpensive cleaner then sell it? In my opinion, it makes good sense.

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