What Happens To The Wedding Dress When A Wedding Is Canceled?

What Happens To The Wedding Dress When A Wedding Is Canceled?

What Happens To The Wedding Dress When A Wedding Is Canceled?. Mobile Image

Jul 12, 2023

Are you wondering what happens to your wedding dress if your wedding gets canceled or you call off the wedding after you purchased your bridal dress? Today’s bridal fashion advice is a topic that is not a ideal situation to be discussing and is one that we hope our brides never have to worry about. While it is not the happiest topic for us to be sharing our advice on, it is a situation that does happen and we hope to be able to help any brides navigate this difficult situation should they find themselves in this situation. We are talking about what happens to a wedding dress that a bride has ordered in the event that the wedding is canceled. 


Final Sale


Planning a wedding can be a stressful time in a bride’s life and having to “un-plan” a wedding in the event that a couple decides to cancel their wedding is equally stressful. There will be many wedding vendors to cancel contracts with and many people who need to be notified of the change of plans. How to handle what to do with your wedding dress does not come with as clear of a path forward as there is not a contract with a cancelation clause like with many of your wedding vendors.


We recently shared advice about the return policy for wedding dresses, and that is important advice to remember that applies in the case of a canceled wedding. Wedding dresses are final sale items and so they are not returnable to a bridal store. Oftentimes bridal dresses are custom ordered and are made to order for each bride, so they are final sale items and non-refundable.


Notify The Bridal Store


If you are a bride who is dealing with a canceled wedding, you may not be sure what to do with your wedding dress. We want to give you a little insight into what to expect when it comes to managing your bridal gown. Typically bridal stores will hold your dress for you until wedding day or a date a few days before the wedding so that it can be stored somewhere safe after it arrives from the manufacturer and after alterations are complete.


Once you know that your wedding is canceled, we recommend reaching out to the bridal store to let them know the situation. You can also request at this time that they email you instead of call you once your dress has arrived in store. It may be a bit too painful to receive that phone call, so an email may be a better way to go. You can also have a friend or family member reach out to the store on your behalf so they are aware of what is going on and how to handle your dress once it arrives in store.


Video: Canceled Wedding... What Happens To The Dress?


If you are a bride who is dealing with the aftermath of a canceled wedding, be sure to watch this week's advice video all about what happens to the wedding dress if a wedding is canceled.



Pick Up Your Dress


It may be an uncomfortable errand, but we highly recommend picking up your wedding dress from the bridal store as soon as it’s ready and available. If this task is one that you don’t think you can handle on your own, you may be able to work with the bridal store to authorize a loved one picking up the dress on your behalf.  Once the dress has arrived in store, be sure to inspect the gown. Make sure that it is everything you ordered and has all the right details.


Sell Online


Our best tip for what to do with your wedding dress if you have a canceled wedding is to list your wedding dress for sale online. Your bridal dress is not returnable to the bridal store, so the best way for you to recoup some of those funds is to sell your dress online. We recommend listing your dress for sale online as soon as possible. We know this may be hard for you to do, so ask a friend or loved one to help you if it’s too difficult for you to do alone.


The sooner you can pick your dress up from the bridal store, the sooner you can list it online and possibly recover the funds you spent on your wedding dress.


Keep The Dress


If you truly love your wedding dress and don’t want to sell it, you can always keep the dress for the future. At Lovella, we have had brides in the past who had to cancel their wedding for one reason or another and decided to hold onto their dress. They knew this dress was “the one” and want to wear it on their wedding day, regardless of the person they are marrying.


We have seen brides at Lovella come back to us years later to complete their wedding dress alterations on the bridal dress they originally purchased and plan to wear to marry their new person. It will ultimately be a personal decision on what you decide is best for you and your feelings.


Resale After Alterations


The timing of when a wedding is called off can play an important role in a bride selling her wedding dress. Oftentimes weddings are canceled further down the line in the wedding planning process. It may be six months after ordering your wedding dress or it could be a month before the wedding or even days before the wedding.

If you are a bride in the situation of calling off your wedding within a month of wedding day, selling your wedding dress is going to be a more unique situation. Once you are that close to wedding day, your dress alterations are going to be complete and that makes it a little harder to sell your dress. You will need to make sure you get the exact dimensions or measurements that your dress has been altered to so that you can include that in your online listing. The hem has been done and your dress has been taken in to your body measurements so be sure to list those details along with the original size of the dress in your online listing. You never know, you may come across a bride that has the same measurements as you, and you have just saved them the cost of alterations.


Another benefit to your dress when listing for sale, is that it has never been worn. Many times bridal dresses on the resale market have been worn on a wedding day. Yours will be unique because it is new and has not been worn, even if it has already been altered.


Work With The Store


One last avenue you could pursue to resell your bridal dress is to work with your bridal store. You have already let your bridal store know the situation that you have a canceled wedding, so you could ask them to keep you in mind if any brides are shopping for your wedding dress. There are cases when brides are shopping too late to order a dress from the manufacturer so perhaps you could fill that role for another bride.



More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Advice


We hope you have found this advice helpful about managing your wedding dress in the event of a canceled wedding. For even more helpful advice when it comes to shopping for your dream wedding dress, be sure to check out our past posts:




About Lovella


If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!



About Wedding Fashion Expert


Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.