After your wedding day, you still have a big decision to make – what will become of your wedding dress?

Most brides feel confused about what to do with their wedding dress after the wedding day. So many memories and special emotions are attached to every inch of fabric that to say goodbye may be too much of a wrench - it is, after all, the dress you wore on the most meaningful day of your life. But if your prized possession is consigned to the back of the wardrobe, it can feel like a terrible waste.

If you’re stuck for ideas, consider five of the most inspiring options.

Your very own heirloom

Some brides decide to keep their dress safely in storage so they can pass it down to their daughter (or granddaughter). This lovely idea could continue for generations if you choose a truly timeless gown made with the best quality fabrics.

If you are preserving your dress, speak to a professional who can arrange to have the dress expertly cleaned and packaged. Have it cleaned as soon as possible after the wedding before it is specially wrapped and placed in an acid-free or pH-neutral box. Then you can keep it in a safe place until you’re ready to pass it on.

All change 

Your gown may be too extravagant to wear at a cocktail party as is but, if you modify it, it could become a stunning evening dress. A silk gown can be dyed, for example, or you could have alterations made to the length in order to make it suitable for an occasion other than your wedding day.

A charitable gesture 

As vintage is such a huge trend, second hand wedding dresses can raise a substantial amount of money. If you would like to do something incredibly generous for a cause that is close to your heart, donating your dress is a very special gesture. Most charities will register your donation, so you can find out how much money your dress has raised.

Trash the dress

A popular modern option, many brides now choose to trash their dress during a fun photo shoot. Although your dress will be destroyed, a trash the dress session provides amazing photographic possibilities. If ruining the dress is a step too far, you could still wear it during an inspiring professional photo shoot in an unlikely location. This creates a whole new set of memories attached to the gown and you’ll have some fantastic photographs as a keepsake.

Create a keepsake

There are many creative ideas for contemporary brides who want to be reminded of their dream dress and special day. A swatch of your wedding dress fabric can be used to create an artefact, such as a piece of lace set into a pendant. There are also companies who will frame your dress, turning it into a work of art. Or if you want to go down a more traditional route, you could have your dress turned into a Christening robe for your children.