“I used to change your diapers,” said the stranger to me as I walked up the sidewalk towards the church.
It was my first day at a new congregation and since I had never been there before, I was pretty sure the woman was talking to someone else. I looked around and she laughed. “You don’t recognize me, do you?” she said.
That was the day I met the woman who would, 3 years later, lovingly and painstakingly, sew my wedding dress.
As it turns out, she knew my mother and actually had changed my diapers. Even though she hadn’t seen me in 20 years, she recognized me because my mom and I looked a lot alike.
Yvonne was her name and she became a dear friend for the 5 years or so that I was a part of that little congregation. She was funny and always said exactly what she was thinking, good or bad. But she was kind and generous with a heart full of faith and love too.
She’s the reason I hung onto my wedding dress long after the marriage ended. It wasn’t because I was sentimental about the marriage – he broke my heart in the end, so…
Despite the sad end, our marriage did result in 3 kids and for a while, I thought maybe one of my two daughters would like to wear the dress for their wedding one day. But I realized years ago that wasn’t likely. Styles change so much and they would want to pick their own dress.
Still, I lugged that dress around with me through 8 moves and it’s been shuffled around inside garages, storage sheds, and spare rooms too many times to count. I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. Yvonne made it with such love and care that to donate it or worse, throw it away, just seemed…wrong. Disrespectful. “What am I, chopped liver?” I could hear Yvonne say.
But this last house move was to downsize. Seriously downsize. The kids are grown and gone and we (husband #2 and I) sold our 2900 square foot house and were moving into a 1500 square foot house. If you haven’t done that yet, it feels like you’re pouring your life into a funnel. Only the most necessary items, or most dear, can be kept.
I knew it was time to let go of the dress. It was too out of style to be sold or donated and not old enough to be “vintage”. What was I going to do with it? I couldn’t throw it away. I just couldn’t. Then I read this on Realimprints.org.
There are women who deconstruct wedding gowns and turn them into tiny outfits for babies who have died. They donate the outfits to hospitals for babies that never get to go home. Or they give them to families who have lost a baby not long after birth so they have something handmade with care to bury their baby in.
Reading about it made me cry. But it was just what I was looking for. I knew the love and care Yvonne put into my dress would be recycled into those baby clothes. Different hands doing the sewing, but the same painstaking attention and tenderness. Those tiny souls would be wrapped in love. It was perfect. And it made letting go of my dress, after 28 years, an easy decision.
At first I was hesitant to ship it off somewhere. I thought it would be expensive and, well, a pain. But it was really simple. It was only about $10 to send it through the US Postal Service, through their online service. Just create an account and make sure to measure and weigh the box accurately. You pay online with a credit card and schedule the pick-up from your house. Simple. Lindsey let me know via email as soon as she got it, so I knew it got their safe and sound.
If you aren’t sure what to do with your old wedding dress, please consider this option. One dress could provide clothing for many little babies. It truly is a donation of love.
Story written by: Lori
I am interested in donating my wedding dress. Please contact me with information as to where I can send it to. I would love to donate the angel gowns to a hospital in my area.
I would love to do the same thing can you tell me also in my area as wel Long Island New York
How can I do this? Who to contact?
i have my wedding gown from 29 years ago, it was cleaned professionally and placed in a box. i would love to have dresses made for babies that dont get to go home. how do i go about this and what is the charge?
How can I do this?
How does the program with the wedding dresses work? Do they mail the dresses to you after they are made? Is there a charge involved? This is so wonderful!
I am very interested in using my dress from 15 years ago, however I did not get it professionally stored…Ugh!
I would still like to send it to see if it can be used… Is that ok??
Yes of course! We will clean it for you! You can find more details at this link. https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
What is the address to do this? Saw a story in Facebook about it. I would love to see my old wedding gown go to something that could help others in a rough time.
Please I would Love to do this!! I will donate my beautiful hand made over seas wedding dress for this cause. I have heard of this before and I never knew how to go about getting it done.
I have a wedding dress I would like to donate for babies that dont get to go home.
I would like to have my old wedding gown repurposed into little baby gowns for those who do not get to go home from the hospital. I would also love to donate some to my church for this same purpose for those babies who pass while still in the hospital or soon after. Please email me with info about what to do to send this to you. Please include mailing procedure, costs for the little gowns, etc. I need to send it out to the cleaners prior to mailing it to you so it will be ready to work with once you receive it. This is a wonderful idea to help parents at a most difficult time. Thank you.
Please respond to my request. Thank you. Patsy Oldroyd
Thank you for your interest and goodness Patsy! Here is a link with more info. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project
I have 2 wedding dresses I would like to donate to have baby dresses made….but where do I send them ? I live in Marshfield, WI and work at the Marshfield Clinic/St Joseph Hospital where a HUGE Children’s Miracle Network is located. I would love to be able to donate these dresses their. How do I do this ? Where do I send them ? and how long does it take ? I would like to have 1 Christening dress made also. Can you please send me more info and details?
thanx, Jayne Murkowski
I’m going to first give you a link that will answer most of your questions and then I’ll answer the ones that aren’t on the link:-) https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/ We only make angel gowns, but if you’d like some material shipped back to you, we may be able to arrange that if you are shipping the gowns back anyway. I’d have to check with our seamstresses. Thanks Jayne!
Thanks so much for getting back to me. I think I have most of my questions answered. 🙂 I plan on sending 2 wedding dresses, and I would like the dresses sent back to me so we (my daughter and I) can take them to the hospital. I had inquired about making a Baptismal dress also, and that was the one thing I really didn’t see anything about. My daughter was recently married, and I don’t know if she will ever have a baby girl….but I thought of having a baptismal dress made out of her wedding dress…just in case. My daughter’s dress is one of the two that I will be sending. So that’s my question. Is that possible ?? I thought it would be a GREAT family heirloom. So If one of your volunteers would be able to do it on their own as a side job… I definately would pay extra for it…. Please let me know, as I would like to get them sent out to you.
Jayne, thank you so much! We’ve had such a huge response that we are only going to be able to fulfill angel gown requests at this time, but if you’d like to have a baptismal dress made and then the extra material sent to us, we’d love to use the remaining material for angel gowns. Sorry we overlooked that question. Thanks for your patience!
Jayne, this is the same thing that I would like done also!
I’m also interested in doing this with my old wedding dress. Wondering about cost and can get the little gowns to donate where I live. Thank you
Yes we can send them back to you! Here is a link with all the details. Thanks so much for being a part of this incredible project Penny! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I just read about the Angel dresses. I would love some more information on how to do this for my area hospitals. Thank you
Lynnette, here is a link with all the details to the project. https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I would like to do this with my wedding dress as well. Can you give me more information on it?
Yes! Here is a link with all the details. Thanks Tami for being part of this great project! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
CaN someone please tell me how to do this! I have a beautiful dress I’d love to donate.
Yes! Here is a link that has all the information. Thanks Stephanie! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I would like more.I formation about this program.
Here is a link with more information! Thanks Crystal! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
Would love info on how to donate a wedding dress. This is such a beautiful idea.
This link has all the information about donating your dress. Thanks so much Melissa! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I would love to donate my dress to do this. Where do I sent it??
Here is a link to get on the waiting list and there is also a link with more info on the form! Thank you Michele! https://realimprints.org/dress-donation-waiting-list/
Please send me the information and contact number. I really want to do this. I would like the dresses sent back to me so i could donate locally. Wonderful idea!!
Here is the link with all the information. Thank you so much amy for being a part of this incredible project and for your support! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I’m interested in donating a dress.
Awesome! Thank you for being a part of this great project! Please fill the form out found on this link!https://realimprints.org/dress-donation-waiting-list/
I too am interested in doing this. Thank you
Awesome! Here is a link with more information if you need it. https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I would love to donate my wedding dress to local hospital how do I do it?
I will post a link that will answer all your questions on how we do our angel gowns. Thanks Heather! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I have sent an email. Please let me know how to get started and where to send my dress. Thank you for helping the parents of these angel babies
Vanessa thank you for your patience in us getting back to you. You may get an email response as well. The response has been overwhelming and we can’t keep up with it! Go to the link and it will have a link to a dress donation form. Fill that out and we will get you on our waiting list and let you know when we are ready for your dress! Thanks so much for being part of this project! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
Please provide me with the information of where to send my wedding dress. I would like to donate it. Thanks, Jeanette Knapp
You can find more information at this link. Thanks so much Jeanette for being a part of this project!! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
Would love to do something like this? Can more information be provided?
How do you donate your wedding dress for this cause?
This link has all the details. https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/ Thanks Allyson!
I have my daughters wedding gown from this May of 2016. I would love to pay it forward with the donation of this gown to the beautiful souls that won’t have the chance to see the world.. Please let me know what you will need of me to get it to you…
I would love to do this. Details please
This link has all the details. https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I am very interested in doing this, please let me know where to send. Thank you for providing this beautiful service!
I have a dress that I would love to donate!
Where do I send my dress!! I would love to do this!!
Wonderful cause; please send me info on how to get involved.
I would like to donate my gown to make dresses for the babies near me. Can you contact me?
I have a wedding dress from 38 years ago, its been professionally cleaned and in a preserved tight sealed box, no daughters or granddaughter to pass on it. I would love to donate it for the babies that didn’t make it in our local hospital– Information please
Where can I get more information about donating my wedding dress?
I would also like to donate my dress, I have just heard of this when a friend of mine lost their son and a gown was given to their angel baby. This touches my heart in a way I can not explain.
I also would like to donate my dress and give them to our local Children’s hospital. Can you send me more info please. Thanks
I would like to donate my dress. How do i do this?
I would like information about getting this done to my wedding dress to donate to our children’s hospital. Please advise the process and cost.
Do you need more wedding dresses?
I am wanting to do this. Any help in my area?
My grandson did not get to come home and I wish I had known there were people who did this then! I would love to donate my dress.
Interested in donating my 48 y.o. wedding dress which has been preserved over this period of time. We lost our first grandchild several years ago. He was a full term seemingly healthy baby. My daughter-in-law was due to have a C-section and he was active until just a couple of hours before she was to go to the hospital. Apparently the cord was wrapped around his neck and shoulders and every time he moved his arms, he was chocking himself to death. We never got to see him or get to know him as we live 3,000miles away from them, but know that he was an angel who went to a better place. Please advise me on all the details and expenses of donating my dress.
Please tell me how I can participate in this program.
More information on how to do this
I would love more information on having my wedding dress made into angel dresses and donate the angel dresses to a local children’s hospital. Can you email me with details on how to get started? Thank you for all that you do.
I am interested in this …..
Please send me info. on how to do this ….???
Awesome! Here is a link with more info and answers to FAQ. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project
I would like to donate my dress. Please provide the necessary information.
Thanks Rachel! Here is a link with more info and answers to FAQ. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project
I also seen this on Facebook and I am wanting to do this for a local hospital with my wedding dress and would like information about it
Here is a link with more info and answers to FAQ. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project
I would like to donate my beautiful wedding dress please contact me. thanks
Great! Thanks Maritza! Here is a link with more info and answers to FAQ. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project
I have my wedding dress of almost 25 years, and no daughter to pass it to. I would love to have these little dresses made for a few hospitals near me. My dress is white satin, with sequence, and seed pearls, and a large detachable satin train, and i believe it would make wonderful gowns. Please contact me on what i need to do to have these gowns made. Thank you
Kathleen, Here is a link with more info and answers to FAQ. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project Thanks for your interest!
I am also interested in doing this. Could we have information on how to go about it.
Here is a link with more info and answers to FAQ. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project Thanks Julie!
I would love more than anything to have my wedding dress made into tiny angel dresses for little one’s who go home to the Lord. Please tell me how. My wedding dress has been preserved and ready to be sent out. Thank you for all you do !
Wonderful! Thanks Gail! Here is a link with more info and answers to FAQ. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project
I will donate my wedding dress also. Send me the details.
Thanks Janet! Here is a link with more info. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project
I would be honored to donate my wedding dress. Please contact me at Connie_Bussey@outlook.com
Not sure my last comment went through.
My daughter passed away from cancer and I am left with her beautiful wedding dress. She didn’t have children to pass the dress on to. I would love to know it could serve such a wonderful purpose.
I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. That must have been so hard. What a beautiful thing to do with her dress. Here is a link with more info. We’d love to make her dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project
Need info on where to send dress to be made into many little dresses for little ones. Also need pricing on what this cost
Please email info.
Here is a link with more info. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project Thanks Brooke!
I have a beautiful wedding dress that was custom made by a celebrity designer in Beverly Hills. It is my daughter Courtney’s dress and after seeing a posting of this on Facebook, she would like to donate her dress to the angels who don’t make it home. We are in the Seattle Area now but have moved here from Los Angeles. Please contact me at to let me know how we can do this. Thank You!
Sounds like a beautiful dress! Here is a link with more info. We’d love to make your dress into sweet angel gowns! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project Thanks Linle!
I would like to donate my very old wedding dress 32 years of wedded bliss
Beautiful! Here is a link with more info. Thanks Dorothy! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
More info on where to send dress.
And would like to donate my dresses to hospital in my home town.
Here is a link to FAQ. Thanks Pam! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
Would love to do this. how can i? Information please.
Here is a link to FAQ. Thanks Kristin! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I would love to donate my wedding dress to this cause. Please provide me the information to do so. Thank you.
Here is a link to FAQ. Thanks Nicole! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I would also love to do this. Please contact me with more information.
Here is a link to FAQ. Thanks Sarah! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
I would love to do this. Please send me the info.
https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/ Here is a link to FAQ. Thanks Stephanie!
I am very interested in this program. I gave birth to quadruplets in 2013 and we lost one of our sweet baby girls after 2 months. I would have loved for her to of had something like this at the time. Please let me know the details of this program.
Wow! I’m sure you had so many emotions having 4 babies and losing one. I’m sure your angel is watching her crazy 3 year old siblings now! Here is a link that should answer all your questions. https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/ Thank you Danielle! We hope to team up with you!https://realimprints.org/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form
I am also interested in donating my dress. Can you please provide any contact information you have?
Here is a link with answers to FAQ and contact info. Thank you for your interest Tina! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
Still wanting info not sure if my original went through
So sorry! We’ve been swamped! I just saw this come in. Here is a link with all the details! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/
Hi. I would also like to send my gown to you from Europe. Can I do that? I have contacted you once before, but I suppose it was assumed I am trolling, since I waited for an answer for two years. Today I read again about your work from German magazine, and thought it is time to ask again. 🙂
It must have been a different group you initially tried to contact. I’m sorry you didn’t hear a response. We would love to use your gown. I don’t know the shipping details from Europe, but you are welcome to send it to us if you’re able to. Here is a link with details and a link to get on our waiting list. Thank you Emmi! https://realimprints.org/the-angel-gown-project/