We don’t need to tell you that your wedding gown is an investment, and we will bet that your wedding dress was one of the most expensive and important items that you have ever purchased. After you purchase and pick up your dream dress, you will need to store it properly to ensure that it remains perfect until the wedding day.
Or, what if you want to revisit the dress long after your special day is over? Surely you don’t want a crumpled mess of fabric!
Brides often decide to repurpose their wedding gown in a number of ways, such as a redesign, staging of a “trash the dress” photoshoot, or simply holding on to it with the hopes of passing it on to a child or grandchild.
And what’s more is that today’s brides may have to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic. The perfect wedding dress may arrive on time but brides are forced to postpone their wedding ceremony for an indefinite amount of time, so properly storing your wedding dress is essential.
No matter the reason for storing your wedding dress, you’ll want to do it right!
Here are our top tips for properly storing and preserving your wedding gown:
1. Budget to have your dress preserved
As you know, the dress shopping experience requires a budget. Whether you’re in the midwest looking for affordable wedding dresses in Chicago or have decided on a splashy tour of the best bridal shops in Las Vegas, a budget is essential.
But, have you saved room in that budget for preserving your dress? Make room by adding an additional $200-$1000 for keeping your gown pristine.
2. Take care of your dress before your wedding day
If you have your dress well before the wedding date or are really serious about preserving your wedding dress long term, take extra measures to care for your dress before you even wear it!
- Always transport your wedding dress in a garment bag, usually provided by your bridal boutique. Avoid dragging your wedding dress when it is out of the garment bag.
- While spills caused by others can be hard to avoid, prior to and during your wedding, take great care to avoid food spills, drink spills, and any flowers in your bouquet that may lead to staining.
- When sitting for hair and makeup applications, wear something other than your wedding dress so that any spilling or dropping of makeup or hair products do not touch your dress.
3. Take care of your dress after your wedding
Once the wedding festivities are over, it may be tempting to just flop onto a bed in exhaustion.
But, proper wedding dress storage starts right away.
When changing out of your dress, be sure to hang it properly or lay it on a flat surface like a large table.
The morning after your wedding, (or the night of if you aren’t too tired!) place your wedding dress in your garment bag for safe transportation. This will keep it free of dust and debris until you are ready to have your gown professionally cleaned and preserved.
4. Do not take your wedding dress for standard dry cleaning
It may seem logical that a dry cleaner could provide the proper cleaning for your gown but this is not really the case. It is best to take your dress to a specialist that can assess the fabric, stitching, and overall composition of your garment to ensure that the right cleaning method is used.
You may have noticed that some dry cleaners do provide a wedding dress cleaning service, but it is important to understand the process that is used prior to trusting them with your wedding gown.
A cleaner should ensure the following:
- Cleaning is done with a pure solvent rather than a recycled solvent that might stain a gown, leaving it looking greyed, grimy, and smelling foul
- No damage to the dress will occur in the process of cleaning, and full responsibility is taken by the cleaner to provide full replacement cost should anything happen during the cleaning or preservation process
- They will look for and treat invisible stains that can become visible with time and heat. Things like drips and drops from a dessert or white wine contain sugar that can become yellow or brown stains as time goes by
- A guaranteed time that your dress will remain preserved in optimal conditions
5. Maintain the preservation method carefully
Keeping your wedding dress in a garment bag is a cheaper option for storage, but it will not ensure that your wedding dress is free from the effects of aging. Proper preservation can protect from these effects.
There are three common options for preserving your wedding dress:
- Sealed: If you choose a company to preserve your wedding dress, you will want to ensure that the company uses a preservation box. The box will be completely sealed, with oxygen removed and replaced with nitrogen. This process will prevent aging due to oxidation.
- Bag: Your dress will be preserved hanging on a padded hanger, with reinforcements from twill tape to prevent sagging in the hung areas, and placed in a cotton bag.
- Boxed: Similar to the sealing method, your dress will be placed in an acid-free box, with acid-free, colorless tissue paper used while folding to discourage permanent creases in the dress. The box is not sealed, so it can be opened at will.
6.Store your dress
After your dress has been cleaned and preserved, choosing a good spot to store it is essential to protecting your investment.
For best results, store your wedding gown in a dark, cool place away from direct sunlight. This will keep your dress from yellowing, and protect it for years to come. Avoid storing the dress in a basement or attic that might be susceptible to common elemental disasters and water damage.
It is never too late to preserve your dress
If you don’t have a preservation plan in place immediately following your wedding, it’s understandable. You’re happy and blissed out and ready to settle into life with your love.
If this is your reality and you just never really got around to preserving your dress, it doesn’t hurt to take your gown to a wedding cleaning specialist to ask about preservation.
Your dress has some stains or some aging spots and it may be more costly to remove them, but a reputable cleaning company will let you know if it is possible.
If you have questions about which cleaning companies are reputable when it comes to gown preservation, ask your wedding consultant or someone from the bridal boutique when you are dress shopping or even after you have made your purchase. The best wedding gown boutiques will have a list of companies that they recommend and with whom they frequently work.
Let Viero Bridal help you choose your wedding gown and answer all of your questions related to dresses, style trends, fit, and preservation. We have flagship boutiques located in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, each providing exceptional service and affordable couture gowns for every bride.