This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.
You may wear your wedding dress just once. However, you have invested a lot of time and money to find it. It is also a sentimental reminder of the most special day in your life. So, what do you do with it after the wedding? Most brides keep their wedding dress after the wedding, hoping to hand it down as an heirloom. Others sell it to recoup some of the money they spent on it.
In either case, you must clean your wedding dress after the wedding and store it properly. Preservation and proper storage will keep the dress looking as good as new for years.
Best for Bride from Canada tells us all about how to do this and make your wedding dress last forever.
The Importance of Cleaning and Storing Your Wedding Dress
Handle It Carefully Before And During The Wedding
Your pristine white wedding dress is highly vulnerable to stains. So, handle it with care from the time you receive it. Use a garment bag to transport it from the bridal store to your house. Safely store it away from moisture and sunlight.
On your wedding day, take care to steer clear of anything that can cause stains. We recommend changing into the dress after doing your hair and make-up to prevent stains.
In case you accidentally stain the dress, gently blot the affected area but do not rub the fabric.
Even if there are no visible stains, your dress will be prone to damage from perspiration, dust, and dirt. These cause minute stains that can show up later when left untreated. Hence, you must have your dress professionally cleaned to prevent the damage from setting in.
Store The Wedding Dress Carefully Until You Can Send It For Cleaning
The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get stains out of your wedding dress.
Therefore, don’t wait until you return after your honeymoon to have it dry cleaned or preserved. Ask a bridesmaid to drop it off at the cleaners in the week following your wedding.
Until that time, make sure that it is stored carefully. Hang the dress to air dry for a few hours. Then place it in a garment bag and hang it up in a low-traffic zone. Avoid wrapping it in plastic as it can trap moisture and heat and cause the dress to disintegrate.
If your dress has heavy embellishments in the hemline, store it flat. Make sure that it is placed away from moisture and sunlight.
Leave The Cleaning To An Expert
Bridal dresses are complex garments with delicate fabric and embellishments. If improperly cleaned, stains can set in permanently. The fabric can also turn yellow over time.
Specific cleaning techniques are suggested for different types of fabric and embellishments. Entrust the task to a professional dry cleaner who specializes in wedding gowns to ensure that the right treatment is performed.
Expert wedding dress cleaners offer specialized handwashing services for delicate fabric and embellishments. They have the expertise to tackle different stains and get them out without damaging the fabric.
Wedding dress cleaning will also include pressing and steaming of the gown. Your dress will be restored to its original condition and it can be safely put away in storage.
Consider Professional Wedding Dress Preservation
After dry cleaning, you can store your wedding dress in an airtight box and keep it safe. However, you should use an acid-free archival box for this purpose. Use archival tissue paper to line the box, soften folds, stuff into sleeves and wrap different pieces.
You will also have to remove metal buttons, faux jewels, and other embellishments or wrap them properly to prevent tarnishing.
If you pack the dress yourself, occasionally remove the dress from the packaging to change the folds. Otherwise, creases can set.
The easier and safer option is professional wedding dress preservation. It is the best way to protect your dress for the future.
Wedding Dress Preservation And Its Benefits
Wedding dress preservation is a detailed procedure that helps to retain your dress in pristine condition for years. It is not the same as dry cleaning the dress and storing it.
Here is how wedding dress preservation works.
Firstly, an expert will inspect your dress and create a treatment plan based on the fabric, embellishments, and extent of the damage. The treatment procedure involves the removal of stains and necessary repairs to restore the dress to its original condition.
There are three ways in which a wedding dress can be preserved:
- Vacuum sealing: In this method, the dress is vacuum-sealed and placed in an acid-free archival box. The downside to vacuum sealing is that once you take the dress out, you cannot reseal it yourself. You will also not be able to occasionally inspect the dress since it is completely sealed. This method is now outdated.
- Bagging: After cleaning the wedding dress, it is suspended from a padded hanger. To prevent the fabric from sagging and losing shape, the gown is supported with tape and then placed in a garment bag.
- Boxing: This is the most popular method of wedding dress preservation. After a thorough cleaning, the dress is folded and placed in an acid-free box. Acid-free tissue softens the creases and lines the box. The box is airtight and protects the dress from environmental elements like air, moisture, and humidity. You can occasionally remove the dress from the box and inspect it. Some boxes also come with a display window that allows you to see it.
The main benefit of wedding dress preservation is that it will restore your wedding dress to its original condition. It also eliminates the risk of damage from environmental elements. Once placed in the acid-free, airtight box, the fabric will not yellow, stretch or lose shape. It also makes storing the dress very easy.
Wedding dress preservation will allow you to keep your gown in fantastic condition for the future. It will be in perfect condition for selling or handing down to a future bride.
Important Long-Term Wedding Dress Storage Instructions
Proper storage will allow you to maximize the life of your wedding dress. It will keep it in good condition for future use.
After cleaning or preservation, do not hang it in your wardrobe with the rest of your clothes where it will be bashed about. Also, do not store it in a damp and humid place like the loft or attic. Instead, place your wedding dress in a secluded and safe spot that is dry and not prone to temperature fluctuations. It should be free from dampness and direct light.
In A Nutshell…
Your wedding dress is a valuable keepsake that is linked to the best memories of your wedding day. If you clean it thoroughly and store it under optimal conditions, this iconic dress will stand the test of time.
We highly recommend wedding dress preservation to keep your dress in the best condition. Learn about this procedure and use it to ensure that your beautiful bridal gown remains a source of joy for you and future brides.
Author Bio: Best for Bride is a Canadian bridal dress chain specializing in designer wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and outfits for the wedding party. They have four store locations in the country and offer a range of services and budget-friendly shopping options for modern brides. They will share with you the importance of cleaning and storing your wedding dress to keep it beautiful for years.