Many women choose to have their wedding dress professionally cleaned and preserved after their wedding day. Since it is often one of the more expensive investments in the wedding process, it is best to keep it in its optimal condition for years to come. Whether you are looking to keep your dress so that a family member can wear it down the line or you just want to maintain its integrity for you to look back on, follow these tips for the smoothest wedding dress preservation process possible.
Find a Preservation Specialist Before Your Wedding
You’ll want to get your dress cleaned and preserved as soon as possible after the wedding, so it is best to find your specialist beforehand. The longer you leave stains on the fabric, the more chance they will have to seep in and cause more damage. This includes unseen stains, such as a splash of champagne, which can oxidize and cause the area to discolor over time. If you can, you’ll want to get your dress to the cleaner the day after your wedding. If you’ll be jetting off to your honeymoon, enlist a wedding party friend or family member to take it in for you.
When it comes to picking a specialist to clean the dress, you shouldn’t just go with your standard dry-cleaning company down the street. Wedding dress cleaning includes a very detailed approach from an experienced and knowledgeable professional, so you’ll need to find someone who actually specializes in the process.
Before you commit to a wedding dress preservationist, you’ll want to take note of the fine print. If any damage occurs during the process, you’ll want to make sure you are reimbursed for the price of the dress—not just the preservation and cleaning fee.
Check the Label
This isn’t the time to ignore the washing instructions! Your cleaning specialist should know to do this and be able to follow the requirements, but it’s a good idea to look for yourself so you are completely in the know. You’ll want to make sure they have the appropriate tools and solutions to do the job right.
Safely Store Your Dress After the Celebration
Once you take the dress off after the reception, you’ll want to safely store it before transporting it to the cleaner. Invest in a proper garment bag, rather than keeping it in a plastic wrap. Plastic can trap in moisture and promote mold, and can even discolor the gown. To temporarily store it, you’ll either want to lay it flat or hang it. If you hang it, you will want to use the hanging loops, rather than the straps or sleeves, as this can stretch the fabric.
Choose a Preservation Method That Best Fits Your Needs
Wedding dress preservation professionals will likely either box or bag your dress. With boxing, the dress is properly folded and placed in an acid-free box, with acid-free tissue used to protect it from creasing. The tissue shouldn’t be colored, as this color can transfer to the dress. The box allows you to easily remove the dress to refold it, which is recommended every two to three years. This box may have a clear pane in front so that you can view the dress. With bagging, the dress is stored is a garment bag without being folded. It is hung on a padded hanger and reinforced with a special tape so that no damage from hanging is caused to the dress.
Be Smart About Where You Store Your Preserved Dress
Once the dress is professionally preserved, you’ll want to make sure it is stored in the safest place possible. This means placing it in an area that is dark, dry, and not prone to extreme heat or cold. Attics and basements are not a safe bet, as they can be hot and/or humid. You may choose to keep it in your closet if you have space, or underneath your bed.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with wedding professionals from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!