Wedding Dress Preservation: Tips to Preserve Your Dress!
After all of the planning and hardwork, it is finally your wedding day! With the help of family and friends, you are sure to have the best day of your life. You might think that once your wedding day comes around that the planning and to-do lists are done, and for the most part, they are!
After your wedding day you have just a few tasks left to complete. One of those is going on your honeymoon – yay! You’ve also got to remember to send out thank you notes to everyone who got you a gift (this is important- don’t forget!) The one other thing to remember is to take care of your wedding dress! While you might not wear this dress ever again, you don’t want anything to happen to it. Whether you take it out on your anniversary to relive memories, or if one day you want your daughter to wear it for her wedding, you need the dress to be kept in good condition.
If you think you can just throw your dress back in its bag and stick it in your closet- you would be wrong! While that might be okay in the short term, long term you can end up damaging the dress. Because it is sure to be sitting there for years at a time, you need to make sure it is well preserved so that it is able to be enjoyed decades in the future.
So, what is it exactly that you need to do? Great question! Here are our top tips for making sure your wedding dress stays preserved after your wedding day.
1. Look out for unseen stains
This is a big one! If you spill red wine on your dress you know you need to address the issue immediately. However, what if you spill white wine, or champagne? These spills are much harder to notice and actually dry virtually clear so that you wouldn’t be able to see them at all. While that is great on the day of your wedding (yay, your pictures won’t include drink stains!) the problem is that these stains will set into your dress and can cause the dress over time to discolor. This goes for wine spills, as well as other items you might get on your dress like wedding cake icing, makeup, even sweat or body oils. You’re in the dress all day long- it is bound to get something on it! The bottom of your dress is also pretty much guaranteed to get something on it if you have a floor length gown. This is especially true if you spend any time outside or if it rains – the bottom of your dress is touching the ground, it is going to get stained!
If you are handing your dress preservation, make sure you are aware of all these potential stains. If you take it to a professional (which we recommend) make sure they do a good job checking for these types of stains. They are accustomed to looking for these types of thing, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure they do a good job. If you know for sure of a certain area that you spilled something, point it out! Make sure they also address every layer of your dress if there is more than one. All layers should be spot checked and cleaned! As always, it is better safe than sorry. The last thing you want is to look at your dress 10 years from now and see awful brown stains everywhere.
2. Check the tag
With other clothes you own you might be willing to risk it and clean it according to how you want to without consulting the tag. This is an absolute no-no when it comes to your wedding dress! This tag can give you, or the person you hire to clean and preserve your dress, the right information that is crucial to getting it right. Different materials and fabric types need different types of cleaners.
This isn’t something you want to accidentally mess up – you can’t just go out and buy another wedding dress! Make sure you check your tag and know what it actually says. If it doesn’t make sense to you, that is okay. It will to a professional. Make sure you point out the tag to them and give them any necessary information they need to know like the fabric type and material.
3. Sooner is always better
The time right after your wedding may be really busy, but if at all possible, try to make time to get your dress sent to be cleaned and preserved. Between going on your honeymoon, moving, and getting settled in as newlyweds, it is easy to forget about your dress, but time really does matter! The longer you wait, you are just allowing any stains your dress has to really set in, making it harder for a cleaner to remove them.
If you leave right after your wedding for your honeymoon, you might consider entrusting a close family member or friend to take care of taking your dress to someone (do your research in advance to find the right company or person to take care of this!) If you have a few days, put it at the top of your to-do list for those days. It is worth the stress the few days after your wedding to have it taken care of so that your dress is also taken care of. Then you can relax and head off to your honeymoon without having to worry!
4. Temperature and light do matter
You’ve probably heard that you need to store your dress in a dark, cool place. That is not just a suggestion, it is a very important rule that you need to follow! Even if you have your dress perfectly preserved, you still need to do your part to ensure it stays in prime condition for years to come. Temperature changes, and especially sunlight, can damage your dress. Don’t let that happen! Make sure you store it in a closet that is in a temperature controlled area of your house, and that doesn’t get any sunlight.
Don’t place it in a basement that can be subject to temperature changes (unless you have a basement that is fully enclosed and has heating and air conditioning). Sunlight in particular can fade and discolor your dress, turning it into a not so pleasant shade of yellow. Keep it in the right spot and you will be good to go!
5. Properly hang it
Finally, in addition to storing it in the right location, make sure it is hung properly as well! Simply hanging the dress on a hanger like you would other items in your closet is not a good idea. Your dress is likely very delicate, and the stress on the seams of the dress can cause it to tear over time. Remember- this dress isn’t being taken off the hanger and worn regularly. It is just sitting there.
Make sure it is stored properly! If it is hanging, make sure it is hung by the loops on the inside of the gown and not the gown itself. If you have a wedding dress box, make sure it is properly folded and sealed so that outside elements cannot get to it. If you do choose to look at it in the future, do so with white gloves so that oils on your hands don’t ruin the dress by mistake.
Sometimes you want to do more than just look at pictures from your wedding day. Make sure your wedding dress is preserved so you can have it for years to come! Whether you just look at it, choose to wear it again, or pass it along to your daughter for her to have, you want to have all of these options available to you.
What are you planning to do with your wedding dress? Would you ever wear it again? Let us know!