A Complete Guide To Preserving Your Wedding Dress

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Every girl’s childhood dream is to wear the ideal wedding dress. Depending on the dress you select, your wedding’s outcome may vary. You go to tremendous lengths to find “the one,” trying on a zillion different variations in a number of stores before giving up.

Modern brides have a wide variety of options for what to do with their wedding dress after the ceremony. Some women decide to donate or sell their gowns. Some individuals “trash it,” turning their wedding attire into colorful photographs for a photo shoot, while others turn it into lingerie or cocktail attire. But because it evokes so many positive emotions, many brides want to preserve the wedding dress.

A bridal outfit requires special attention! You may extend the life of your wedding dress by having it cleaned and preserved. To help you keep your wedding dress in pristine condition, we’ve put together this complete guide.

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Consider Using a Dry Cleaning Service for Your Wedding Dress

If you expect your wedding dress to last beyond the big day, you’ll need to take some extra precautions beyond having it professionally cleaned after the big day. Dry cleaning, as everyone knows, includes subjecting items to chemicals.

Getting your wedding dress dry cleaned is the greatest method to preserve its pristine state. Not just any dry cleaner will do; find one that specializes in wedding dress preservation and take it there. In order to clean it thoroughly, it will require close inspection of the fabric, the stitching, and any other features that can be seen.

After the gown has been cleaned, it is wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and stored in a specially designed archival storage room.

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Follow the Directions on the Label Carefully

Check for any special dry cleaning instructions. like, Please Note: This Item Can Only Be Cleaned Using a Petroleum-Based Solvent. It’s important to follow the instructions on the label, so check with your preservationist or dry cleaner to be sure they have the right cleaning products for your wedding dress.

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The Most Crucial Factor in this Situation is Time

Remember that the most crucial factor in this situation is the time when trying to preserve a wedding dress. There are many brides who wait as long as six weeks after the wedding before getting their dress dry cleaned, which is a horrible choice in case of any stains.

Dress cleaning is an essential post-wedding task, and it’s best to take care of it before going off on vacation. Waiting too long will allow the stains more time to set into the fabric, making removal much more difficult.

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Treat the Dress with Care

Wearing white cotton gloves can help you prevent leaving fingerprints and other markings on your wedding dress before and after you have it dry cleaned.

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Use a Box For Airtight preservation

It’s not just any ordinary box that will do for storing your wedding dress. An airtight box with nitrogen instead of oxygen has generally been used to store preserved dresses. This is done to protect stored clothing from deterioration due to oxidation.

Be sure to pick a sturdy box that will withstand the passage of time; also, if it looks nice, that’s a benefit since you’ll be keeping the box with you for the rest of your life.

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It’s Best To Store Your Dress in Acid-Free Paper

The dress should be stored in a container that is not acidic. In order to keep your wedding dress for any length of time, you’ll need to invest in some acid-free paper.

The delicate fabric of your dress may become discolored if you use other types of paper. Instead of using regular tissue paper, which gets acidic over time and can harm the garment, use acid-free tissue paper to help maintain the fabric.

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Keep the Wedding Dress in a Cool, Dry & Dark Place

It’s time to store the wedding dress after it has been thoroughly cleaned. Keep your box in a location that maintains a constant temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 50 percent, such as a closet or pantry in a home.

Keep out of the hot sun or extreme heat. Do not keep a dress in a place where the temperature rises and falls drastically. 

The transition from warm to cold weather may cause condensation, which would be bad for storage. Desiccant packets made of silica can be placed inside the box to reduce humidity.

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Don’t Put Your Dress in a Zip-Up Plastic Bag

Don’t put your dress in a standard plastic bag with a zipper. A bridal dress may become discolored if it comes into contact with plastic of that type. Only acid-free plastic, such as that used to make wedding keepsake boxes, is an exception to this rule.

For long-term safety, use a wedding chest or a professional preservation box that blocks out air and light.

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Preserve Your Shoes & Bouquet As Well

When cared for properly, your bridal shoes and bouquet will last as long as your gown. Cleaning cloth footwear requires a soft cloth or sponge and some mild detergent, and should be done with care. Shine up your leather footwear with some polish.

You can take your badly soiled footwear to a dry cleaner. Wrap your clean shoes in white tissue and put them in a box.

Flowers in wedding bouquets can be preserved in a variety of ways, including by pressing, hanging, coating in wax, or using epoxy resin.

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Don’t Use a Wire or Wooden Hanger

Don’t use a wire or wooden hanger to display the bridal dress. Since wedding dresses tend to be heavier than other garments, the weight of the dress itself, combined with the way it hangs, can cause the fabric to distort.

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How to Preserve Your Wedding Dress on Your Own

By adhering to these steps, you will give yourself the best chance of successfully preserving your wedding dress on your own.

  • Wearing white cotton gloves is mandatory when handling the wedding dress.
  • Clean the fabric in a small, hidden area first to make sure it will not be damaged before proceeding with the full cleaning.
  • Never clean your dress with strong chemicals or bleach. Using extremely harsh chemicals could do irreparable damage to the fragile cloth.
  • Use soft-bristled brushes to finish the task.
  • When the wedding dress is clean and dry, place it in an acid-free container and keep it somewhere that won’t expose it to extreme light or temperature changes. To manage humidity inside the box, you can also use packets of silica desiccant.
  • The dress can also be stored in a cool, dry wardrobe with the help of an acid-free plastic garment bag. Don’t use a wire or wooden hanger for the wedding dress.
  • Use a padded hanger if hanging a bridal dress. You won’t ever have to worry about your wedding dress permanently creasing, and hanging it provides optimum air circulation.

Don’t skip Dress Preservation

Not preserving your wedding dress puts you in danger of:

  1. fabric discoloration
  2. patches of brown oxidation
  3. creases that won’t go away
  4. the development of mold and mildew
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Final Thoughts

There are a lot of creative and unique things you can do with your wedding dress after the big day, whether you plan to retain it, repurpose it, or donate it. Wedding dresses can have a lot of sentimental significance, and if you want to share these pleasant memories with others, you can either sell, donate, or pass the dress down to the next generation in order to preserve the dress as a treasure or remembrance.

Image Via: Etsy / Vision Philosophy / Mariee Bridal Couture / Classic Tina Bridal Shop / Photography by johnnyproductions / Dylins Bridal Boutique / The Newyork Times / Burgh Brides / Loved Twice Bridal / Love to know / evermore wedding gown care / the dress cleaning company / jessicahaleybridal / charlestonprestigecleanersvelacebridal / weddinggownspecialists / argown_preservation / omahalace