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How To Store a Wedding Dress: Wedding Dress Preservation

Your wedding dress is probably the most expensive piece of clothing you’ll ever buy – at least for most of us. If you’re spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a dress, you’ll want to make sure you take great care of it. Learn how to store your wedding dress before the wedding and how to preserve your wedding dress long after.

How to Store Your Wedding Dress Before the Wedding

Most brides buy their wedding dresses well before the big day, since they need time for alterations and fittings. Once you have your dress, however, what do you do with it before the big day? 

Ask your bridal shop how they recommend storing the dress; they’ve been storing it up until you bought it, so they should know the best practices for your specific style and fabric. Keep the dress in the garment bag you were given and hang or lay it flat. If your dress is especially heavy due to extravagant beading or lace, lay it flat. Hanging the dress can cause it to stretch due to its weight. 

wedding gown stored

Before the wedding, avoid touching your dress as much as possible. While it may be tempting to go take a peek or try it on, it’s best to leave it untouched. If you do have to touch it for any reason, wash your hands and wear gloves to avoid causing any stains. 

When traveling with your dress, take extra care to ensure that it does not get damaged in the process. Make sure it is secure and flat so that wrinkles don’t form. You may need to use acid-free tissue paper to wrap more delicate areas to ensure they travel well. 

Wait until the last minute to put your wedding dress on when you’re getting ready. You don’t want to get makeup, hair product, or anything else on your dress right before you walk down the aisle! 

How To Preserve Your Wedding Dress

Although some brides are willing to donate, sell, or repurpose their dresses, other brides want to preserve it as a memory of their special day. To properly preserve your wedding dress and keep it in its original, gorgeous condition, there are a few steps you need to take. Your wedding dress is more delicate and precious than a typical cocktail dress, so you can’t just hang it up in the back of your closet. Learn how to care for your wedding dress.

Use a Garment Bag

The most important thing is to start the wedding dress preservation process early. With the excitement post-wedding and during the honeymoon, it’s easy to let this slip through the cracks. As soon as you take off your dress, put it back in the garment bag it was stored in before the wedding. Try to make sure that it does not wrinkle by laying it out completely flat or hanging it. If you hang it, use a padded cloth hanger. Wood and metal hangers can stretch and distort your dress; the weight of a heavy gown pulls down on the straps and can hurt the top of your dress.

Get It Professionally Cleaned

Once you get back home from your honeymoon or as soon as possible, see a specialist. You shouldn’t take such a delicate gown to a normal laundromat or even dry cleaner, so see someone who is experienced in wedding dress cleaning. A specialist in wedding gown preservation will help you form a plan to keep your dress in prime condition. 

A specialist or a professional cleaner can check your dress for any stains. Some stains appear over time, but a professional can catch them before it’s too late. For example, stains like white wine may seem invisible, but can oxidize and darken over time. Before you take your wedding dress to the cleaners, check the dress’ tag for cleaning instructions. You can also ask the cleaner how they plan to treat the dress. In general, bleach and harsh chemicals shouldn’t be used to clean a wedding dress. Many wedding dress cleaners use special, organic cleaners with no harmful chemicals. 

Look Into Airtight Storage 

If you see a professional in wedding gown preservation, they may offer you storage solutions as well as cleaning services. If they do not, look elsewhere for the proper storage solutions. 

The best way to protect your dress from the effects of time is to store it in an airtight container. Some wedding dress preservation professionals use airtight boxes, where the oxygen is removed and replaced with nitrogen. This is meant to prevent oxidation, which can cause discoloration and aging of the fabric. 

The box and tissue paper your dress is stored in should be acid-free and colorless to safely preserve its color. Acid-free tissue paper should be used between any folds in the fabric if you fold it, as well as around the entire dress.

Some believe that vacuum sealing a dress is a good way to preserve it, but others discourage this method. Vacuum sealing can cause wrinkling, and also may result in issues with humidity that can damage the dress.

If you’re not sure where to look for a professional wedding dress cleaning and preserving service, you can place an order with the Wedding Gown Preservation Company through Amazon! Simply buy their package and you’ll receive a kit with everything you need to ship your wedding dress off to professionals and receive it back in 2-8 weeks with a 100 year guarantee! Check it out by clicking the button below.

wedding gown preservation

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Store it Somewhere Cold and Dark 

Once your dress is properly cleaned and wrapped in a garment box, put that box somewhere safe, cool, dry, and dark. While your attic, basement, or garage may be your preferred storage location, these are typically humid areas. You want to avoid moisture entering your dress, as it can cause mildew and mold. Keep your dress somewhere dry and cool to avoid humidity.

Sunlight can also harm your gown. Since it should already be boxed up, direct light shouldn’t be much of an issue, but put it somewhere dark to ensure that light cannot damage the dress.

Again, avoid touching your dress or removing it from its preserved state. 

Wedding Dress Preservation Tips

Here are a few more tips for brides looking to preserve their wedding dress!

  • Check the label on your dress – it may have important information about how to clean and care for the garment!
  • Get your dress cleaned quickly so that stains don’t set. This will make it easier for your cleaners to keep your dress perfectly white.
  • Include wedding dress preservation in your wedding budget – it can cost hundreds of dollars, so figure out how much you need to save early.
  • Never use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean your gown. We recommend seeking a professional wedding gown cleaner, but if you are going to clean your dress at home, spot test a gentle cleaner on a part of the dress that you can’t see. 
  • If you hire wedding dress preservation professionals, ask about preserving your shoes as well if you want to keep them in mint condition!

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