You can breathe now. Your wedding is over. It was a success. You are married to the man of your dreams. You are now a Mrs.!
But you do have a bit of a predicament. What do you do with your wedding dress?
One day is all that separates a gown from being the most important piece of attire in the whole world, to a heap of white fabric that you don’t know what do to with. The dress that just days ago you would have protected with your life is now a hassle –another personal possession for which you must find storage.
Since your wedding gown will always be important to you, you need to be careful in how you store it so that its beauty can be preserved. If you choose to keep your dress, take the time to store it correctly for preservation purposes. Do this right and maybe your gown will live to see the day that your daughter will dream about her big day!
Cleaning your dress is the single most important step in the preservation process. While often overlooked, cleaning your dress properly can make or break the successful storing of your gown. Therefore, you may want to invest in taking your gown to a cleaner after the wedding. A professional can examine your dress for stains and determine the most appropriate cleaning procedure.
- Mail away kits
Some companies now offer a service which allows you to send off your wedding dress in the mail. They will return it to you cleaned, treated, and preserved! Many such companies even include some sort of insurance and guarantee with their services. If you plan beforehand, you could even drop off your wedding dress at a postoffice or other shipping store on your way to the honeymoon! Look into the preservation kits offered by David’s Bridal, Prestige Preservation, and more.
Dry cleaners can get the job done. But a specialized wedding gown preservationist will be the best choice to ensure a quality job. Shop around to find a professional that you trust. Don’t be afraid to ask questions — make sure that they know their fabrics and how to handle them, ask what type of cleaning method they use and if they work on location. And figure out the answers to these questions before your wedding so that a loved one can drop off the gown while you are away on your honeymoon.
If your goal is to save a couple hundred dollars by completing the preservation process yourself, be prepared for imperfection. An amateur at-home job will not compare to the work of professionals. Some stubborn stains may stick around despite your best efforts. But with the right supplies and some patience, you will still be able to preserve your wedding gown fairly satisfactorily. The following steps begin under the impression that your dress has already been cleaned:
- Purchase an acid-free box, acid-free tissue paper, and an acid-neutral bust form (optional).
- Wash your hands and clean your working area.
- Cover the box with tissue.
- Fold your dress, inserting the bust if applicable.
- Cover the dress with another layer of tissue.
- Close box with lid, but do not seal.
3. Find an appropriate home
After your dress has been properly preserved, you must find a proper home for it! Look for a place with as little moisture, light, and cluster as possible. Avoid overly dark and musty locations. An environment similar to your regular living space will do the job. For instance, on top of a tall dresser, on an uninhabited upper shelf, or in a free corner of a closet. After all your hard work, you may want to make your preserved dress into a piece of artwork! Feel free to hang it on a wall in a hallway, closet, or bedroom.
And just like that, you’re done! It’s really as easy as one, two, three! While you have some decisions to make concerning how you specifically preserve your wedding gown, following these steps will ensure that your dress will live long past your big day. Take the time and money now to properly preserve your dress. You will thank yourself in the future while watching your daughters play dress-up in your gown, or perhaps even getting married in it themselves!