Let’s be honest, as much as you’ve looked forward to and enjoyed your big day, there is also a sigh of relief once it’s over. You’ve successfully maneuvered through the pre-wedding jitters, guest lists, themes, picking the right outfits and everything in-between. Naturally, kicking back and enjoying the honeymoon is all you want to think about. Before you turn your vacation mode ON, there is one last important thing that needs to be taken care of – your gown! And time is of the essence. Surely, “I don’t mind coming home to a yellowed wedding dress” said no bride ever. We know it can be tricky to figure out the best way to clean and preserve your wedding dress. That’s why so many brides ask us about the do’s & don’ts of wedding dress dry cleaning. So we collected 5 myth-busting, honest viewpoints to consider to help you make the right cleaning decisions!
1. MONEY: SKIP THE MIDDLEMAN
After all the recent dents in your pocket from the wedding, “professionally cleaning and preserving” your dress may seem daunting, so you are probably tempted to choose Plan B – dry cleaning. However, this could be a naïve mistake because most dry-cleaners charge as much as the experts, if not more. For example, professional preservation companies, like Affordable Preservation, specialize in wedding dresses and offer top quality packages for only $225 for complete cleaning and preservation, including your veil, and insurance against loss or damage. If you decide to go this route be sure to…
- ASK: Do you perform the dry-cleaning on-site?
- EXPECT: Usually, dry-cleaners offering wedding dress cleaning aren’t adept to take on the task of dealing with precious, delicate gowns. They often outsource it to professionals who have the proper equipment and expertise – and guess who bears the marked up costs? You. So always make sure the price is right, who is doing the actual cleaning, and what’s your recourse if the dress is damaged.
2. PROCESS: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
Your local dry-cleaner may claim to do all the right, comforting things, but they are what they are – one-size-fits-all dry-cleaners. Only a specialist has the expertise with delicate fabrics, stitching, details and hems of various ground-grazing bridal wear, to then be able to give appropriate treatment for each.
- ASK: What is the cleaning process like?
- EXPECT: Most dry-cleaners use a substance called PERC which is a human carcinogen and wearing these dry cleaned clothes may put you at risk. Even specialized dry-cleaners typically use recycled solvents (as opposed to clean solvents), which works to clean a man’s shirt. However, your gown is not a man’s shirt. Always make sure to ask about the process!
3. SHIPPING-PHOBIA: FEAR OF LOSING A DRESS IN-TRANSIT
Most professional preservation companies online offer free shipping – both ways. But maybe your dress leaving your home doesn’t seem like an attractive offer to you because it brings out your greatest fears – what if someone steals or misplaces your dress while shipping? Luckily, the probability is extremely unlikely. As millions of brides trust these services year after year, it is clear that the average postal service has no interest in dirty or worn wedding dresses.
- ASK: Will dry-cleaning involve transportation of your dress?
- EXPECT: The (un)expected…Yes, dry cleaners need to transport dresses in bulk to the specialized cleaning facilities, so in no way are you able to avoid this. Your best bet is with the gown insurance that professional dress cleaning services offer. If opting for dry-cleaning seems like the only way you can personally deliver or collect your dress – think again. Make sure to choose a cleaning service that offers gown insurance.
4. YELLOW OR WHITE?
It’s your granddaughter’s wedding and she decides to wear your wedding dress. You have been waiting for this sentimental moment for a big part of your life. You open the gown you carefully saved all these years in plastic wraps in a cool, dark place (hanging the dress can cause stretching – you already knew that.) But, as you open the dry-cleaning bag, to your horror, you find your white dress doesn’t look white anymore! If only you knew there was a way to keep it in pristine condition…
- ASK: What is the storage like after the cleaning?
- EXPECT: A professionally preserved dress is wrapped in not only acid-free tissue, but an airtight archival box to prevent oxidation that could result in yellowing or (gasp) molding over the years. Even accessories are treated with the intense care and skill that they need. Dry-cleaners might not have the state-of-the-art equipment required to ensure the garments last for generations to come. Always make sure to ask about storage!
5. GUARANTEES & WARRANTEES
Color transferring, fading, snags by sharp beads, embellishments (like sequins) are common hazards to watch out for. Testimonials are a good way to check the legitimacy of a service provider. But, no matter how thorough you are from your end, things can always go wrong when the fate of the dress is in the hands of a random cleaner.
- ASK: Do you offer guarantees?
- EXPECT: Unfortunately, even a top-notch dry-cleaning service can mistakingly damage your gown. Luckily, a professional wedding dress cleaning services, issues a certificate of guarantee that covers not just the cost of the preservation, but the dress itself.
It’s up to you to decide whether you should take your wedding gown to a local dry cleaner or opt for a professional wedding dress cleaning service, like the Affordable Preservation Company. Just always remember to ask the questions we listed above to the provider you choose – this will hep to avoid any unfortunate outcomes. If you are curious about a different option, look into Wedding Dress Preservation. If you have more questions about wedding dress dry cleaning just comment below and we’ll get right back to you!