professional_wedding_dress_preservation_vs_DIYThe process of shopping for a wedding gown was, perhaps, your favorite part of the wedding planning stage. After all, you got to try on beautiful dresses with your friends and family, and the moment you picked your dress you knew it was the perfect one for you. But now that the wedding is over, you are faced with what to do with the dress.

The first step is getting the dress cleaned and preserved. A professional dress preserver can be trusted to keep your gown looking as good as it did the day you walked down the aisle. But in the age of Pinterest and DIY-goddesses, many brides are considering a do-it-yourself route. What’s the difference between DIY wedding dress preservation and professional wedding dress preservation, and which one is right for you? 

Professional Wedding Dress Preservation 

Professional wedding dress preservation is a cleaning and preserving process carried out by professionals, with professional tools and years of knowledge. A number of different options are available when you are looking into professional wedding dress preservation, including how the dress will be cleaned, how it will be packed, and how it can be displayed (if you choose). 

The first step of professional wedding dress preservation is cleaning the dress. The dress is specially cleaned, starting with stains and spots around the base of the dress, and working upward. As many stains as possible are removed without compromising the material of the dress. Once the dress has been cleaned, it is then hung and steamed to remove any wrinkles from the dress. This special process does not involve high heat, which can damage the delicate fabrics of a wedding gown. 

Once the gown has been cleaned, it is carefully folded and placed in an acid-free, preservation box. You can choose to have your dress placed into a solid box, or a box with a window for easy viewing. You can also choose to have your dress preserved in a frame, so it can be displayed in the home. Framing a dress is a relatively new fad, and only professionals can truly do this while ensuring the integrity of the gown over many years. 

Do-It-Yourself Wedding Dress Preservation 

In recent years, do-it-yourself wedding preservation kits have hit the market. The kits traditionally include instructions for cleaning, cleaning solutions, and the necessary box to store the dress in when all is said and done. Most kits suggest spot cleaning stains, then spraying the entire dress with a soap and water solution, before wetting the entire dress in a tub to rinse the soap from the delicate fabrics. The kits then suggest hang drying the dress, before folding it and placing it in the preservation box. 

Doing it yourself is an option, but remember, most kits and online suggestions do not take into account the different fabrics that dresses are made of. Each fabric will respond differently to the preservation kits available on the market, or to the instructions that are available online. Take care when starting such a project, and begin with an area of the dress that is less important. By “testing” the method, you’ll be able to see whether or not your particular dress will take kindly to the process. 

While cleaning and preserving your own dress is possible, it is not advisable if you have a sentimental attachment to the gown. DIY projects may turn out well, but they may also turn out poorly, which can cause irreparable damage the dress. If you have a dress made of delicate fabrics, it is best to leave the job to the professionals.

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Photo credit: Andrew Morrell Photography / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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