Should I get my wedding dress cleaned before my wedding

Do I Really Need To Get My Wedding Dress Cleaned?

There are several reasons why you may need to get your wedding dress cleaned before your big day. These reasons could be that you purchased your wedding dress as a sample off the rack, it might be a special dress passed down through generations, or perhaps it got soiled going to/from the seamstress for alterations. There’s no need to worry about having your dress cleaned before your wedding, as long as you plan for it well in advance and find a reputable cleaner. If your dress is already in perfect condition, then obviously there is no need to have it cleaned. However, if you are storing it in a garment bag, it will likely need to be steamed and/or pressed so it is totally pristine for your big day.

Things to Consider

If you purchased a sample gown, keep in mind that roughly a few to a dozen other people have probably tried it on before you. That being said you might want to get it cleaned before the wedding even if the gown looks clean.

Should I clean my wedding dress before my wedding

Most vendors that sell second hand gowns require it to be cleaned before selling it. Just in case, we recommend laying the dress out flat and thoroughly examining it. Especially check places on the dress like the hemline, the bust line, or under the armpits for stains.  If you plan on wearing a vintage gown or dress that was passed down through your family, you may want to look into going further and professionally restoring your wedding gown.

It’s every bride’s worst nightmare that something might happen to her gorgeous wedding dress, especially before the wedding. Don’t fret, it won’t take long to get your wedding dress cleaned and returned to you looking as good as new with proper planning.

wedding planning for wedding dress cleaning

When Should I Get It Cleaned?

Before or After Alterations?

Since many brides often lose (or gain) weight right before their wedding, many prefer to have alterations done as the final stages before their wedding. In that case, it’s recommended that you have your dress cleaned before you have it altered. Try to do this at least 3 months before your wedding to ensure enough time for alterations, etc. If you’re on a tight time frame, consider having your dress expedited to get it back as soon as possible.

Alternatively, if your dress will require several visits to the seamstress, and you don’t plan on losing or gaining much weight, you might want to have it cleaned after you have it altered. Many visits to the seamstress can result in makeup and perspiration getting onto the dress, or soiling the hem and the train.

Where Should I Get My Dress Cleaned?

Whatever you do, don’t take your wedding dress to any old dry cleaner. Not all dry cleaners specialize in wedding dresses and may use harsh chemicals and toxins. They may even end up doing more damage to your dress, especially if it’s made of delicate fabric, such as lace, organza, chiffon or silk. Be aware that some local dry cleaners will send your wedding dress to the same top rated wedding dress cleaning company, that you can actually send your dress to directly yourself, but the local cleaners will mark up the price for a profit.

Do I need to clean my wedding dress before my wedding

It’s important to find the right company with a good reputation that uses the latest state of the art (and non-toxic) cleaning process. Affordable Preservation Company will send you a box and pre-paid shipping label to send in your dress so you don’t have to drive miles to find the right place. They even provide you with online tracking of your dress. This way you can see if your dress has been received and when it’s on the way back to you and the shipper’s tracking number.

Wedding Dress Cleaning vs. Wedding Dress Preservation

Wedding Dress Cleaning

Affordable Preservation Company offers a “Gown Clean Only Package” for sample wedding dresses or used wedding dresses dresses that will be worn within 6-12 months. The ‘Clean Only’ package is not intended for long-term storage or preservation, and will not protect the dress from yellowing. With a ‘clean only’ package, your dress is professionally cleaned using organic non-toxic solvents. After cleaning it is carefully placed on a sturdy hanger, with a bust form to keep the bodice’s shape. Your dress will come back to you inside of a garment bag, that is meant for short term storage only. Upon receiving it you will still need to have it pressed or steamed to remove any wrinkles.

Wedding Dress Preservation

Wedding dress preservation is intended for long term storage of wedding gowns. Wedding dresses are carefully inspected under UV light to find invisible stains (e.g., perspiration, perfume, champagne, frosting). They are then hand cleaned in those areas so they don’t surface and become brown spots and break down the fabric. Visible stains, especially the hem and chest areas, are also hand treated as well. The dress is then fully cleaned and preserved to prevent yellowing of the fabric over time. It is then steam pressed and carefully placed in a sturdy acid-free preservation chest with a viewing window. This chest is then placed in an outer chest for extra protection and has a carrying handle. All materials are acid free.


What ever options you decide to choose, be sure to allow plenty of time for cleaning and alterations before your big day. If you decide to send in your dress for cleaning, you can request a rush processing for an extra charge. You can have your dress cleaned in 2 week ‘in house’, not including the shipping time to receive your dress and return it to you.

Voila! You can now stop worrying about cleaning your dress and continue with you wedding planning.

Don’t forget to check out our special tips for “STORING YOUR WEDDING DRESS BEFORE AND AFTER YOUR WEDDING”!


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