Storing your wedding dress properly before your big day is equally as important as afterwards. Your wedding dress’s journey begins from the very moment you try on “the one” and it is up to you to protect it like it’s Queen Elizabeth’s royal ballgown. From the day you purchase that perfect dress, there are several important things you should know to ensure that your dress looks just as new walking down the isle as when you first tried it on. That being said, one of the final and most important details you can expect to manage after your wedding is to have your wedding dress professionally cleaned and stored. Here are several tips on how to properly store your wedding dress before and after your wedding.
1. BEFORE THE WEDDING
Most brides typically order their wedding dress about 8 months before their wedding day. On average, it will take the gown will take about 16 to 20 weeks to arrive. This leaves about 4 months of alterations and wedding dress storage before the actual wedding. There are important things to be mindful about from the day a dress is taken home from the bridal shop to the day it is worn on your special day!
- Hang the dress on an acid free padded hanger.
- Invest in a quality bridal garment bag made of fabric, NOT PLASTIC. Plastic can cause the dress to yellow if stored for several months before your wedding.
- If your dress is heavy (beading, appliqués, bows, etc), consider hanging the bottom half of the dress on a separate hanger so the straps and/or bodice of your dress does not stretch.
- If you are not getting married for several months, it’s best to store the gown is a fabric garment bag and lay it flat, as prolonged hanging can create stretching and stress marks within the fabric.
- Keep your dress in a cool dry special place (like an enclosed closet) with light traffic. Ideally away from pets and children.
- Remove your dress from the garment bag a a week or so before your wedding to let the dress fall naturally and release some of the larger wrinkles, before having it steamed pressed.
- Steam press the dress vs. ironing it to avoid burning or melting the fabric or appliqués.
- If you purchased a used or sample wedding gown, consider having your wedding dress professionally cleaned before you wear it.
2. AFTER THE WEDDING
Depending on the venue and type of wedding, your dress is most likely not going to look quite the same after your wedding day (because you had so much fun, of course). Dancing, walking around for photos, spilling drinks, and cake frosting can create a ‘dangerous’ environment for a wedding dress. Now that the day has come to pass, let’s not get lazy and let our beautiful, and possibly quite expensive wedding dress go to waste. Here are some tips on properly storing your wedding dress after your big day.
- Highly consider having your dress professionally cleaned and preserved within 1 month after your wedding. This will help to ensure that stains do not settle into the fabric.
- Remember that fabric garment bag you stored your dress in before the wedding? Keep your dress in that. If you don’t have a bag, wrap your dress in a white cotton sheet until you can have it cleaned and preserved.
- Top quality wedding dress preservation can be quite affordable.
- Store your dress in a cool and dry enclosed space, away from sunlight.
- Dry cleaners are generally not wedding gown specialists and will usually recommend or will physically send off your dress to a specialist.
- Always do your research. Check the reputation of any company you are considering to clean and preserve your wedding dress.
- For more tips and information, read our article ‘A Pro’s Guide to Caring For Your Wedding Dress’.