After you’ve worn your beautiful wedding dress on one of the most important days of your life, it’s finally time to consider how best to clean and preserve your wedding dress, and to figure out the best wedding dress preservation company near me.
First and foremost, it’s not recommended that you try to preserve your dress yourself (DIY) by simply storing it in a lovely acid-free box with acid-free tissue. There are usually invisible stains that will surface over time if not professionally cleaned. These are usually caused by perspiration, perfume, body lotions, champagne, white wine, or even frosting from your wedding cake. These tend to create yellow or brown stains that will most certainly show up over time and that will cause the fabric to deteriorate. A professional wedding dress company will use an ultra violet light when they inspect your dress. This will illuminate these chemicals and allow technicians to find and hand treat these types of stains.
You’ll also want to avoid your local dry cleaners, unless they send your gown out to a professional wedding gown preservation company. Remember, most dry cleaners are pros at cleaning blouses, shirts, slacks and every day dresses. However, when it comes to delicate fabrics and beading they are not the experts in cleaning wedding dresses. There are many heartbreaking stories about dry cleaners accidentally ruining wedding gowns that can not be replaced. If they do send your dress off, they will usually charge you more than if you sent it to the same company yourself. So why not send your precious wedding dress directly to a reputable company that specializes in wedding dresses yourself?
So the real question is, how to find the BEST wedding dress preservation company. Here are some important tips you should know…
Low cost does not always equate to low quality
Wedding gown preservation companies, that are industry leaders, are cleaning and preserving hundreds of wedding gowns each day. As a result, they have significant economies of scale and can pass the savings on to you. The largest company in the US is The Wedding Gown Preservation Company based in New York. However, they only work through authorized representatives who they have built trusted relationships with. Their top representative for the entire US is the Affordable Preservation Company, that conveniently offers their services to customers throughout the US. Higher priced local companies will often charge much more since they process significantly fewer gowns and have higher overhead per dress.
Reputation is Key
Listen to the brides before you and find out what they have to say about their experiences with the different wedding dress preservation companies out there. Read client testimonials and stories directly from newlyweds on sites like Wedding Wire and The Knot. These websites will help you form a better and truer picture of the services you’re about to spend your money on and trust your delicate dress with. You’ll also want to be aware the financial health of the company so they don’t close their doors with your dress inside. Some large companies such as David’s Bridal have recently filed bankruptcy.
Some dry cleaners are still using toxic chemicals like PERC due to the low cost. However, it’s important that the company you select not only uses non-toxic solvents, but also ones that are environmentally friendly. You’ll also want to be sure all materials used are acid-free or acid-neutral. This will also help prevent your dress from yellowing and deteriorating over time.
Very Low Risk
Most people are very nervous about sending their wedding dress off to another city instead of handing it over directly to a local company. However, you can rest assured that it is highly unlikely that shipping companies used be reputable wedding dress preservation companies, such as UPS, will lose or damage your dress. Their sophisticated tracking services are top notch. As far as theft, although your dress is valuable, it is MOST valuable to YOU. A used wedding dress is not very resale-able (unlike electronics), nor will it fit most people when it has been tailored specifically to you. In addition, most companies will include a baseline amount of insurance against loss or damage. You can also purchase additional insurance for total peace of mind.
Worried you won’t know when your dress has arrived at the cleaning facility or when it’s ready? Some companies even go as far as to provide you with online tracking of your dress so 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. This kind of service can make all the difference for peace of mind.
There is basically no reason to drive miles and miles to drop off and pick up your dress at the best wedding dress preservation company near you. Many companies that use UPS will send you a box and pre-paid shipping label to send in your dress. You can either have UPS pick it up or take it to a local UPS shipper. When your dress is ready, it can be delivered to your doorstep at work or home. How’s that for lowering your carbon footprint?
Finding ‘The One’
Like any quest for finding ‘the one’, you’ll want to feel completely comfortable with your choice. As you can see, the best wedding dress preservation company doesn’t need to actually be near you at all. At Affordable Preservation, they know that finding the right company to care for your dress can be confusing, that’s why they go above and beyond to make your choice clear by meeting all of these criteria, and why so many brides love their service!