Congratulations!  You’ve said your vows, thrown your bouquet, downed your champagne, and enjoyed your honeymoon.  But don’t get too caught-up in addressing your thank-you notes to spend a little time thinking about wedding dress preservation.  For many women, a wedding dress is the most expensive garment they will ever own.  You may dream of passing the dress down to your daughter one day, or you may just want to protect your investment.  How can you make sure that your dress is well-kept?

 

Clean It Promptly

Your wedding dress dry cleaner may also be a wedding dress preservation expert (we are).  Take your dress in as promptly after the wedding as possible, so it can be cleaned.  Removing perspiration, dirt, and any stains (such as red wine, lipstick, or chocolate cake) is the first step in making sure your dress lasts over time.  Waiting to clean the dress makes it more difficult to get the stains out, and if you wait a long time, you may have to seek wedding dress restoration instead of preservation.

 

Store It Correctly

Museums know that vintage fabrics have invisible, chemical enemies: oil, acid, and oxygen.  When you receive your preserved dress, your cleaner should have packaged it for you.  Make sure that any packaging is acid-free, and follow directions about storage precisely.  Some packaging, for example, features a viewing window.  The dress should be stored out of direct sunlight, in this case, to avoid a bleaching or yellowing effect that light can have while reacting with the acetate or plastic of the window.

 

Be Money Smart

You should be able to get a quote from your cleaner/preservationist before they begin work on your gown.  Remember to keep your expectations realistic: more complex gowns, with more detailed beading or other decorations, will take more time and cost more than simple gowns.  Likewise, luxury fabrics like silk require more care than man-made polyester, which can increase the cost.  But also compare the cost of preservation with the purchase price of your gown, and remember than unpreserved fabric can decay very quickly.  Many people decide that preserving their investment and memories are worth the cost.

 

Getting It There

How will you transport your gown to the wedding dress dry cleaning shop?  Some preservation services require you to mail the gown to them.  Packaging, in this case, is important.  Do not, for example, wrap the gown in colored tissue paper, as this can stain the fabric.  Likewise, avoid making sharp folds and creases in the gown, as this weakens the fabric.  If you can take the gown to your preservationist in person, this is a bit simpler: just bring the gown in a normal garment bag, and then let your cleaner/preservationist instruct you on how to store it after preservation.

 

Keeping Your Memories Safe

Wedding dress preservation doesn’t have to be expensive or a hassle.  When you choose a dry cleaner/preservationist that you trust, you can have peace of mind that your wedding dress investment will be preserved for future generations to admire.  With our experienced, expert wedding dress preservation, your dress can last as long as your love.

 

Sources:

Preserve Your Wedding Dress – www.theknot.com

How Museums Store Dresses – www.heritagegown.com.