The wedding day has come and gone, and you and your new partner find yourselves in the hustle and bustle of a new life together. Between writing the thank-you messages and combining two people’s worth of stuff under one roof, you might be wondering what to do with your wedding dress. Do you place it in storage? What is the best way to preserve it? Your wedding dress isn’t something you can just throw in your closet and forget about; it needs proper care to remain in pristine condition. So we’re going to discuss how to care for your wedding dress after the big day.
Wedding dresses are made with special materials that are extremely delicate, and if not properly treated, can lead to stretching, yellowing and fraying. Don’t let the hours and hours you spent wedding-dress shopping (or the trips back to the store for alterations) go to waste. Instead, learn how to best preserve your gown.
Below are some helpful guidelines on wedding gown preservation after your big day.
The first step in wedding dress preservation is to have your dress dry cleaned within 24-48 hours of your wedding day. Between sweat, makeup, reception foods and other potentially damaging substances, many stains could be on your dress (some not even visible). When these substances are left on your wedding dress, they can eat away at the fabric and cause permanent staining. Having your dress professionally dry cleaned is the best assurance that all stains and oils from the wedding day are removed. If dry cleaning can’t be done immediately, be sure to place your gown in a cloth garment bag, not a plastic one, to allow the dress to breathe properly.
Caring for different types of fabrics
Wedding dresses are made with delicate materials that need special care and attention in order to keep the wedding gown preserved. Preserving your wedding gown depends on the special care given to its delicate materials. Some of the most common wedding dress fabrics include satin, charmeuse, chiffon, organza, tulle and lace, and each require different cleaning techniques.
IMPORTANT: These at-home steps apply to spot cleaning only. We recommend only professional dry cleaning services in regards to the allover care of your Maggie Sottero Designs wedding dress.
After your dress has been professionally dry cleaned, it’s important to properly store the gown with the right materials. Ask your local dry cleaners if they have acid-free boxes and acid-free tissue paper for purchase for you to store your dress in. If not, you may want to consider a care/preservation kit. Although care kits may seem expensive, they make up for their high costs with increased convenience. No-hassle options, such as mail-in cleaning (performed by a trained preservationist, rather than a dry cleaner) are particularly attractive to the bride who wants only the best for her dress. However, wedding dress preservation kit boxes are meant to never be opened, unless you’re willing to pay the price of re-sealing the box.
Additionally, if your dry cleaner doesn’t offer acid-free materials for storing your wedding dress, look at boxing companies where you might be able to buy a box made with a fitted lid that will protect from dust, moisture and other environmental factors. The key to storing your own wedding dress is to buy pristine packaging, as well as wrap the gown in acid-free tissue paper, paying special attention to areas in between the sleeves and any other crevices to prevent friction.
Next are some important factors to consider when storing your wedding dress.
According to Eddie Johnson, field operations manager of Move It Management LLC, climate control is vital to preserving your wedding dress. He explains, “Climate-controlled storage is a must to prevent large swings in humidity and temperature, which can prematurely age lace and delicate fabrics.” When storing a wedding dress, make sure the area is cool and mildew-free. Furthermore, the best way to avoid moisture is to keep the dress in a climate controlled area.
To ensure the longevity of your wedding gown, it’s important to protect the dress in storage by keeping it away from other clothing, and to avoid using colored tissue paper or tissue paper that contains acid. Though an attic may seem ideal to keep your dress safe, in reality it’s probably the worst place to store a wedding dress. From insects to a leaking roof, environmental factors can eventually destroy your dress.
Keep your dress in a dimly lit or dark space. Light tends to cause your dress’s fabric to yellow. A storage unit may make it easier for you to keep harsh light away from your wedding dress, than an often-used closet within your house.
With a climate controlled temperature, you’ll be better able to block out humidity. Consider using a dehumidifier when storing your dress in a dark area of your home, such as the basement. However, if you have an air conditioning system, a dehumidifier may not be necessary, as air conditioned homes and apartments generally contain humidity levels that are too low to cause harm to a wedding dress.
Lastly, wedding dresses require periodic garment checks. Once a year, carefully take your gown out of storage to look for mildew, holes, stains, signs of age, and discoloration. If you see damages, take your dress to a dry cleaner for repairs.
All in all, wedding dress preservation allows brides to not only cherish an important aspect of their special day, but to pass their wedding dress on to their next generation. When a single article of clothing has brought you so much joy, it only makes sense to want to share that joy with others. We hope these tips for how to care for your wedding dress after the big day!
Next, check out our Tips on Wedding Dress Shopping!
Wedding Dress Preservation Kit
How To: Preserve Your Wedding Dress After the Big Day
Dos and Don’ts of Storing Your Wedding Dress
Storing Your Wedding Dress
How to Wash Tulle
How To Wash Lace