Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wedding Gowns Short-Term Care and Long-TermPreservation

When I initially heard about The Bride’s Ball being held in our area in October, I thought what a wonderful idea, it’s for a great cause-Cervical Cancer prevention. Then my thought process went down the path of; wait, I can’t wear my wedding gown for two reasons…#1. Literally! I can’t wear my wedding gown, it doesn’t fit as beautifully as it did that day I took my walk down the aisle to this wonderful journey I am on. And #2. I had it preserved, I don’t plan on popping the seal on that time capsule for at least 2 or more decades. So, I began my quest for a new gown.

In browsing through the latest edition of the Bridal Guide, you will find the fashion preview of stylish new gowns. As a Bridal Consultant I often ask brides how are you maintaining your dream dress for the wedding, where is it stored? As well as remind brides, Mothers of the brides and sometimes bridesmaids how to preserve the dress after the event? Making sure your gown is in the best condition for your wedding is an important part of your wedding, and preserving your gown is just as valuable, but often in the planning process this significant element is sometimes overlooked.

Ok, so you have looked at hundreds of gowns; you’re exhausted from trying them on. It seems that your world has become a nightmare of tulle and organza. Don’t worry! you have made the decision that will guarantee that you will be the most beautiful bride possible on your wedding day. Here are some tips to insure that your gown stays in the best condition for your wedding and ever after.
  • Make sure to ask the salesperson how the gown should be cared for. Find the fabric  content of the gown and also ask about immediate cleaning of stains from wine, makeup, or food.
  • Always leave your gown in a garment bag.
  • Do not hang your gown on a conventional hanger, the weight of the gown can cause rips and tears if not properly hung. Use wooden or other sturdier hangers or padded hangers to prevent accidental tears.
  • When you have the dress dry cleaned or professionally cleaned make sure that they are accustomed to the special care wedding dresses must have. Make sure they know the fabric content, and how the garment must be cared for.
  • As soon as you can after the wedding the gown should be placed in a garment bag after being cleaned.
In my line of work I’ve experienced after the wedding most brides are not willing to part with their dress. Remember, you’ve wedded your true love but you have one more obligation; your gown. While I realize you aren’t going to toss it into the closet or laundry hamper, I would like to emphasize the importance of having the gown professionally serviced as soon after the wedding day as possible. In doing research before writing this blog I found many helpful sites and I have to pass on my favorite:

To make sure your dress is kept in good condition you will have to get it cleaned and preserved, then properly store it. Storing your gown involves more than just leaving it in a plastic garment bag or plastic container, although they are fine for short-term care your gown should not be left in them because over time. Plastic can leach chemicals onto your dress that may discolor it, additionally plastic can cause delicate embellishments to become hard and brittle. If you have your gown professionally preserved they will clean and repair any damages to the dress, treat with certain chemicals that will prevent any staining of the dress, then they will either steam or press it, and the final step involves folding the dress and placing it in an acid-free archival chest or box. This process can take up to 12 weeks depending on the cleaner. Also you can have other items preserved and placed with your wedding gown like your veil and gloves. Taking the extra step of having you gown professionally preserved, will insure that your gown will always be in the same condition as when you wore it on your wedding.


  1. After much searching, I have decided to go with a formal gown rather than a wedding gown, I figured we should have a few bridesmaids at the ball also.