Once your vows have been exchanged, the cake has been cut and the last dance has been danced, you are left with beautiful memories of your wedding, and one of the most expensive and the most prized article of clothing you will ever own (and your husband, too, of course) – your wedding dress.
You spend countless hours looking for the perfect dress and it made you look absolutely breathtaking on your wedding day; so it’s only fair that you give your wedding gown a happily ever after too, right?
Instead of tucking your bridal gown into a closet or stuffing it in the corner of an attic, consider preserving it. Preserving your wedding dress will allow you to enjoy looking back at it and recalling how wonderful it made you feel on your special day, and it will also make it possible to pass your gown down to your future daughter or daughter-in-law. In order to maintain the color and the quality of the fabrics and embellishments, you are going to want to take special care to preserve your wedding dress properly.
What is wedding dress preservation and how is it done? Keep on reading to find out some valuable information about preserving the most important article of clothing you have ever owned.
What Exactly is Wedding Dress Preservation?
Wedding dress preservation involves the process of cleaning and packaging a wedding gown to ensure it retains its integrity and its beauty. A professional who specializes in preservation will assess the gown, including the materials, the embellishments, along with any stains on the gown. After thoroughly assessing the gown, the preservation specialist will formulate a customized cleaning procedure. Cleaning is the first and the most important part of preserving a wedding gown. In order to ensure the gown stays in-tact, any stains need to be completely removed. If the stains are not removed, they will eventually turn brown and destroy the integrity of the fabric and the dress.
Once the gown is cleaned, it will be wrapped in an acid-free tissue paper, which will prevent the fabric and any embellishments from being destroyed. It will then be placed in a high-quality storage box, complete with a viewing window so that you can look at your dress any time you want to without the need to open the box.
When Should You Preserve Your Wedding Dress?
The sooner you preserve your wedding dress, the better. The longer you wait to have it preserved, the more likely any stains that are on the fabric will set in. Once stains set in, they become more difficult to remove, and the likelihood of the fabric being damaged increases.
Of course, if you are going on your honeymoon immediately following your wedding, you can wait to have the gown preserved until you get back. However, do note that having your dress preserved within a few weeks to a month after your wedding is recommended.
How to Have Your Wedding Dress Preserved
You have two options when it comes to wedding dress preservation:
- You can use a preservation kit
- You can find a preservationist
If you choose the former option, you will send your dress to a company that specializes in preservation. You will receive a mailing kit with a pre-paid label. Simply place your wedding gown in the kit and send it back to the company. After the company receives your gown and preserves it, they will send it back to you. Talk about convenient!
If you opt for the latter option and decide to find a preservationist yourself, you will need to do some research first. Investigate places that offer wedding gown preservation. Dry cleaners and bridal shops often offer these services, though your best bet is to find someone who actually specializes in preserving gowns. You may want to ask any friends or family members who have had their wedding gowns preserved to make recommendations.
Before making a final decision, make sure you ask a lot of questions. Find out what techniques are used and how many gowns the party you are thinking about using have preserved in the past. You should also find out if the preservation is done on-site, or if it will be sent out to a third party. Make sure you are completely comfortable with the person or company you choose to preserve your gown.
Handling Your Wedding Gown
Once it has been preserved, you may be tempted to handle your wedding gown. Some companies seal the box the gown is preserved, but some do not. If the box is not sealed and you do choose to handle your gown, make sure you use discretion before doing so. Wear white cotton gloves, if possible, and be sure to wash your hands before you touch the gown. Oil and dirt on your hands can get trapped in the fabric and compromise the preservation.