Before The Wedding: Handle Your Wedding Dress With Care
The best way to ensure long-term preservation of your wedding dress is to take extra caution before anyone says I do. If your special day hasnt occurred yet, follow these tips to keep the dress looking pristine during the time leading up to the ceremony:
The best way to ensure long-term preservation of your wedding dress is to take extra caution before anyone says I do.
- Avoid stains: Of course youll want to steer clear of anything with stain potential on your wedding day, but did you know the pollen from flowers could be one of the biggest culprits? Specifically, the super-potent pollen found in lilies. Florists know to pull off the pollen bits with shears, but the problem comes when there are closed-up buds in your bouquet that open up right before you walk down the aisle. Double check that your florist removed the buds, and designate a bridesmaid to be on the lookout for buds that may need snipping.
- Safe Transportation: Always transport the dress in its appropriate garment bag. For extra safety when traveling, wrap key areas like embellishments, with uncolored, acid-free tissue paper. And remember to save those labels: youll need them to show your wedding gown specialist when youre ready to get it cleaned.
- Wait until the last minute: Putting on your dress should be one of the last things you do before heading out the door. This way, you can avoid any food, drink, makeup or hairspray stains that may be part of the primping process .
To Hang Or Not To Hang
Logic would tell brides to put your wedding dress on a hanger and to hang it up somewhere safe. However, before you grab your nearest coat hanger, consider the weight of your dress does it have heavy beading, multiple layers of fabric or just a single layer of satin? Unless your dress is a few light layers , it is best to store your dress flat, wrapped in a cotton sheet, in a room or space that isn’t a high traffic area in your house such as under the bed or on the top shelf of a spare closet. When storing your dress, be cautious of heat sources and pets. Placing your dress in a heat source’s path or an area accessible to pets could lead to some damage to your dress you could have prevented.
How Long Does Dry Cleaning Take
Dry cleaning a wedding gown should take somewhere from a few days to a month depending on how many layers are on your gown and how busy the dry cleaning shop is.
If you’re fortunate enough and the shop isn’t busy, a fantastic dry cleaning for a wedding gown must take two to three days. Making certain that you take your gown to a well-known wedding gown cleaning and preservation company is the most necessary phase of the cleaning process.
Taking your robe to your nearby dry cleaning company runs the danger of having the company itself shipping off your gown to a wholesale dry-cleaning company.
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Preserve And Store Your Wedding Dress For Life
Its wedding season! But what do you do with your wedding dress after the big day!? Some brides sell their gown, donateit to charity or re-purpose it into lingerie. Others choose to trash the dress in a fun and unique photo shoot.However, many brides want to hang onto their special dress because it represents so much love, happiness and fondmemories for them.
If you want to keep your dress looking as good as they day you got married in it then wedding dress preservation andstorage is so important. Here are 8 top tips you need to know about how to preserve and store your wedding dress.
Getting The Perfect Dress
Alterations can be divided into two groups: those you absolutely need to get done and those that alter the dress to a style you like better.
Both are important because your wedding dress should be perfect for you. There is absolutely no need to settle with a dress that isnt exactly what you want and usually after a well done alteration you get the dream dress moment again as the dress now fits you like a glove. If youre interested to know more about wedding dresses, check out our thorough guide: The Wedding Dress Book.
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How To Prevent Wedding Dress Wrinkles
Once you’ve found your wedding dress, you’ll want to make sure it looks picture-perfect from the start of the ceremony through to the end of the reception. That’s why we asked some of our favorite wedding experts to share their best tips for keeping your dress pristine and wrinkle-free all day long.
Julie Sabatino, owner of the wedding-day styling company the Stylish Bride, is something of an expert on this topic. “It’s definitely a big issue, something that I’ve found every single bride is worried about. It doesn’t matter what type of fabric their dress is-they’re concerned,” she explains. Her first recommendation is to ensure the bridal salon where you’re purchasing your dress packages the garment appropriately after your final fitting. “They steam the gown and stuff it with cardboard and tissue paper to make a bodice form inside the dress to keep the shape,” she says. Even though the garment bag can get tough to travel with, you’ll want to make sure to keep everything in place so that the bodice doesn’t shift.
When Should One Preserve Their Wedding Gown How Long Is Too Long To Wait
The longer you wait, the more likely sunlight and oxidation can cause damage. “Stains and soils react with textile fibers and over time cause oxidation of the yarns, thus altering the chemistry of the textile and potentially making it much more difficult to reverse the damage safely,” says Jonathan Scheer, Founder & CEO of J. Scheer & Co. “Keeping the gown in a cool, dark, dry storage environment after the wedding and before cleaning will slow the process of oxidation and allow for a wider window of opportunity to wait before cleaning,” he advises. “I would prefer to see the gown as soon after the wedding as is practical, and advise clients not to wait more than three to six months.”
It’s important to note that not all stains are visible right away. The fabrics that compose wedding dresses attract impurities easily and it’s best to plan your preservation sooner rather than later. Remember that sugar alcohols and chloride salts will aggressively degrade fabrics and even if you think you cleaned it yourself, and the stains will set and could result in permanent damage.
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Most Common Wedding Dress Alterations That You Should Know About
Everyone wants a perfectly beautiful wedding dress that fits like a glove, right? There might be some unexpected steps to the dress bliss as finding the perfect wedding dress doesnt always mean that it fits you flawlessly. In some rare occasions you can take your wedding dress from the store straight to the wedding but most brides need to have alterations done to the dress. We have listed some alterations from the most common to the not so common.
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Preserve Your Wedding Gown
I did a ton of research on how to preserve my dress. Id heard horror stories about paid services that didnt even clean the dress, let alone do anything to preserve it, and then told brides that if they opened the box to check on the dress it would void their warranty. Plus, I noticed that a lot of services and do-it-yourself kit sellers were using cardboard boxes with printed decorations on themwhich will eventually bleed through the paper and harm the dress!
So I did it myself for just the cost of acid-free tissue and a Sterlite storage box. The following tips are culled from my research and suggestions provided on the Disney Wedding Podcast by professional conservator Camille Myers Breeze of Museum Textile Services. She has created an extremely helpful tip sheet, How to Archive Your Wedding Gown, that will take you through her approved process step by step.
First I had the dress cleaned at my local green dry cleaner . Myers Breeze considers professional cleaning the single most important step, even if you dont do anything else to preserve your gown, because it removes the sweat, Champagne and dirt stains that will damage the gown over time.
I got a Sterlite box from the hardware storeyou can also use an acid-free cardboard box with NO printed decorations on it, but I wanted something waterproof. Myers Breeze says any bin made of polypropylene or polyethylene is fine.
I lined the box with white, unbuffered, acid-free tissue I got from Archival Methods.
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Tips To Keep Your Wedding Dress Safe Before Your Wedding
Every little girl dreams of walking down the aisle in the perfect wedding dress. Finding the perfect dress can make or break your wedding. So you scour every rack in every store to try on countless different styles until you find it the one. But what should you do with it until your wedding, which is months away? How will you be sure that your dress will be kept safe? Here are some easy steps you can take to make sure your wedding dress makes it to your wedding day without damage.
Choose A Trusted Preserver
Before heading to the wedding dress preserver closest to you, do your research on how to preserve a wedding dress. Get recommendations from friends and family members who may have found a high-quality preserver they trust and search online to read reviews. When choosing a company, look for keywords like guarantee against yellowing,museum-quality materials,free inspection before the gown is placed in preservation chest and acid-free instead of acid-neutral, suggests Kathy Kimmel of Kimmel Wedding Gown Preservation and Restoration in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
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First Comes The Cleaning
When you first bring your wedding dress to Embassy Cleaners for preservation, your friendly customer service representative will ask if there are any known marks or stains on the dress. The cleaners will go over your wedding dress with a fine tooth comb to locate any marks, but it helps to know in advance if there are any specific spots that the customer is aware of.
Next, the wedding dress will be cleaned by hand. This is necessary because of the variety of delicate fabrics that are frequently used in wedding gowns. Wedding dresses often have things like sequins, brocade, lace, woven buttons, tatting, beading and even valuable gems interwoven into the design of the gown. These are all dealt with extremely carefully to ensure that no damage is done during the cleaning. Detailed attention is given to any particular marks on the dress, and proper cleaning solutions are utilized when necessary, according to the particular fabric that is being treated.
How To Clean A Wedding Dress
Planning for the future preservation of your wedding dress begins on the day you start shopping. When you find “the dress” be sure to ask the sales consultant how the dress should be cleaned. Look for special instructions on how to clean any delicate trim, beads, or sequins. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission requires that each gown have a care label that you should take time to read.
Every wedding gown should be cleaned before being stored away for more than a few weeks even if it doesn’t look soiled. Perspiration, food and drink stains, and makeup stains can show up later and become much more difficult to remove. Look for a professional dry cleaner that specializes in wedding gown preservation. Be sure to point out any stains and any loose trim or buttons. Also discuss, if you know, how the trim is attached to the gown. Some designers use an adhesive that could dissolve during the dry cleaning process.
If the cleaner is going to pack your dress for storage, ask your cleaner to allow you to inspect your gown before it is packed in an acid-free box to help prevent contamination. This will prevent surprises when you open your sealed box years from now. There are horror stories of missing gowns and veils or the wrong dress packed away.
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How Should I Handle And Store It
Though many preservationists choose to seal the box to keep out insects and vermin, others say sealing is unnecessaryif the gown is packaged correctly. It’s really all about your personal preference. If you do open the box, remember to use discretion when handling the dress. Jean-Aimee recommends wearing clean white cotton gloves , but at minimum, be sure to wash your hands first. “There’s no inherent reason why you cannot open your gown, but we’re trained in museums not to handle something unless absolutely necessary because there’s always the potential for danger,” Conant says.
Once your gown is back from the preservationist, pay attention to storage. “Keep your dress in a cool, dark and dry environment with a relative humidity at 50 percent at all times,” Jean-Aimee says. As a guideline, store your preserved gown in a location with a neutral temperatureunder your bed or in a dry closet are your best bets. Schwegmann recommends air-conditioned rooms.
What A Wedding Dress Symbolizes
One woman told me, For years I thought that letting go of my wedding dress would be like throwing my marriage away. But I sold it, and guess what? I found out it was only a dress and my marriage not only survived but thrived!
Another woman told me she had stored her wedding dress for 24 years in the basement of her parents home. Shed been married for 18 of those years and then separated for 6 years before it occurred to her that it had become clutter in both her own life and her parents lives. Getting divorced to allow her ex to remarry was the final clincher. She was ready to let the dress go.
She first tried to sell it but gave up after a few months and donated it to a charity that was grateful to receive it. During the letting-go process, she came to terms with what the dress had symbolized for her. I remembered all the details of its purchase, she said, and how I settled on it as a means of pleasing both my mom and my hubby-to-be . She realized the wedding dress was all about how she used to try to please other people rather than make her own choices and, truthfully, she didnt even like the dress very much. Becoming conscious of this made it obvious that she needed and wanted to let it go and move on.
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