After the blissful “I dos,” brides have many choices for their wedding gowns. You can donate it, sell it, re-purpose it into lingerie or a cocktail dress, or even “trash it” with a fun photo shoot. Many brides however, want to keep and preserve the dress that represents so much love and happiness. Wedding dresses are extremely delicate, and if not properly treated, can stretch, yellow and fray. So, what’s the best way to preserve your blissful memories? Here are a few tips you need to know to ensure your wedding dress lasts a lifetime.
Step One: Professionally Dry Clean It
To best preserve your wedding gown or wedding dress, professionally dry clean it within 24-48 hours after your wedding. A professional will be able to spot the dirt from your garden photo-shoot, the foundation smudges from the enthusiastic huggers, or oils from your perspiration when you danced the night away. These stains, if not taken care of quickly and properly can damage, yellow and ruin your wedding dress.
Step Two: Mind the Fabric
You selected your prefect wedding dress based on how its exquisite details and delicate fabrics made you feel and the love it represented. To preserve these feelings properly, it’s important to recognize that different type of fabrics and detailing require different types of care. Whether your dress is chiffon, satin, organza, charmeuse, lace or tulle, you’ll want to select a professional wedding dress cleaner that understands the proper cleaning techniques for your dress.
Here are a few common wedding dress fabrics and our recommended cleaning techniques for each:
- Tulle: Hand wash, using only soap flakes or gentle soap. Use warm water; do not wring. Dry out of direct sunlight.
- Chiffon: Dry clean only
- Organza: Dry clean only
- Charmeuse: Dry clean or hand wash using a silk-wash product in cold water. Then air dry.
- Satin: Dry clean or hand wash in cold water with mild detergent. Then air dry.
- Laces: Hand wash with cold water with high-quality gentle soap. Massage soapy water evenly and soak for 30 minutes. Rinse and lay flat to dry.
Step Three: Preserve and Store with Care
Once your wedding dress is professionally dry cleaned, it’s important to preserve the dress with the right materials: an acid-free box and paper. Many professional dry cleaners, like Fox Cleaners in Tulsa, provide wedding dress preservation services for a nominal fee and there are even some DIY solutions available (however, these don’t often come with a guarantee). The final consideration is where to store your precious memento. Here are a few things to consider:
Place your dress somewhere dark, away from direct sunlight, which can quickly fade and turn it yellow.
Try to find a place with low humidity. One of the best places is in an air-conditioned space. If air-conditioning isn’t available, then a dehumidifier may be necessary.
Temperature is one of the most important things to consider when preserving delicate fabrics. This means storing your wedding gown in a climate-controlled space that stays cool year-round.
If you, like so many nostalgic brides, decide to preserve your dress, be sure to use a reputable, professional dry cleaner like Fox Cleaners in Tulsa. Only a professional can make sure your wedding dress is properly cleaned and preserved for generations.