After countless hours spent searching for your dream dress (not to mention the pounds spent on it), it’s only fair that your gown gets its own happily ever after. Whether it’s because you want to preserve a precious memory of your special day, or pass it down to a daughter or other family member one day, many women decide to keep and preserve their dresses for years to come. But you can’t just put it on a hanger in the wardrobe with your summer dresses – this gown needs a bit more attention.
Whether you flung your dress to the floor at the end of your wedding day or hung it up with care, your dress will need some TLC. Many wedding dresses are heavy and hot, and have been worn for hours on end on one of the most emotional days of your life. They also tend to become stained easily, especially if you have a few drink-happy guests. So the first and most important step in making your gown last a lifetime is getting it cleaned properly. Find yourself a cleaner that specialises in cleaning wedding dresses. They will be able to do a survey of your gown; the materials, embellishments and various stains, and formulate a specialised cleaning process for them. By getting your gown cleaned properly, it stops stains (particularly those containing sugar) from turning brown over the years and becoming impossible to remove.
Once you get your beautiful clean dress back, you might be tempted to try it on again (go ahead, we won’t tell anyone) before you put it away. There are many different ways you can store your wedding dress, including preservation displays, framed on a wall or hanging in a specialist dress bag. However, the most common storage method is in a sturdy wedding dress box. Boxes are the most space efficient way to store large dresses, but they also protect it in the best way possible. You can buy wedding dress boxes from your specialist cleaner, dress boutiques and even online. If you opt for a box with a window, look for an acetate display window instead of standard plastic. To store you dress in a box, you need to line the bottom and sides of the box with acid free tissue paper. Next, fold your gently into the box, starting with the train, if you have one. In between each layer, add more acid free tissue. This is an important element, as it will control the PH levels within the box and allow your gown to breathe and adjust with changing temperatures.
Once you have successfully folded your dress away, finish it with another layer of tissue and close the lid. Make sure your box is secure, with no holes that will allow light or insects in. Store your dress box in a cool, dry room out of direct sunlight. You should open the box and check your dress every 6 months to ensure it is still in good condition, and re-pack it at least once a year to prevent any creases from becoming permanent. If you follow these simple steps, your dress will be just as beautiful as they day you bought it for years to come. For more advice on preserving and caring for your wedding dress, get in touch or visit one of our boutiques.