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How to Preserve a Wedding Dress

How to Preserve a Wedding Dress


6 Tips for What to Do with a Wedding Dress After the Wedding

  1. Take precautions on your wedding day. If you’re considering preservation ahead of your wedding day, there are a few things you can do to keep your dress in its best condition during your big day:
  • Stay clear of food or beverage that can cause stains.
  • Clip the pistils off the flowers in your bouquet (most florists know to do this, but you may have buds that can open later).
  • Always transport your dress in its garment bag.
  • Save any dress labels so you can give any added instructions to the cleaners.
  • Wait to put your dress on until the last minute.
  • Put your dress back in the bag at the end of the day and hang it or keep it flat.

2. Keep your dress clean. Have a professional cleaner clean your dress immediately so you can avoid any stains setting in. This helps to stop stains from sweat, celebratory drinks and even the pollen from your bouquet. When choosing the person to clean your dress, remember that a professional cleaner will generally have more knowledge about how to clean the specific material and embellishments of your dress, particularly if it’s vintage. Depending on the age and material of your dress, it’s important to get your dress to the cleaners within 24 hours to 6 months of your wedding day. 

3. Consider professional preservation. Because of the expense of your wedding gown, many brides choose to have their dress preserved professionally. Even if your daughter doesn’t choose to wear your dress in the future, your gown can be integrated into other memorabilia for future generations. Professional preservation generally includes stain removal, repairs, steaming or pressing the dress, wrapping it in acid-free paper and storage in an air-tight container. Depending on the preservationist you choose, they’ll either vacuum seal, box or bag your dress. So how much does wedding dress preservation cost if you choose the professional route? In 2020, the average cost of professional preservation ranges from $240 to $285.

4. If you choose to preserve your dress yourself, use extra care. If you would rather preserve the dress yourself, it is possible. Take extra measures to make sure every piece of the gown is clean – this includes pieces such as belts, attachments and shoes. When cleaning and storing these pieces, be sure to keep them separate from the dress to help minimize possible damage. Avoid garment bags, dry cleaner bags and regular cardboard boxes as they can cause the material to break down over time. If possible, store your gown in a wedding dress preservation box. These archival storage boxes are specially designed to minimize the number of folds in the fabric as well as to resist dust, dirt and light. They often come with preservation kits, but if yours doesn’t, be sure to use acid-free, lignin-free archival tissue paper in between each dress fold as well around individual pieces. If you can’t find a wedding dress preservation box, a polypropylene plastic storage container will do the job – just look for the #5 or “PP” symbol. Silica desiccant packets can also help with humidity.

5. Choose a temperature-controlled storage area. Many people opt for storing their possessions in an attic or basement because of the convenience. Unfortunately, these areas are susceptible to temperature fluctuations that can damage belongings — including special items like your wedding dress. Instead, find a cool, dry and dark space for your newly preserved wedding dress where it can stay far away from extreme temperature changes. The ideal spot is one with no exterior walls or nearby plumbing. If you don’t have a space like this in your home, consider a climate controlled storage unit.

6. Be careful when taking your dress out of storage. Experts suggest removing your gown from its box every 2-3 years to avoid permanent creases in the fabric. Whether you’re following the experts’ suggestion or just reminiscing, it’s important to handle the material with care. Remember to wash your hands first so natural oils can’t transfer onto the fabric, and never wear perfume, lotions and fresh nail polish. If possible, wear the white cotton gloves that often come with the professionally preserved dress.

7. Choosing not to preserve your dress has many risks. You may be tempted to bypass the preservation process, but that can lead to various damage, ultimately ruining the dress:

  • Discoloring of fabric.
  • Oxidation leading to brown spots.
  • Growth of mold and mildew.
  • Permanent creases in the fabric.

Preserving your dress will help to avoid this type of damage.

Store Your Wedding Dress with Oakley Self Storage

One of the best things you can do for your preserved dress is to store it where it’s away from temperature fluctuations. A climate-controlled storage unit with Oakley Self Storage can help with that. These units keep temperatures stable to help reduce the risk of damage from outside temperature changes. And not only are they perfect for your wedding gown, but they are the ideal storage space for appliances, documents and more, no matter what unit size you need.

Reserve your storage unit in Oakley, CA today!