Just because the wedding is over doesn't mean your time with a beautiful wedding dress is. After spending so much time finding the perfect dress or working with wedding dress designers, it makes sense that you would want to preserve it. By taking the time to clean and package it properly, you will be able to look at it again and see it in near perfect condition. Here are some tips for preserving your wedding dress.
Clean the Dress
Before packing up your wedding dress, you need to clean it thoroughly. Even though you didn't wear it for long, it likely has deodorant, perfume, bodily oils, and maybe even some spilled champagne or cake from the reception. Be sure you don't let it sit for too long before you clean it. You need to clean all the stains, even ones you don't actually see. The fabric can start to weaken and yellow if you leave it open to the elements.
Send your wedding dress to an experienced cleaner. Don't just choose any dry cleaner but one that specializes in wedding dresses. They will not use traditional dry cleaning methods, but use a gentle cleanser to get the stains out of the dress. They may also use a dry cleaning method, but will be careful what chemicals are used for delicate wedding dresses.
Package it Properly
Once your wedding dress has been cleaned and returned to you, don't waste any time wrapping it and preparing it for storage. This is the second most important part of preserving it. If you keep it in the bag the dry cleaner gave it to you in, it won't look the same in a few months. Remove it from their bag and wrap it in acid-free paper. You then want to place it in a box that is labeled as pH-neutral or acid-free. This lets the gown breathe and stay protected from the elements. Some boxes have a clear panel so you know what is stored and can see its condition. If not, try not to be tempted to open the box too often.
Make sure your wedding dress is stored in a cool, dry place. Keep it out of the heat and sunlight, as well as damp places like a basement. You can either store it in the back of your bedroom closet or in a climate-controlled storage unit. If there is no room in the closet, an attic that doesn't get too warm is the next best place.
Get it Preserved Professionally
If you want to be extra sure the wedding dress is cleaned and packaged properly before storing it, you can have preserving done by a professional. They will clean or press the dress, prepare it in a box that is acid-free, and give you tips on how to store it. If you want accessories like your garter or veil to be preserved as well, they should be able to do that for you.