Caring For Your Dress Before (and After) The Big Day
You have found your dream dress! After all the time and consideration that went into selecting the perfect gown, it should be kept in pristine condition until it’s time to wear it! We talked to the experts on our alterations team for tips on how to store, ship, and preserve your wedding dress before and after the wedding!
Where to Store Your Gown
You’ve brought your dress home, we know it’s going to be hard to not sneak a peek of your gown every day. However, we suggest keeping it away from high traffic areas of your house! Try to find a cool, dry, and dark room – like a closet or guest room – to keep it safe. You’ll also want to keep the gown a safe distance away from any heat sources and excessive moisture, in addition to guarding it against cooking/smoking odors. Additionally, avoid keeping it in any place where pets or kids could get their hands (or paws) on it!
How to Store Your Gown
Depending on the weight of your gown, you can either hang it up or lay it flat. You’ll want to keep in mind length, fabric type, and dress details, like beading or lace, when you decide how to store your wedding dress before the wedding. There are two methods for storing your gown, either hanging up or storing in a box.
Hang It Up
Gowns made with lightweight fabrics (think chiffon, organza, tulle, and certain laces) can be hung up. Use a sturdy hanger that can support the weight of your gown and that is free of any rough edges. The hanger should include notches or hooks in the upper area to allow you to secure your garment’s hanger loops to them. A padded hanger allows you to protect a gown with delicate straps and avoid any creasing or stretch, just make sure you are utilizing those hanger loops as well!
If you have a strapless gown, no worries about stretching out the shoulders! Simply hang securely by the loops. If you do not have a strapless gown, you may need to wrap the hanging loops around the hanger more than once to be sure that they are shorter than the length of the bodice, taking the weight off of the shoulders, straps, and sleeves of the dress. Many fabrics and laces are very fragile, and if hung incorrectly, may stretch over time, distorting the fit and damaging the integrity and design of the delicate lace and/or beadwork!
From there, place your dress inside a fabric garment bag or create a makeshift bag by using a spare king bed sheet. To cover with a sheet, you’ll need to turn the sheet diagonally, folding the top corner down to form a triangle. Wrap around the top of the hanger, overlapping in the front and secure with a straight or safety pin to hold in place. Continue to fold the sheet forward from both sides, overlapping, covering the gown, and pinning your way to the bottom of the gown. Once the gown is wrapped, fold the bottom end of the sheet up and pin in place.
Store in a Box
Dresses made from medium to heavy fabrics, such as satin, lace, mikado, or crepe, can lay flat. The first step will be to remove from the hanger and button, snap, or zip any closures on your gown to help keep it in its original state. Next, line a sturdy box that is large enough to accommodate your gown with several layers of acid-free tissue paper.
Once you have the box prepared, gently fold your gown to fit into the box, being sure to insert layers of tissue paper at the folds of the dress. The more paper between folds the better, and keep your folds soft, avoiding any hard creases. Start by laying the bottom edge of the skirt in the box first, then fold the gown back and forth, inserting tissue paper between layers. Once you have reached the bodice area, slide a few sheets of tissue inside the bodice, (and sleeves if applicable), and lay it flat in the box. Cover your gown with tissue, tucking it in around the sides, as well. Close the lid, and be sure that it stays closed securely by taping it if necessary.
Things to Keep in Mind
Protect Your Accessories. Don’t forget about any add-ons to your wedding day look like sashes, veils, or toppers! Storing your veil and accessories to keep them in flawless condition is equally as important. Be sure to wrap these items carefully in tissue and store in a crush-proof container.
Stay Away From Plastic. Plastics often don’t let the fabric breathe which can lead to discoloration as the chemicals break down or gas is discharged within the closed space. Opt for a cotton or cotton/muslin blend garment bag if you are using one for your dress!
After the Wedding
Just because the wedding is over, that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your gown! Wedding dress preservation is key to keeping your dress in pristine condition for years to come. Storing it correctly will preserve it so future generations can admire it (or maybe even wear it) in the future. Keep your memories alive and your dress in tiptop shape, with our gown preservation kit! All you have to do is pack and ship your dress to us, and after a short 2-6 weeks, you will receive your gown and accessories cleaned, treated, pressed and preserved for you to enjoy forever! Don’t forget to include your veil and any other day-of accessories that you want to keep in all their glory!
There you have it! Whether your wedding is in a few days, weeks, or months, these tips for how to store your wedding dress before the wedding are essential! Still searching for the right dress? Shop our over 300,000 styles that are in-stock and ready to ship or chat with our virtual stylist to help you find the one!
Featured photo via @sashamiana