Tips and Tools:
Wedding Dress Storage
Marriage is forever, right? Now that you’re married, you don’t plan on wearing your wedding dress again, but you don’t want to give it up. That gorgeous dress represented your special day so well! Perhaps you’re saving it for a younger sister. Or perhaps it’s an important heirloom that you want to pass along to your daughter. Whatever the case, you don’t have room for it in your closet. Even if you did, if you want to protect that perfect dress, it’s time to find the perfect storage solution.
To keep the dress looking as fresh and beautiful as it was the moment you said, “I do,” it is important to package it carefully.
- Check the label for cleaning instructions. It is likely that your dress can’t be hand washed, and you don’t want to treat the gown the wrong way. There are two basic cleaning methods that are appropriate for wedding dresses: wet cleaning and dry cleaning. You don’t want to choose the incorrect method. Wet cleaning a “dry clean only” dress leads to shrinking. Dry cleaning a wet clean dress can damage trims, sequins and accents. If you can’t find cleaning instructions on your dress, call the retailer and ask. If your dress is vintage, make sure to talk to cleaners that specializes in vintage dresses. They will be able to tell you how they plan to clean it before you leave it with them.
- Once you know how you need your dressed cleaned, find a dry cleaner that specializes in both weddings and the appropriate cleaning method. Your bridal shop will have recommendations. Consider asking recently married friends about the services they used.
- Don’t wait until the honeymoon is over to take the dress in. Plan cleaning prior to the wedding. Clean the dress as quickly after the wedding possible. Stains oxidize and set—you don’t want that.
- Many dry cleaners offer to professionally box the dress for you. Take time to inspect the dress prior to boxing it.
- Do not allow the box to be sealed. When you pick the dress up, make sure the dress is actually in the box. Brides often keep their boxes unopened for years, so this is a good opportunity for theft.
- In addition, don’t keep your box unopened for years. You should open the box once a year, to keep the folds for creasing.
- If you do not opt to have your dress professionally packed, make sure it is not stored in a plastic dress bag, even for a short amount of time. Plastic is a moisture trap and can mildew or damage your dress.
- It is important to preserve your dress in acid-free paper. If your dress is being professionally preserved, ensure that your cleaner uses acid-free tissue. If you are packing the dress yourself, make sure you use acid-free tissue, too.
- The dress should be stored flat in an acid-free box.
- Visit your dress frequently. Check the dress every year for problems or staining. In addition to ensuring your dress is maintained well, you can use this time to rekindle old memories and reminisce about the day.
- Keep the dress in a cool, dark location. A climate controlled unit is optimal for this purpose.
It may be many years before someone wears your dress again. Cleaning and storing it correctly ensures that your dress will live on, long after the wedding is over.
Even better? We have locations all over Illinois, so your belongings are never far from home.