Guide To Wedding Dress Preservation Prior To (And After) Your Wedding

So you found the perfect wedding dress, but what about wedding dress preservation? You will want to keep your dress safe both before and after your wedding. Most importantly, you need to keep it safe (and away from your fiancé’s prying eyes) before the wedding. Here are some tips on how to save your wedding dress.

1.Remove the Plastic

If you are going to be storing your wedding gown for more than a few days, it is strongly recommended that you remove any plastic. This will allow your dress to breathe. As well, if the chemicals in the plastic break down due to heat or other causes, it can emit gasses which will leave stains on your gown.

Instead, wrap your dress in plain white or cream colored cotton sheets or a cloth garment bag. This will prevent any unnecessary “accidental” damages or contamination from plastics.


2.Storage: Vertical or Horizontal?

To hang or not to hang? That is the question that many a bride has asked over the years. Common sense tells us to hang our dress in a closet somewhere safe. However, there are a few factors you should take into consideration.

If your dress is heavy and consists of multiple layers you should consider storing your dress flat, wrapped in cotton sheet preferably on a top shelf of a closet. Also, if you dress has a lot of intricate details or embellishments, you should store it horizontally as well. Keep in mind that you need to store your dress out of harm’s way. This includes children, pets, and of course curious parties such as your fiancé or his minions! You also want to store it somewhere where there is no chance of water damage, or any types of spills.

If your dress is extremely lightweight and has little to no adornments, you can hang it. Lightweight wedding gowns designed of silk and satin may be hung. Should you choose to hang your wedding dress, make sure to hang it by the “spaghetti straps” or small support straps that are sewn inside the gown to prevent the sleeves from stretching and losing their shape. This applies to strapless gowns as well as you want to avoid using “clamp” hangers which can mark or tear the fabric.

When it doubt, it is also best to wrap your dress in white cotton sheets and keep it flat.


3.Climate Control

We do not recommend storing your dress in a basement, attic or storage facility.  The best place to store your wedding gown is in your bedroom or a spare room. Basements and attics are musty and damp and can cause damage or mold issues on your wedding gown. Keep your gown away from hot, humid or severely cold areas and out of direct sunlight.


4.Out Of Sight

Once you have stored your gown in a safe place, resist any and all temptation to try it on or taking it out to admire it. You should only take it out for alterations. The more you handle your wedding gown, the greater your chance of damage from stains and oil marks. If you have to try on your gown for any reason, you should remove all makeup and even underarm deodorant before trying it on. As well, do not use lotion, oils or premiums on your body prior to trying on your dress. Makeup, oil and deodorant can leave horrific stains on wedding gowns so don’t tempt fate. As well, remove any jewelry to avoid snagging your dress and wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handing your wedding gown.

“Out of sight, out of mind” is the best motto for wedding dress preservation.


Wrinkle Removal Prior to the Wedding

A few days before your ceremony, take your dress form storage and hang it on a silk padded hanger, somewhere high and out of harm’s way. This way all of the creases and wrinkles will “drop off.” If your dress is still wrinkled a day or two before your wedding, you can carefully hang it in the bathroom during a hot, steamy shower. However, make sure it is well out of the way of running water or where it might get splashed.


Another option is to have your dresses steamed the day before the wedding. Do not under any circumstances use a hot iron on your dress as this can cause permanent damage.



Post Wedding Preservation For Your Wedding Gown

After your wedding, have your dress professionally cleaned. If you have time to drop it off before your honeymoon, do so. The sooner you have it cleaned the better. If you can entrust your maid of honor a trusted family member to take the dress to the cleaners for you, that is also wise. You want to prevent any spills or stains from setting in prematurely.

In order for wedding dress preservation, you can purchase a wedding dress preservation kit which includes acid free storage container. Never store your dress long term on a hanger as this can stretch out the fabric causing the gown to lose its shape. As mentioned above, store your gown horizontally in a climate controlled area such as your bedroom or a spare room.


If you follow these simple tips, you should have no problem storing your gown either prior to or after your wedding ceremony. Proper pre-wedding care and post-wedding preservation can help ensure that your beautiful wedding gown will be a treasured family heirloom for many generations!