Your Wedding Gown is one of your most precious possessions. It is a symbol of an important event in your life and, as such, should be treated with special care. Whether you are borrowing it from a relative or buying it new, your gown deserves your attention, both before the wedding and afterward.

Some Things Are Meant To Last Forever
After the Wedding….. Most brides want to preserve their dress as a keepsake, perhaps for their own daughter to wear on her wedding day. Cleaning industry experts recommend that you have the dress cleaned before storage.

The dress may have invisible stains from food, beverages and body oil. If these stains are not properly cleaned, they may become permanent. Therefore, it is important to point out any stains or spills to your cleaner before cleaning.

Most wedding gowns have some decorative trim. Again, it is important to inspect these trims with your cleaner prior to cleaning. Many trims are not made to withstand the dry-cleaning process. For example, many beads, glitter, sequins and lace are attached to gowns with adhesives that dissolve during dry-cleaning. Some beads and glitter are made of plastics or covered with surface coatings that are not solvent resistant. In many of these cases, the trim becomes separated from the dress or altered in some way.

Some decorative trims yellow as their finishes oxidize. An ivory or ecru trim may lose it’s color and no longer match the gown if a dye component is lost during cleaning. Color failures of this type are due to poor colorfastness of the dye, not because of improper cleaning.

Special Care Instructions….. The Care Label Rule states that wearing apparel, such as wedding gowns, must have a care label that provides a viable care method. The care label covers all parts of the gown, including decorative trim. Gowns that fail to withstand the care procedure on the label should be returned to the retailer for an adjustment.

Look at the care label before purchasing your gown to make sure you understand the recommended cleaning instructions. When it comes time to clean your gown, find a local cleaner who can professionally dry or wetclean it for a fair and reasonable price.

Storing Your Gown….. Unfortunately, no process or storage method can guarantee against yellowing or possible deterioration of fabrics. There are, however, several steps you can take to protect your garment:

  • Have your cleaner pack the gown in a special storage box that will help prevent contamination.
  • Store your gown in a dry, cool place. Do not store it in a basement or attic. Basement dampness can cause mildew; attic heat could promote yellowing of the fabric.
  • If you are storing a long gown on a hanger, sew straps to the waistline of the dress to relieve pressure on the shoulders from the weight of the skirt. Wrap the dress in a protective white sheet or muslin covering.
  • Whether the gown is hung or boxed, the bodice should be stuffed with white acid free tissue paper to prevent wrinkles. Fabric covered buttons, pins and foam padding should be removed and stored separately to avoid damage to the fabric.
  • Never store headpieces, veils, shoes or other accessories with the gown.
  • Inspect your gown from time to time during storage. Stains not initially apparent could appear later, and should be attended to immediately.