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How to Preserve a Wedding Dress

A bride brings her new husband outside on their wedding day.For most brides, their wedding dress is the most expensive piece of clothing they will ever purchase. There are many different things you can do with your wedding dress now, but many of us want to save it as a memory or for our future children. If you decide to save your wedding dress, you’ll need to protect it from elements such as light and moisture. Below are the answers to some of the common dress preservation questions.

What to Do with a Wedding Dress

How do you clean a wedding dress?

Even if your dress looks clean, you should always clean it after you’ve worn it. Food and makeup stains can show up after they’ve set in making them difficult to remove later down the road. There should be a care label on every wedding gown with specific instructions for that dress. You can also look up care instructions based on the elements of your dress such as sequins, beading or lace.

Some professional dry cleaners specialize in wedding dress preservation. Make it a point to draw attention any stains, lose elements or tears so they can take extra precautions. You’ll also want to let them know if the trim is attached with adhesive as it could dissolve during the cleaning process. Get your dress to the cleaner as soon as possible – within 24 hours of your wedding day is best.

How much does wedding dress preservation cost?

The cost of preserving your wedding gown is based heavily on whether you choose to do it yourself or have a professional handle it. If you elect to have a professional handle the preservation, you may want to figure the cost into your wedding budget. Professional preservationists can run between $250 and $750. If you choose to do it yourself, your only cost will be the storage components and your time. Of course, with a professional, you have a better chance of the dress lasting for a longer time.

How do you store a wedding dress?

If you are planning to pack the dress yourself, be sure to clean every piece going into storage. That includes belts, shoes and any attachments — all of which should be kept separate from the dress to minimize the risk of damage.

If you can, store your dress in a large, flat garment container. The larger the container, the less the dress will have to fold to fit inside. This is important because folding the dress can cause the fabric to break down over time. Try to stay away from:

  • Hanging garment bags.
  • Plastic dry cleaner bags.
  • Regular cardboard boxes.

If you can’t find an archival storage box, you can use a plastic storage container made of cast polypropylene (look for the #5 or “PP” symbol). You’ll also need acid-free, lignin-free archival tissue paper to wrap individual pieces and soften the folds of the dress.

Choose a cool, dry, dark place to keep your preserved dress, and keep it out of places prone to extreme temperature fluctuations. Ideally, you should keep it somewhere with interior walls and away from pipes that can burst.

Store Your Wedding Dress with Storage World

One of the best ways to keep your dress in its best condition is to store it somewhere with temperature control. Storage World Self Storage can help do that with climate-controlled storage units. These units keep temperatures between 55°-78° F to reduce the risk of damage caused by temperature fluctuations. A climate-controlled unit is ideal for your wedding dress as well as documents, appliances and more.

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