We're in the business of meeting with Brides and Mothers of the Bride who come to us to clean and preserve a wedding dress. Sometimes we receive a wedding dress on a Monday after the wedding on Saturday. And sometimes it's several weeks or months, even years, after the wedding. But we consistently see problems with these wedding dresses that could have been avoided. So I have put some suggestions together for things the Bride can do to get a successful wedding gown cleaning and preservation.
So When Should You Begin The Preservation Process? The answer is "AT THE FIRST PEELING"...the moment you peel off that wedding dress after the reception is when you should begin the wedding dress preservation process.
So What Should You Do? Immediately hang your wedding dress on a padded hanger and let it air out. Think about what you've gone through since you first put that dress on for the day. Makeup, hair spray, perspiration, hugs, body oils, kisses, cake, soft drinks, wine, maybe beer and mixed drinks, food, grass, dirt and of course, more perspiration. Don't put it in closet. It's full of alien substances and it needs fresh air to dry out.
If the wedding gown has an especially heavy skirt, place the skirt on a second hanger so you won't stretch the shoulders of the gown. And if you have a veil, keep it separate from the rest of the wedding gown so it won't catch and snag on the beads or sequins.
This is a good time to gather all the pieces you want to save along with the wedding dress, like the veil, shoes and tiara. Keep them together.
So What Should Happen To The Wedding Dress When It Arrives Home? Don't put your wedding dress back in the plastic garment bag...until it's time to take it home following the ceremony. And when it arrives home, it needs to be taken out of the bag immediately. The fumes from plastic garment bags can cause yellowing and other problems with the gown. It probably still needs to be aired out some more. The garment bag is for transporting gowns only...not for long-tern storage.
Assign the job of taking your gown home to someone else since I suspect you'll be on your honeymoon. You don't want to have to focus on that before or after your honeymoon. If you're smart, you'll meet with your wedding gown specialist before your wedding and all you need to do is to direct where you'd like your wedding gown taken for cleaning and preservation. A great job for Mom or Maid of Honor!
Just remember, effective wedding dress preservation begins with the first PEELING!