There are a lot of myths floating around about wedding gown preservation and I'm going to do my best to put an end to the mistaken beliefs.
Sure, I'm in the wedding gown preservation business. As a wedding gown cleaner in Birmingham, Alabama, I've heard from a lot of Brides about how special their wedding gown is to them. And I've heard from Mothers of the Bride about how special it is for her daughter to wear her wedding gown. If they didn't have their wedding gown cleaned and preserved by a wedding gown specialist, they wouldn't have the choices they have today.
So let's put an end to the madness of these myths!
Myth No. 1: If I don't see any stains or dirt, my wedding gown is fine
A wedding gown can look clean, but I guarantee you if you've worn your wedding gown at your wedding, it has body oil, and maybe deodorant, white cake icing, grass and soil stain, and who knows what else that's not immediately visible!
Sure, if you get some chocolate icing from the grooms cake, it will be obvious. White icing might not be so obvious. Ginger Ale will also leave sugar stains but not be visible...as will white wine. You'll see red wine or cola spills. It's the invisible stains that can fool you.
But there really is no such thing as an invisible stain because in a year or less, the stains will caramelize into an ugly, yellow brownish stain that can ruin a wedding dress if left alone.
If you don't clean your wedding gown after your wedding, you'll could be visited by pesky moths or other insects that will lay eggs in your gown allowing the larvae to feast off the food left in your gown. Moths will leave holes and cause other damage to the fabric and lace.
If you have any plans for your wedding gown, whether it's the wedding memories your gown will bring to you a month, a year or ten years, or the possibility of keeping it for your daughter or daughter-in-law, you need to clean and preserve your gown right after your wedding.
Myth No. 2: If I get it cleaned and leave it hanging, it will be fine
This myth has an element of truth to it because in the right conditions, a properly cleaned wedding gown can survive hanging for a few years. I give it maybe a 1 in 10 chance of success.
There are so many things that can go wrong with a gown hanging in a closet. The obvious it seam stretching that can occur when a gown is left hanging in a closet. Most wedding gowns are heavy and must be hung correctly to avoid seam stretching. This is especially true on gowns with heavy trains.
And what about the problems caused by kids and pets? Give a young child a few minutes to explore the closet and watch out. Your gown may never be the same.
Have you heard the story of the kitten that sharpened it claws on the gown tucked away in the closet? Or the one about the cat that had kittens in the middle of the wedding gown? I have.
Not only do you need to clean the wedding gown, you also need to protect from all sorts of risks. A clean gown safely stored in an archival-quality, 100% acid-free preservation chest, is the safest method of keeping your gown for years.
Myth No. 3: If I'm going to sell it, I don't need to clean it
I hope you don't plan to sell a soiled wedding gown to some unsuspecting sole. Every reputable consignment shop I know requires their wedding gowns to be cleaned before they'll take it. Would you buy a second hand wedding gown that arrives to you "fresh" from the wedding? I doubt it.
By the way, you'll get more for the wedding dress sold on consignment if it has been recently cleaned.
Myth No. 4: I don't care about my daughter wearing my dress one day
Maybe you don't care today, but what about in 25 years? And what if your daughter wants to see it...or even one day try it on...and wear it. You may not be the only person who "cares" about your wedding gown.
Even if your daughter doesn't want to wear your dress, there are plenty of alternative ways to use your dress later.
I've seen christening gowns made from a wedding dress. I recently cleaned a dress for the Mother of the Bride who, along with her Mother and others in the family, plan on making a quilt of the wedding gown. But unless you clean and preserve your wedding gown, you might not have that option years from now.
Myth No. 5: I'm going to vacuum seal my wedding gown so it will be fine in 20 years
This "wish" has less than a 1% chance of coming true. This is more like "wishful thinking" and let me tell you two reasons why.
First, vacuum sealed containers are made from plastic that will emit fumes that will cause the dress to discolor over time.
Second, museum practices today include allowing vintage garments to be exposed to clean and filtered air. This practice helps to insure that museum-quality garments last for decades. Why not use these practices yourself? Vacuum sealing does not permit air to circulate around the dress and that spells trouble.
Don't ever consider vacuum sealing a wedding gown. You might as well throw it away today, even if you have had it cleaned properly.
Myth No. 6: I want to see and hold my wedding dress after my wedding so I don't want to seal it away in a box
There are no rules against seeing and holding your wedding dress after your wedding. We even include a pair of cotton gloves in your wedding gown preservation chest to help.
We like to seal the preservation chest to prevent insects from gaining access to your gown, but this is not critical and it does not void our International Guarantee.
You can remove it and return it to the chest. We'll show you how to do this.
Get a special $25.00 discount on your Birmingham, Alabama wedding gown preservation at Champion when attending the Southern Bridal Show on August 29, 2010. Just follow the link below.