Birmingham Wedding Gown Care Blog

Can I Wear My Wedding Gown After Preservation?

Posted by David Whitehurst on September 10, 2015



Image courtesy of Heather Durham Photography

A Question from a Recent Bride

"I am really torn about getting my dress preserved in a box but don't want it to be damaged. I would love to be able to get the dress out and wear it maybe for anniversary or just to look at it over the years. But i also want it to be safe from yellowing, bugs, mildew etc.

What would you suggest I do to preserve the gown without making it off limits to wear on occasion?"

My Response

Your questions and concerns about access to your dress and protecting it into the future are good ones. Let me share my thoughts with you.

When you clean your wedding dress, we are removing all of the dirt, grime, perspiration, makeup, wine, icing, sauces...anything you had at your wedding or before. You will be surprised at how many of those contaminants will find their way to your dress...even though you can't imagine how they got there.

If these aren't removed from your dress, they will cause problems in later years that often can't be corrected. So no matter what you plan for your dress after your wedding, you need to have it professionally cleaned as soon after your wedding as possible  

The question then becomes the issue of do you preserve your gown or not...and is it really off limits once it's preserved?

The benefits of preservation include keeping the dress away for curious hands (children) and claws (pets). It also allows you to store the dress is less space than is required if you leave it on a hanger. Preservation gives you dress a chance of surviving for decades if it is stored properly (climate controlled area of the house is best), and away from sunlight and heat. Basically this means to not store your dress in a basement or attic, unless the temperature is controlled.

If you preserve it, your can take it out of the preservation chest we provide (an archive-quality, 100% acid-free box), admire it, check for any developing problems and then refold it and return it to the chest. You should handle it only with white cotton gloves that we provide with every preservation. We will be glad to show you how to refold the dress and return it to the chest.

If you want to try it on again after it is cleaned, then I suggest you have it re-cleaned because body oils and make up have a good chance or returning to the dress. And these can cause problems (dark stains, yellowing, etc,) to the gown over the years.

As far as sealing the preservation chest, this is not a requirement for a proper preservation. Sealing helps keep bugs out of the preservation chest but there are other ways of doing that. For an added cost, you can purchase a muslin bag to place over the preservation chest and, when tied tightly, bugs are not likely to get to the dress. The muslin bag and the archive quality preservation chest both allow air to penetrate to the gown which is critical for successful preservation.

While it may be of little consequence to you, our wedding gown preservation chests have a clear panel where you can view the front of the gown without removing it from the box.

These are great questions that I suspect other Brides have as well. Thanks for asking us.

Topics: wedding gown cleaning and preservation, wedding dress preservation, Wedding Dresses

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