Birmingham Wedding Gown Care Blog

Wedding Dress Preservation: 3 Reasons to Preserve Your Memories

Posted by David Whitehurst on December 2, 2015

Years ago maybe you decided to hold onto your wedding dress, thinking a relative or even a daughter might want to wear it.  Or maybe your wedding was on a beautiful day and you wanted to preserve some of your precious memories. But if you didn't store the dress properly it has likely changed to an ugly yellow or brown with blotches sprinkled around. You may be wondering if wedding dress preservation is possible. 

Why Preserve My Wedding Dress?

Here are three reasons you why you might want t preserve your wedding dress

  1. Your daughter or another relative, perhaps a younger sister or niece, may one day want to wear your gown. Many brides opt for vintage dresses, especially if a beloved relative has worn the dress before.
  2. Let's face it: getting married isn't something we do every day, and preserving your beautiful wedding gown is one way to keep the memories alive. If you don't store your dress properly after your wedding you will likely have an unpleasant surprise in just a few years. And keep in mind that a wedding dress is a family heirloom and can be passed on to future generations.  It's a way of keeping your memory alive in the minds of your family.
  3. Even if you don't have a relative likely to wear the dress, it could be repurposed some day, as another kind of dress, a christening gown or little bags (something old) for bridesmaids. Although the dress may destined to be cut up and remade into other things, the fabric should look pristine. Wedding dress preservsation can bring it back to useful life. 

Storing Tips

If your dress hasn't been stored properly, take it out of its bag or box and examine it for stains or discoloration.   If it wasn't cleaned after your wedding, get it cleaned by a professional wedding gown cleaner. This isn't necessarily your neighborhood dry cleaner. Find a local dry cleaner that does the work itself and does not ship it off to be cleaned by someone you don't know.

Store it in a white, cotton garment bag or consider professional preservation in a 100% acid free archival quality preservation chest.  Plastic bags are harmful to all textiles, especially the delicate farbic of a wedding dress. Plastic garment bags are for short-term use only. Improper storage can result in stains, oxidation, mold and mildew, light damage from UV rays, dust damage, seam stretching and more. 

If you insist on storing the dress in a bag rather than a preservation box, you can avoid damage from seam stretching by laying the dress flat rather that hanging it in your closet. This requires a lot of space that needs to remain off limits to kids and pets. If you hand the dress while storing, use the hanger straps or loops to distribute the weight better; use a second hanger to take weight off the first one, for example, draping the train over the second hanger. 

If you have a wedding dress that was improperly stored, you may want to look into wedding dress restoration. Wedding gown specialists have ways of restoring antique or vintage fabric to get rid of or reduce the appearance of stains and discoloration and bring fabric closer to its original color.

For more on wedding dress preservation or restoration, contact Champion Wedding Gown Specialist or find a specialist near you  through the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

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