bride on her wedding dress

How Can I Protect My Wedding Dress?

Wondered why a dress? And, more to the point, why the white dress? One reason brides in the West and elsewhere often choose white is that it has long been associated with purity and virtue in many cultures. However, in some other cultures, such as India, the bride wears a red wedding dress because, in Hindu belief, the colour red represents good fortune.

For most of history, brides didn't usually buy a new dress for their wedding, and the colour of their wedding dress wasn't always white. In the years before the Victorian era, it was not uncommon for the bride to wear a black dress to her wedding.

Philippa of England, when she married Eric of Pomerania in 1406, is the earliest known royal bride to wear a white wedding dress. After Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840, the colour white was widely adopted for wedding dresses. Until recently, not even the wealthy would have believed that a woman would only wear her wedding dress once. The majority of brides wore their favourite formal gown from their closet. Although basements, attics, and the backs of closets are popular choices, none of these places is ideal for preserving a wedding dress for future generations.

A wedding dress can be saved from becoming a tattered relic of its former glory with regular cleaning and storage. Check out our ultimate Melbourne Wedding Dress Shops to take away some of the stress of finding the perfect gown. Clothes, like people, are more resilient when kept in a constant temperature and humidity setting.

If a bride doesn't want to have her dress cleaned by a professional, she should at least get advice from one before attempting to clean a synthetic fibre (washable) dress herself, and then she should invest in museum-quality conservation supplies for wrapping the dress.

Never store the dress in a box with a plastic window, as this would allow light to damage the fabric. There are other considerations, such as keeping the gown free of dust and insects, and avoiding plastic wrapping.

Properly boxing a gown offers a risk-free method. Boxes for costumes should be archival and large enough to reduce the number of folds in the garment. Put as much as you can in the largest box that will fit in the area you've allotted for the move. Gowns come in a wide range of sizes, and some even have long trains, but most dry cleaners only have one container to accommodate them all.

You, the bride, should put a lot of thought into your wedding dress. It's something that means a lot to you, and that your guests and groom are looking forwards to seeing on this momentous day. You should treat this garment with the respect it deserves for that reason. You should take good care of your wedding dress from the moment you get it until long after the last dance has been danced. Here's how to keep yours in pristine condition for the big day and beyond.

Light, acid, moisture, and organisms are some of the worst things that can happen to a wedding dress in terms of preservation. Looking for the ultimate Wedding Reception Venue in Melbourne? Look no further, Vines of the Yarra Valley is here.

Table of Contents

Light

Eventually, most colours will fade because of the sun's ultraviolet rays. The sun can permanently change the colour of your wedding dress just like it can bleach a piece of newspaper on your dashboard, so don't assume your white dress is safe. Keep your dress out of the sun if you plan on displaying it in a case or on a mannequin.

affordable wedding dresses

Acid

Have you ever tried to pick up a piece of very old paper, only to have it crumble in your hands? Acid eats away at fabrics like the silk and satin used to make your wedding dress. Always use acid-free tissue paper and cardboard when packing away your dress to keep it from absorbing any unwanted acidity. When displaying your wedding dress, use acid-free tissue paper to protect the mannequin inside the display case.

Moisture

Moisture is particularly destructive because it speeds up the deterioration of fabrics and the growth of microorganisms and acids, both of which are detrimental to the longevity of your clothing. Keep in mind that you don't have to keep your wedding dress in a sealed container. Dressing it in a moisture-proof container could be harmful. Instead, make sure your dress is not lying flat on a damp surface. Keep in mind that lower temperatures encourage condensation and mould growth, so the room temperature shouldn't be too low when storing the dress.

Mould Risk

You can keep this as a memento of your special day. Your wedding dress is a sitting duck for mould , mildew, and moths. If you store your wedding dress in a dry, well-lit area away from direct sunlight, you won't have to worry about moths or mould ruining your precious memento. Some cedar chests may have some moth-repellent chemicals, but many do not. Any cedar chest would benefit from additional cedar chips and/or naphthalene moth balls. It's important to give the inside of a cedar chest a thorough cleaning before storing anything in it.

Preventative Measures for the Wedding Dress

Before the big day, there are a few things you must do to ensure that your dress remains in pristine condition.

Use a Padded Hanger

Padded hangers are essential for the safety of your dress and also make for lovely photo opportunities on the big day. Keep your dress in a garment bag with a padded hanger. This aids in gently maintaining the shoulder's natural shape. The garment bag protects the contents from dust, moisture, and other contaminants.

Avoid the Dry Cleaners

Although it may seem prudent to have your wedding dress dry cleaned in the days leading up to the big day, doing so is actually discouraged. There are risks associated with sending your dress to the dry cleaners. Hang your dress outside of the garment bag a few days before the wedding to allow the wrinkles to naturally fall out. If steaming or pressing the dress to remove wrinkles is required, the care instructions should be carefully read before beginning.

To know more how to clean your wedding dress, check out our post on What are the different ways to clean a wedding dress?

Store it in a Safe Environment

Keep your dress in a clean, dry, and secure location out of the reach of children and pets. Do not store your dress in a dirty, damp, or dusty area to keep it looking its best and to prevent any unwelcome stains or problems. Before taking your dress out of its garment bag, you should consider laying a sheet on the floor and washing and drying your hands thoroughly.

Protecting the Dress on Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day is the one day you absolutely must have the perfect dress! Follow the advice below to achieve your goals.

Hang Your Dress Correctly

You should hang your dress so it can get some fresh air, the wrinkles can disappear, and you can take some stunning close-up photos of it on the big day. Select a location distant from the main traffic areas of the room to minimise the risk of spills and smudges. You should also make sure that any nearby windows are shut. In case any of the invited guests accidentally knock down the garment or otherwise cause trouble while it's hanging in the room, you might want to remind them that it's a very special item.

Keep Your Dress Wrinkle-Free

If you want to look your absolute best in wedding photos, you should avoid getting any wrinkles in your dress. You should have a travel steamer and a water spray bottle handy to take care of any minor wrinkles that may arise. For any last-minute alterations to your gown before the cameras roll, this is an absolute must.

Use White Chalk to Cover up Stains

On the big day, having some white chalk on hand is a great way to avoid any unsightly stains on your dress. White chalk is like magic for covering up stains and spots on your dress if, heaven forbid, you should ever get one.

Protecting Your Wedding Dress After the Celebration

Dresses are expensive and you'll want to make sure yours is well taken care of after the party is over and can be worn again in the future.

Get it Professionally Cleaned as Soon as Possible

The sooner you get your wedding dress cleaned after the big day, the less chance the stain has to fully set. Many brides anticipate this, but the sooner you get a professional cleaning, the better. Appoint a trusted bridesmaid or mother to bring it to a cleaner on your behalf if you plan on leaving for your honeymoon the day after the wedding.

Find the Right Professional to Preserve It

It's crucial that you find a reliable preservationist to care for your wedding dress. Depending on the design and construction of your dress, proper care will require a unique approach, which can best be determined by a trained professional. The delicate material of your dress could be damaged by the hands of someone who isn't trained in this area. Find a professional who knows what they're doing and comes recommended by others.

Bridal Gown Creasing

If the fabric or garment can be stored flat, it will take up less space in the wedding dress preservation box, so it is a good option. As a result of their size and shape, wedding dresses can make this a difficult task. The dress is typically folded more than necessary to make room for everyone.

Folding the preserved wedding dress into a different position every two or three years can help keep it from developing permanent creases. Cotton gloves or powderless nitrile gloves are recommended when handling preserved gowns.

Wedding dresses can also be preserved by hanging them in a bag made specifically for that purpose. Bagging wedding gowns before putting them away in a closet reduces the likelihood of wrinkles and the amount of care they need.

Wedding Dress Care After the Big Day

If your wedding dress made it through the big day without any stains or tears, there are still some things you need to do to ensure its long-term preservation:

  • Always use white cotton gloves when handling a wedding dress.
  • Lie the gown flat.
  • The sooner you bring your wedding gown in for cleaning and preservation after the big day, the better. Find a specialist in wedding dress preservation, also known as a "preservationist." Wedding dress preservation kits typically include cleaning and stain removal as well as an anti-yellowing treatment, both of which are good ideas.
  • You should store your dress in a box that is acid-free or pH-neutral, after having been wrapped in acid-free paper.
  • It's best to bag, box, or seal your wedding dress in an airtight container to prevent damage from dust mites and other pests.
  • Avoiding oxygen damage by sealing the dress can be done at the cost of a difficult inspection.
  • While storing dresses in boxes may make them less secure, it does allow for regular refolding to avoid creases.
  • Bagging & hanging the dress is the least safe but keeps the dress protected from dust & light. The risk of the dress creasing is minimised because it is left unfolded.

Store Your Dress Correctly

When you finally get your hands on your wedding gown again, it's important to give it the proper care it deserves. You need to keep it out of direct sunlight to keep it from getting faded or yellowed. To avoid distorting your dress, you should take it off the hanger as well. While a professional preservation box or chest is ideal, you can also use a zip-top plastic bag made from acid-free plastic to keep your dress safe.

Follow these guidelines, and your dress will look as good as the day you bought it, even long after your wedding day has come and gone. Don't skip any of these crucial steps if you want to be able to pass down your gown to the next generation and have them enjoy it as much as you did.

FAQs About Wedding Dress

If you have an older gown, or a gown that you haven't gotten into the cleaners even weeks or months after your wedding, don't fret. While ideally, sooner is always better than later, the truth is that it is never too late to have a wedding dress cleaned and preserved.

The simple answer to this frequently asked question is it is never too late to have your wedding dress preserved. However, having your wedding dress professionally cleaned and maintained soon after your wedding allows for much less stress on the delicate fabrics of your wedding gown.

If possible, gowns should be stored in breathable cloth bags, such as the bags we give to them when they pick up the dress--and not in plastic bags. The best way to store a wedding dress, if it's in a closet, is to use the hanger straps to keep everything in tip-top shape.

Yellowing occurs when the original fibres of the fabric undergo chemical degradation due to quality problems with the textile. The white and pastel fabrics eventually start decaying, giving the typical wedding dress a light-to-medium yellow colour.

Steaming is also a valuable process after the wedding is over. Take the dress back to your dry cleaning specialist so that they can now preserve it for posterity. First, they will inspect it for stains and remove them by hand. The dress will be dry cleaned and steamed.

Conclusion

Women rarely shopped for a brand-new dress for their weddings throughout most of history. Most brides chose to wear an elegant gown that had special meaning to them. When properly cared for, a wedding gown can be preserved and enjoyed for many more years to come. Some of the worst things that can happen to a wedding dress are exposure to light, acid, moisture, and organisms. Since the sun emits ultraviolet rays, most colours will degrade over time.

The sun can bleach a piece of newspaper on your dashboard just as easily as it can alter the colour of your wedding dress. Dresses can be pricey, so taking good care of yours is essential. White chalk is a handy item to have on hand for covering up unsightly stains.

If you get your wedding dress cleaned right away after the ceremony, the stain will have less time to fully set. Preserving a wedding dress entails either laying it flat or folding it. Make sure to flatten the dress once every two or three years to prevent the creases from becoming permanent. For handling preserved gowns, choose between white cotton gloves and powderless nitrile gloves. When bringing your gown in for preservation cleaning, the sooner you do so, the better.

Protect your wedding dress from dust mites and other pests by storing it in an airtight container. Place the dress in a box that is not acidic or alkaline to protect it from damage. You should also take your dress off the hanger so that it doesn't get wrinkled.

Content Summary

  • One reason brides in the West and elsewhere often choose white is that it has long been associated with purity and virtue in many cultures.
  • For most of history, brides didn't usually buy a new dress for their wedding, and the colour of their wedding dress wasn't always white.
  • Never store the dress in a box with a plastic window, as this would allow light to damage the fabric.
  • You should take good care of your wedding dress from the moment you get it until long after the last dance has been danced.
  • Light, acid, moisture, and organisms are some of the worst things that can happen to a wedding dress in terms of preservation.
  • Keep your dress out of the sun if you plan on displaying it in a case or on a mannequin.
  • Keep in mind that you don't have to keep your wedding dress in a sealed container.
  • You can keep this as a memento of your special day.
  • Keep your dress in a garment bag with a padded hanger.
  • There are risks associated with sending your dress to the dry cleaners.
  • Keep your dress in a clean, dry, and secure location out of the reach of children and pets.
  • On the big day, having some white chalk on hand is a great way to avoid any unsightly stains on your dress.
  • The sooner you get your wedding dress cleaned after the big day, the less chance the stain has to fully set.
  • It's crucial that you find a reliable preservationist to care for your wedding dress.
  • Find a professional who knows what they're doing and comes recommended by others.
  • If the fabric or garment can be stored flat, it will take up less space in the wedding dress preservation box, so it is a good option.
  • The sooner you bring your wedding gown in for cleaning and preservation after the big day, the better.
  • You should store your dress in a box that is acid-free or pH-neutral, after having been wrapped in acid-free paper.
  • It's best to bag, box, or seal your wedding dress in an airtight container to prevent damage from dust mites and other pests.
  • When you finally get your hands on your wedding gown again, it's important to give it the proper care it deserves.
  • While a professional preservation box or chest is ideal, you can also use a zip-top plastic bag made from acid-free plastic to keep your dress safe.
Scroll to Top
Google Rating
4.7
Based on 167 reviews
Facebook Rating
4.8
Based on 201 reviews
js_loader