Picture this: it is your 50th wedding anniversary — a remarkable milestone for all happily married couples — and your loving children have decided to throw a Great Gatsby-themed party to celebrate this special occasion. To that end, they ask that you wear your wedding outfits. You open your wardrobe to look at the dress you tied the knot in, and the sight of your yellowed-out bridal gown appalls you. Your wedding gown is wrinkled and ragged. It lacks structure and is covered in stains that were not previously there.
Such a sight would dishearten any woman because wedding gowns are a prized possession with sentimental value — a look at the beautiful, embroidered wedding gown brings to mind the highly cherished memories of their big day. Not to mention that brides often spend their entire life savings on their dream wedding gown. As a result, they would not want to be confronted with the horrible sight of a stained or tattered wedding gown.
Wedding gown preservation is the only way to ensure that your wedding gown stays in immaculate condition and is never ruined. This specialized method of protecting a wedding gown ensures that only your wedding memories will stay with you for the rest of your life, not the stains on your wedding gown!
This blog will teach you everything you need to know about wedding gown preservation. Continue reading to prevent your gown from permanently staining — and your money from going down the drain.
Clearly, you cannot throw your wedding dress in your good, old washing machine and expect it to come out as fresh as new. All wedding gowns come with an invisible “handle with care” label and are the most fragile piece of clothing. Therefore, they require special cleaning and packaging techniques so that their original beauty and elegance is retained — this is what the process of wedding dress preservation entails.
Preservation helps keep the fabric, color, and embellishments of the wedding gowns intact. The preservationists are trained to professionally clean and pack wedding gowns using standard preservation methods and materials to ensure they remain in their top shape for long-term storage.
Keep in mind that only a preservation expert can tell you which method is best suited for your type of wedding dress. This means that it is essential to have your beautiful gown surveyed by experts, who will formulate an ideal treatment plan after careful consideration. In addition to this, the professional will also teach you the correct storage method post preservation — you will receive your gown wrapped in acid-free tissue papers and sealed inside a wedding chest.
There is yet another fact that we should address here: wedding dress cleaning and preservation are two entirely different processes. One can choose to only have the dress cleaned, while preservation is done for dresses that are cleaned. Secondly, preservation is optional. Because wedding gowns are precious items of clothing, most couples opt for preservation.
Now that you know both cleaning and preservation are different, you may be wondering if your gown needs preservation or not. Here is what we recommend.
You should opt for cleaning in the following instances:
These are a few situations wherein you do not need to go all out and preserve the wedding dress, as doing so will be a waste of money in these cases. You need not worry about the unpreserved dress looking shabby — it will be perfectly wearable once cleaned, steamed, and pressed.
You should opt for preservation in the following instances:
Imagine giving your gown to a nearby, supposed preservation company and getting it back with even more stains and creases — not an ideal situation, right? It is for this reason that choosing the right company with a positive reputation in the market is the key to having a positive experience and avoiding added hassles.
The sure-fire way to opt for the best wedding gown preservation company is by asking a number of questions — every right answer will bring the company closer to being your “the one.” Asking questions will not only clear all your doubts but will also help you identify how credible the company is. On top of that, it will let you know if they have in-depth knowledge about the industry.
Remember to enquire about the cleaning and preservation method they will use for your gown and if they will hand-clean it and pre-treat the stains. You should also know if the company has an in-house facility or outsources its work. There is no harm in outsourcing — especially if the company has great reviews — but knowing who will handle your gown is important.
In addition, an ideal company would be the one that guarantees every sequin of your dress. Often, companies ask customers to sign disclaimers stating they are not responsible for any damage done to the gown while treating it — rule out all such companies from your list. Also, read every statement of the agreement carefully before signing it.
Another important aspect to note while choosing a wedding gown preservation company is the warranty. Know the company policies for responding to the damage or discoloration after a certain period of time. Ideally, the company should re-clean and re-preserve the dress for you. That said, companies often void a warranty when you open the box they had placed the dress in post preservation.
Many more minor factors that boost convenience will also help you decide who is right for you. For instance, going for companies that allow shipment tracking is beneficial to get regular updates on what your prized possession is going through and where it is.
You will get back your preserved wedding dress in a protective box. The quality of the packaging material is vital in determining the lifespan of your gown. A professional company will pack your dress in acid-free paper and place it in a pH-neutral box. Some companies seal the box, others do not. Either way, opening the box is a personal preference — do note how it will impact the warranty, as mentioned above.
Once your preserved dress is home, how you store it will also make a huge difference and determine if it will stay in its pristine shape. Pay extra attention while handling the wedding dress when it is back. If you simply cannot resist opening the box and touching your clean, spotlessly white, and bright wedding gown, wear clean white cotton gloves to ensure you do not stain it — many companies provide these gloves. If gloves are not at your disposal, at least wash your hands before touching the dress. Also, prevent any kid from handling and ruining your dress.
There are special instructions for optimal storage. Wedding dresses, even when preserved, are vulnerable to inconsistent temperatures and humidity levels. To avoid discoloration, fabric deterioration, and structure loss, store your dress in a place with a neutral temperature — cool, dark, and dry environments are ideal. Air-conditioned rooms and dry closets are a few options. Additionally, keep the dress from direct sunlight, as it can turn the dress yellow. Hangers are also a big NO because they cannot bear the weight of wedding dresses.
After reading this blog, you might think preserving a wedding dress is a hassle. But we assure you the result will be totally satisfying and worth all the effort. When you see your perfect wedding dress adorned with sparkling beads and sequins and the veil in as perfect condition as it was on your wedding day — glistening in its glory — the gratification will be surreal. Wedding dress preservation will definitely offer you value for your money.