Finding your dream wedding dress is a bit like finding a soul mate really. You can search for what seems like an eternity before finally finding the one. When you eventually do however, it’s a match made in heaven (well, with one or two adjustments in some cases – but that’s the same as a human soul mate, right?). For every bride the dress is one of the biggest pieces of the wedding-planning-puzzle – and once you’ve found it, you can breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to getting married that bit more.
So, now your dress is in your possession, how do you go about caring for it? And how do you store it after you get hitched? This post is here to tell you just that!
Storing your dress correctly prior to the big day is especially important – no bride wants to walk down the aisle looking like something out of Great Expectations! To avoid dust, creases, tears (and rats!), you need to hang your gown up safe from harm. It’s always best to keep it in a closet, on a sponge hanger, covered in a non porous cover (such as muslin – plastic covers can trap condensation) with plenty of space on either side so it doesn’t get crushed. If you’re storing your dress away for 6 months of more, then it’s better to box it up in acid-free tissue paper, to avoid putting stress on the stitching. In both instances, keep it out of sunlight and away from windows, heaters and vents.
Transporting that dream dress, near or far, also requires diligence if it’s to get there unscathed. Unless you’re wearing it to your wedding venue, the best way to transport your dress is by car. Lay the back seats down, and place it on top of a clean sheet to minimize creasing. If you’re jetting off somewhere exotic for your wedding ceremony, you can have the airline safely hang your dress with the flight attendant jackets, with prior arrangement. Therefore there’s no need to buy an extra seat for your gown.
Averting Dress Dramas!
Drama and stress comes with the territory for many brides, and understandably so, given how important it is. Thankfully however, it’s usually reserved for the run up to your wedding day, as opposed to the wedding itself – which more often than not turns out to be the best day of our lives. There’s more to looking after your gown than avoiding wrinkles and creases however. The average bride spends almost $1200 on her dress, a sizable portion of the wedding budget. Like any expensive purchase with a lot riding on it (not to mention the emotional attachment) it makes sense to insure it. With the ailing economy there have been many instances of companies liquidating and leaving soon-to-be-weds without goods or services they had previously arranged and paid for, including dresses. Most wedding insurance packages will cover attire anyway, so if you’ve taken out a plan chances are your dress will be safeguarded anyway. If for whatever reason the worst comes to the worst, you’ll be able to buy a replacement gown and receive monetary compensation.
If you’re particularly accident prone (and let’s face it, most of us are after a few glasses of champagne – more so whilst drunk on love as well!) you’ll want to exercise caution during your reception. Firstly, remember that most gowns will restrict your movement, so be careful when you’re pulling out all your best Beyoncé moves on the dance floor. Secondly, a wedding buffet is fraught with fabric staining substances (namely wine and food) that would happily add a shade or two to your gown should they get the chance. Whilst this may not seem like such a disaster after the ceremony and photographs, it can certainly be a pain in the ass to see an unsightly blotch when you look at your dress in the future (nostalgia-induced closet foraging on your diamond wedding anniversary, for example). Like most stains, the best way to get rid of it is to tackle it straight away. Gently blotting the stain with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth is the most effective method, ensuring you work from the outside in to avoid spreading the stain. Remember, the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to remove – so if it’s a particularly resilient stain, then it’s recommended you take your gown to be professionally cleaned as soon after the wedding as possible.
After the big day your dress will be immortalized within your wedding pictures, in pristine condition, whilst you look fabulous wearing it – but what of the gown itself? If you don’t plan on selling it, passing it on to another bride, or having it refashioned into something else, then it’s time to box it up and store it away. To preserve it for decades to come, stuff the gown with acid-free tissue paper, fold into a Z-shape (to minimize creasing) and place it inside a corrugated cardboard box that is also free of acid (it’s worth noting that some companies sell boxes specifically for this purpose). Once that’s done place it somewhere in your home with a steady climate, such a closet or bedroom, away from vents or heaters. Avoid storing your gown in a basement or attic, where the temperature often fluctuates. If you treat your gown like the precious relic that it is, it’ll remain looking gorgeous for many years to come!
This great post comes to us from Melissa H, thank you for the guest post! Photos by Jasmine Photography.