Your gown is one of the main focus points of your wedding. Learn how to take care of it BEFORE and AFTER the wedding.
BEFORE THE WEDDING
If you've decided to take your gown home before the wedding, know that the vinyl bag is not enough to protect your gown. In some cases, it's possible that the petroleum products and dyes (if the bag is colored) used to make the bag could interact with the fibers in your gown, causing it to take on a peculiar odor, and/or potentially discolor.
How to avoid some of the potential damage:
- If you're a smoker, or someone in your house is, or you have oil-based heat, DON'T take the gown home until you absolutely have to. ALTERNATIVE PLAN: leave the gown at the bridal store (THEY ARE INSURED for your gown!!), or store the gown at a friend or relative's home, then follow rule #2. (NOTE: Your friends or family may likely NOT BE INSURED, heaven forbid they should have a roof leak or a fire.) Consider this option carefully.
- If storing your gown at home, open the vinyl bag, and drape your gown with a 100% cotton sheet. The sheet absorbs some of the odors, and acts as a dust cover for your gown, allowing it to breathe through the vinyl gown bag.
- Whomever is doing your final pressing should know the fabric content, and an appropriate pressing method. (i.e. do not STEAM press chiffon fabrics, press satin gowns on the inside out side, and use a pressing cloth to avoid burning or marking the fabric.)
AFTER the wedding
- Make an appointment to have your gown cleaned and preserved BEFORE the wedding. It's too easy to get wrapped up in honeymoon plans, moving, etc., and you will forget about it. This can be disastrous. We arrange with many of our brides to have the gown dropped off the next day to us, and in some cases, can even arrange to pick it up at the hotel the next morning before they leave on their trip!
- If you wait, understand that whatever got spilled on your gown, or picked up in the hem (usually car oil, wine, beer, soda, pavement grease, grass, sand, mud, and worse) may already begin making permanent stains within 24 hours. And some stains, no matter the close detail work that we provide with our deluxe service, just will not come out. The sooner your gown is attended to, the better. Get a qualified service to do this for you, not just your local dry cleaner.
- Cleaning the gown does NOT preserve it. Dry cleaners CLEAN garments, not preserve them, and yes, there is a long-lasting difference between cleaning and PRESERVATION. The preservation process includes applying a chemical to your dress that (in most cases) can be rinsed out later if the gown is to be re-used (for christening, communion, second family member or friend using, etc.) The chemical has a faint odor to it, and it is there to keep your gown, beads, silky fabrics, etc. from deteriorating and rotting. General service warranties are approximately 20 years.
- To seal or not seal the gown box: in some cases, services will offer sealing the box in your preservation process. We do not advise this unless the gown is valued in the thousands of dollars ($2500+). Check the warranty before ordering this, because if you break the seal, you may also break the warranty.
- Customers who use our gown preservation services are sent our FREE storage tips, once they let us know they have received their gown back. Others can ask for an email or hard copy, at a nominal fee
It is worth it to know how to take care of your gown after the fact. After all, a gown that is cleaned and preserved, and improperly stored, will be as useless later on as one that was not taken care of at all.