Do any of you remember the fad from a few years ago (maybe some of you even participated in it?), where brides would “trash” their wedding dress on purpose during an elaborate, post-wedding photo shoot?
These are just a few examples of brides doing everything from splattering their dress with paint to rolling around on wet, sandy beaches and muddy forest floors. Please note: This can be very dangerous. Wedding gowns are often made of layer upon layer of mixed materials and if they get wet, they can become very heavy. Last year, a Canadian woman actually drowned during her “trash the dress” photo shoot. So. Not. Worth. It.
Personally, I think preserving your gown after the big day is the way to go (Doesn’t anybody pass down their wedding dress anymore?!?). In order to properly prepare and store your gown without accidentally trashing it, I’ve pulled together some tips.
1. Pre-Wedding Preservation Consultation. Seek out a dry cleaner that specializes in storage with your dress so that they can make a recommendation on cleaning and packing it. Some dresses have beads, tassels and other items that might melt during the cleaning process. Do not remove the tag so the dry cleaner has as much information as possible about the gown. It is also a good idea to assign a friend or family member the task of bringing your gown to the dry-cleaners after your wedding (See: Tip 3) and to bring them to this pre-wedding visit.
2. Wedding Day Stain-Fighting Protocol. If on the day of your wedding you happen to get crazy on the dance floor and spill a drink (or three!) on your dress, blot it gently with club soda. Rubbing can damage the fabric permanently. It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit on hand for easy-to-remove stains, but in some cases it is best to let the dry cleaner have the first shot at removing the stain.
3. Prompt Post-Wedding Stain Removal. This may seem obvious, but oftentimes the bride is whisked away on her honeymoon after the wedding and no one has been put in charge of taking her dress to the dry cleaners. It’s important to have the dressed cleaned in a timely fashion so that stains don’t become oxidized and permanently damage the gown. Prompt treatment increases the likelihood of a successful cleaning.
4. Storing Your Gown. Under no circumstances do you want to store your dress without dry cleaning first. You might think you made it through your wedding day/night without any damage, but perspiration stains can affect the fabric too, even after they evaporate. Also, choose a box or hanging bag that’s free of metal accessories to prevent rust stains.
5. Find an Eco-Friendly Cleaner. My only other tip is to choose a local dry-cleaner that uses the latest technology. I encourage you to make an Eco-friendly choice by not supporting dry-cleaners that use outdated processes that create hazardous waste. As an added bonus, newer processes are gentler on clothes, thus lengthening the life of your wedding dress.
Did your mother preserve her wedding dress? Did you? Let me know in the comment section below.