So you have your wedding dress, that perfect dress, shoes, all the icing pieces, every outfit meticulously planned and put together… then Pandemic hit.
All the stress of the past months, rescheduling weddings, rearranging it all and not quite knowing is it really going to be ok.
So meanwhile.. as you get to reality.. and perhaps some normality. What do you do with your dress, in fact all of your outfits?
The wedding maybe months away, even a year. How will you be sure that your dress will be kept safe? and away from damage and prying eyes.
Here are 8 Tips to help you make sure your wedding dress makes it to your wedding day without damage.
How to keep your wedding dress and accessories stored.
- The Bridal Store
- Let it breathe
- Hang it OR flat pack?
- Keep Cool
- Take insurance
- Post Wedding Cleaning
If you have a made to measure, made to order or a bespoke gown - delay the gown fittings or pick up until as late as possible so that you can have the last fittings to ensure all the dresses look fabulous for your actual new wedding date. . A lot can happen in a year.
Alternatively depending on the size of your gown - home would be the best place or an air conditioned storage.. or ask a trusted relative or friend’s if they might help out.
If there are embellishments - sometimes those may start to decompose and break down and gases are emitted, causing changes in color etc. It is best to use a fabric garment bag or plain cotton sheets to wrap your gown. Pack each piece separately and protect embellishments with extra tissue paper.
If you bought several outfits for the different parts of the wedding celebrations - (not the main wedding gown or evening piece)… better than sitting in your closet or in storage..you just might want to find an occasion to wear them before next year - by then you may be in the mood for another look or you can restyle them. The ready to wear/ occasion wear numbers will be easier to shop for.
If your gown is light weight - we suggest to hang it. Use the hanger loops or drape it over a hanger bar. Refrain from putting weight on the gown straps especially if they are made from a delicate material such as lace. Leave these hanging downwards so that you put no stress on the lace causing it to stretch. If in doubt, carefully pack in layers of tissue paper between folds and store in a cool dark place - flat.
Image credit: eastpac.co.uk
If your gown is heavy from a lot of layers and beading etc. do not hang it. The weight over time will cause parts of the dress to stretch dress, it is best to store your dress flat, wrapped in a cotton sheet, in a room or space that isn’t a “high traffic area” in your house such as under the bed or on the top shelf of a spare closet.
For accessories such as your veil. Keep the same advice in mind. If you are able to hang the veil - keep it in a roomy long garment bag to avoid it getting crushed. Other wise carefully pack the veil with layers of tissue paper between the folds to prevent creasing.
Other accessories such as corsages, hair accessories, bowties and pocket chiefs, they can be kept in boxes with silica gel to keep them dry and stored in a cool dry place.
Some of us live in countries that get very hot and humid in the home, consider leaving it in a room with a air dehumidifier or A/C or you could consider putting it in an air conditioned storage. Check locally for services like this.
If your gown is made from silk or other natural fibres, it’s best to get some moth balls and keep it together with the dress. Basements and attics typically are not the best places for storage, as the air may be damp and musty. Try to keep your dress in a spare room or bedroom where the temperature and humidity is consistent and the dress can remain out of direct sunlight.
Overall make sure you are not storing the gown in direct heat and also keep in in an area that is not accessible to our little friends - think kitties with sharp claws and doggies who love to chew on packaging. Best to be aware and prevent these possibilities.
Once your gown is properly stored away, try to resist the temptation to try it on or remove it from the bag (unless you need alterations). Your chances of staining and potential marks increase with each time you handle your dress. Sweat, makeup and deodorant are some of the biggest culprits for staining when trying on your dress. Remember if you do this, wash your hands, remove lipstick and be aware of make up. Wear clean white gloves to handle is best so you do not transfer any moisture to your gown that could change color or cause mold over the course of a few months/ year that you are storing it.
If your gown is expensive, consider to include it in your wedding insurance if you have not already taken insurance. If you wedding is a year away, it maybe worth your while to do that.
When the time comes, bring out your gown at least a month before your wedding. Let the wrinkles naturally fall out by hanging it somewhere high so you let the whole gown hang. You can give it a light steam with a quality steamer filling with distilled water and let it hang or lay flat to let the material breathe and come back to life. Carefully try it on to check if you need further alterations etc. If the creases are stubborn consider asking a local seamstress or dry cleaner for help. This goes the same for your other gowns and wedding attire.
Many hotels and wedding facilities have steamers available for you to use just before your ceremony. Just call ahead,
For veils and accessories, do the same, get them out, unpack them and fluff them up with a light shake or steam if needed. If they are specially expensive items - just remember to read the instructions or check back with the bridal store.
7. Post Wedding Storage
Yay, specialist dry clean the gown or if there is a wedding gown preservation service then look at option before storing away.. same steps as above. If it has special details please check with the cleaners.
Try your best to send your gown to the cleaners as soon as possible, sometimes stains that are not always visible immediately to the eye become stubborn to remove later if you leave it too long.
To best preserve your dress, put it in an acid-free box or a breathable garment bag or box - pack it with silica gel packs to keep the dress dry and it will last a long time. Don’t forgot moth balls if you have that problem. It is best to avoid long-term storage on a hanger, because this can lead to stretching the fabric over time.
Let’s face it - storage space is tight and less and less brides are embracing the tradition of passing their wedding gown to their daughters.
Good options you can look at - talk to your designer, bridal store for additional services if they can help to alter the gown to wear again for other occasions after the wedding - white parties, summer weddings etc. Consider shortening it so it’s more wearable if it’s a soft style or turning into a two piece ensemble. Get creative
For the more extravagant gowns, we love the idea of turning the wedding dress into a christening gown or a communion outfit , 100 day frock or just a party dress for birthdays. We will give you more tips on this later - for what to do after your wedding. Watch out for more posts.