the complete guide to wedding dress preservation

Your wedding day has passed, you have worn your dream gown, and now you’re deciding what you should do with your wedding dress. Some choose to donate or sell their wedding dress afterwards, while others choose to keep their dress as a representation of their love and celebration on their wedding day. 

For those who choose to keep their dress, wedding dress preservation is incredibly important. If you are wanting to ensure that your wedding dress lasts a lifetime, cleaning and preservation are key. 

What is Wedding Dress Preservation?

Wedding dress preservation is essential to keeping your gown looking brand new for a lifetime. Preservation is the special cleaning and packaging techniques that are used to ensure your gown keeps its original beauty. After surveying the materials, embellishments, and stains of your gown, a professional preservationist will formulate a specialized cleaning procedure. Once your gown has been cleaned, it will be wrapped in an acid-free tissue paper and placed in a museum-quality archival box. 

What Happens if I Don’t Preserve My Wedding Dress?

If you choose not to preserve your wedding dress, you may risk any or all of the following: 

  • Brown Oxidation Spots
  • Yellowing of the Fabric
  • Permanent Fabric Creasing
  • Mold and Mildew Growth

How Long Does Wedding Dress Preservation Last?

One question that many people have is how long wedding dress preservation will last. This largely depends on whether you preserved the gown yourself or had it professionally cleaned and preserved. Professional wedding dress preservation companies offer anywhere from a lifetime guarantee to a 100-year guarantee. 

How Much Does Wedding Dress Preservation Cost?

If you are looking to have your wedding dress preserved after your ceremony, it is important to remember to factor it into your wedding budget. On average, wedding dress preservation may cost you anywhere from $250 to $600. However, sometimes prices can go as high as $1,000 depending on the wedding dress and the location. 

DIY Wedding Dress Preservation 

Of course, a DIY method can be much riskier than working with a professional preservationist using museum-quality methods. But if you are more of a hands-on type of person and plan on trying to preserve your wedding dress on your own, these helpful guidelines can help set you up for success! 

  1. Make sure that you only use white cotton gloves when handling the wedding dress. 
  2. Before cleaning the dress, spot test the fabric in an inconspicuous area to ensure that the product will not harm the fabric. 
  3. NEVER use bleach on your wedding dress; this can irreversibly damage the delicate fabric.
  4. Use soft-bristled brushes to help get the job done.
  5. After cleaning and drying the gown, wrap it in acid-free tissue paper. Colored tissue paper can stain the dress over time.
  6. Place the dress in an acid-free container and store in an area away from harsh light or temperatures. Silica desiccant packets may also be used inside the box for humidity control.
  7. Do not store your wedding dress in an attic, basement, garage or cellar; the temperatures and humidity in these areas can be extreme at times.
  8. Every two to three years, check on your dress and refold it to ensure that no permanent creasing occurs.