How do you preserve those special moments when caring for your Wedding Dress after the wedding. Brides who want a wedding dress preservation either want to keep their dress as a family heirloom to be passed down to future generations, or they may want to sell it. Some will eventually make it into a Christening outfit for their children. If you want to keep your dress – and keep it in good condition – you will have to get it cleaned and preserved by an expert in wedding gown preservation. Here are some tips to make sure your wedding gown preservation will not disappoint you.
Many brides just use the wedding dress preservation company or cleaner recommended by the bridal shop where they purchased their gown. Before you trust your gown to them you should do a little research and ask questions about the reputation and experience of the cleaner. You should trust your gown to dry cleaners who have experience with bridal gown preservation and process the dresses in house, rather than shipping them somewhere else.
Before ordering a wedding gown preservation, ask if the cleaner offers a guarantees. Ask if the cleaner will permit you to inspect the gown before it’s sealed in the box. Its the only way to protect yourself if the gown comes back and it’s not your gown, or has not actually been cleaned or stored properly. Each gown should be inspected for damaged threads or loose beading. They are usually placed through a series of black-light tests to detect the most obscure stains and blemishes.
You should expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500, depending on the level of service you require and the type of dress you purchased. When you bring or ship your dress to a wedding gown preservation company or dry cleaner that provides this service, a staff person will examine the fabric, beading, and other details to determine how to best clean it. Every gown is different.
The most important part of the dress is the hem because it is usually the most soiled. Dirt from the dance floor, parking lots and any other place you may have walked is sure to attach itself to the dress. Most professionals scrub the hem by hand. The biggest problems are grass, mud, perspiration and body oils, make-up, and invisible sugar stains (from wedding cake, soda or wine). Some of the most difficult stains to remove are red wine and White-Out, which some brides use to cover up small stains on the wedding day.
Failure to remove sugar stains is the biggest reason for a wedding gown to yellow over time. Conventional dry cleaning does not remove these sugar stains. Be sure the company you choose for your wedding dress preservation has a system in place to get the sugar stains out.
After the dress is cleaned and pressed, the next step is the actual preservation. The cleaner folds it and places acid free tissue paper between the folds. The dress is then placed in an acid-free chest with a display window. Sometimes, accessories, such as veils and garters are cleaned and preserved as well and placed in the box with the dress. Not any old pretty preservation chest will do. The chest the cleaner uses must be of high quality construction, and it must be acid free. Depending on the cleaner you use, the processing time could be anywhere from three to six weeks. Don’t rush the cleaner. Every gown is different, and they require careful handling.
More questions to ask your restoration vendor are:
A. Is shipping included? Both to and from their facility?
B. Can you send accessories and, if so, is there an additional cost?
C. Will the gown be cleaned and preserved or just preserved?
D. Does your gown hold insurance and how much? Can you purchase additional insurance?
Planning the care and cleaning of your Wedding Dress, takes time and planning, just like your wedding.