Every bride is aware of the importance of finding the perfect dress to wear on the happiest day of her life. But more than being just a precious memento of the beginning of a wonderful life together, a wedding gown could be an heirloom piece that you hand down over generations. For this reason, the right time to think about your preserving your wedding dress is when you buy it. The experts at Affordable Preservation talk about how you may want to plan for this critical process by checking with the designer of the dress and friends and family for recommendations of the best professionals. You may also want to ask the boutique so they can guide you depending on the kind of fabric and embellishments that went into the dress. At the time of organizing the maintenance of your dress, it is essential that you keep a few key factors in mind.
1. Schedule the Time for the Cleaning – Avoid Delaying the Process:
A good time to begin taking care of this precious memento is right after you change out of it. Take care to carefully place the dress on a plastic or padded hanger and cover it up with acid-free plastic. Since you probably will not have the time, request one of your bridesmaids to take over. Get her to make sure the dress reaches the wedding gown preservation experts as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the higher are the chances of the stains setting in, and that will make it much harder to get them out. Further, dresses don’t do so well on hangers for very long. Their weight tends to pull down the fabric making it go out of shape.
2. Set Aside the Funds for the Wedding Gown Preservation:
Keep in mind that caring for the wedding gown can be expensive. Like this article on Brides.com explains, you can expect that the cleaning and preservation could set you back anywhere from $250 to $750. The fabric of the dress, its texture, stitching, the kind of beads, sequins, or laces adorning it, and various other factors can also dictate the cost of the services. At times, the charge can go up to $1,000. When working out the budget of the event, you may want to factor in this post-wedding expense also. Remember, you’ll need cleaning for accessories like the gloves, shoes, veil, or any others as well.
3. Choose the Cleaning Service Carefully – Ask for Guarantees:
Before finalizing the service, you may want to check with them about the processes they use. Keep in mind that regular dry cleaning is very different from the specialized processes used for wedding gown preservation. To begin with, the solvent used to clean the dress should match the fabric without risking damage. It is also essential that only pure solvents are used. That’s because reused solvents can leave behind stains on the white dress. Go ahead and ask the service if they conduct the cleaning on site or if they send it to third parties for cleaning and packaging.
The best services are likely to provide you with a guarantee that the dress will remain protected. They may also commit to compensating you for the cost of the dress along with the expense of the preservation in case something goes wrong. In addition to these assurances, ask for the time frame for which the dress will remain in pristine condition. A great place to start looking for reliable dress maintenance services would be directories like Wedding Wire.
4. Be Wary of Services that Give You an Estimate without Examining the Dress:
Like the folks at The Knot will tell you, a reliable wedding gown preservation service will want to examine the dress before they give you an estimate of the possible cost of the cleaning. Be wary if they are willing to give you a ballpark figure over the phone. Only expert cleaners can identify stains of food and beverages that are not visible to the layperson.
For instance, white wine does not show up right away but the sugars in the drink oxidize over time and gradually turn brown. In case the dress is stored in a warm place, the heat may speed up the discoloration. Other stains like red wine, cake, makeup smears, and of course, dirt and grass stains on the hem of the dress may need specialized attention. Rely on a cleaning service that can find these stains and talk to you about removing them. Spending a little more on the preservation may be well worth every penny.
5. Examine the Box When You Receive Delivery:
The most important elements you need to worry about damaging your wedding dress are humidity, heat, and oxygen. After the cleaning process is complete, the wedding gown preservation service will carefully wrap the dress in acid-free paper and plastic. Some services with pack the dress in an airtight box that has had the oxygen vacuumed out completely. This step in the packaging ensures that oxidation is prevented so the dress will not yellow over the years. The cleaners may also replace the oxygen with nitrogen and request you not to break the seal. The best way to preserve your dress is flat in a preservation box or a wedding chest of white gloss or silver.
6. Store the Box Carefully:
Even though your dress has been packaged and cleaned carefully, you may want to store it in the right spot. Check out this article on the Hitched that advises you to choose a closet that is protected from direct sunlight and heat. Also, make sure that the closet is dry and does not attract humidity that may result in mold and mildew forming on the dress. Placing the dress under your bed could possibly be the best idea.
Even after getting professional wedding gown preservation for your treasured memento, you may want to open the box and examine the dress carefully every 2 to 3 years. Take it for further processing if needed and refold to eliminate the creases. In most cases, the clear acetate panel on the box could give you a clear idea of the condition of your dress.
Your wedding gown is certainly a cherished possession and you’ll want to take the best of care of it. Just make sure to choose the right professionals and you can preserve it for a good many years to come.