// By Jan’s Professional Dry Cleaners //
If you want to hang on to your wedding dress as a memento of your big day, you need to know how to preserve and store it properly. Whether you want to pass it down to another relative, sell it, repurpose it into a christening or First Communion gown, donate it, or keep it as a keepsake, a wedding gown preservation specialist or drycleaner can help with the process for roughly $150. Here is a list of key points to keep in mind to make sure your dress remains in pristine condition.
1. When you purchase your dress, get the instructions for cleaning and the trim in writing. Cleaning usually starts with the most soiled area of the dress—the hem, which can pick up dust from the dance floor, grass stains, mud or dirt, sweat or body oils, makeup, and food or wine stains.
2. Get your dress cleaned within six weeks after the wedding. Some stains, invisible at first, will start to darken over time. And some materials, like silk, require a special cleaning procedure.
3. Make sure the cleaning company has experience cleaning and preserving bridal gowns in-house. Some places will outsource this work, but you want to make sure to talk to the people who will be doing the actual cleaning and preserving.
4. Make sure the company uses a pH-balanced container. A paperboard box is a good example of this, as it allows the gown to “breathe” and adjust to temperature changes.
5. Make sure that acid-free tissue paper or unbleached muslin are used in the packaging. These materials are pH-balanced and won’t harm your dress.
Follow these tips, and your wedding dress will last a lifetime, even bringing joy to future generations.