After the wedding, some brides sell or donate their dress, others re-purpose it into cocktail attire or lingerie, but most brides want to keep the dress that represents happiness, love and celebration. Wondering how to clean your dress? How much will it cost? Can you do it at home? Here are some wedding dress preservation tips.

Wedding Dress Preservation Tips

Cost

Wedding dress preservation is a big expense – the average preservation kit costs from $250 to $750, though prices can go as high as $1000.

Stains

The most dangerous stains are the ones you can’t see. White wine stains will be clear, but they’ll become pale yellow and brown over time.

Label

Don’t ignore the label. Look for dry cleaning instructions. Use appropriate cleaning solutions. Never use bleach.

Time

The sooner you get the dress to the dry cleaner or preservationist, the better. Brides usually wait up to six weeks to take their wedding dress to the cleaner. By that time, stains will set in. Take the gown off as soon as the reception is over and get it to the cleaner the next day. If you’re going to the honeymoon, ask your mother or the maid of honor to take the dress to the cleaning.

Preservation box

Preserved wedding dress is usually stored in an airtight box. The oxygen has been sucked out of the box and replaced with nitrogen – this prevents oxidation (discoloration, aging). You should never break the seal, but if you do, have the dress preserved and sealed again.

Storage

After the dress has been cleaned, you should store it in a cool, dark place. Avoid the direct sunlight – it can fade the colors and turn the dress yellow. Don’t pun it on the hanger, it can make the dress misshapen. Don’t store it in a zip-up plastic bag, it holds the moisture which can discolor the dress. For best results, choose the professional wedding preservation box or a wedding chest.

Clothing and accessories 

Talk to the preservationist about including other items in your box, such as shoes, bouquet and jewelry. Depending on the type of the shoes material, you may be able to include them with the dress. For bouquet, you can hang, press, coat the flowers in wax or use epoxy resin to preserve the flowers.

What are your thoughts on wedding dress preservation tips?

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