Beautiful wedding gown in Boston

Understanding Wedding Dress Preservation

A woman’s wedding dress is perhaps one of, if not the most emotional purchase she will ever make. Regardless of the cost, these dresses are considered heirlooms. If you want to pass them down to a later generation, they need to be carefully maintained as a remembrance.

A bride has a wide range of alternatives regarding what to do with her wedding dress. Some sell or donate their gowns. Some “trash” their wedding gown with a photoshoot that uses a lot of color bombs, and others turn it into lingerie or cocktail wear. However, many brides want to keep the gown that embodies so much romance, joy, love, and celebration.

Wedding dress preservation is crucial for this reason. A wedding dress is often quite fragile and delicate and cannot be cleaned like a regular garment. In order to ensure that your wedding dress lasts a lifetime, cleaning and preservation are essential. You run the following risks if you decide not to preserve your wedding gown:

  • Fabric yellowing
  • Brown oxidation stains
  • Mold and mildew development
  • Permanent fabric creasing

What is Wedding Dress Preservation

Wedding gown preservation is a special cleaning and packaging process to guarantee your gown retains its beauty over time.

Cost of Wedding Dress Preservation

Budgeting for wedding expenses should include wedding dress preservation. It’s a hefty outlay when you consider that many wedding preservation packages range in price from $300 to $500.

Wedding gown before and after cleaning

Standard Dry Cleaning vs. Wedding Dress Preservation 

Unlike one-size-fits-all dry cleaning, wedding gown preservation starts with an expert’s evaluation. In addition, to examining stains at the hem and throughout the dress, the professional will create a specific treatment plan based on the fabric, stitching, and intricacies of your dress.

Some dry cleaners also provide wedding dress cleaning and preservation service. You can use them, but be sure to investigate their process beforehand. Find a dry cleaner that uses a delicate and pure solvent for your gown.

The standard dry cleaning process may use other solvents that include pollutants that might deposit back onto garments and give your wedding dress a weird odor. Only dry cleaners with experience in cleaning wedding gowns should be used for wedding dress cleaning and preservation.

Before hiring any cleaner, thoroughly read their wedding gown service policies. You want a preservationist who will promise not to cause any harm. Additionally, search for a guarantee that the full purchase price of the dress, not just the preservation fee, will be reimbursed if any damage occurs. Furthermore, find out how long the wedding dress will be guaranteed to stay pristine after its preservation.

Wedding Gown Stains

Save Your Gown From Hidden Stains

Interestingly, the most dangerous spills are those that are hidden, according to specialist Sally Conant. “Latent stains from the white wine and other substances dry clear, but they contain sugar that over time caramelizes to leave behind dark brown spots that regular dry cleaning cannot eliminate. Even if you believe your gown is fine after six months, the hidden stain will eventually get light yellow and turn black. The process is sped up by heat.

Professional cleaners and preservationists are trained to recognize hidden damage, and they can remove any visible or invisible stain on your wedding dress. 

As a result of your flawless photos in the garden, did the bottom of your dress become soiled? Was red wine spilled on it at the reception? Did an overly enthusiastic aunt smear her makeup when she entered the room to give her a hug? A professional wedding gown cleaner will create a treatment plan for each kind of stain.

Pay Attention to Your Wedding Dress’s Label

You should not disregard this label. See whether it contains any special dry cleaning instructions, such as Dry Clean Only with Petroleum Solvent. Whatever it says, pay attention to it, and help ensure the dry cleaner or preservationist you select has the proper cleaning agents for your wedding gown.

Timing Is Essential

The first stage in wedding dress maintenance is professional cleaning. Therefore the earlier you can get the garment to the dry cleaners or preservationist, the better. It’s unacceptable for brides to wait weeks to get their garments cleaned, and stains could have had enough time by then to be fully set.

Tip: As soon as the wedding is finished, ensure it is taken to the dry cleaner the following day. Make arrangements for bridesmaids or your mom to take it if you’re flying away for your honeymoon.

Wedding Gown Preservation Box

Ensure The Preservation Box is Airtight Sealed 

A preserved garment is normally kept in an airtight container that has been filled with nitrogen instead of oxygen. This is done to stop the oxidation, including aging, discoloration, etc., that may occur to clothing after being stored for a long time. Wedding gown experts advise against ever breaking the seal. If you break the seal, you should have preserved and sealed it again.

Keep the Wedding Dress in a Cool, Dark Place

It’s time to keep the wedding dress once it has been thoroughly cleaned. Keep your garment out of direct sunlight to prevent fading and yellowing. The heavier gowns should be taken off the hanger to avoid misshaping. Avoid putting your garment in a conventional zip-top plastic bag at all costs.

Such plastic retains moisture and can cause a wedding dress’ color to fade. The acid-free plastic used to make wedding preservation boxes is an exception to this rule. Choose a wedding chest or a professional wedding storage box.

The safest approach to preserve your gown for many years is in an acid-free bridal chest or box that shields it from oxygen and light.

Bottom Line

If you are a bride-to-be and want to keep your wedding dress after the big day, it is important to take care of it. Preservation is key to keeping your gown in top condition for years (or even decades) to come. 


How long does it take to preserve my wedding dress?

The entire process should take 4 to 10 weeks.

How long does a wedding dress preservation last?

Your preserved wedding dress is likely to last a lifetime, or at most 100 years.

Can a yellowed wedding dress be whitened?

Generally speaking, yes, wedding dresses that have turned yellow can be restored to their original white color by professionals.