CLEANING AND STORING YOUR GOWN
(What the Cleaners and some Bridal Salons do NOT want you to know!)
Don't let anyone talk you into expensive "preservation" of your gown! Ads geared to the bridal industry say things like "you can laugh all the way to the bank" when making huge profits on preserving gowns.
Do take your gown to a dry cleaner that you have had good experience with or is recommended by friends. Ask for "DRY CLEAN ONLY". This means no pressing, the cleaners charge at least half of your bill for the pressing services. After your wedding you do not need pressing, you will be storing the gown, not wearing it. If you do not specify no pressing they will automatically do it.
When you pick up your gown, take it out of the plastic right there. You should take note before taking the gown in of any areas that have bad stains and check to make sure they have attempted to remove them. If there is a tag on the hanger stating they could not remove the stain and you had more than one, check to make sure they are referring to only one, not all of them. Usually they will all come out unless you had some unusual or heavy stains. Be sure to check your gown before you leave the cleaners so they can look at it with you. You do not need the stuffing or plastic so leave it there. (See below for the sheet hint, put on right there before taking home.) If your gown is not clean they can run your gown again and should do this for no extra charge. DO NOT WAIT A YEAR TO TAKE YOUR GOWN TO THE CLEANERS!
Be careful at your wedding. Wine, champagne and cake (it's the oil) and candle wax can be very damaging to your gown. Most dry cleaners will have you sign a damage waiver before they work on your gown. This very standard, older gowns used to have glued on beads and they would come off. Heavily beaded gowns will lose a little beading, this happens just when you are breathing! Real damage is very unusual if dealing with a reputable cleaner.
After you take your gown home, find a cool dry place for it. Boxing it is fine or hanging it in a closet will be fine also. DO NOT STORE IN A CEDAR CHEST, the oils and wood stain and long term orders can damage your gown.
If you haven't done it before, take off all plastic and stuffing from the cleaners. Plastic is what will turn you gown yellow after a long period of time. Wrap it in a soft clean sheet. Tie sheet at the top of the hanger, wrap, and tie at the bottom. Then put the gown in a breathable garment bag for your long term storage.
Now you are ready to show off your gown whenever you like, wear for an anniversary. (Have him rent a tux and have a special private party!)
So now just have your gown cleaned "dry clean only, no pressing" every 10-15 years (or after wearing) to keep your gown in good condition. For long term storage dust is the only enemy. We have many vintage gowns we have stored this way and they still look fresh and new.
For your convenience we have breathable garment bags in our store in white, light pink, turquoise, leopard and lavender for only $20. They are usually in stock all year long.