Once the big day is over, many brides are uncertain of what to do with their wedding dress. Along with taking a considerable amount of time to find and being one of the most expensive articles of clothing that you own, your wedding dress is a palpable reminder of your special day. Unfortunately, letting your wedding dress hang in the closet indefinitely isn’t the best way to ensure that it stays fresh and pristine for the long haul.
Whether you intend to keep your wedding dress as a personal memento, pass it down as an heirloom to your daughter, or repurpose it into something new, taking the time to properly care for your gown will ensure that it stays looking as good as new for years to come. Check out these simple tips from the experts at OXXO Cleaners That Care to make sure that your wedding dress gets the happily ever after it deserves.
Before the Wedding: Tips to Handle Your Dress with Care
For most couples, planning a wedding doesn’t happen overnight. It often entails months of thoughtful planning for everything from the venue, food, and, of course, the perfect dress. Because of this, it’s common for wedding gowns to be found well before it’s time to walk down the aisle. If this is the case for you, it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep your dress safe so that it looks its very best when it’s time to reveal it to your fiance. Keep these tips in mind to help you do just that:
- Store your wedding dress in a garment bag or wrapped in white bed sheets to allow it to breathe while preventing discoloration.
- Rather than hanging your dress, which could cause the straps to stretch or seams to pull, lay your dress flat in a space that you don’t use often, such as a guest bedroom or spare closet. Be sure that it’s away from potential dangers, such as pets. If you must hang the dress, be sure to use the proper straps and ask a bridal consultant what is the best way to do so.
- Avoid exposing your wedding gown to conditions that you wouldn’t consider comfortable in your home. Moisture, sunlight, and heat can all have a negative impact on the way your dress looks, feels, and smells. With this in mind, never store your dress in the attic, basement, or garage.
- Apart from alteration appointments, it’s best to avoid trying your dress on before the wedding day. Every time you try your wedding dress on, you increase the chances of staining it with oil marks, make-up, or even deodorant. If you do try it on, play it safe by doing so without anything on your skin, including lotion. On your wedding day, wait until the last minute to put the dress on so you can limit its exposure to hair spray, make-up, and food while you’re getting ready.
- A few days before your wedding day, take your dress out of the garment bag and hang it up to let any wrinkles fall out naturally. If it’s still wrinkly prior to the wedding, bring it to a professional cleaner you can trust, such as OXXO Cleaners That Care, who can carefully steam the wrinkles out without causing water marks or damaging the material.
After the Wedding: Keep Your Dress Safe
Any bride will tell you that there’s a tremendous amount of build-up that comes with getting married. Once the day has passed, it can be tempting to bask in the wonderful memories and enjoy not having to mark things off your to-do list. Before you kick your feet up, however, there is one more task that’s worth doing: caring for your gown.
If you think that wearing your wedding gown for one day is reason enough to just stick it in your closet and forget about it for a while, think again. Wearing your wedding dress for even just a few hours undoubtedly exposes it to perspiration, make-up, food particles, and more. While it may look clean at first glance, chances are that untreated stains can set in or even spread if left to their own devices for an extended amount of time. With this in mind, it’s worth the time and effort to clean your dress as quickly as possible after you take it off.
Cleaning Your Wedding Dress
When it comes to removing spots, stains, and smells from your wedding dress, it’s best to leave it to the experts. Professional cleaners know exactly how to treat specific stains without damaging even the most delicate fabrics, such as lace and silk. The sooner you have your dress professionally cleaned, the easier it will be for cleaners to restore it to its original beauty.
With this in mind, it’s best to bring it to the cleaners no later than six months after your wedding day. Pro tip: if you know remembering to bring your dress to the cleaners will be a struggle, have a family member or bridesmaid bring it for you while you’re on your honeymoon. You’ll be so happy to return home to your pristine gown and have one less thing to cross off of your list.
Even for the most careful brides, accidents happen. What happens if a noticeable spot appears on your dress while you’re wearing it before the ceremony or during the reception? There are steps you can take to resolve the problem quickly and discreetly without making it worse. Here are a few:
- Blot the soiled area with a clean cloth, such as a napkin. Then sprinkle cornstarch or baby powder on it. After the liquid has been absorbed by the powder, gently brush the residue away with a soft-bristled brush or a butter knife.
- Avoid using stain removers on the area. While this may seem like a good way to remove the stain before it sets it, it can actually do the opposite, causing the stain to soak further into the material rather than away from it.
- Use a dryer sheet or pantyhose to carefully brush away deodorant marks that appear on the side of your dress after you put it on.
Preserving Your Wedding Dress
No matter what you plan to do with your wedding dress after you wear it, having it professionally cleaned is a must. Some brides may choose to go a step further and have their gown preserved as well, which is an entirely separate process. Professional cleaning is performed in order to remove stains and restore the fabric as closely to its original condition as possible. Preserving is a technique that is performed with the intention of preventing natural aging and discoloration that will occur over time.
When a dress is preserved, it’s strategically packed with acid-free tissue in a special museum-quality container that protects it from light, dust, moisture, and air that could negatively affect its appearance over time. Even if you aren’t sure what you intend to do with your wedding dress in the long term, preserving your dress as soon as possible after your wedding day is a wonderful way to ensure it stays in tip-top shape.
Storing Your Wedding Dress
Whether you choose to only have your wedding dress professionally cleaned or professionally cleaned and then preserved, the way that you store it when it’s finished matters. Just as you shouldn’t expose it to harsh elements, such as light, heat, and moisture, before your big day, you also should do so afterward. A good rule of thumb to determine where an appropriate storage spot may be is to choose a place where you’re comfortable. Look for a spot that is relatively dark, cool, and dry. This means that your attic, basement, and garage aren’t good options since they’re prone to extreme temperature changes and moisture compared to other areas of your home. When in doubt, storing it under a bed or in a spare closet is usually a safe bet.
It’s Never Too Late to Clean Your Wedding Dress!
When it comes to keeping your wedding dress in like-new condition, there’s no denying that having it professionally cleaned as soon after the wedding day as possible is the best approach. This is because when stains have an opportunity to set in delicate fabrics, they are much more difficult to remove completely. While this is true, having your wedding dress professionally cleaned months or even years after you get married is better than never having it cleaned at all.
At OXXO Cleaners That Care, we recognize the sentimentality, significance, and value that every wedding dress holds to the bride who wore it. That’s why we’re committed to handling them with special care. We’re proud to provide unique expertise that allows us to effectively remove even the toughest stains while protecting the material that they’re affecting. If you’re a new bride interested in preserving her dress after the big day or you’ve been meaning to have your wedding dress professionally cleaned for years, visit us online or stop by one of our convenient locations today to see how simple your wedding dress cleaning can be!