Should I dry clean my wedding dress after the wedding?

A bridal gown is an iconic part of your wedding day. After all, you've spent years envisioning what your wedding day will be like and what you'll be wearing the day you say "I do." So what happens to your wedding gown after the big day? That's when bridal gown cleaning and preservation comes into play.

You have spent days, months or even years searching for the perfect dress for the big day, so it surely doesn't deserve to be forgotten about after the event. Leaving a dress to rot in the back of a wardrobe, or the attic will cause it to deteriorate. However, with the right care and storage, you can make sure your wedding dress is perfectly preserved. Furthermore, you may even be able to use it again or pass it on for future generations.

The best way to preserve your wedding dress and keep it in pristine condition is by dry cleaning. So just why is a search for 'wedding dress cleaning near me' so important after the big day?

What Are The Benefits Of Wedding Dress Dry Cleaning?

Eliminate stains

Act fast and have your dress cleaned sooner rather than later to ensure the best chances for stain removal. Some stains are not visible to the naked eye and will surface over time when it becomes too hard or even too late to get rid of them.

Standard dry-cleaning procedures are not delicate enough or efficient enough to clean a wedding dress, and that is why it's imperative that a specialist dry cleaning company.

Even if you got through your wedding day without spilling any obvious food and drink on your dress and it looks pristine and stain-free, it may have some staining that you can't see right now.

For example, you or your guests may have spilled some spots of champagne or white wine on the dress without realising it. Chemicals in products such as hairspray or deodorants also leave invisible marks, as does sweat. The problem is, these stains may not show just after your wedding, but they may become visible later as they mature or are exposed to heat.

Best Chance Of Stain Removal

Some stains may not be easy to spot, such as sweat or champagne or light-coloured liquids. However, over time, these stains may set in, becoming more pronounced and yellowing or darkening the fabric of the dress. The longer these stains are left, the harder they become to remove. It would help if you aimed to dry clean your wedding dress as quickly as possible after the big day to keep it in the best condition.

Care Of Delicate Fabric

Your wedding dress is likely to be incredibly delicate. It is vital that standard washing practices not be used when cleaning your wedding dress. When searching for 'dress cleaners near me' or 'wedding dress cleaning near me' make sure the dry cleaners you find are knowledgeable about wedding dress cleaning and offer a very specific service.

Choose local services that have a team of material experts who will know the perfect approach to take with your wedding dress. This provides you with the peace of mind that your wedding dress is in safe hands.

Prevent Discolouration

White, ivory and cream dresses are prone to yellowing, and even the colour in pigmented gowns will begin to deteriorate over time if you don't have it cleaned, especially if the dress is exposed to sunlight.

Using non-toxic, odourless, silicone-based clear liquid which has many advantages over traditional dry cleaning processes. It is eco-friendly, very gentle, keeps whites bright, fights fade, eradicates stains and, of course, is better for the fabrics and our environment.

With a white or ivory wedding dress, you'll want it to stay as crisp and pure in colour as the first day you put it on. In storage, or when a dress is exposed to sunlight, whites will gradually discolour. Applying a unique, non-toxic solution to dresses which not only eradicates stains but keeps whites brighter for longer and continues to fight fade for many years to come.

Stop fibre stretching

If you leave your dress hanging in your wardrobe, the fibres can gradually stretch. As such, it is better to box your dress so that the material is loose and free of tension.

Each wedding dress is cleaned and delicately packaged in a beautiful, custom handmade preservation box. The boxes are sturdy enough to eliminate light, strong enough to protect from accidents, and are made from a breathable material lined with fine acid-free tissue. This method provides an easier long-term storage solution and offers additional protection.  

Wedding Dress Storage Box

Finally, when you leave a wedding dress to hang in the wardrobe, over time, the fibres will stretch, and the dress will begin to lose its shape. With a high-quality wedding dress dry cleaner, you'll receive your wedding dress in pristine condition in a wedding dress storage box. The preservation box helps to protect your gown for longer while making sure it remains in perfect shape.

Looking for a wedding dress preservation box? Look no further, we have you covered.

What to ask for a wedding cleaning specialist?

Do you send my wedding dress away to another company or do you process my dress in-house?

Asking this question first may save you from continuing down our list. If your gown is sent away, then you're most likely paying a premium mark-up for the same service you could order from an online retailer with a guaranteed low price promise. Many brides take their wedding dress to the local cleaners because they're hesitant to send their gown away to be cleaned only to find that it is actually safer for the average local dry cleaning business to send it to the experts rather than attempt to process it themselves. 

We get it, these businesses have rent, bills and employees to pay, and every small business needs to make a profit. However, being a newlywed with a tight budget and a new nest to decorate, why not save a few dollars this time by ordering direct and saving a few hundred dollars?

Is your service a fixed price, or does your price vary depending on the type of dress and materials?

The answer to this question will be telling of two important items. You'll instantly know if this is a one-size-fits-all service and their answer will also tell you if you may be overcharged if you go with their service. 

Wedding dress styles and materials are about as different as they come. There are simple and elegant gowns with deep plunging necklines, and there are also couture dresses with feather embellishments, delicate fabrics and ornate bodices. With such a variety of gowns for a bride to choose from, shouldn't there be various packages available depending on the style and price of her gown? It is for this reason that we offer a Traditional Wedding Dress Preservation package for your average corner boutique wedding gown and a Celebrity Wedding Dress Preservation package for the higher-end couture, designer gowns that require more attention.

While full wedding dress restorations on antique gowns can get pricier, in general, you'll find the average cost of a quality cleaning and preservation ranges from $150 - $225. If a cleaner is charging more, you may be paying a big margin into their pocket, or worse, you may be paying more because this is not a service offering they're well versed in. You may be paying extra for the possibility of mistakes made along the way.

Want to know more about how much wedding dress dry cleaning costs? Check out our blog article here.

What are the processes and chemicals used to clean and preserve my wedding gown?

You should be looking for one word to come up here "PERC". PERC is a nasty chemical and is unfortunately still used by many dry cleaning businesses that haven't yet upgraded to better and more effective cleaning methods and equipment. PERC is also known to be very detrimental to delicate fabrics that are often found in higher-end wedding gowns. We've had several instances of brides asking us to fix their dress after a local cleaner ruined the fabric by using PERC, but unfortunately the material was too damaged (similar to a chemical burn) to be brought back to life. 

Any dry cleaning business that takes their service, and the environment, seriously has already upgraded to a powerful organic cleaning system.. This revolutionary new cleaning solution is not only safe for the materials that comprise your gown, but it is also more effective at cleaning and lifting very difficult, set-in staining. 

Do you offer insurance on my wedding gown in the event something goes wrong?

The majority of national wedding dress cleaners, preservers and restorers offer insurance in the event something goes wrong when a bride's dress is being processed. While extremely rare, there are unforeseeable events that could take place during the shipping process or preservation process to warrant the insurance. This is especially true of a dry cleaning business that is not experienced in the preservation process or is unfamiliar with the newer fabrics being introduced to the market.

If the cleaner refuses to offer you insurance, it is a pretty good indication that they're not confident in their process or equipment and it's a good reason to take your dress elsewhere. Our preservation service comes with $500 worth of insurance on our Traditional Kit while our Celebrity Kit brings the insurance up to $1,500 to cover couture gowns. You also have the ability to include a personal check when sending in your dress to cover as much additional insurance as you desire.

Can you provide me with the names and phone numbers of those who have had their wedding gown preserved with your service in the last six months?

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If a cleaner cannot provide you with glowing reviews of their wedding dress cleaning and preservation service, it's time to walk out. Before you even set up your appointment with the cleaner, be sure to check the company, Google reviews and Yelp reviews online. This is a good initial vetting process that every customer should perform when looking at their available options. 

Does your service include preservation along with cleaning, or is it clean-only?

The answer you're looking for depends on what your purpose is in having your wedding dress cleaned and/or preserved. If you're looking to sell your wedding gown in the very near future, then a clean-only option might be sufficient. If you're looking to transform your wedding dress into a family heirloom that can one day be worn again, then full preservation is in order. The reason for this is that the Preservation Chest will protect your gown in the long term from yellowing, dust, stains and UV light. 

What type of storage do you provide for my wedding gown after it is cleaned and preserved?

The only way you can ensure your gown will maintain its colour, along with its shape, after it is cleaned and preserved is to make sure that it is stored properly over the long term. The unfortunate truth is that many brides store their wedding gowns inside a plastic cellophane bag as you would receive after having your clothing cleaned at the dry cleaners. This type of plastic is not at all friendly to the fabric over the long-term and chemicals from the cheap plastic can leachate into the fabrics of your gown along with retaining moisture which could lead to fabric mould and rot. If you choose not to clean and preserve your wedding dress, the best type of storage is a breathable fabric bag which will help repel moisture. 

It is a very common misconception that a preserved wedding gown should be stored in an air-tight container. The natural fabrics of your gown need to breathe in order to maintain their integrity. Our wedding dress preservation chest allows your dress to breathe and also prevents fabric stress by allowing your gown to form to a bust rather than hang off of a clothes hanger which can cause permanent damage from fabric stretch. Be sure the company you choose is providing you with an after-care solution to keep your gown safe and beautiful for years to come.

Do stand behind your work by providing a guarantee against my wedding dress yellowing or stains coming back in the future?

The problem with services that clean and preserve wedding gowns is that you have to take them at face value that your gown was indeed properly cleaned and cared for under their supervision. Many stains that occur on your wedding day are invisible (such as sweat and oils) which will become more yellowed and even brown over the years in storage if left untreated. To be sure that your gown is properly cleaned it is important to make sure that every gown that passes through their door has a thorough inspection process both before and after cleaning.

Even more importantly, it is important that the business put their money where their mouth is and offer a guarantee against the one telltale sign that their service was less than effective – future fabric yellowing. We're extremely confident in our technology, process, inspection methods, and people that all work together to make your gown beautiful for future generations to enjoy. It is for this reason that we go beyond a lifetime guarantee and offer a 100-year guarantee against yellowing which begins the day your beautiful gown is returned to you looking like it did the day you first set eyes on it at the bridal boutique.

Choosing A Wedding Dress Cleaning Specialist

You will always want to use a wedding dress dry cleaners that specialise in cleaning wedding gowns. Most places only see a handful of gowns per year. Those are the ones to avoid when you need to clean your cherished gown before your wedding. You will want to select a dry cleaner that cleaners wedding dresses every day.

There are a lot of options when it comes to cleaning your wedding gown, but I would suggest using a local dry cleaner that specialises in wedding gowns.

You can use google. Just search for "wedding gown cleaners". You will get a lot of results, but it is a good start. You can also check the wedding sites like the knot and wedding wire. A better solution online to check with The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. They will likely have a specialist in your area.

You can ask your friends that were recently married. Some will have good things to say, and some will have bad stories.

You can also get a recommendation from the bridal salon where you purchased your gown. They won't recommend just anybody. In fact, they probably use a local dry cleaner to clean their stock gowns when they have an issue.

If you use just one of these methods, I will stick to asking the place where you purchased your gown. If you didn't buy locally, I would both ask around and check online.

Before you have your dress cleaned, remember that it needs special care rather than a standard dry clean. Look for local cleaners who offer a specialist wedding dress service that will restore your dress to its full glory without damaging it. It's also worth using local dry-cleaners who will offer dry-cleaning pickup and delivery. Wedding dresses need careful handling to avoid damage and creasing.


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