Storing Your Wedding Dress Before & After Your Wedding Day

One of the biggest days in your life is your wedding day! You spent time perfecting every little detail, down to the last button on your dress. Preserve and protect your wedding dress by keeping it in a preservation box. Our wedding dress storage boxes come in a variety of styles and shapes. Choose from subtle sophistication with our acid-free corrugated line or choose brightness and colour with our decorative handmade line. Protecting the moments in your life that mean so much to you is what creating a family story is all about.

How To Store A Wedding Dress Before The Wedding

Now that you’ve purchased your wedding dress, your first task is to keep it in perfect condition until your wedding day. This begins in the bridal shop the moment you buy your dress. Begin by asking them their policy on keeping the dress in the store. Most places will offer to keep it until closer to your wedding day, and if that is an option, you should always take them up on it. They know how to store wedding dresses, and will be your best bet of keeping it clean and pristine until you walk down the aisle.

Storing at home

If keeping your wedding dress at the bridal shop is not an option, your next most important step is keeping it safe from anything that could stain, wrinkle, stretch, or discolour it. The first and the most important thing you can do is keep it in the garment bag provided to you by the bridal shop. Do not remove the dress for the bag or replace it with a different bag. Wrapping it in a cheap plastic garment cover will trap any moisture and creates the perfect environment for mould and mildew to grow. It may also emit fumes that will yellow your gown over time. To avoid this, keep your dress in its high-quality garment bag, away from direct sunlight.

The next step is to lay your dress (in its bag) completely flat. This is more optimal than hanging it, as it prevents any stretching to the fabric or seams. It will also help avoid creasing or wrinkles. If you do not have space to lay the dress flat, you should only hang it by the loops, not the sleeves or straps. If you are uncertain, ask the bridal shop for suggestions on how to store your wedding dress.

You should never store your dress in your garage or attic. The constant changing of temperatures and inconsistent humidity can ruin the fabric and cause discolouration. Instead, make sure to store it in a dry, dark, and cool environment where humidity is at or under 50%.

Wait until your wedding day

Avoid trying on your dress or showing it off before your wedding. You should wait until the very last second to put it on. Constantly trying it on or showing it off predisposes it to the oil and bacteria on your hands. If you are trying it on, you may accidentally get makeup, water, or even your perfume on the dress. This can all lead to discolouration and a less-than-perfect dress on your wedding day. It’s easy to get tempted, but it’s best to keep it in the garment bag.

How To Store A Wedding Dress After The Wedding

Now that your wedding is over, you have a very short window of time before the stains in your dress set in and it is beyond repair. Most brides wait a few weeks before they take their dress in to be cleaned and preserved, but that leaves it vulnerable to stains you may not even know are there. The best way to ensure your wedding dress stays in perfect quality is to take it off immediately after the reception and take it in to get cleaned the day after your wedding. If you are leaving for your honeymoon immediately, arrange for your mom or maid of honour to take it in for you.

Be aware of the invisible stains. Even if you don’t see stains on your dress, many clear stains like white wine will appear over time. Anything with sugars will begin to caramelize in heat. In just 6 months, those stains will begin to yellow, and as time goes on, they will begin to brown. Unfortunately, dry cleaning will not be able to reverse the damage of these stains. Other things like perspiration and perfumes can be invisible at first but reveal themselves over time.

Many brides opt to not get their wedding dresses professionally cleaned or preserved. Some try to clean their dresses themselves, which may permanently damage the dress if not done right. Most dresses have specific cleaning instructions on them, and professionals will be better equipped to clean them according to the specific needs of the fabric. If you don’t preserve your dress, you risk yellowing of fabric, oxidation, mould, mildew, and permanent fabric creasing. To avoid this, you’ll need to do your research before your wedding to find the right company to clean and preserve your wedding dress.

Wedding Dress Cleaning and Preservation

Professional wedding dress preservation will protect your dress for more long-term storage. The process begins with an experienced specialist assessing your gown. They will create a plan for the treatment of your dress depending on its fabric, embellishments, stitching, and damage. From there, they will gently remove any stains and even make small repairs. They will then press or steam your dress, wrap it, and store it. Since wedding dress preservation companies specialize in wedding dresses, you are less likely to encounter any damage to your dress throughout the process. That said, you should follow the same precautions as with a cleaner by checking their insurance policies. You should also check how long they guarantee that the dress will be preserved.

When storing your wedding dress, you will likely have these options to choose from:

Bagging

In this option, you will leave your dress hanging and unfolded. This prevents permanent creasing in the fabric. The gown will likely get reinforced to prevent damage from long-term hanging.

Boxing

When you store your wedding dress in a box, always fold acid-free tissue paper between the dress. You should store it in an acid-free preservation box to avoid damage to the dress and allow it to breathe. This is a good option if you plan to access it often.

If a less permanent storage option appeals to you, then buy special storage boxes. Buy an acid-free storage box. You can have the box personalized with your name or a special message. They send packing instructions, wraps and a box with a large viewing window. You can choose boxes with no windows, but the containers do offer protection from dust and fingerprints. With these kinds of boxes, you can open your gown at any time to examine it.

Vacuum Sealing

Some preservation companies will vacuum seal your dress before placing it in a box. If you choose this method, you should make sure they replace the oxygen with nitrogen to prevent oxidation from occurring. While this method saves space, it can create permanent creases and wrinkles in the dress and may lead to mould and mildew. 

Click here for more information on why we don't recommend Vacuum Sealing your wedding dress.

Garment Bags

Garment bags are the easiest storage option and the least expensive. You can purchase a wedding dress garment bag. Each bag has a wide gusset and long length to accommodate even the fullest dress. 

At-home care

Once you take your wedding dress home, you should store it somewhere dark, cool, and dry. You will want to avoid any humid areas, or anywhere that has inconsistent temperatures. Many people choose to store their wedding dresses in climate-controlled storage units. These units have consistent humidity and temperature and are protected from pests and dust.

You should revisit your dress every 2-3 years to inspect and refold it. This will help prevent any permanent creasing or wrinkles and will allow you to catch any stains or damage that may have developed. You should always wash your hands before handling your dress to remove any oils or bacteria. Do not wear any lotions or perfumes. If you are nervous about stains, invest in a pair of white cotton gloves to wear while handling.

Handy Wedding Dress Storage Tips

If your wedding dress preservation specialist hasn't already packed your dress for you, keep these storage tips in mind:

Clean Your Gown Before Storage

Make sure your dress is professionally cleaned. Just because your dress looked clean to you when you took it off doesn't mean this is the case. Further examination may unearth dirt and stains. These stains can darken and become permanent if not dealt with quickly. Your dry cleaner or wedding dress preservation specialist will know exactly what to look for and which chemicals and solvents work best for a particular fabric.

Storage Materials and Location

Make sure you select the right storage materials and spot to preserve your dress.

  • Don't use a wire hanger to hang your dress. Not only can it rust, but it can cause the fabric to tear. If you must hang your dress, hang it by the loops. Keep in mind that if a heavy dress hangs for too long, the fabric can tear under the weight of it all.
  • Never store your wedding dress in plastic. When plastic breaks down, it emits chemicals that can react with your dress and cause permanent damage.
  • Before packaging your wedding dress, wrap it in acid-free tissue paper for extra protection. Don't use coloured tissue paper as it can eventually bleed onto the fabric.
  • If you'll be storing your dress in a wooden box, especially a cedar box, make sure there are layers of fabric or acid-free tissue paper between the wood and the dress. The acid in the wood will permanently stain the dress.
  • There's no such thing as completely acid-free cardboard. If you're packing your wedding dress in a cardboard box, even if it's touted as being acid-free, you'll have to change the box every five years or so.
  • Store your dress in a cool, dry place. Basements aren't ideal for wedding dress storage because they're damp and can encourage mould. Storing the dress where it's exposed to heat or sunlight will cause it to turn yellow. Your best bet is to store the dress in a closet.

We have a wide range of wedding dress box options.

Air the Stored Dress Out Occasionally

Every now and then you should remove your wedding dress from storage and hang it in the fresh air. This will allow the fabric to breathe, making it less susceptible to mildew. Make sure that you wash your hands first and do not wear anything on your skin such as lotions, makeup, hair dyes that leak or nail polish. To reseal the dress, you will either need to have a preservationist place it back in the box with newspaper and vacuum seal it, or use DIY supplies.

If you're not sure where to start, we've outlined the basics of wedding dress storage below so that you can make an educated purchase and protect your beautiful wedding gown for years to come.

The first decision you'll want to make is whether you're looking for short term storage (less than a year) or long term storage (up to 30 years). If you only want to store your gown for a short time (maybe you're selling it or are waiting to tackle the preservation process), a high-quality garment bag is enough.

Look for thick fabrics that won't rip or tear, pH neutral fabrics, or bags made of muslin which is commonly used for textile preservation.

If you're looking for long term storage, you'll need to purchase a box or bag made specifically for wedding dress storage. You'll also need a large amount of acid-free tissue paper, which you'll place both inside and outside your dress to preserve the shape and protect it against the elements (dust, moths, moisture, light, etc.).

Proper preservation and storage will allow you to wear the wedding gown again at a special anniversary event, pass it on to a daughter, or save it as an heirloom or special memory of the wedding. Saving your dress will protect your investment and save sweet memories. When the big day is over and the honeymoon is behind you, don't forget these wedding dress tips for storing your dress.

If the process sounds too overwhelming to tackle on your own, a few companies will handle the wedding dress preservation for you. We've included two options below where you can simply ship you dress and receive it back within a few weeks, preserved and ready for storage.


Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published