When the wedding is over and you’re back from the honeymoon, attention typically turns to what to do with the wedding gown. According to a recent survey, around two in three brides plan to store their gown after the big day.
“This presents the question – should you clean your wedding gown and store it, or pay extra to have it professionally preserved”.
It’s important to understand the different between storing and preserving your gown. The first question to ask yourself is “do you want to see the gown again?”. Once a gown is professionally preserved, it is sealed in an airtight box with all the oxygen removed. If you’re planning to take your dress out occasionally – to wear for your anniversary, or to show a sister, daughter or niece – preservation might not be the right option. If you’re wanting to keep the dress for future generations, and are happy to store it away for the next couple of decades, preservation is definitely an option to consider.
If you’re not planning on storing it away for decades, it’s likely that having your gown cleaned and stored in a suitable acid free storage box, wrapped in acid-free tissue paper will suffice. Acid-free is important, as regular paper and cartons can contain chemicals that will cause your gown to yellow over time.
This option allows you to take your dress out occasionally, while still keeping it safely packed away in a suitable storage box. In fact, Jasmin Igglesden, founder of MyDressbox – a specialist wedding dress cleaning company recommends taking a gown out every 18 months or so to air it, inspect it, savour it and reminisce about the wedding day. Jasmin says one of her favourite things is hearing from brides when they open their MyDressbox and see their gown clean and pristine.
Here are the key considerations when deciding between wedding dress cleaning, boxing and preservation below:
- Whether you plan to have your gown professionally cleaned
If preserving a gown, you want to be 100% sure that all stains, both visible like dirt and invisible like white wine, have been removed so they will not oxidise and yellow whilst packed away. If you’re not planning to have the gown professionally cleaned, there’s little point spending the extra money on preservation
- What you plan to do with your wedding gown
If you’re planning to sell your gown, preserving your gown is not needed as the seal we be broke when a bride wants to inspect the gown. As mentioned above, if you want to take it out occasionally to reminisce, the seal would be broken.
- How long you plan to preserve the gown for
Preservation typically is a much more expensive option than just cleaning your gown and is designed to preserve dresses for ‘ever’.
- How you plan to store your gown
If you plan to store your gown in a damp cellar or attic, then a preservation box could well be worth the investment. Many brides choose to store it in a wardrobe or even relatively dry garage or storage room in which case a good quality, acid-free wedding dress storage box will be perfectly suitable
- How much you plan to spend
Critically, how much do you want to spend. In 2020 wedding dress cleaning in Australia by a reputable bridal cleaner for a basic, relatively clean gown starts around $250 (excluding extras like a storage box or repairs) and can range up to $1,500+, and preservation is an additional cost to that. Be realistic about what you intend to do with your wedding dress.
Jasmin says MyDressbox offer three easy options for brides to get their dresses cleaned after the wedding, depending on the style and level of insurance required.
Article written by Jasmin Igglesden who is a Bridal Dressmaker and owner of MyDressBox. MyDressBox operates both in New Zealand and Australia. Jasmine has been cleaning Wedding Dresses for over 15 years and has cleaned hundreds of gowns herself.