What is Bridal Gown Preservation?

You’ve spent hours, days, weeks, maybe months looking for the perfect dress for your wedding day.  Once found, now all of your energy & efforts might be focused on the ceremony specifics and celebration details of the big day.  You probably haven’t thought yet about what you’ll do with your dress after the wedding.

If you haven’t thought that far and your immediate goal is to just make it to the reception, let us put a little bug in your ear.  Delegate someone in your wedding party to take the dress to the cleaners as soon as possible after your wedding day to have it cleaned.   We suggest having it preserved right away too.

What is bridal gown preservation?

Preserving a bridal gown – or wedding gown – is to carefully package the gown for storage to keep it in perfect condition.  When you take the dress out of the box years and decades later, it will be maintained, in tact, & free from deterioration and decay.

First, during a detailed, gentle, hand cleaning, all contaminants that can cause the dress to turn yellow such as body oils, sweat, deodorant, perfumes, lotions, food stains, etc. are removed.  Metal items such as clasps, buttons and hooks are treated carefully and beads and sequins that are sharp are covered so they don’t get damaged (and so they don’t cause damage to the dress).

After hand cleaning, an anti-sugar stain treatment is applied.  Sugar stains are spills that contain sugar, salt and acid that often dry clear and cannot be seen.  These stains do not dissolve during ordinary dry cleaning and turn an ugly brown over time.  The anti-sugar stain treatment ensures all sugar, salt & acid is removed.

We may be able to repair the fabric, lace, beads and other areas as needed. The goal is always to make the gown just as beautiful as the day it was first worn.

The gown is then layered with an environmentally pure, acid-free tissue and carefully folded into an acid-free, museum quality, archival wedding chest.  We store metal buttons and findings and shoulder pads separately, stuffing the sleeves, bodice and folds with additional acid-free tissue to prevent hard wrinkles. The preservation box, designed especially for this purpose, allows the gown to breathe, keeping it in perfect condition for many decades to come.

If you choose a Certified Wedding Gown Specialists™, such as Classic Cleaners, to preserve your gown, you will receive a written 100 percent guarantee against sugar stains and yellowing. (If at any time in the future stains appear or discoloration occurs, we or any participating specialist in more than 500 cities around the world will restore the gown for free.)  When the gown is to be worn again, you may take your gown to any participating Certified Wedding Gown Specialists™ in the country to have it inspected and pressed at no charge before the gown is worn again.

Preserving a gown now will save you time and resources later if you believe you may want to pass the dress down to a relative or friend, re-sell it, or use the material to create other heirlooms such as baptismal gowns or baby bedding.

Do you know anyone who has worn a gown that had been previously preserved?  We’d love to hear the details and see pictures if available!

– S.O.