We’ve created a few videos and blogs about how to clean, press and preserve your dress after the wedding to ensure it stays “like new” for decades after the wedding. But what about before the wedding? It’s possible you’ve found the perfect dress a year before the big date and storing it for such a long time requires some care.
If your dress is plain and not-too-heavy, (good ol’ polyester, with little or no trim) you could store the dress on a hanger in a garment bag in a cool, dry place for up to seven months. Hang it on a padded hanger in a closet away from direct sunlight, leaving several feet of space on either side to prevent wrinkling. You could also cover the dress in a white cotton sheet to protect it from dust. Be sure the sheet has been washed in hot water without detergent or bleach.
Do not store the dress in a synthetic garment bag if it’s silk, linen, cotton, or wool. It needs to “breath”. And, never store your dress in plastic because plastic emits gases over time that can cause deterioration. It also can trap condensation which will cause mildew and mustiness on the dress.
If the dress has beading, seed pearls, sequins, rhinestones, or anything that might be heavy sewn to the dress, you’re going to want to lay it flat. Otherwise, the weight of the embellishments could tear the material from the weight of it hanging. Also, if the dress has heavy fabric and teeny straps, you don’t want the weight of the dress hanging to damage or pull apart the seams. Wrap the dress in a cotton sheet and store it in a long flat acid-free cardboard box.
This will protect it from dust and pets. Rolling the dress will leave less wrinkles but you can also fold it if necessary, using acid-free tissue paper. Try to slip the box under a bed in a cool dry place.
Be sure that your under the bed space is away from a heat source such as a floorboard radiator, electronics and even an electric blanket.
When faced with a dress with a mixed fiber content, follow the procedure for the most demanding fiber. This will usually have you pushing sheet-wrapped packages under the bed!
Pull the dress out from under the bed when you’re ready to have it steamed and pressed for the wedding day.
How many months in advance, on average, do you think a future bride purchases her wedding dress?