Your wedding dress: it’s your pride and joy. The sound of everyone telling you how incredible you looked in it is still ringing in your ears and making you smile inside. Your wedding dress is one of your most important memories of your big day. And oh boy, there’s nothing going to separate you from it.
So it’s time to store the dress, and there are things you should know. Because storing a wedding dress is all about protecting and preserving. There are rules involved, and you’ll need to follow them if you want that dress to stay looking its pristine best and making your heart leap every time you give it an airing. So, let’s take a look at how to store a wedding dress.
Step 1: Clean the dress
Even if you did yourself proud and managed not to spill a drop down your gown, it’s essential that you take your wedding dress to a specialist dry cleaner and have it professionally cleaned before you even think about storing it. The trouble is some stains can take a while to emerge. Plus the cleaning fluid they use can act as an insect repellent: bonus!
Step 2: Cast off the plastic cover
If your wedding dress came to you wrapped in plastic, it’s time to get cast off the cover. Plastic dress covers are well known for perishing over time. This can spell disaster for a wedding gown because the nasty plastic particles left behind can wreak havoc with the fabric.
A plain white cotton cover, even a duvet cover, is best, or you can opt for tissue, providing you follow the rules in step 3.
“Plastic dress covers are well known for perishing over time. This can spell disaster for a wedding gown.”
Step 3: Wrap it well
Now as pretty as that pink tissue looks, coloured tissue paper is off-limits for wrapping a wedding gown. Use white tissue only, and make certain it’s acid-free so it doesn’t break down like regular tissue does. As you fold your dress, place the special tissue in between each layer. Where to get this miracle tissue? Read on.
Step 4: Invest in a special wedding dress box
If ever the phrase ‘any box will do’ was not appropriate, it’s when you’re storing a wedding dress. Some people consider it a good idea to use a plastic box. Well that’s waterproof, right? Well yes it is waterproof, but plastic doesn’t offer very good protection from the light, which means fading could be an issue; neither does it deal with changes in humidity. Bearing in mind temperature changes lead to mildew, you can see why it’s so important to choose the right box.
So make your wedding dress box a loving investment. There is a superb range of specialist wedding dress boxes out there waiting for you to choose ‘the one’ that does your gown proud. And guess what specialist wedding dress boxes come with? Acid-free tissue!
Purpose-made wedding dress boxes are pH neutral for the ultimate in safe storage. Regular boxes just don’t cut it. If you want to avoid your beloved gown turning a nasty shade of yellow over time, invest in a specialist wedding dress box. Be sure to get the size right too: the retailer should be able to help you with your choice, but if in doubt, go for an expandable one. Just don’t go too small, because you could squash and overly crease the dress.
“If you want to avoid your beloved gown turning a nasty shade of yellow over time, invest in a specialist wedding dress box.”
Step 5: Store it solo
Whilst it may seem tempting to store all your sentimental wedding accessories in with your dress, it’s really not a good idea at all. Some materials just aren’t compatible with wedding gown fabric, so be sure to store the dress on its own.
Step 6: Location, location, location
So now you have your wedding dress beautifully packed in its special box. It’s ready for storage. The question is, where do you store it? The key rules are to keep it away from heat, damp and light. What you want to avoid most are extremes of temperature. So you’ll need to shun the loft or basement at all costs, because up at the top of the house or down in the depths of it, it can go from damp to humid in a flash. Attics and basements are also prone to insects and pests, and you don’t want your wedding dress falling victim to Mr Mouse and friends.
If you’ve got a spare room, perfect. Hey, it could even be your old room at Mum and Dad’s! A suitcase under the bed is another good place, or in the top of a wardrobe. Just don’t put the box alongside an outside wall where temperatures are up and down all the time.
A few last tips for storing your wedding dress
Never hang it in the wardrobe – seams can get stressed and the dress could get misshapen. Not to mention all the wear and tear it will get as you go in and out of your wardrobe daily.
Absorb moisture – you know those little packets that come with new shoes and bags? They’re designed to absorb moisture and prevent mildew. So throw a few into your wedding dress box.
Love it forever – you’ve gone to all this effort to keep your wedding dress in pristine condition, so make sure you show it some love by taking it out of storage every so often and admiring it in all its glory. Not only will it send all those amazing wedding day memories flooding back, it will also help prevent any creases from becoming permanent.
Still in pursuit of the perfect wedding dress? If you’re on the trail of something alternative and unique, why not grab a glass and have a browse of our collections? Designed with the non-traditional bride in mind, Lucy’s dresses are all handmade to measure and tailored to your individual style.