6 tips on how to store your wedding dress before your wedding

Every little girl dreams of walking down the aisle in the perfect wedding dress. Finding the perfect dress can make or break your wedding. So you scour every rack in every store to try on countless different styles until you find it – “the one”. But what should you do with it until your wedding, which is months away? How will you be sure that your dress will be kept safe? (And we mean safe from damage, not safe from your finance’s curious eyes!) Here are some easy steps you can take to make sure your wedding dress makes it to your wedding day without damage.

6 easy ways to keep your wedding dress safe before your wedding day

  1. Remove the plastic.
    The first rule of thumb any preservationist will suggest is to remove the dress from any plastic if it will be stored for longer than a few days. Plastic typically does not allow fabrics to breathe and has the potential for staining, as chemicals break down and gasses are emitted. It is best to use a cloth garment bag or plain cotton sheets to wrap your gown.
  2. To hang or not to hang?
    Logic would tell brides to put your wedding dress on a hanger and to hang it up somewhere safe. However, before you grab your nearest coat hanger, consider the weight of your dress – does it have heavy beading, multiple layers of fabric or just a single layer of satin? Unless your dress is a few light layers (think satin or silk), it is best to store your dress flat, inside the breathable garment bag or wrapped in a cotton sheet, in a room or space that isn’t a “high traffic area” in your house such as on the top shelf of a spare closet. When storing your dress, be cautious of heat sources and pets. Placing your dress in a heat source’s path or an area accessible to pets could lead to some damage to your dress you could have prevented.
  3. Control the climate.
    Your dress should typically be kept in the same temperature/environment that you would find comfortable (no, this does not mean that your dress should travel to Vegas with you for your bachelorette party!) Basements and attics typically are not the best places for storage, as the air may be damp and musty. Try to keep your dress in a spare room or bedroom where the temperature and humidity will not fluctuate and the dress can remain out of direct sunlight.
  4. Out of sight, out of mind.
    Once your gown is properly stored away, try to resist the temptation to try it on or remove it from the bag (unless you need alterations). Your chances of staining and potential oil marks increase with each time your dress is handled. Makeup and deodorant are some of the biggest culprits for staining when trying on your dress. If you must try on your gown for friends or family, be sure to remove your makeup and deodorant first.
  5. Get rid of the wrinkles.
    A few days before your wedding, carefully remove your wedding dress from its storage location. Hang the dress somewhere high so all wrinkles and creases can drop out. If the dress still has a few stubborn wrinkles a day or two before the wedding day, you can hang the dress in the bathroom while a hot shower is running. Of course, you’ll want to be extra cautious that the dress is hung away from the shower, so it doesn’t get wet. If the wrinkles still give you trouble, consider asking a local seamstress or dry cleaner for help. if you have a steamer, make sure to place a cotton sock over it and only use distilled water. Or if you are already out of town for the big day, many hotels and wedding facilities have steamers available for you to use just before your ceremony.
  6. After the wedding, have your dress cleaned.
    Before you jet off for your honeymoon, ask a bridesmaid or family member to drop off your dress at your local bridal boutique to be cleaned and preserved, before stains set in. It is best to avoid long-term storage on a hanger because this can lead to stretching the fabric over time. As mentioned earlier, storing the dress in a spare closet is the safest storage location to help preserve the life of the dress.