How to Keep Your Wedding Dress As Picturesque as Your Memories

Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life as you tie the knot and combine two households into one. While we’re big believers in using self storage to help consolidate all your belongings, today we’re going to look at how to keep your wedding dress as pristine and beautiful as it was on your special day.

It’s a dress you’ll only wear once, but it’s also one you’ll want to keep for the rest of your life. You’ll want it as a reminder of how happy you were the day you wore it, and you might even want to hand it down to a daughter or other family member for their wedding day. To ensure your gown remains as beautiful as the day you wore it down the aisle, follow these recommendations.

How Should I Clean My Wedding Gown?

The first thing you’ll want to do after the celebration has died down and you’ve returned from your honeymoon is have your dress professionally cleaned. This is an absolute essential. A wedding day can be a bit stressful. Add in layers of clothing, lots of moving around, rooms full of people, bright lights, and the fact many weddings take place during the summer and a bride won’t be able to help herself: She’s going to sweat.

Unseen stains can darken throughout time and might even attract pests. Use a cleaning service with experience in handling wedding gowns. A wedding dress is likely made up of several different materials, each with its own ideal cleaning/care instructions, so you’ll only want to trust your gown to a service with the knowledge and dedication to know everything about your gown before cleaning it.

How Should I Store My Wedding Dress?

The plastic bag you likely used to cart your dress around before and after wedding day is fine for temporary storage of your gown, but you need to replace it as soon as you can. Plastic can trap damaging moisture inside the bag, which in turn can cause your dress to stain, mold or mildew. Additionally, chemicals from plastic (and the cleaning process) can seep into your gown, exposing it further to staining and deterioration. As soon as you’re able, replace the plastic bag with a fabric garment bag.

Once your dress has been cleaned and dried, the next key step is to purchase the proper packaging materials. Use archival-quality packaging materials only. Place acid-free tissue paper between each of the folds of your dress. This will help keep the material from rubbing up against itself and prevent any beads, pearls, or sequins from potentially snagging or tearing your dress.

Should I Fold or Hang the Dress?

Boxing your dress is preferable to hanging it, even if you’re using archival quality materials for hanging. Wedding dresses are typically heavy and tend to have a bit of heft to them, and a hung dress can stretch under its own weight. Additionally, a dress hung in a bag tends to acquire a musty, “stored” scent more easily than one that has been properly boxed.

Acid-free cardboard boxes should be replaced every 10 years or so. Beyond that, you’ll want to check on your dress once a year to look for any staining or areas in need of repair. Much like other delicate items, take care to handle the dress as little as possible. Consider wearing white cloth gloves to avoid touching the fabric with your skin. Once finished, re-wrap, fold, and return your gown to its box.

Where Should I Store My Dress?

Store your dress in an area with low moisture, moderate temperature, and little direct light (under your bed or in a closet is ideal). Like many stored items, light, heat, and moisture can be the death of a stored wedding gown.

If you find yourself limited on space in your closets, consider a self storage unit for your wedding dress (and other items you don’t often use but want to hold on to). A climate controlled self storage unit offers the right mixture of protection from temperature, humidity, and light.

Reserve or Rent Self Storage for Your Belongings—Including Your Most Treasured Ones

Preparing your wedding gown for storage can feel like a big job. It takes time, and the services and materials you need to keep it can be expensive. However, this isn’t one of those times you’ll want to cut corners or costs. If you do it right, your gown will last for a generation or more and be something you’ll be able to pass onto your family down the line.

If you need a place to store your dress that offers the right mixture of convenience, protection, and care, think of us. Our climate controlled storage units offer some of the best protection you can find for your wedding dress and your other treasured belongings. To get started, view our size guide or reserve or rent your unit online today.

Updated February 13, 2020