Absolutely Weddings’ experts answer your wedding planning questions. Here Claire Bedworth of specialist dry cleaner Bentley Garment Care explains how to preserve your wedding gown after the big day
Q: I want to keep my wedding dress after the big day because I don’t think I can bear to part with it. What should I do to ensure it’s stored safely?
A: The most important thing you need to do is store your dress properly, but first it must be cleaned professionally as soon as possible after it’s worn. Even the most minor stain or mark on a dress can cause damage to the material over time and it’s quite possible that you won’t notice if it’s something like white wine. Untreated stains oxidise when a gown is stored, causing a yellowing or rusting effect in the fabric.
Once the dress has been cleaned it can then be stored. We use special boxes that are breathable, robust and specially designed to store wedding gowns. The dress also needs to be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper – the ‘acid-free’ element is important in ensuring the fabric is not damaged or discoloured.
Untreated stains – such as white wine – will be invisible, but once the gown is stored they oxidise causing yellowing or ‘rusting’ of the fabric
We recommend that you order the storage box at the time of dry cleaning, then your gown will be returned to you boxed, professionally wrapped and ready to be put away. We will even arrange to pick up your dress straight from your home or the wedding venue via our wedding concierge service (useful if you want the dress dry cleaned while you are on honeymoon).
Provided your gown has been properly cleaned and boxed, it will be preserved. And, of course, if you change your mind and decide to sell or pass it on, it will be ready to go.
Claire Bedworth is director of specialist wedding-dress dry cleaner and restorer Bentley Garment Care. bentleygarmentcare.com