The wedding dress! No other garment is allowed to outshine this showstopper on the big day and it is often one of the most significant expenditures in the entire wedding budget. Preserving this beautiful investment for future generations doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. With the right material and instructions, you can do it yourself for half the price. If you got married this summer but your dress is a sequin puddle in the back of your closet because you don’t know what to do with it, we can help. Read on for easy DIY wedding dress storage instructions.
Have the Dress Dry-Cleaned
As soon as you’re done with the wedding festivities, have the dress cleaned by a professional. Some brides often delegate a mother, bridesmaid, or other trusted friend to take the dress to the cleaners the next day. Even if there are no visible stains, the sweat, tears, sugar from wedding cake, champagne, and oil from happy huggers will linger on the dress causing the fibers to weaken and the dress to turn yellow.
Preparing the Dress for Storage
After you receive the dress back from the cleaners it’s time to prep it for a long nap. After you’re done gazing at the bodice, the lace, the beading, and remembering all the fun you had on your wedding day, dry those eyes and gather the following supplies:
- Cotton gloves
- White acid-free tissue paper
- Muslin cloth (optional)
- Acid-free storage box with ample room and lid
Apply cotton gloves to prevent the garment from coming in contact with dirt or oil. Line the box with acid-free tissue paper. Next, stuff the sleeves and line the inside of the dress with the same acid-free tissue paper. Without folding (yet), lay the dress in the box lengthwise and let the excess hang off the sides. Finally, neatly fold the dress into the box making sure to place tissue between ALL FOLDS. Place a final piece of tissue between the dress and the lid. As an optional storage method, you can fold the dress on a clean dry surface using acid-free tissue paper, and then wrap the entire garment in non-dyed muslin cloth before placing in the box.
Best and Worst Storage Areas
After your little lace bundle is secured in a breathable acid-free box, it’s time to decide where to keep it. Not the attic or basement! You want to store the box in a dry, dark, temperature-controlled place. Under your bed or the back of a closet are both optimal choices. If you don’t have the free space to safely store your wedding dress, consider renting a U-STOR climate controlled unit. These special storage rooms have an average temperature of 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. Plus, the environment is perfect for keeping out dirt, dust, bugs, and humidity.
Don’t forget to visit your dress – Experts recommend unpacking your wedding dress every 6 months to a year to let it breathe. You can also take this time to inspect the box, packaging, and dress fibers to make sure they are aging well and holding up to storage conditions. Repeat the instructions above to re-pack the dress.