[Guide] Cleaning Your Wedding Dress

Once the big day is over and all of the tulle and silk slips away, there will still be some loose ends to tie up. The best kind of host plans details and accents beautifully, but there are special considerations to be made when the hustle and bustle dies down.  And one of those considerations, no matter if you plan on saving or selling your wedding dress, is how you’ll be cleaning and preserving your gown. 

After the Wedding

Getting your gown to a professional cleaner as soon as possible is imperative for a variety of reasons. The sooner you get it into knowledgeable and able hands, the better the final results will be. In fact, if you have the opportunity to get it to a cleaner within the week, take it, but don’t allow it to sit for longer than 30 days.

This is where preparation is key. Scouting out locations and reputable businesses is something that will take a bit of time, as well as logistical considerations. Utilize the time you have before the honeymoon to figure out all of these details.

Finding the Right Cleaner

Finding the right cleaner is imperative to cleaning – and preparingand preserving – your dress correctly. Do some shopping around in terms of prices, because this job can get pretty expensive.

Read Customer Reviews

But also, and most importantly, check out customer reviews. This is one area where a review can go a long, long way. You don’t want someone with inexperience messing with your wedding gown. And you certainly don’t want to do business with a spot that is known for causing more harm than good to brides.

Ask the Right Questions

Ask the right kinds of questions too. In fact, don’t be scared to ask every single one of the questions below and feel comfortable with the answers:

  1. Are you certified?
  2. What your pricing for cleaning a wedding gown? Good cleaners will start their pricing around $200
  3. What fabrics do you work with?
  4. What cleaning solvents do you work with?
  5. How long is the average wait time to get the dress back? Expect anywhere from 2 – 4 weeks
  6. Do you have insurance?
  7. Do you clean veils?
  8. Do you preserve gowns and accessories?
  9. If I preserve my gown with you, what kind of box will you use to store it? The answer should be an acid-free ornamental box.

What Will They Do?

A professional cleaner will first take inventory of the entire dress. They’ll write down all the details from size to the designer to color and type of fabric. They’ll write down any repairs that need to be made and any accessories that you chose to leave to get cleaned or preserve along with the gown.

Next, they may test the problem areas (or dirtiest spots) to figure out which route to take when actually cleaning the gown before moving into spot cleaning some of the smaller areas or harsher stains – like wine or grass. Before the dress goes in the protective cleaning bag, any delicate accents will be removed. Then, the dress will be cleaned using a wet or dry cleaning machine. After this process, another inspection will begin. Once everything looks good, the delicate accents will be reattached before packaging the dress in a preservation box.

And, if you’re feeling really brave and want to save some money, you could always try to DIY clean your dress yourself. There’s a really great tutorial that you can follow over at Wedding Bee.