Wedding dress preservation

Wedding Dress Cleaning and Preservation

Posted on June 15, 2018 by Steven Toltz

Potentially a woman’s most favorite dress she’ll ever wear, and yet the one she might wear for the least amount of time, a bride’s wedding gown is perhaps the most memorable and quintessential icon of the entire wedding event. Whether you need to get one cleaned beforehand for your perfect day or preserved to remember one of life’s precious milestones, there are some important things to know.

Wedding dress preservation and standard dry cleaning are not the same thing

Wedding dress cleaning is not a one-size-fits-all task, so don’t trust your gown to just anyone. Make sure to search “wedding dress cleaning near me”, or “wedding dress preservation near me,” rather than “dry cleaners,” as a specialist will examine your gown’s specific fabric, stitching and embellishments before creating a customized treatment plan.

Be sure to vet your cleaner’s process to ensure your dress is being cleaned or preserved with virgin solvent, rather than a recycled solvent that is typically used for most dry cleaning jobs. Recycled solvents have impurities that can deposit onto clothing.

Talk to them about their wedding dress policies to see if they guarantee full cost of the dress if they end up damaging it in any way and to understand how long they warranty the preservation condition of the dress after the wedding.

Emotional reasons for wedding dress preservation

There are many reason brides choose to preserve their gowns. Not only does it prevent irreversible future fabric damage, but it allows for options. Perhaps a future child might want to honor you by wearing it at her wedding, or you may decide to increase its value to sell it, even if years down the road.  Having a stain-free preserved dress may come in handy should a friend or relative or another bride need a gown. Ultimately, you are creating a beautiful memory of your wedding day that you can share with future generations.

Practical reasons for wedding dress preservation

Even if it appears that your dress made it through your night unscathed, invisible stains might be lurking on your wedding gown. Considering that most gowns skim the floor, it’s no surprise that your dress will visibly need a cleaning. But the most precarious stains are often the ones you cannot see. Spills like white wine may dry clear, but the sugar will caramelize over time into dark yellow or brown stains that ordinary dry cleaning cannot remove.

Professional cleaners and preservationists are trained to spot the unseen: splatters of wine, a smudge of lipstick or makeup, or dust from the floor. They will create a specific treatment plan for each stain.


Looking past the big day, we tend to think about the honeymoon that is to be taken, the thank you cards to be written, and perhaps a new home to be moved into. Make sure you put the dry cleaners in your timeline and budget (usually will cost $250-$750). Optimally, you should send your gown to the dry cleaner the day after your wedding. If you are jetting off to your honeymoon, have a bridesmaid or relative drop it off. Even in as little as six weeks’ time, those stains, some of them originally invisible, will have had time to set.


Wedding gown specialists will typically place your dress in an airtight box that has had the oxygen sucked out and replaced with nitrogen, to prevent oxidation and discoloration. Do not break the seal, but if you do, handle the dress with white cotton gloves, and take it back to have it preserved again and resealed. The dress should never be on a hanger, as it can mis-shape the gown, and should be stored in a cool, dark place. Above all, never place it in a plastic bag, unless it’s acid-free plastic, which is what wedding preservation boxes are made of.

The experts at Dependable Cleaners specialize in wedding dress cleaning and preservation. Visit our webpage to learn more about our bridal gown cleaning service.