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DIY Wedding Dress Preservation

Updated on February 14, 2017

The Dress

Your wedding day is one of the most important, life changing days in your life. So, every memento representing that special day from the pictures to the dress should to be preserved well. You can find relatively inexpensive photo albums and frames, dry or press flowers for arrangements but what about the dress? The focal point of the day needs special care too! There are many companies that offer preservation services for a nominal fee. Plus, many times you have to ship the dress and wait for a few weeks for it to be shipped back to you. Hopefully, it returns cleaned and properly packaged to avoid damage due to time, moisture or moths. In addition to the time and hassle of using these services they are also expensive with rates ranging from a couple hundred to a thousand dollars or more! I don’t know about you, but I think that’s money that could be a big help to starting that new life!

There are several companies that also sell the kits at various prices much cheaper that the service but this means you do the ‘preserving’ yourself. Now, the question is, how? Taking a DIY kit, Woolite, a little time and attention to detail it can be done.


Preserving The Memories

First, purchase a preservation kit. You can find several different ones online in many different price ranges. Some are more basic than others. Some have fancier packaging for a price. Whatever kit you chose, make sure that it comes with acid-free paper. This prevents possible damage over time from the chemicals of the packaging while lying against the wrapping/box.

Next, inspect your wedding dress for any loose embellishments such as pearls or sequins. With a little bit of matching thread and a needle, if you can replace a button, you can do the same thing to secure these loose accents. Check dress for any stains. If there are any (and there probably will be stains on hem) pre-treat with your favorite stain pre-wash. I used Shout Advance and saturated the hem while rubbing it in with my fingers. I also used it on the smooth material at the waist for stains made from the flowers I was holding. Allow pre-treat solution to set for a few hours. I waited 24 hours.

Then, gently turn you dress inside out and place alone in washing machine. Add a capful of Woolite and wash on the delicate cycle. I added an extra rinse cycle to ensure that there was no residue in the dress fabric. When washing is complete, remove dress and gently turn right side out. Again inspect the dress for any loose embellishments and repair as needed. Lay flat to dry. This may take a full 24 hours. Be sure it is completely dry before storing to prevent mildew.

After drying, begin folding dress to fit box using acid-free paper to lie in folds. Approximate size of box and fold to fit. Use remaining paper to fill in and support sleeves and bodice/chest area to prevent crushing from box. Some kits provide a breast form made out of cardboard that you can fold to fit.

Place dress in box then place box in bag provided which may be made of cotton or muslin. Some also come with accessory bags for shoes and veil. If these are used and you want to put them in the box with the dress, allow room for them when folding dress and place at the bottom not above the bodice section of the dress.

Place box in a cool dry area of your home and rest assured knowing your most important memento from your special day is protected.

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© 2012 cammyshawn


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