Wedding Dress Cleaning, Preservation & Restoration Blog

A Few Things to Know About Wedding Dress Preservation


A Few Things to Know About Wedding Dress Preservation

Before you make a big decision with one of the most cherished keepsakes from your wedding day, we’re sure you have a few questions that need answers.  We understand that sending your wedding dress to an online wedding gown preservation company can be a bit unnerving for some brides.  

What many brides don’t know is sending in your wedding dress to a company specializing in the service is many times safer and more effective than taking it to your local dry cleaning service.  More than likely, your local dry cleaner will also be sending your dress away for professional cleaning and preservation since most lack the proper equipment and expertise to safely process the delicate organic fabrics your beautiful gown was crafted from.  Why not save the extra expense and additional time it will take to bring your dress to a 3rd party when you can order your very own Wedding Gown Preservation Kit directly from the source and from the comfort of your own home? 

Below we’ll help answer all the questions you may have about the process of wedding dress preservation, along with what happens to your gown after it is sent in to be lovingly cleaned and preserved.  We can assure you your nerves will be at ease after knowing the procedures and measures in place to keep your gown safe during the entire process.

What Exactly is “Wedding Dress Preservation” Anyways?

Simply put, wedding dress preservation is the process of having a wedding dress professionally cleaned and preserved after it is worn during a ceremony and reception to prevent it from becoming yellowed and stained over time.  The most common reason for having your wedding dress preserved is to give the next generation the ability to enjoy this precious memory as much as you have and even provide them the opportunity to one day wear it again in their own wedding. 

The process of having your wedding dress preserved normally consists of multiple steps which not only inspect and clean the gown of visible and  invisible stains, but also includes multiple “preservation” steps and a storage chest which protects the dress as it ages and prevents future yellowing.  For many years this process was performed using dangerous dry cleaning agents, such as PERC, and outdated dry cleaning equipment.  Modern advancements in delicate fabric cleaning technology have allowed for specialized equipment and techniques to be developed which effectively remove all organic and inorganic staining from your wedding dress on a microscopic level.

Can I Trust Online Wedding Dress Preservation?

Online wedding dress preservation is simply a new term for what was once known as “mail-in wedding dress preservation”.  The truth is “mail-in”, or “online”, wedding dress preservation has been how wedding dresses have been professionally cleaned and preserved for the last 50 years.  Your average laundromat or corner bridal boutique lacks the proper equipment, knowledge, and formulations to properly care for the delicate fabrics your wedding dress was lovingly crafted from.  Rather than take this risk and liability themselves, these companies send your dress away to a company that focuses solely on cleaning and preservation of wedding dresses.

In the past 20 years, with the age of the internet, brides have had the ability to cut out the middleman and mail their wedding dresses directly for cleaning and preservation from the comfort of their own homes.  This process of online wedding dress preservation is exactly the same for you as it would be for your local dry cleaner or bridal boutique and is fully insured to keep your dress safe.  Your beautifully preserved wedding dress also comes back to your home with the same industry leading 100-year guarantee against future yellowing or staining.

Why Should I Have My Wedding Dress Preserved?

Think about what happens on your wedding day.  There are pictures to be taken, many times in fun locations such as an open field or beautiful outdoor setting.  There is a lot of walking around, many times on dirty sidewalks, dance floors, and reception halls.  There are family members to hug, food and drink to enjoy …you get the idea.  Throughout the day your dress is put through the rigors of an average wedding day and often times you will accumulate dirt around the hemline, sweat stains under the arms, and food and beverage stains regardless of how careful you are during your amazing day.  Having your wedding dress professionally cleaned and preserved will completely eliminate all the little (and big) blemishes that accumulate from your wedding day activities.

Another big reason to have your gown preserved is yellowing caused by aging.  Because your wedding dress is made from natural, delicate fabrics, those materials tend to begin to yellow and brown over time if left untreated.  Having your wedding dress professionally treated will eliminate this yellowing and help keep your wedding dress looking as amazing as the day you first fell in love with it at the bridal store.

Related: View Before and After images of Yellowed Gowns in our Gallery

Do I Have Options When Having My Dress Preserved?

Of course!  Both our Traditional Wedding Gown Preservation Kit and our Celebrity Wedding Gown Preservation Kit include options that allow you to personalize your order.  First, you can choose up to 5 items from your wedding day to preserve with your gown.  Some brides include their veil, some a pocketbook, and others have even preserved their wedding shoes!  Along with preserving additional items you can also choose to personalize your kit with your name, photo or both.  What better way to show your wedding gown to future generations than with a photo of you on your wedding day adorning your beautiful gown?

Additional options which come with your Wedding Gown Preservation Kit™ include:

  • The option to add additional shipping insurance
  • Making you order a "Rush Order" which places your dress at the front of the line for processing
  • The option to add additional wedding day items, beyond the included 5, to be cleaned and preserved
How Long Does it Take To Preserve My Wedding Dress?

The preservation process takes a total of 6-8 weeks depending on the time of year.  Our busy season is normally from July – October which can sometimes take a few weeks extra depending on volume.  The reason it takes 6-8 weeks is that every dress that is preserved receives the utmost care from the time it arrives and is checked in at the preservation facility, to the time it is lovingly placed in the preservation chest and shipped back to you.

If you have an upcoming event in your future, such as a move or a wedding in which you’d like to re-wear a wedding dress, we do offer a rush service on all our Kits.  This will take our normal processing time of 6-8 weeks and moves it up to just 14 days, essentially placing your wedding dress at the front of the line for processing.  The rush fee is $25 and can be added to any of our cleaning, preservation, or restoration kits during the checkout process.

How Long Does Wedding Dress Preservation Last?

This is quite a common question with an answer that has a few factors involved. Assuming that a bride stores her wedding dress in the proper conditions, her wedding dress will remained preserved in pristine condition for her lifetime and even longer. The guarantee that comes with your Wedding Gown Preservation Kit™ lasts up to 100 years from the day you have your wedding dress preserved, much longer than your typical lifetime guarantee. Will your wedding dress start to instantly yellow at the 100 year mark? Of course not. While your perfectly preserved dress will likely last much longer than 100 years, it is recommend that you have your dress re-examined and re-processed when that milestone is reached to ensure your gown will be enjoyed by future generations for another 100 years.  Another factor that will determine how long wedding dress preservation lasts is if the gown is kept in the preservation chest while in storage.  Removing your dress exposes it to dirt, oils from your skin, and cleaning agents on the floor, all harmful to the natural fibers of your gown.

Is Wedding Gown Preservation Safe for My Dress?

We are confident in saying that sending your wedding dress in to be preserved is as safe, or safer, than bringing it down to your local dry cleaning service.  By sending your wedding dress in directly from your own home, you cut out any middle company that may mishandle or misplace your dress.  We can say that for as long as we’ve been offering this service to brides, we have not had one lost gown in the mail.  To be extra safe and protect our customers, each of our kits comes with a set amount of insurance to keep your gown extra safe during shipment.

The team that will handle your wedding dress preservation are of the most highly trained preservationists in the world and are continually re-trained by the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute International. The DLI is one of the most recognized and respected dry cleaning organizations in the world and are considered thought leaders on delicate fabric handling and care.  When trusting an online wedding gown cleaning and preservation service with your wedding dress, look for the following trust badges to ensure their team has the equipment and training to deliver museum quality results.

wedding dress preservation certifications

Is it Ever Too Late to Have Your Wedding Dress Cleaned and Preserved?

While it is ideal to have your wedding dress preserved within 6 weeks of your wedding day, the truth is, it’s never too late to have your wedding dress professionally cleaned and preserved.  Your wedding dress will begin to yellow in as little as 6 months of it being worn on your wedding day.  Wedding dress yellowing is caused by both visible and invisible stains from your wedding day, pollutants found in the atmosphere, along with the method in which your wedding dress is stored after your wedding day.  For instance, leaving your wedding dress in a plastic dry cleaning bag will advance yellowing due to the plastic fumes that are emitted from the bag over time.  Storing your dress in an non-acid free cardboard box can cause fabric “scorching” where the natural fibers of your gown come in contact with the chemicals the box was manufactured from.

The combination of modern technology and the advancement of delicate fabric cleaning techniques allow a professional preservationist to remove deep yellowing from vintage wedding gowns.  The benefit of having your wedding dress cleaned and preserved directly after your wedding day is the fabric is put under much less stress than it would going through a lengthy restoration in the future and you’ll save money by not having to purchase a full restoration.

Our team of fabric experts have the ability to take your older, yellowed wedding dress and transform it back into its original brilliance with our Wedding Dress Restoration Kit. We have invested in state-of-the-art fabric restoration technology, providing you the opportunity to take something you may have considered ruined forever and restore it back to that beautiful memory from your or your loved ones amazing day. It’s never too late to restore your yellowed wedding dress.

where to store a restored vintage wedding gown

Our wedding dress restoration team can work miracles on vintage, yellowed wedding gowns

You may be wondering if your vintage wedding dress may be too far damaged for restoration.  If you are sending in your wedding dress for a full wedding dress restoration (reserved for dresses purchased over 20 years in the past or badly damaged gowns), your gown is delicately processed until risk of damage becomes a concern.  Although extremely rare, the restoration team will call you to let you know the status of your gown and the area of your dress that is at risk of damage is left as-is.  We would rather the integrity of your vintage wedding dress remains in good condition than risk fabric fraying or other permanent damage caused by excessive cleaning.

Can My Wedding Dress Be Worn Again After it is Preserved?

Yes.  One of the top reasons a bride will choose to have her wedding dress professionally cleaned and preserved is to give a future family member the ability to honor her in their own wedding by re-wearing her wedding dress.  Your wedding dress is carefully laid and secured in the wedding dress preservation box in such a way that prevents any permanent pleating or creases in your wedding dress to ensure it is in pristine condition when it is removed from the preservation chest to be re-worn.  If your wedding dress is re-worn after being preserved, having it professionally re-cleaned and preserved is as easy as sending it back in for processing, coming back to you once again looking perfect with another 100-year guarantee.

What are You Waiting for?  Preserve Your Wedding Dress Today!

Did you know that your gown begins to yellow from the moment you purchased your dress at the bridal store?  Did you also know that the longer you let stains absorb into the delicate fabrics of your wedding dress, the more they will set in?  Sending your dress in today ensures you’re creating a family treasure that will be enjoyed and cherished for generations to come.