Preservation Nation Blog

Coronavirus Postpone Your Wedding? 5 Tips for Storing Your Wedding Dress Before Your Wedding Day

Coronavirus Postpone Your Wedding? 5 Tips for Storing Your Wedding Dress Before Your Wedding Day

When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2020, we all thought that this was the year to bring us happiness, joy, and new beginnings. After all, 2020 is the year of clarity and vision, right? For many, new beginnings meant a wedding. If you are one of the thousands of couples who had to delay your wedding in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, understand you are not alone. Understand that our hearts hurt for you and your inability to celebrate. It is not selfish to mourn the loss of your wedding day due to a pandemic; it’s your life, and you’re sad. We get it. Not one person ever imagined something like this happening, and we feel the pain of so many people who missed very important life moments this year.

If you are one of the many brides who never got to don her wedding gown, who is not yet calling her fiancé her husband, you might have a few questions. When can you get remarried? Well, we don’t know about that with all that is going on in the world, but we can help you answer another important question: What do I do with my wedding gown until my big day finally arrives (again)?

Keep These Rules in Mind

While gowns are all made of different materials, fabrics, colors, and designs, some might require slightly different storage methods than others – and we will get into that. However, there are a few golden rules of thumb to follow when storing any wedding gown.

  • Find a dark room for the dress without any light or windows
  • Find a dry place to store your gown (this means not in a bathroom or in a closet that is located right off the bathroom, and certainly not in a basement or attic)
  • Do not use plastic bags
  • Do not vacuum seal your wedding dress
  • Use cloth bags that allow the gown to breathe
  • Use all the proper hanging straps to ensure that your gown is properly hung (this does not apply to heavy gowns made of beads or heavy fabric)

Each of these tips is important, but they don’t all apply to all gowns. We will get into the specifics shortly.

Follow Boutique Instructions

Every single wedding gown is different, and every single bride is waiting a different amount of time between receiving her dress and wearing it. So, this means you should look for some instructions from the boutique. If your dress did not come with storage and care instructions, feel free to call the boutique and ask them for some recommendations. Their ideas are the best ones, as they know what your dress is made of and what material they are working with. Not every type of dress can even be stored the same way depending on fabric and color. So, call the boutique, follow their instructions, and put the worry out of your mind.

Hanging Your Dress for Storage

If your dress is light, meaning made of satin or another light fabric without many layers, it’s all right to store it hanging up. The most important thing to remember here, however, is to use the hanging straps on the inside of your gown. You know the ones we’re talking about – the ones you already envision yourself carefully cutting out of your gown so you’re not stuffing them back into the dress beneath your armpits all night long when you finally get married.

Use those straps to hang your gown so you don’t alter the bodice. Believe it or not, it can stretch and lose its shape if you hang it up incorrectly. On the other hand, however, this does not apply if you are storing a heavy gown made of beads or many layers of fabric. Heavy gowns should not be hung up for a long period of time.

Gently Fold Heavy Gowns

It might sound like an unsafe way to store a gown, but it’s not. If you have a heavy gown, you need to lie it down flat between soft sheet and fold it up. This is a gown that cannot hang up for long periods of time without being destroyed. It’s best to lie the dress flat and folded. If you are unsure whether you should fold your dress flat for storage, call the boutique, designer, or a trusted seamstress to ask.

Location, Location, Location

Whether you are hanging it or folding it, you need to find a location that works well for your gown storage. The best place is a closet that’s dark and not often used. Try to look for one that’s in a guest room out of the way. The less often the door is open and the light is on, the better. If you want to lay the dress flat on a bed or table, find a room with a door that can be shut (with closed blinds to keep it dark) so you needn’t worry about kids or pets lying down on top of your gown and ruining it.

The location you choose should always be dark, cool, and dry. If it’s moist, warm, and light, you can damage the color of the gown as well as the material of the gown. If you’re not sure you can find a space in your home, ask a very trusted friend or family member to hold onto the gown for you in a safe place in their own home. If all else fails, ask the boutique where you purchased your gown if you can bring it back to them for safe keeping. Some might agree to this.

Climate Control - If You're Comfortable, Your Dress Will Be Too

Now is not the time to argue about the thermostat with your significant other. This is the time to keep it at a neutral temperature that is nether too hot nor too cold. This also means you cannot turn your heat or air off when you travel or go to work – the temperature change could damage the gown. You need to keep your house at room temperature and leave it alone until your gown is out of the house. If you have problems with your heat or air, get them fixed right away before your gown suffers.

You certainly did not imagine putting your wedding gown away without ever wearing it when you picked it up. You were only a few weeks from your wedding day, and you thought you were good to go. This pandemic was nothing anyone could have predicted coming the way that it did, and many couples were forced to make alternative plans such as cancelling, postponing, or simply moving up their wedding day without much notice. It might not be ideal, and it’s certainly not something you ever saw coming, but we cannot change the past. All we can do is protect your gown and make sure it looks as fresh, new, and beautiful when you finally do exchange your vows as it would have no your original wedding date.

Remember, brides, your wedding might not have happened the way you thought it might, but everything happens for a reason. This is one of those things you cannot change, but we wish you the best of luck and the most beautiful wedding day imaginable when you finally walk down the aisle. You will be glorious.