Wedding Dress Cleaning, Preservation & Restoration Blog

Dry Cleaning Your Wedding Dress Before Your Wedding – What You Need to Know


Dry Cleaning Your Wedding Dress Before Your Wedding – What You Need to Know

Your wedding dress is the single most cherished keepsake from your wedding day.  It made you a princess as you took those first steps down the aisle, and it makes a gorgeous appearance in all your wedding day photos.  If you had an event in your life that makes you think you may need to have your wedding dress dry cleaned prior to your big day, you’ve come to the right place.  We’ll review scenarios where a bride may want to consider having her dress cleaned before her wedding day, her options in doing so, and what to expect along the way.  Let’s get started!

Why You May Need to Consider Dry Cleaning Your Wedding Dress Before Your Wedding Day

Being that the current year is 2020, there is obviously a giant gorilla in the room regarding why a couple planning their wedding may need to consider postponing their wedding day and eventually have their wedding dress professionally dry cleaned before their wedding day.  Before we get to the most obvious reason, let’s review a few of the more common reasons.

bride shopping for wedding dress

Reason #1: I Found a Great Deal on a Wedding Dress and Couldn’t Resist!

If you are in your very early planning stages of your wedding, you know you have some time before your wedding day finally arrives.  For many brides, the time from engagement to wedding day can span a year and a half, or even more!  While it may not seem like a long period of time in the scheme of things, this is quite a long span of time in the life of delicate fabrics.  In just 6-8 months the delicate, organic fibers in a wedding gown can begin to yellow and fade.

If you found a great deal on a beautiful wedding dress shortly after your engagement, it may be worth considering having your wedding dress professionally cleaned before your wedding day.  We recommend the “paper towel test” which is to simply tear off a piece of paper towel, fresh from the roll, and place it against the bodice of your wedding dress to see if the brilliance has faded a bit.  It’s best to perform this test in a bright, sunlit room.  If you notice your gown has gone from bright white to having a barely distinguishable (or worse) yellow hue, it may be worth considering having your wedding dress professionally dry cleaned.

rent your wedding dress online

Reason #2: My Dress Wasn’t Purchased at a Local Boutique

There are quite a few reasons why a bride may not have purchased her wedding dress at a boutique.  These reasons can include renting a designer wedding dress from an online company, honoring family by wearing a wedding dress that was previously worn by a mother or grandmother, or even purchasing your wedding dress from another bride.    Regardless of where you wedding dress originated, you’ll most likely want to have it professionally cleaned before wearing it in your own wedding to restore it back to its original brilliance and to remove any stains that may be hiding in plain sight.

wedding dress stain dry clean

Reason #3: Help! I Just Realized My Wedding Dress has a Stain!

Imagine being a few weeks out from your wedding and spotting a stain on your dress through the plastic dry cleaning storage bag.  We’d freak out too!  But don’t worry, you certainly have enough time to have your wedding dress professionally cleaned before your special day arrives.  How did it get there?  The most common pre-wedding day stains happen at the boutique, without a bride ever knowing it happened.  This can be dirt that was in the carpet at the shop, oil from your hands or even perspiration from when your first fitting.   Another common reason is improper storage of your dress leading up to your wedding day.

More extreme situations that we’ve solved for brides over the years have been natural disasters, such as a flood or smoke damage, and even one case of a little one in the house deciding to play dress up with a wedding dress when mom wasn’t home.  Whatever the reason your beautiful dress might be looking a little less than perfect before your wedding day, we can restore your wedding dress back it to its original beauty.

wedding postponed dry cleaning

The 2020 Reason: The Worldwide Pandemic

We’re all tired of talking about the most monumental event that will likely occur in our lifetimes, but whether we like it not, it happened.  The 2020 pandemic has become the top reason why brides this year will need to make the choice to have their wedding gowns cleaned before their wedding day.  Many brides are having to walk through some pretty extreme situations, such as having a smaller wedding this year, with plans for a full-on wedding in 2021, having a virtual zoom wedding and postponing the ceremony, while others are postponing their weddings altogether and having their gowns professionally cleaned and put into storage with hopes for a spring wedding next year.

For all our 2020 brides, we feel for you, and we are all hoping for a very fun and exciting 2021 spring wedding season after this nightmare is over!

Should You Take Your Wedding Dress to the Local Dry Cleaner or Use an Online Wedding Dress Cleaning Service?

Taking your wedding dress to the same dry cleaner where your father took his work shirts for the past 40 years can be a pretty daunting experience.  After all, your dress was meticulously crafted from a selection of the most delicate fabrics found in any textile, a far cry from that 100% cotton shirt the dry cleaner is accustomed to working with.  Be sure to get references, before and after pictures, and ask the dry cleaner the right questions before bringing your beautiful wedding dress in for cleaning.

Also Read: Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Dry Cleaner Before Entrusting Your Wedding Dress to Them

To help brides that may not have access to a world class wedding gown cleaning service in their hometown, online wedding dress preservation has become increasingly popular in recent years.  This is a service that has perfected the entire process, from safe and insured shipping, down to the specialized cleaning technology that is effective and gentle for dry cleaning wedding dresses.  These services are so popular and safe for your gown, that many dry cleaning facilities will outsource their wedding dress cleaning to the same service you can send your wedding dress to by going direct.  The cost of dry cleaning your wedding dress online is more affordable than ever, a fantastic bonus for a bride with a wedding in near future!

SYSTEMK4 Cleaning Technology

Be sure to ask your local dry cleaner if they’ve invested in the SYSTEMK4 delicate fabric dry cleaning system. This 3-part system is specially designed to handle the sensitive, organic fabrics wedding dresses are crafted from without causing permanent damage to the fibers as the traditional chemical, PERC does.

acid-free wedding dress storage boxes

When is the Best Time to Send Your Wedding Dress in for Cleaning Before Your Wedding Day?

We recommend sending in your wedding dress for dry cleaning one month ahead if off-season, or two months if in the peak of the spring wedding season.  Generally, your Wedding Gown Clean-Only Kit™ will arrive to your doorstep in 3-5 days, take another 3-5 days to arrive at the cleaning facility for processing, and arrive back to you home in approximately 3 weeks.  One month is a fairly safe bet to have your wedding dress sent in and professionally cleaned, but if you’re concerned, we recommend adding a week or two to this timeline.  We also offer a rush service to put your dress in the forefront for processing and ensure it arrives in time for your big day.

Do You Need to Have Your Wedding Dress Dry Cleaned Again After Your Wedding?

100% YES!  While having your wedding dress cleaned is an absolute necessity after your wedding day is over, having it preserved is the optional procedure.  The answer to going the extra step in preservation depends on whether you’d like to be able to keep your wedding gown to be shared with, and optionally one day worn again by, a child or grandchild in the future.  In that case, you’d want your wedding dress professionally cleaned and preserved. Optionally, if you plan on selling your wedding dress, having it professionally cleaned is the way to go and will ultimately give you the best value when it comes time to sell. 

If you keep your wedding dress but fail to have it either cleaned or preserved after your wedding day, the delicate fabrics in your dress will begin to yellow after just 4-6 months and invisible staining will begin to transform into unsightly brown spots after just a year in storage.

How To Store Your Dry Cleaned Wedding Dress Before Your Wedding Day

store your wedding dress before your wedding

The answer to how you should store your newly dry-cleaned wedding dress before your wedding day depends on how far off your wedding date is.  If just a month or two out, you’ll be fine storing your dress in the dry-cleaning bag it comes in after being cleaned.  If your wedding day is farther out, we recommend storing your dress in an acid free wedding dress storage box.  The reason for this is the plastic fumes emitted by a dry-cleaning bag can cause damage to your dress if exposed for too long. 

You’ll also want to avoid hanging your wedding dress in your closet as it can cause stress to the delicate fabrics of your gown, causing stretching and pulling of the fibers.

Now That You Know All There is to Know about Dry Cleaning Your Dress Before Your Wedding, Go Enjoy Your Amazing Day!

The most important thing is not to stress about your dress.  There have been amazing advancements in wedding dress cleaning technology and methods in recent years and there is always going to be a solution for those tough situations that life may have in store for you.  Just make sure you give yourself enough time to have your wedding dress cleaned and rely on the professionals to take care of the rest.