Wedding Dress Cleaning, Preservation & Restoration Blog

Wedding Dress Preservation Boxes - Are They Safe for Your Wedding Gown?


Wedding Dress Preservation Boxes - Are They Safe for Your Wedding Gown?

If you’ve happened upon this post, it means you’ve decided your gorgeous wedding dress is worth keeping pristine long into the future. Good for you! Your wedding gown is the most memorable keepsake from your most amazing day. It made you look and feel like a princess as you took those first steps down the aisle to the one person you’ll spend the rest of your life with. Regardless of if you want to keep your dress in your family as a heirloom to be passed down to the next generation, if you want your children to have the opportunity to wear it once again on their wedding day, or if you even plan on one day selling your dress to another bride who will love it just as much as you did, storing your wedding gown properly is the second most important step in preventing your gown from becoming yellowed and stained in the future (don’t worry, we’ll get to the first step in just a bit!).

What is a Wedding Gown Preservation Box?

Simply put, a wedding gown preservation box is a specially manufactured, acid-free and lignin-free storage chest designed with archival materials to store your wedding gown for the long term.  These boxes are often manufactured from heavy-duty, crush-proof, corrugated cardboard so they can hold up if you were to move, or if it is accidently stepped on in the back of the closet when you’re searching for those red pumps you swore were somewhere on the top shelf. 

While wedding gown preservation boxes come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, they’re all designed with one purpose in mind – to protect your wedding dress as it is in storage.  Not to be confused with wedding gown destination boxes, which are ornately designed travel boxes intended to hold your wedding dress as you travel to your beach, mountain top or lake-side wedding, wedding dress storage boxes are the only solution for the successful long term storage of your wedding dress.

A wedding gown preservation box also functions to:

  • Keep your wedding dress safe form airborne elements like cleaning sprays, dust, and dander
  • Keep the form of your wedding gown to prevent permanent fabric creases (if it includes a bust)
  • Display your wedding gown to your loved ones (If it incorporates a viewing window)
  • Keep your wedding dress protected from UV-light which would fade and damage fabrics
Why do I Need a Special Box to Store My Wedding Dress?

If you choose a company to preserve your wedding dress that uses a thoughtfully manufactured acid-free and lignin-free preservation box, you get the guarantee that the chest holding your gown will have at least a 1000 year lifespan.  When it comes to preserving your dress for the long term, eliminating factors that may cause early yellowing or staining is key to a wedding dress that will last centuries, rather than decades.  A normal box, like you received with your latest Amazon shipment, is not at all safe for long or short term delicate fabric storage and begins to break down those fabrics after just one year. 

The chemicals that go into manufacturing an industry-standard cardboard shipping box degrade extremely fast, resulting in what is known as “Scorching” in the textile industry, which is staining and yellowing of the fabric where it touches the cardboard.

Can You Simply Place Your Wedding Gown into a Preservation Box After Your Wedding Day is Over?

Absolutely not!  Remember earlier when we mentioned there is a #1 most important factor in keeping your gown pristine long into the future?  Here it is:  You must, at the very least, have your wedding gown professionally cleaned before storing it in a preservation box.  Dirt on your hem from the dance floor, sweat stains, makeup particles, perfume remnants, food stains, and more will cause permanent staining to your wedding dress if left untreated.  What is even worse, many stains on your dress are invisible to your eye after your wedding day, however, they will eventually become unsightly brown stains in just a year or two.  Contaminates ingrained into the delicate, organic fabrics of your wedding dress is the number one reason why wedding dresses have the tendency to yellow and even turn brown over time. 

Having your wedding gown professionally cleaned is the only way to be sure your dress won’t become an unsightly, faded memory when opening your preservation box years in the future.

Types of Wedding Dress Storage Boxes

There are several types of wedding dress storage boxes on the market, with the biggest variation being the services included when you purchase the box.  Some companies may just offer a simple box that you can buy from their website and you’ll be on your own to determine the service that can provide the cleaning and preservation of your wedding gown. 

Stand-alone Wedding Gown Storage Box – This is a simple acid-free box that you would purchase, leaving you to decide on a different service that can offer the cleaning and preservation services necessary to keep your wedding dress from yellowing.  If you decided to take your own DIY approach to cleaning your wedding gown, a simple box may be the best option for you if you are certain you took the proper care necessary to ensure your gown remained contaminate free after cleaning.

Wedding Gown Storage Box with Archival Packaging – This option is an acid free box with all the necessary packaging to keep you gown crease free, wrinkle free, and keep the shape of you wedding gown.  Included may be options like an acid free bust and acid free tissue paper to assist you with packaging your wedding dress inside the storage box.

Full Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation with Display Chest – This option is by far the simplest and will give you most best peace-of-mind.  By choosing a service that professionally cleans and preserves your wedding dress using museum quality standards, you’re assured your wedding gown will remain as pristine in the preservation chest as the day it was when you first tried it on.  This options also includes a preservation window so you can share your memory with your loved ones, without getting oils and other contaminates on your dress that would ruin your gown over time.

  Warning – Some preservation companies claim their preservation chest keeps environmental humidity away from your wedding gown.  This is absolutely not true.  The only way to keep humidity in the air away from your dress is to vacuum seal your wedding gown, which is another disaster waiting to happen.  This is the reason that it is imperative that you store your gown in a low-moisture, low light area of your home, such as under a bed or in a first or second floor closet.

acid-free wedding dress storage boxes

Various Sizes of Wedding Gown Preservation Boxes

Just like there isn’t any one-size-fits-all wedding, there is also no one-size-fits-all wedding gown storage box.  From a chic, mermaid style oceanside wedding dress, to a princess-style ball gown dress, wedding dress styles have become as unique and trend-setting as the brides who wear them.

The majority of companies offering wedding dress storage box solutions offer a variety of sizes, normally a small, medium, and large size.  One of the most common questions we receive from brides is if our preservation chest will fit their wedding gown.   We can tell you with confidence that a large wedding gown storage box will accommodate even the largest of gowns and longest wedding gown trains.  Our service has even cleaned and preserved gown for the famous Azalea Trail Maids in Mobile, Alabama.  If you’re familiar with these billowy, Disney-esque ball gowns, you’ll know this is no small feat.  View a size comparison of our preservation chest below.

wedding dress storage box sizes

Our Three Sizes of Wedding Gown Storage Display Chests

How to Measure Your Wedding Dress for a Preservation Box

If you chose a full service wedding gown cleaning and preservation company, you can skip this step, but if you’re going with the DIY route, you’ll need to determine how large you should order your storage chest.  We’ve come up with a simple method to determine a box size that will work with your wedding gown.

measuring wedding dress for storage box - step 1

STEP 1: Place Your Wedding Dress on a solid, clean surface (on top of the comforter of your bed is a great option) and grab fabric measuring tape. 


measuring wedding dress for storage box - step 2

STEP 2: Take off any bracelets, rings, or any other sharp objects which could cause a pull in the delicate fabrics of your gown.  If you’ve already had your wedding gown professionally cleaned, wear thin cotton gloves (no need to buy anything special, winter gloves will work) to prevent transferring oils from your hands onto you dress.


measuring wedding dress for storage box - step 3

STEP 3: If you gown has a train attached, you can fold that under your skirt and not count that in the measurement.  With you train folded under, now fold the bodice of your wedding dress (the part of your dress the begins at the waist and ends at the neck or shoulder line) back over the dress.  Your wedding gown should now be folded in half, on top of itself.  Measure the length, width, and height of your dress and write down each measurement.


measuring wedding dress for storage box - step 4

STEP 4: Square up the sides of your gown with your hands as best as you can.  You don’t want to force your gown into a rectangular shape, you’ll simply  want to encourage the shape.  The idea here is not to compress your gown too much so it has room to breath in the storage box.


measuring wedding dress for storage box - step 5

STEP 5: Use your fabric measuring tape to measure the length, width and height of your wedding dress and jot each measurement  down on a piece of paper.  Once you have all the measurements, add 2 extra inches to each measurement to come up with your final dimensions.

The rest is simple!  All you need to do now is choose a storage box that will comfortably accomodate your final dimensions.

How Much do Preservation Boxes Cost?

The average wedding gown storage box can cost anywhere from $40 for a simple box, all the way up to $400 or more for a box which also includes a thorough and professional cleaning and preservation of your wedding dress before being placed in the storage box.  Higher end, 100% acid free preservation boxes with a viewing window average around $80.00, but remember, you still need to handle the task of having your wedding gown professionally cleaned before placing it in your box, a service which will cost at least $175. 

For the low price of $225, you can purchase the Wedding Gown Preservation Kit™ and have your wedding gown professionally cleaned by a leading team of fabric experts, carefully pressed, meticulously preserved, and placed in a beautiful display chest along with a peace-of-mind 100 year guarantee against future yellowing.

The Best Place to Store Your Wedding Gown Preservation Box

Now that you know which wedding gown storage box, or full service preservation company, is the perfect choice for your gown, it’s important that you store your dress in a room in your home where it will be safe and comfortable.  We always advise brides to store their perfectly preserved wedding gown in a room where they are also the most comfortable.  This eliminates damp and musky basements, hot and humid attics, or anywhere else in your home that can fluctuate in both temperature and humidity.  Examples of the perfect place to store your newly preserved gown include under your bed, in your bedroom closet, or in a first or second floor linen closet.

Remember, if you’re in a room that feels comfortable, your wedding dress will also be safe to store in that same room and ready to share with friends and family.

where to store a preserved wedding gown

Under the bed in your master bedroom is the best place to store your preserved wedding gown.

Congratulations, You’re Now a Wedding Dress Storage Box Expert!

Now that you’re well versed in all there is to know about wedding gown storage boxes, you can make the best decision for your gown and keep it picture perfect and pristine for your next generation to enjoy.  If you have any questions about these style of storage boxes, be sure to contact our team and we will be more than happy to help.