It’s a bit sad to think about, but after the wedding day is over you will have to put your lovely wedding dress away. Make sure you store it properly though, as when you do take it out in years to come you want it to look as though it is still brand new.
If the idea of stashing your dress away is making you have palpitations, we have seven creative ways to reuse your wedding dress so you can keep it close to you for as long as you like.
We asked Giselle Hulme, founder of the Empty Box Company, for her top tips for making sure your wedding dress is properly preserved and stands the test of time. Even if you don’t plan to keep your wedding dress forever, it’s still important to store it well so you can sell it in the best condition possible.
Get Your Dress Dry Cleaned
Make sure you take your wedding dress to a dry cleaner who specialises in cleaning bridal gowns. Even if you think you’ve been super careful and your dress seems to be stain free, it’s always best to get in professionally cleaned as some marks may appear over time.
Don’t Put it in the Wardrobe
It might seem like the easy option – just hang it back up in the wardrobe. At least then you can look at it every morning when you open your wardrobe to find your work outfit for the day, right? Wrong. By leaving your dress in the wardrobe it can get bashed about, catch on other clothes and even get a bit moth-eaten.
Ditch the Plastic Cover
Avoid leaving your dress in a plastic dress cover – it’s much better to use a cotton duvet cover as a temporary cover. Plastic dress covers can disintegrate over time, and if this happens harmful particles can be left on your dress.
Get a Special Box
You can’t put your wedding dress in any old box – invest in a special pH neutral wedding dress box so you can safely store your dress. If you opt for a normal box you run the risk of your beloved gown developing a yellow tinge over time. Make sure you choose a strong box that will stand the test of time – bonus points if it’s pretty as you’ll have the box for a very long time.
Consider the size of the box too – if you’re not sure what size you have a picture of your wedding dress handy and the sales assistant should be able to advise you. Some storage boxes come with expandable lids which can help when storing a dress with lots of voluminous fabric.
Use Acid Free Tissue
Carefully pack your wedding dress away using acid free tissue. Place the tissue between the layers as you fold your dress away. A good wedding storage box will come with acid free tissues and instructions on how to use it. Acid free tissue paper helps to preserve the fabric as it doesn’t break down like normal tissue paper.
Store it Separately
Make sure you don’t store your wedding dress alongside the rest of your accessories. It might be that they’re made of a material that conflicts with your wedding dress and can affect how your dress is preserved. Keep your sentimental accessories in a different place.
Avoid the Attic
If you can avoid putting your wedding dress in the attic or loft, please do! Loft space can be quite damp or humid, and are prone to hosting insects. Birds, mice or squirrels may also make a home in your attic so think twice before putting your dress up there!
Keep it Away from Light, Heat and Damp
If you have a spare room, it might be safest to put your wedding dress in there. Make sure you store the box containing your wedding dress in a place that is away from direct light, heat and damp.
It needs to be dry, dark and cool in order to remain in optimum condition. You’ve noticed how direct sunlight fades your curtains or carpet so avoid allowing the same thing to happen to your dress.
Try not to put the box up against an external wall too as sometimes fluctuating temperatures can cause problems.
Enjoy Your Dress
Don’t forget to enjoy your wedding dress – if you’re going to go to the effort of making sure it remains in perfect condition then you need to take it out and enjoy it in all its pristine glory every once and a while. Also, by taking the dress out from time to time will prevent any creases from setting permanently. As if you need an excuse to get it out and stare lovingly at it.
Remember Why You’re Doing It
It might seem like a lot of effort, but at the end of the day, once the last cake crumb has been devoured and the band have packed up to go home, all you’ll have left from your wedding day is your outfit and your photos (and your new married name, husband, etc. of course) so you need to look after them. It may not be just you who enjoys them in the future – your future children and grandchildren will treasure them as well.
If you’re still on the hunt for your dream wedding dress, make sure you browse our breakdown of gowns and designers in our A-Z guide to wedding dress designers, which includes styles, price ranges and different labels.