Cleaning vs. Preserving A Wedding Dress

Cleaning vs. Preserving A Wedding Dress

You probably looked for your perfect wedding dress for months, shed tears with your friends and family when you finally tried on the one, and went for multiple fittings before your dress was just right. When your big day finally arrived, you carefully put on your dream gown, took photos in it, and of course walked down the aisle. After the ceremony, you toasted, drank, and danced the night away before you rode off with your best friend to start a new life. Well, all of that fun probably resulted in some wear and tear on your wedding gown. So it’s important to remember that your wedding day may be over, but you can’t forget about your wedding dress.


We suggest that you take your dress to a professional wedding dress cleaner after your wedding – before your honeymoon if at all possible. Even if your dress looks just as white as it was when you bought it, the oils on your skin, perspiration, and other stains are hiding and will eventually show. So, take your dress to get it professionally cleaned if you’re looking to keep it as an heirloom for future generations or if you’re planning to sell it.

After you have had your wedding dress professionally cleaned, you have a couple of choices: you can sell or donate your wedding dress, or you can preserve it. Preserving it will allow you to save it for yourself or for future generations. We have compiled a few key tips to make sure your dress is preserved properly.


First, all wedding dresses should be stored flat or folded. Do not hang it –  over time, the weight of the dress will stretch the material.

Second, make sure your dress is protected from touching anything except acid-free paper. If it touches any type of wood or cardboard, it may stain over time. Make sure your dress is wrapped in acid-free paper and placed into a ph free box (these materials should be provided by your professional dress cleaner).

Don’t store your dress in a plastic box or garment bag. Air needs to be able to circulate around your gown to ensure that it will not mold.

Finally, store your dress out of direct sunlight and in a temperature-controlled room. The condition of your dress will deteriorate if it’s stored in an environment with extreme temperatures.

You can take your dress out of its preservation box every now and then to inspect the condition and air it out, but don’t try it on. The oils and perspiration on your skin will transfer to your dress and then you’ll reverse the whole cleaning and preservation process.


Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding.