The big day is over, you’re home from your honeymoon, and your gorgeous wedding gown is right where you left it – resting on the floor like a pile of dirty laundry. Whether this is your grandmother’s treasured heirloom or was recently purchased for your wedding day, it needs to be properly stored. It’s a memory that you want to keep.
It’s important to preserve your gown in perfect condition. The day may come when you want to pass it down to your daughter or another family member. You’ll want to maintain it’s timeless elegance by storing it in a safe, secure climate controlled self storage unit. We have some tips for wedding gown storage that will help you to keep your dress as well as other formal wear in ideal condition.
Wedding Gown Storage Tips
Check the Label
The first thing you need to do is check for care instructions. Some gowns can be dry cleaned and others may need wet cleaning. These processes are very different and need to be handled by professionals. For more information check Wet Cleaning vs Dry Cleaning.
Questions for Your Dry Cleaner
- Does the dry cleaner do the work on the premises or send it out to a wholesale cleaner? A wholesale cleaning service can clean up to 30 dresses at once in large machines, leaving residual dirt on your gown. It’s not the best option.
- Is the dry cleaner experienced in both dry cleaning or wet cleaning?
- If dry cleaning, what kind of solvent does the dry-cleaner use?
- How much experience does the dry cleaner have? Is the person who actually does the cleaning and pressing of wedding gowns experienced?
- Does the dry cleaner use virgin solvent for wedding dresses?
- Will the dress be cleaned by itself? If not, how many gowns will be cleaned with it?
- Is the dress insured while in the care of the dry cleaner? What kind of insurance?
Clean as Soon as Possible
Get that gown to a dry cleaner as soon as possible. You don’t want those wine and lipstick stains to set. Be sure that your cleaner is experienced with wedding gowns and uses virgin solvent so that your dress doesn’t have a “dry cleaning” odor. Avoid Storing Your Gown in a Plastic Dry Cleaning Bag. When stored in plastic for a lengthy period, fumes will be emitted that can yellow or otherwise damage or discolor your gown. Another drawback to plastic is that moisture is easily trapped in plastic and will cause mildew.
Decide Whether to Use a Wedding Gown Storage Box or a Wedding Gown Storage Bag
Boxed: Be sure that the company uses an acid-free box. A box with only an acid free coating will not protect your dress for a lengthy period of time. The bodice should be padded with acid-free tissue. Polyester or rayon fabrics should be padded with buffered tissue; and, natural material such as silk, should use unbuffered tissue. A dress that is folded should be removed from the box and rearranged every year to prevent permanent creasing.
Hung in a Storage Bag: Having your dress stored in a bag will prevent wrinkles and require less care. The bag should be cloth with no dye, and the dress should be hung on a thickly padded hanger. The bodice should be filled with tissue (see above paragraph) to help retain its shape.
Determine the Most Reliable Self Storage
After your wedding gown is cleaned and preserved, it needs to be kept in a location where the air is kept cool and dry and the temperature regulated. This does not mean in your basement, garage or attic where temperature fluctuations can cause deterioration. Your best option is a safe, secure, climate-controlled self storage facility. For more information on finding the right location, read How to Choose a Self Storage Facility.
Did We Forget About the Tuxedo?
Most grooms rent their tuxedos, but, depending on your lifestyle, it may be more practical to invest in a tux that you’ll wear occasionally. Regardless, your tuxedo will probably spend more time in storage than in social gatherings.
Get it Cleaned Prior to Storing
Just like a wedding gown, your tux needs to be cleaned prior to storing. Even a small spot can do permanent damage to fabrics, so don’t wait to have it cleaned until you’re ready to wear it again.
Use a Garment Bag
Don’t store your tux in the plastic dry cleaning bag. Invest in a good cloth garment bag and be sure it’s hung securely so that the pants don’t fall to the bottom.
Choose Reliable Self Storage
As with a bridal gown, a tuxedo should be stored in a climate-controlled self storage unit. Don’t crush your tux on a tightly-packed garment rack. Be sure that you have enough space so that it doesn’t become creased or wrinkled.
Whatever formal wear that you need to store, be sure to choose a reliable, safe self-storage facility with climate control. A consistent temperature will keep your formal clothing in pristine condition. If you have questions or concerns about storing any type of formal wear, your friendly professional self storage manager is always ready to help.