Everything you need to know about cleaning your wedding gown before you get married.
There are a lot of reasons you may need to clean your wedding gown before you tie the knot. There are always risks involved when cleaning bridal gowns, so if it’s not dirty, don’t clean it. If your dress is dirty, then don’t fret, the chances of something happening to your dress if you choose the right place to clean it are extraordinarily low.
When To Clean Your Gown Before You Wear It
There’s no need to come unraveled if you have a new gown and something happened. We once cleaned a wedding dress after dog peed on a silk wedding gown less than 24 hours before the bride was leaving (it was an out of town affair). We had the dress looking as a good as new just in time. That was an extreme case, but it should illustrate what can be done.
If you purchased a sample gown, chances are you’ll want to get it cleaned before you wear it. Even if the gown looks clean, keep in mind that anywhere from a few to a few dozen people have tried that gown on before you purchased it.
Most vendors that sell will sell you a pre-worn (used) wedding gown require that it be cleaned first. This doesn’t mean it was cleaned well. Look for dirt at the hemline (unless you are significantly shorter than the previous wearer). Open the hem with your hand and lay it flat to get a true sense of how dirty or clean it is. Also look at the bust area and near the under arm area. If there are any areas on concern, you will want to have those taken care of now, not later.
Maybe you are going to wear a dress that your mother or grandmother wore. Or maybe you found an amazing dress at a vintage shop. If you are going to be married in a vintage gown, you will most definitely want your gown cleaned first. In fact, what you want is a wedding gown restoration service.
Wedding Gown Restoration
Wedding dress restoration is the art and science of taking an old wedding gown and returning it to a condition that is as close to new as possible. There are a lot of factors that go into a successful restoration, most of them happening before the dress is ever brought in for service. The care and storage of the gown over the years largely determine the final product. Only the best wedding dress dry cleaners will even attempt this process. If the technician is experienced, it is a very safe process.
Before Alterations or After?
There a a few risks involved anytime you clean a wedding dress. Because of this, you’ll want to clean your gown as early in wedding planning process as possible and before any alterations are made to the gown.
Choosing A Wedding Dress Cleaning Specialist
You will always want to use a wedding dress dry cleaners that specializes in cleaning wedding gowns. Most places only see a handful of gowns per year. Those are the ones to avoid when you need to clean your cherished gown before your wedding. You will want to select a dry cleaners that cleaners wedding dresses every day.
There are a lot of options when it comes to cleaning your wedding gown, but I would suggest using a local dry cleaners that specializes in wedding gowns.
You can use google. Just search for “[your town] wedding gown cleaners”. You will get a lot of results, but it is a good start. You can also check the wedding sites like the knot and wedding wire. A better solution online it to check with The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. They will likely have a specialist in your area.
You can ask your friends that were recently married. Some will have good things to say, and some will have bad stories.
You can also get a recommendation from the bridal salon where you purchased your gown. They wont recommend just anybody. In fact they probably use a local dry cleaners to clean their stock gowns when they have an issue.
If you use just one of these methods, I would stick to asking the place where you purchased your gown. If you didn’t buy locally, I would both ask around and check online.
Armed with this information, cleaning your wedding gown before your wedding shouldn’t be so scary, provided you actually need it done. Just remember to find a local wedding gown cleaning specialist that has experience.
Photo Credit: …love Maegan