I am often asked by people outside Michigan (and even by a few people outside the United States) how to find a local dry cleaner than can properly clean their wedding gown. It is important to find a specialist that knows what they are doing when it comes to your wedding gown, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Here are a few ways to find a good place to have your wedding gown cleaned and preserved.
Ask the boutique where you purchased your gown. Chances are, they have a local dry cleaner to take care of emergencies that pop up. If your bridal salon trusts their brand new, unsold dresses to be cleaned, they will probably do a pretty good job for you. To look at it from a different angle, if your wedding gown salon is willing to put their reputation on the line to recommend a dry cleaners, I would take it as a strong recommendation.
Ask a married friend who has had her wedding gown preserved already. Ask about her experience. Ask if she had to do it all over again if she would choose the same dry cleaner or another one.
Find a dry cleaners who is in the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. Each member is hand selected to join and there are requirements that must be met in order to remain a member. You can find a specialist near you at https://www.weddinggownspecialists.com.
Search google maps. Google is getting better and better at local search all the time. Searching for “Wedding Gown Dry Cleaners [city or state]” is no exception. I would use this as a starting point; ask a lot of questions to make sure you have found the right place. Also, disregard the cheapest places. If a dry cleaner is competing on price with regards to wedding gowns, they probably aren’t the best.
Your local dry cleaners? If you use a high quality dry cleaners, it’s worth investigating more. If you use a bargain dry cleaner, I would keep looking. In Metro-Detroit, there are over 750 dry cleaners listed in the yellow pages. I would expect only a few of them actually clean more than a handful of dresses in their plant each year. If your dry cleaners doesn’t specialize in cleaning wedding gowns or sends them to somebody else to clean, maybe they can refer you to a dry cleaners who can properly work on your wedding dress.
Now that you have a few names, it’s time to narrow down the list. You are looking for a shop that cleans wedding gowns in house, that cleans more than 100 dresses per year, and that will allow you to view your gown after it’s clean and before it is placed in the preservation chest. For a more extensive list of questions to ask, see my previous article questions to ask your dry cleaners before preserving your wedding gown.
Photo Credit: adamquirm