How To Care For Your Wedding Dress Before and After The Big Day

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You’ve picked out your dream dress, chosen the shoes and accessories to match, and even coordinated the groom’s tie and bridesmaids’ outfits – so now what? Often when planning a wedding, we’re so caught up in what we want that we neglect to take proper care of what we already have. So, with the wedding dress, lehenga or sari first on many brides’ list of priorities, it’s well worth making sure that you know how to keep it safe and good-as-new right up to the big day.

While muslin dress bags and laundry detergent might not be high on your wedding agenda, making a little time to take good care of your dress will pay off in the long run. Just take a minute to read through these top tips on how to take care of your wedding wear properly – no wish list or shopping trip required.

Find a specialist

Vintage and pre-loved bridalwear can often need cleaning before they’re ready to be worn again, so be sure to check the hem line, inside bodice and arms for any stains. While the majority of dry-cleaners will be able to wash wedding clothes, it’s worth visiting a certified wedding laundry specialist who will have a proper understanding of the different materials, gown structures and detergent required. If you intend on keeping your wedding outfit after the day, you’ll need to have it properly cleaned and preserved again; if so, it’s worth mentioning this to the specialist on your first visit as they may offer you a discount on the second service.

Even if you’re on a tight budget and think you can handle spot-cleaning a small stain yourself, it’s essential that you do your research: consult the label on your bridal wear to discover the fabric care instructions, and look online for advice suited to both the stain and the material. Laundry detergent brands often have a range of tips to help with tricky stain removal.

Protect your dress

The choice of packaging you use to protect your dress or sari is important. White bridal gowns can become yellow and grow mildew if not covered properly. Plastic garment bags or vacuum-sealed plastic containers are the worst offenders, as these emit fumes and trap moisture. Instead, opt for clean, breathable cotton like muslin (or even just a clean white cotton bed sheet) and fully wrap your dress in the fabric to protect it from dust, light and discoloration.

Find suitable storage

How you store your wedding dress largely depends on the style and fabric. Plainer, lighter and synthetic dresses and saris should be hanged up in a wardrobe, whereas embellished and heavier garments are best stored flat to avoid tears or sagging from bearing the weight of the material. If you are hanging your gown up, always use the special loops on the inside of the dress – do not hang by the shoulder straps, as this could cause the seams to stretch. No matter which method of storage you use, be sure your dress is kept away from heat, moisture and sunlight, and out of reach for children and pets.

Hanging out

A couple of days before your wedding, hang up your bridal clothes to loosen out any wrinkles. These should straighten creases out naturally but, if not, try carefully hanging them up in the bathroom with a hot shower on full, or look to rent a special steamer. This will work both dresses and veils, and will smoothen any remaining unwanted creases. Once again, do consult with a specialist and check the garment care label first, as some fabrics do not respond well to steaming.

Bare faced

When trying on your dress before your big day, be careful to remove any makeup from your face and jawline. We all know how tacky a foundation mark looks, and stains on white fabric are particularly difficult to budge. The same rule applies with hair spray, nail varnish and fake tan – they’re all best avoided. At the very least, wait until they have been properly absorbed (at least 48 hours) before going near your wedding clothes. On the day itself, have your makeup and hair done before you get dressed.

Aftercare

open-shirt-bridal-lehenga

Give your gown the happy-ever-after it deserves with a visit to a professional preservationist. The sooner your dress is cleaned and preserved, the less likely it will be to suffer permanent staining and discolouration. A preservationist will formulate a tailored cleaning procedure for your gown, before pressing, wrapping in acid-free tissue paper and placing in a museum-like wedding archive box. Once preserved, your wedding outfit will be guaranteed against yellowing or sugar stains, but be sure to store your shoes separately as the leather and glue may give off harmful fumes.
Most importantly, however, enjoy your special day! Once you’re dressed, forget worrying and just focus on having a good time.

 Images via CC

Author Bio: This guest post was contributed by experts from Surf Excel India.

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