Special Treatment - Caring For Your Wedding Gown After The Big Day
Once the wedding day is over (we know, we know, you don't want to think about that just yet), there's the big question of what to do with your gown! Perhaps you spent months saving up for it, lusting over it in magazines, visiting your dressmaker over and over to get it to fight just right, and now it's time to consider its next step.
Of course, an increasingly popular option is to sell your gown via a secondhand bridal gown site such as NearlyNewlyweds.com, to allow you to recoup some of your losses while offering a beautiful wedding gown at a discounted price to another bride to be. But this won't be for everyone - some of us sentimentals want to hold on to this precious memory of our perfect day, maybe with the hopes that our daughter(s) will one day consider taking a turn in it!
Find an expert
If you do want to keep hold of your gown, you'll need to line up a gown preservationist near you - someone who is an expert in cleaning and preserving wedding gowns. He or she will know exactly how to remove stains (particularly those that will brown over time!) and store your gown in a museum-worthy box so it never loses its lustre. Most dry-cleaners will say they clean wedding gowns, but it is worth finding someone who specializes in wedding gowns, which, we think you'll agree, are a little more tricky in construction than your average Friday-night LBD!
Go visit your chosen preservationist
Take a trip to the person who'll be handling your gown and get a good handle on their level of expertise. Anyone worth their salt will be able to talk in-depth about which fabrics are where, and how best to tackle stains on your gown! If you're not 100% happy, shop around until you find the right fit. If they ask you to sign a waiver saying damage to your gown isn't their responsibility, walk on outta there!
Make a plan
If you're going on honeymoon the second the last guest leaves your wedding, make sure you have someone on hand - maybe your Mom or maid of honor - to deal with the gown. If you've stained your gown in any way - wine, coffee, cake! - you'll want to get it to the preservationist as soon as possible, to increase your chances of getting your gown in tip-top shape!
Work this into your budget
While gown preservation shouldn't cost as much as your gown, it really can rack up! Depending on the staining, you could pay up to (and over) $1,000 - which is worth bearing in mind when making the decision whether to keep or pass on your dress. Would that $700-odd be better put towards your dream honeymoon? Will you ever look at your dress again?
Ultimately, whether you decide to keep your gown or not is entirely up to you - but it is definitely worth talking to a few of your married girlfriends about what they did, and how they feel about it. There's a strong chance that they feel less sentimental about their gown now, with the benefit of hindsight, than they do about the day itself: often, the memories that matter are the moments shared with your nearest and dearest and, of course, your new husband, and those memories can't possibly be preserved anywhere other than in your mind!