How To: Preserve Your Wedding Dress

How to keep your wedding dress looking great forever, plus, ideas on what to do with your wedding dress after the big day.

Thea wore a wedding dress by Rosa Clara for her special day

Ask your married friends what they did with their wedding dress after their wedding day and you might hear answers such as, ‘It’s rolled up in a ball in a black bin liner somewhere in the loft’ or ‘its stuffed at the back of my wardrobe – I never got a chance to dry clean it’.  

Your wedding dress will probably be the most expensive garment you’ll ever wear, and even though you probably won’t ever wear it again yourself, someone, one day, might! 

This article has been designed to give you tips on how to preserve your wedding dress and keep it looking beautiful, after the big day! 

Preserving your Dress Before the Wedding 

Depending on how you purchase your wedding dress will determine how you take care of it before your wedding. 

If you’re buying a new wedding dress from a bridalwear shop that has been made-to-measure, then you may only need to collect your dress a few days before your actual wedding. Not having the pressure of keeping it looking pristine at home may be comforting for some brides and is one less thing to worry about during the run up to the big day. 

For brides buying a ready-to-wear wedding dress, or a gown right off-the-rack, the expert team at the Bijoutique advise hanging your wedding dress up high on a sturdy hanger and covering it with a large sheet to protect it from dust.  So that your other half doesn’t see your wedding dress before the big day, it’s probably best to leave your gown hanging somewhere safe at your parent or grandparents house. A smoke-free environment would be highly recommended!

Your Dress on the Evening of the Wedding 

Once your wedding celebrations have come to an end and you retire up to bed, be very careful as to how you remove your dress. If you choose a silk wedding gown then be sure to hang it up, so as not to crease it on the floor. A fuller wedding gown could be laid over a chaise longue or draped over a chair if you’re unable to hang it up alone. 

If you need assistance taking your wedding dress off at the end of the night, be sure to secure help from a bridesmaid, your sister or mother before they leave. Some wedding dresses have dozens of small buttons that may need un-doing or if you’re wearing a corset style wedding dress then it may need to be properly loosened before you can step out of it. 

Advice on what do do with your wedding dress after the big day
A beautiful wedding dress hanging in the doorway at Botleys Mansion

What to do with your Wedding Dress After the Wedding 

Every bride will have a different opinion when it comes to their wedding dress after the big day. It’s obviously not a dress that you’ll be wearing time and time again, but there are lots of things you can do with your wedding dress to keep its memory alive forever. 

Buy a specialist wedding dress box to preserve it 

Specialist wedding dress boxes can be purchased online or in certain bridalwear shops and are the ultimate way to preserve your dress at home. They usually come filled with acid-free paper, so that you can fold your dress beautifully and layer it with the paper, to preserve it from the damp. Then, keep the box up in the loft so that it’s out of the way. 

By preserving your wedding dress, you may be able to pass it on to your daughter or granddaughter to wear in the future. Alternatively, you might even be able to cut just a small piece off your dress so that your daughter could have it sewn to the inside of her own wedding dress in the future.

Top Tip: Be sure to dry clean your wedding dress before storing it away in a specialist wedding dress box. 

Turn it in to a cocktail dress 

Depending on the style of your wedding dress, you may be able to have it dyed, shortened and turned in to the dream cocktail dress. Speak to a seamstress about various possibilities. 

Sell it 

As they probably won’t ever wear it again, some brides like to sell their wedding dress so that another bride can benefit from it’s beauty. After all, it would only have been worn for a single day. 

There are several ways to sell your wedding dress; from local selling pages on facebook, to ebay or you may be able to find a bridalwear shop who specialise in selling ‘nearly new’ wedding dresses. 

Donate it 

If you truly enjoyed wearing your wedding dress but feel that you have no further use for it, consider donating it to a charity. They’ll then be able to sell it on to a bride who may not have the budget to buy a new wedding dress. 

Have a wild photoshoot…

..otherwise known as ‘trash the dress’. 
Some photographers specialise in ‘trash the dress’ shoots, which means that you can go crazy with paint to create an artistic feature for you wall at home. Or, have fun rolling on a sandy beach, walking in to the sea, or jumping in to a swimming pool, wearing your dress. Don’t expect to have a wearable dress post-shoot, but if you’re looking to have a bit of fun, this style of photo shoot may be suitable. 

Turn it in to a Christening gown

It might be a nice, traditional idea, to preserve your wedding dress with the idea of turning it in to a Christening gown for your future children. 

Top Tip: Having a wedding dress dry-cleaned can be expensive. Get quotes from various dry-cleaners before you commit and consider adding the cost of dry-cleaning to your wedding budget from the beginning, so that it doesn’t come as a huge shock when you pay for it.