Post-Wedding Dress Care

Posted by bridalbuds on Apr 07, 2010

I have an awful confession to make.  I’m almost afraid to put this in writing it’s so embarrassing, but the truth is I need your help. So here goes.  Although it’s been more than 10 months since Periwinkle Dude and I tied the knot; I’ve yet to get my dress cleaned.


I know, I know, I’m an irresponsible post-bride.  I spent so much time, stress, and let’s not forget money, on making sure I had the perfect dress for the big day.  I did not want to settle for something that I didn’t absolutely love wearing, and now my beautiful custom-made garment is in a poofy heap on the floor in the corner of my bedroom.  Oh, I am so ashamed.

It’s not that I don’t love and adore my dress, because I do.  I absolutely do!  The problem is, I don’t know what to do with it!  As many of you already know, I am horrible at making decisions, and so by default my indecision often turns into not taking any action.  Enough is enough already though!  I promised myself and Periwinkle Dude that I would cross this item off my to-list by our anniversary, which means time is ticking!  So let’s examine the options:

Get dress cleaned at local dry cleaner for storage.
Approximate cost: $200-$250

  • Pros: Easy to drop off and pick up
  • Cons:  Pricey, dress may become yellowed or damaged over time in storage

Use vendor recommended by original dressmaker for cleaning and storage in cloth garment bag.
Approximate cost: $175

  • Pros:  Less expensive than local option, direct referral from my dressmaker (reliable)
  • Cons:  Difficult to drop off and pick up, dress may become yellowed or damaged over time in storage, takes up more storage space

Cleaning and preservation through specialty bridal dress cleaners in Manhattan.
Approximate cost: $600 & up

  • Pros:  Rave reviews from co-workers who were prior customers
  • Cons:  Prohibitively expensive

Send dress through mail for cleaning and preservation with WedClean, Affordable Preservation Co., or another similar online/reachable-by-mail only vendor.
Approximate cost: $129-$189

  • Pros:  Affordable, preservation will protect dress from yellowing over time, easier to store
  • Cons:  Possibility of damage/loss through shipping, mixed reviews of vendors, inability to touch or remove the gown from box post-preservation

Donate dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer, Goodwill, or another charitable organization.
Approximate cost: $0

  • Pros:  No cost to me, possible tax deduction, helps brides-to-be in need, pro-recycling
  • Cons:  Too difficult for weepy types like me (Never see my dress again?!)

Sell dress.
Approximate cost: Profit.

  • Pros:  Recoup a portion of the cost of the dress, get the dress out of my bedroom and not have to worry about storing it, give another bride a chance to strut her stuff in my poofy frock
  • Cons:  Never see my dress again?!?!?!  Too painful!

So there they are — my options.  So many choices, and no clear winner.  Although selling or donating the dress would give another lucky bride the chance to enjoy my beautiful gown, the truth is I’m too sentimental of a person for either option.  I just don’t have what it takes to part with my dress — I’m one of those people who still has old doll clothes and stuffed animals from my childhood stashed under my bed at my mom’s house!  It’s not that I have grand dreams of passing down my wedding gown ceremoniously to my hypothetical future daughter for her to wear at her own wedding, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep it around, right?  There are plenty of other things I could do with it!  I could take it out every so often and wear it around the house, I could use the fabric from my train for a Christening gown for my hypothetical future children, or I could let my hypothetical future daughter play princess bride with my dress.  All of these options require me actually keeping the dress though.  Well, I guess that part’s settled.

If I preserve the dress I can’t put it on every year for my anniversary, pass out candy on Halloween while wearing it, or host a “wear your wedding dress” party for all my newlywed friends.  On the other hand, if I don’t preserve it there is a greater chance it could get ruined.  I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place!

Ladies, I need your help!  Did you preserve your dress in addition to cleaning it post-wedding?  If not, how come?  Has anyone used WedClean or Affordable Preservation Co. and have any reviews (positive or negative) to share?  The reviews I read online for both companies are so mixed that I’m nervous to take my chances!!!  Please help me keep my promise to Periwinkle Dude and get this dress out of my bedroom!  🙂