How to Protect Your Wedding Dress Before, During, and After the Celebration

A bride sitting in her dress on the floor with tulle surrounding her.

As a bride, your wedding dress is one of the most important things in relation to the big day. It’s something that guests—and your groom—are anxiously awaiting the reveal of and it’s definitely something that’s special to you on this important day in your life. For that reason, you surely want to take good care of this garment. From the time it’s in your possession to the day of the festivities to long after the last dance has occurred, you’ll want to protect your wedding dress. Here’s how to care for yours to ensure it stays beautiful for your event and for years to come.

Protecting the Dress Before Your Wedding

There are a few important steps you should take leading up to your big day in keeping your dress pristine.

Use a Padded Hanger

Not only are padded hangers pretty for photo ops of your dress on the day of, but they’re also important for keeping your dress safe leading up to the big day. Use a padded hanger while storing your dress in a garment bag. This keeps the shoulders in their intended shape in a gentle manner. The garment bag keeps dust and moisture out as well as other outside elements.

Avoid the Dry Cleaners

You’d think dry cleaning your dress in the days leading up to your wedding day is a good idea, but it’s actually something you want to avoid. There are risks associated with sending your dress to the dry cleaners. Instead, hang your dress outside of its garment bag for a few days before the wedding to let the wrinkles naturally fall out. If you must steam or press the dress to rid it of wrinkles, be sure to thoroughly read the care instructions before proceeding.

Store it in a Safe Environment

Always store your dress somewhere clean and away from where pets or kiddos can get to it. To avoid unwanted stains or issues, don’t place your dress somewhere cluttered, moist, or dusty. Whenever you take your dress out of its garment bag, wash your hands and dry them completely and consider laying a sheet down on the floor before your dress is out.

Protecting the Dress on Your Wedding Day

On your wedding day is when you’ll most want your dress to be completely perfect! The below tips make this possible.

Hang Your Dress Correctly

A strapless ball gown wedding dress hanging in front of a window.

You’ll undoubtedly want to hang your dress somewhere in order to air it out, let wrinkles fall, and get some great detail shots of it on the day-of. As you do this, choose a spot away from the action of the room to keep the possibility of stains and markings at bay. Also ensure all the nearby windows are closed. Remind guests that there’s an important garment hanging up in the room so that they can be careful not to erroneously knock it down or cause any issues as it’s awaiting the big moment.

Keep Your Dress Wrinkle-Free

A bride sitting in a black classic car wearing a wrinkle-free dress.

You’ll want your dress to stay wrinkle-free for a picture-perfect bridal look on the big day. Keep a small water spray bottle on hand to get out smaller wrinkles and also keep a travel steamer nearby. This is always useful in the case of a last-minute dress touch-up before the photographers start snapping away.

Use White Chalk to Cover up Stains

A great tip for keeping your dress clean and spot-free on the big day is to keep some white chalk on hand. If, goodness forbid, you were to get a stain or spot on your dress, you can use white chalk to cover it up—it’s like magic!

Protecting Your Wedding Dress After the Celebration

Once the celebration is over, you’ll want to preserve your dress so that it stays in perfect condition for years to come.

Get it Professionally Cleaned as Soon as Possible

You’ll want to clean your wedding dress as soon as possible after the big day to ensure that any stains that your dress may have attained don’t have much time to fully set. While many brides wait on this, the sooner the better is the motto for getting a professional cleaning. If you’re going on your honeymoon the day after your wedding, appoint a bridesmaid or mom to bring it to a reputable cleaner on your behalf.

Find the Right Professional to Preserve It

You’ll want to find the right professional to take care of the important job of preserving your wedding gown. An experienced specialist will be the best bet in figuring out the best treatment of your specific dress based on its style and material. Someone who’s not trained in this department may end up causing harm to the delicate fabric of your dress. Find a specialist that has good reviews and that you feel comfortable with for this job.

Store Your Dress Correctly

You’ll need to store your wedding dress correctly once it’s back in your possession. It should be placed somewhere away from sunlight to avoid fading or yellowing. You should also take your dress off the hanger to prevent it from becoming misshapen. The best thing for your dress is a professional preservation box or chest, but if you must, use a zip-up plastic bag and ensure that it’s acid-free plastic to avoid discoloration of the fabric.

If you follow these tips, your dress will be in pristine condition from the purchase until many years after your wedding has passed. Taking good care of your gown means you’ll be able to pass it down to future generations to further enjoy when the time is right, so don’t skip any of these vital steps.

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