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How to Store Your Dress Before the Wedding

You do not want to store it in plastic.
How to Store Your Dress Before the Wedding
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Esther Lee
by Esther Lee
Updated Apr 08, 2020
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How to store your wedding dress before the wedding day is an increasingly common question in the time of coronavirus wedding postponements. Take a scenario where you've received your wedding dress (so exciting!) but you're now dealing with a wedding postponement anywhere from three months to a year out from your original date. Here, we talk through exactly what you need to do to ensure your gown is in flawless condition for when you ultimately make your grand entrance down the aisle. 

In this article: 
The Best Way to Store a Wedding Dress Before the Wedding
Where to Store a Wedding Dress Before the Wedding
The Best Homemade Way to Store a Wedding Dress
How to Store a Beaded or Heavy Dress Before the Wedding
How to Store Your Dress After the Wedding Day

The Best Way to Store a Wedding Dress Before the Wedding

Single-handedly, the best way to store a wedding dress before the wedding day is to follow the instructions provided by the boutique or your local bridal salon. These pros will tell you exactly what to do in every scenario with your specific type of gown. 

There are several golden rules, however, to keep in mind at all times. "The best way to store a gown is in a dark, dry spot," says Jessica Brooks of The Dress Shop. "If possible, gowns should be stored in breathable cloth bags, such as the bags we give to them when they pick up the dress--and not in plastic bags."

The best way to store a wedding dress, if it's in a closet, is to use the hanger straps to keep everything in tip-top shape. The last scenario you'd want is for your bodice to be haphazardly stretched because you didn't utilize the support of hanger straps.

Finally, experts reiterate removing plastic covering over the gown and replacing it with something more storage-friendly like a cotton or breathable fabric storage bag. "Definitely be sure not to store it in plastic, especially through the warmer months," says Tanya Hartman of Gilded Social. "Any moisture that isn't able to escape that plastic bag could cause an odor. Tucked away in a closet with no garment bag, at all, is better than storing it longterm in plastic."

Depending on the weight of your gown, some salons will have specifications for even heavier material, which could include ornate beading or structured lace. Read below for more hacks and tricks for how to properly store your beaded or lace dress before the wedding.

Where to Store a Wedding Dress Before the Wedding

Store your dress in a place where it remains cool and dark—anywhere between room temperature and below is suggested as factors such as humidity and direct sunlight can cause bleaching or fabric decay. Your best bet is the back of a closet or in an area that isn't exposed to light. 

"We suggest storing your gown in a breathable, cloth garment bag that is long enough to allow the dress to hang in a tall closet—without wrinkling at the bottom," says Hartman. "Chances are your gown has been steamed by your seamstress or tailor if you have already had alterations done to your gown. Keep it ready for the big day by storing it in a way that it won't re-wrinkle or sit wrinkled for an extended period of time. Storing the dress in a garment bag will also ensure that it doesn't get dirty or snag on anything else that's in your closet."

The Best Homemade Way to Store a Wedding Dress

If you don't have a garment bag, it's okay. There are ways to counteract it at home. "Right now, a great hack is to take a big sheet (a queen size flat sheet)," says Beth Chapman of the White Dress Society. "Cut a hole through the middle of the sheet for the hanger to go through and cover the gown. The key is, you don't want it in plastic. You want it in a breathable covering. A sheet will positively suffice if you can't get your hands on a breathable bag."

Still use the hanger straps if you're keeping your sheet-wrapped gown in the closet.

How to Store a Beaded or Heavy Lace Wedding Dress Before the Wedding

Depending on the weight of your gown, some salons will provide specifications for even heavier material, which could include ornate beading or structured lace. "If there's beading, my recommendation is not to hang it at all," says Chapman. "Take it off the hanger, place a sheet down on your bed and put your gown down on the sheet. Fold it in thirds and store it somewhere flat."

Heavier garments are tricky when hung especially when a gown has been perfectly suited to fit your physique. "With beading, over time, the fabric will grow and the proportions can be off," she explains. "The same is for bridesmaid dresses and mother of the bride pieces as well."

How to Store a Bridesmaid Dress or Special Occasion Gown

Speaking of which, the same rules for how to store a wedding dress before the wedding also apply to gowns belonging to other bridal party members. "One thing we absolutely suggest is to try your dress on once per month, every month until the event," says Hartman, whose boutique specializes in occasion gowns. "Bodies change over time. If you have to wait a few months to even a year before wearing a dress, and fit is a possible issue, fix it before it's too late. This is particularly important if you have a dress that's been altered already. Don't wait until the day of an event to try it on again."

How to Store Your Dress After the Wedding Day

The Knot editors have entire pieces devoted to the topic of what to do with your wedding dress once it's all over. We suggest following preservation guidelines, as a simple sheet or fabric bag covering can only go so far. If you want this dress to be in the family for generations to come, follow the steps required of preserving your wedding dress. You'll want to find a reputable preservation service before your wedding day, like Wedding Dress Preservation by The Knot, and start the process sooner than later.

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