Covid- 19 has turned many parts of our “normal” lives’ upside down and weddings are no exception. We have been talking a lot about the obstacles in the way of couples who have had to push back their weddings due to the pandemic. From deposits on venues and catering, to re-scheduling flights, there are many things you may need to think about if you have been forced to postpone your big day! There is, however, one thing you may overlook, which could cause stress down the road, if not cared for now. Your wedding gown!
With weddings being pushed back months or even years from now, many people are stuck having to store their gowns until they can wed. Wedding gowns are typically made to order and can take months to manufacture before the big day. Typically, they are not stored in their garment bags at the back of a full closet for a great length of time! That, however, has changed with Covid-19. Many clients have already picked up their gowns, only to realize that they must now find a way to store them for up to 12-24 months.
Given the many types of fabric, embellishments, gems, and adhesives used, gowns do not always fair as well as your everyday garment when stored in improper conditions. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of tips for how to store your gown in a manner that will minimize the risk of pre-mature ageing and discolouration:
No Plastic, Please
One of the biggest tips we can give you is to ditch plastic garment bags, garbage bags or shopping bags. Basically, anything that is made of plastic has no business near your gown for any prolonged period of time (this includes any plastic bags that are hanging in front or behind your gown in your closet). Plastic will speed up the aging process of your gown, often causing yellowing of beads, adhesive and an uneven yellowing effect of the fabric itself. The darker the aging damage is, the harder it will be to remove, with glue and embellishments being nearly impossible to remove. To minimize the risk of aging, place your gown in a cloth or muslin garment bag and ensure it has lots of space to breath. This will help with aging damage and lessen the risk of deep lines, wrinkles or creases forming on your gown.
The way in which you store your gown is not limited just to the bag you place it in, but also the climate of the storage space. Always avoid storing your gown in direct sunlight or damp conditions. This means, no basements or attics. For best results, store your gown in a main floor closet, in a temperate room, ideally away from any house pets or young children.
Just like the temperature and moisture in the air, odours can also effect your gown! Odours from cooking can permeate the fibers of your gown, so be sure to keep it a safe distance from the kitchen. Another big factor is the quality of the air. Cigarette smoke can not only have a lasting odour within your gown, but the smoke itself can cause damage to fibers, speed up aging or cause discolouration. If possible, store your gown in a smoke free environment!
Let it All Hang Out
As your wedding day approaches, it is advised to remove your gown from its storage space and bag. Hang your gown on a high door frame or above your bed and allow it to breath. Believe it or not, gravity can go a long way in helping to improve any lines or wrinkles that may have formed during storage. Again, make sure to hang your gown in a low traffic room (spare bedroom or un-used office), away from house pets, food and beverages or playful children as this will minimize any last minute “oopsies”.
Think Inside The (Preservation) Box
Want to take a further step in minimizing the risk to your gown? If you’re gown is brand new (not secondhand or sample/off the rack sale) we can help! Consider purchasing one of our preservation boxes to store your gown leading up to the wedding. With your purchase, we will carefully wrap your gown in acid free tissue and place it in an unsealed museum quality preservation box, as well as include a discount on your cleaning and preservation post wedding. Contact us today for more information on this option! (416) 261-2204
Rinse and Repeat
Finally, are you planning on moving forward with a small wedding now and a larger celebration in the future? Many couples are choosing to go this route to get the best of both worlds, an intimate ceremony and a friend and family packed reception, date TBD. In this case, if you intend to wear your gown for both events, we strongly urge you to bring your gown in for cleaning in between! Backyard weddings are notorious for grass stains, dirt build-up and even mold growth on gowns. Even careful courthouse couples can spill some celebratory champagne, which won’t show up as a mark until weeks or months down the line. By waiting to have your gown cleaned closer to the second event, you are allowing soiling to further set into your gown, making it harder to remove and increasing your risk of permanent staining. The sooner our Gown Specialists can get their hands on it the better. Cleaning consultations are being made easier than ever with our recent switch to digital consultations over in-person meetings. For more information, contact us today! (416) 261-2204