As you can imagine, working with wedding gowns for over 25 years, we’ve seen it all. We’ve handled all types of fabric, lace, embellishments and styles of dresses. So, it’s no wonder that we’ve been able to come up with some solutions for common wedding gown situations.

As part of our tips section, we’ll be sharing our best tips and tricks for caring for your gown. The first tip we’ll be sharing is for previously loved gowns.

Over the last few years there has been a huge trend in the wedding gown industry, brides are now more than ever considering buying previously worn gowns, vintage dresses or off the rack samples for their big day.

In fact, one of our closest friends (The Brides’ Project), specialize in re-selling previously loved gowns, with all proceeds going to good causes such as cancer research. Groups like Bunz Trading Zone has also contributed to the trend of brides choosing to give a gown a second life.

No matter if you’re planning to wear a family heirloom gown, a vintage master piece or purchased a gorgeous gown from another bride, one thing remains the same, your gown will need some TLC to get it in tip-top shape.

Gowns, especially those that have been worn before, will often show signs of wear. Things like perspiration stains or dirty hemlines can be present and will require cleaning. If you’re wearing a sample gown, you’ll often notice small stains handling stains at the zipper & button areas from the many times the gown has been tried  on in store. Although your gown might need some attention, don’t worry, even the toughest stains can be worked on, but our big tip is simple:

Always have your previously loved gown cleaned first, before alterations.

Chances are, you’ll need some slight adjustments to the gown, to make sure it fits like a glove and this is where stains or dirt can be trapped, if not taken care of beforehand. Even the smallest dirt particles can be trapped in new seam lines, should your gown be altered before it’s been cleaned.

At Grace we’re used to working with vintage, sample and previously loved gowns, so here’s what you can expect when you bring your gown into see us. As part of the cleaning process, we invite brides to come in for a complimentary gown assessment consultation. During the consultation, we’ll closely examine your gown with you in detail and will give you realistic expectations in terms of how the stains will lift, how the fabric will fare and how long the gown will take to clean. As a rule of thumb, we recommend giving yourself ample time for gown cleaning and alterations.

And there you have it, the first tip of many to come!

Are you planning to wear a previously loved gown or your big day (or did you wear one for your wedding)? We’d love to hear all about it.

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