Ideas for storeing Wedding Dress

netshoundJuly 2, 2006

Anyone have some ideas for storing a wedding dress? I know there are places that will box them up for you but I'm leary of those places. I had a friend who took hers to one, paid alot of money, only to find out a few years later that the business was found to be cutting dresses up and putting only a small portion in the part you could see thru and filling the box with filler, then selling off the remaining materials of the dress. No way, I'm not even chancing it. Right now it is in a bag hanging in my closet along with the veil and slip. My basement is VERY damp so hanging it down there is not an option. I know some people say.."why keep it, are you ever going to wear it again?"> And your right...I'm not. But as an adult, I got the biggest kick out of seeing my Mom's 1950's wedding dress. I love looking at hers from time to time, I can only hope my daughter will get the same kick seeing mine! Any idea's??

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I cut this article out of the paper and will type what it says. It is from Mary Hunt's column in the newspaper. (She has the webpage

"Forget that space-age bag. You will create permanent creases, plus you run the risk of trapping moisture inside. Here's the best way to prepare the dress for storage, either in a box or on a hanger. Keeping the dress in a large box may be more practical, but hanging the garment in a closet is the best way to prevent difficult-to-remove creases. Either way, you will need plenty of acid-free tissue paper, which helps keep fabric from yellowing. And, if you're planning to fold it, you need an acid-free cardboard box that has a lid.

"Line the acid-free cardboard box with acid-free tissue paper if you are storing the garment in a box. Lay the hem in the box first, then fold the dress accordian-style, placing crumpled tissue paper between each fold. Stuff the inside of the bodice and sleeves with crumpled tissue. Layer more tissue on top, and close the lid."

The article did not say if the dress should be cleaned before storage.

I searched for "wedding dress boxes" on the internet and came up with several hits.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 10:41PM
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If you think the dress will come through dry cleaning OK, I would recommend having it cleaned first. I remember playing in my Mom's dress and veil when I was a little girl. I actually wore it for my wedding 30 years ago. I couldn't find a new veil to go with the style, so we replaced the netting I had torn as a child.

I had'nt thought I would wear it, but I didn't find anything new that really wowed me, and wanted a simple look, which this was. Once I realized it actually fit, I was thrilled. I think I need to look at its condition and maybe get some proper storage for it. I don't have any daughters, but I do have 3 nieces, one of whom is named for my Mom and might get a kick out of it.

I didn't need to go into all that, but that's my way of encouraging you to keep it if you want. I'm even going to make a horrible suggestion. Once it's boxed up, if you don't have room, might your parents have room in their attic? Normally I hate for grown kids to take advantage of their parents like that, but this is different than a bunch of old high school mementos.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 6:57PM
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I definitly want to keep it and once I clean out from under my bed, I'm going to look into acid-free boxes for it. My closet is soooo small I really could use the room in there and we all know how much room wedding dresses take up!! I've thought about the storing at my parents idea but they are in thier 70's and I really need a permanent place to keep it. I'm open to any other idea's you guys have. Thanks so far for the help!!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 10:55PM
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I had mine professionally packed at a dry cleaners. I don't remember the cost, but it was pretty nominal. As I understand it, that is pretty common and they have all the right supplies--the acid free tissue paper, boxes, etc.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 2:34PM
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I wouldn't store it it any attic I've ever met--the heat would speed up any yellowing.

And yes, clean it before you box it.

Everytime you move, repack the dress w/ the folds in slightly different places.

And the big thing is, no sharp creases.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 3:52PM
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I loved seeing my mom's wedding dress as a child!

Meanwhile, mine has been in one of those sealed boxes for almost 20 years. It has moved from house to house, in that box, and no one has been able to see it since September 20, 1986!! I'm now thinking "what's the point?" I'm ready to take it out of the box. I'm curious how it's held up.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 2:43AM
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I wear mine on Halloween and pass out candy. My little girls think I'm a princess, neighbors get a kick out of it, and my husband LOVES it. The other 364 days it hangs high in a closet covered by a clean white sheet.

I just figure by the time my daughters marry (two decades or more from now) they'll want something different.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 4:10PM
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I have the same problem! Since I got married almost two years ago, I haven't done a thing with the dress. Is it really bad that I haven't had it cleaned yet? I swear the bottom hem is almost BLACK... I had a good time at my wedding! Not sure what I want to do with it from here on out, but I love jcs7's idea of wearing it on Halloween!!!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 11:14AM
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I had mine cleaned and put in a box by a dry cleaner. It was $185 (we are in Boston so it might be expensive here). Now it lives under the bed.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 3:00PM
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I never understood spending tons of money to preserve a dress as I wonder how honest they are in the first place when doing the "preserving." By the time most folks open the boxes either they have moved or the cleaner is long gone. Instead I purchased a dress form and put my dress on it and use it in our bedroom as a decoration. I see it everyday and enjoy it everyday. Our bedroom has a victorian flair as does the dress. My son was married in May and his wife has asked me where I got my dress form as she wants to do the same thing!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 6:23PM
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It's really easy. Have one place clean it and another place box it up. You can watch them box it right in front of you. I have a place clean my wedding dress only to not get it clean. If they'd boxed it, those wine stains would never have come out. I knew it was perfect before the second place boxed it.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 2:28PM
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How do you plan on cleaning it?? I would NOT recommend dry cleaning.

When they dry clean an item, it is drenched in chemicals, and traces of these chemicals remain in the fibers. Why do you think dry cleaned clothing always has that strong chemical scent? This residue causes yellowing and deterioration.

I had a friend who thought that "dry cleaning" meant that they used AIR to clean the item. LOL.

There are some cleaning places that will carefully WASH an item. This may be expensive though.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 6:43PM
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Depending on the fabric, washing may or may not be a good idea. I wore my Mom's dress for my wedding, and was very happy that it was a soft ivory. My Mom didn't like seeing it that color, so after the wedding she soaked it in Clorox II or Biz or something like that and got it snowy white again. But it was a good thing she didn't try that until after my wedding. It dried a size smaller and I could never have worn it.

As for dry cleaning chemicals, it certainly coudn't hurt to let the dress air for a week or two to let the chemicals outgas as much as possible.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 2:30PM
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My wedding dress has been hanging in the back of the closet for 27 years. I never had it cleaned. After the wedding I soaked the hem to get out the soil. I recently decided to move it to the basement and called to find out how much to have it professionally packed. It was $180.!!! More than I spent on the dress. So I soaked it in the washing machine and then did a gentle cycle It came out fine - missing a few faux pearls but nothing terrrible. My daughter is not the same size and I am and I couldn't justify spending a lot of money on it to (hopefully) someday hand over to a future granddaughter for dress up!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 11:23PM
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My mother saved her wedding dress from 1946, but at the time she had an 18-inch waist. Remember Scarlet O'Hara? So I bought my own dress in 1979. After the wedding, I had it dry-cleaned (not preserved) and left it hanging in a closet it the basement. Big mistake! It developed a yellow stain. Who knows what it was? I had it dry-cleaned yet again. Luckily the stain came out. I took it out of the dry- cleaner bag and hung it in my bedroom closet. I have central AC in my home so it never gets too hot,cold,damp,etc. It's been two years and it still looks beautiful. Maybe my daughter will wear it one day. I look at it about once every six months. I like the one who put it on a dress form and uses it as decor. If I had room, I would do that.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 9:03AM
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Mine is crumpled in a box somewhere, with a giant orange stain from the Thai prawn appetizer the best man dropped on it early in the evening.

It was an inexpensive consignment dress, though, so I don't really care.

My SIL had her expensive dress cleaned and professionally packed and it still yellowed. Which is a good thing, IMO, because it's a hideous dress and I would never want my niece to feel compelled to wear it :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 11:55AM
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I know I am adding info over a year after the last post but maybe this will help someone.I bought my beautiful wedding dress , worth over $3,000.00, for 20 bucks in a second hand store.It had tons of stains.I took it home and loaded it down with a wet sunlight laundry bar then put it on hand wash in the washer.Soake it for some time then washed it.It came out perfect.Had a dry cleaner iron it and the train.It has hung in my room to admire for the last year.It is time to pack it but I need to wash it again first.If the beading comes off then it would at a dry cleaners too but that bar is so gentle.So I hope packing it away will keep it as white as it is now.It has hung in my room with the window curtains closed and the temp quite cool except for summer.So hope it lasts for another princess to wear.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 5:01PM
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Just last night I was noodling around on the 'holiday' part of the forum. I saw a great post on what to do with a wedding dress. It's titled 'Either your'e creative or losing it". I made a small post to bump it up to the top.

It would work for me....I left a tree up for three years!

My mother made my dress for my first wedding. I still remember the hours she spent covering buttons with satin, and making button loops of satin, and these went down the back and on the sleeves. My dad stepped on the train at the altar, and almost ripped it off when I stepped forward to take my husband to be's hand. The best man took the rings out of his pocket and realized they were stuck one inside the other. He stood there and fiddled with them, and when they popped apart, he dropped one. Instead of looking for it, he just kind of knelt down and felt around, hoping he would find it. Someone in a front pew had seen it roll under the train, got up, and got it for him. About ten years later a close friend mentioned her daughter had a part in the high school play 'Fiddler on the Roof', and she needed to find a wedding dress for her. I loaned it to her, it fit like a dream, got filthy, they had it cleaned, and I stuck it in a box in the closet. I was cleaning out the closet one day, opened the box, and saw that mice had chewed into the box and pooped all over it. Man, that storage problem was solved in a New York minute! Besides, I was onto number 2 anyway....

My mother wanted her sister's wedding dress after she passed away. It was beautiful ivory silk. She gave the dress to another aunt, and she made beautiful angels for all the nieces and nephews for Christmas. It was a wonderful way to honor the dress, and to share a nice family memory in a fairly small space. I think the Christmas tree skirt is a pretty nifty idea too if one doesn't want to keep the dress intact.



    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 11:50PM
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