Stephanie Parsley Photography

After your wedding day is over, your dress is one of the largest mementos from the day that you will most likely want to keep forever ­– other than your hubby, of course. Whether you want to have it as a keepsake or hope to pass it down to your own daughters someday, proper gown preservation is the only way to make sure the color, shape and fabric remain true to their original form. After your wedding, it helps it you hang it on a padded hanger, not a wire one and forego wrapping it in plastic that will trap the smells and air in with your dirty dress before it is cleaned; it needs to be able to breath.

Preservation includes cleaning and packaging in certain ways based on the type of fabric, embellishments and possible stains on your dress. A professional preservationist will survey your gown, then formulate a specialized cleaning procedure. Many Arkansas bridal boutiques use the Wedding Gown Preservation Co., Based out of Endicott, New York as their preservation company of choice. The Wedding Gown Preservation Co. has been preserving gowns since 1913. The company boasts cleaning that is 100 percent organic and guarantees the dress from oxidizing for 100 years.

Here's What You Need to Know

The service costs around $200 and you can expect your gown back in about 3-10 weeks. Check with your bridal boutique, because many offer discounts on preserving gowns bought in-store. To streamline the process, there is a bevy of bridal boutiques on our online vendor page to help you get the job done.

Whether you have visible stains from the punch at your wedding or champagne or sugar stains that won’t show up until they turn yellow brown with age, cleaning is a vital first step to preserving your gown. Even though you can wait until after your honeymoon, the faster you get your dress cleaned the better. Once the stains set in they will be much harder to remove, as it is with any clothing.

Unless your dry cleaner processes over 100 gowns a year, consider taking it to a professional. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions before you hand over your white wonder of a gown.

Most brides hire a preservationist or order an online preservation kit these days. Research and make sure to choose a preservationist or kit with a lot of trust reviews. Find someone who will guarantee the value and beauty of your dress and its every detail.

When storing your gown, make sure any materials are completely acid free. It should not hang for a long period of time. Chests and pH-free boxes are much better solutions.

If you decide to wait to preserve your gown when you have a little more cash saved up, professionals recommend wrapping it in prewash, unbleached muslin and storing it in a box under your bed.