A wedding gown will be one of the most memorable garments a woman will ever own. Whether it is purchase from a retailer, custom made, or a family heirloom dress, it is for more than just one day -- it's a lifetime of memories.
Don't delay. Finding the perfect dress can take some time, so give yourself no less than six months.
Look for and read care labels and ask questions about care and cleaning of your gown. Can you dry clean both the gown and the trim? What kind of material are the beads and pearls made from? How will dry cleaning affect them? Is there a safe way to spot-clean the gown? Be sure to make note of the answers so you can inform your dry cleaner.
Leave lots of time to clean and alter an heirloom gown. Bring your gown to a local Ontario Fabricare Association cleaner who specializes in wedding gowns and restorations.
Have shields sewn into your gown to protect underarms from staining.
Flowers with strong-coloured stamens can stain your dress. Ask your florist about your bouquet and, if possible, have them remove the flower stamens.
Ask one of your attendants carry a small towel to place over your shoulders when you touch up your make-up.
Drape the seat of the car or limousine with a clean white sheet, to avoid picking up any dirt that may be on the floor or seats.
Bring a large garment bag to place your gown in once you have changed into your going-away outfit.
Always have your gown cleaned before storage.
Point out to your dry cleaner any areas that have been stained and make special note of stains that may not be easily seen by the naked eye, such as white wine or water.
Inspect all trim with your dry cleaner to ensure that it can withstand the dry cleaning process.
Inform your dry cleaner of any special care instructions you received at the time of your purchase.
Ask your CFA cleaner about preserving your gown in an acid-neutral storage box.
Basement dampness or attic heat could ruin your gown. Find a cool, dry location to store your dress.
Storing your gown on a hanger can cause damage to the shoulders, due to pressure from the weight of the skirt. Stitching simple straps to the waist of the gown will keep the shoulders from carrying the burden.
Store your accessories, including your veil or headpiece, in a separate location.
Remove buttons, sponge padding, perspiration shields and pins to ensure that fabric is not damaged.
If you store your gown on a hanger, cover it in either muslin or a white sheet.
To prevent the bodice from becoming wrinkled, gowns stored on hangers or in boxes should be stuffed with white tissue paper.
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