The dos and don’ts of storing your wedding dress before & after your wedding 


As a bride, your wedding day will remain one of the most magical days of your life, and even beyond the big day, your wedding dress will exist as an emblem and symbol of that special day. For many brides, a wedding gown represents way more than any other formal attire or outfit you'll wear during your lifetime. From the endless wedding dress appointments to saying yes to the perfect dress, countless fittings, and so on - ensuring your gown remains in tip-top form for years to come will always remain a priority. 

So, whether you plan to sell your wedding dress after your big day, gift it to charity, hand it down to future generations to come or even occasionally prance around the bedroom to your favourite song while wearing it (we've all done it) - knowing how to preserve and store your wedding dress is vital

If you feel unsure of the best ways to take extra special care of your dress before and after your big day, we're here to help with the must-know dos and don'ts and top tips on storing your wedding dress -the right way!


How to store your wedding dress

Always store your wedding dress the right way with our must-know dos and don'ts

Download the ultimate guide to storing your wedding dress

How to store your wedding dress before the wedding

The best way to store your wedding dress before the wedding is to follow the instructions provided by the boutique or bridal salon where you purchased your wedding dress. After all, they've been through the entire journey with you! From selecting your dream gown to ensuring it fits you like a glove during numerous fittings - they'll have all the necessary insights on materials, hanging protocols and ideal storage locations to ensure your dress looks fresh for your big day. 

More likely than not, after your final fitting, your chosen bridal boutique will perfectly prep your dress in a breathable fabric storage bag, ready for your big day - a crucial step for maintaining the condition and preventing any damage that could occur from improper storage. You can always request to collect your wedding dress on a date closer to your big day, so you have less time to worry about correctly storing it or any accidents that may happen at home. 

Let's delve deeper into the musts for storing your wedding dress before your big day: 


Choosing the right storage location 

The right storage location will depend on your dress, especially its material. But generally speaking, you should always store your wedding dress in a cool, dry, and dark place - void of exposure to sunlight, moisture or dust. Extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, and damp or dusty conditions can cause damage and discolouration, with gowns often adopting a yellowish tinge. So it's best to avoid anything like windows, the loft, bathrooms (obvs), or any place in your home that experiences dramatic temperature fluctuations to ensure any nasty surprises don't crop up on your wedding morning.


proper hanging techniques are everything!

  • Use a sturdy hanger: Always use a padded hanger to support the weight of the dress and prevent damage to the fabric. While you may already have plastic and wooden hangers to hand, padded hangers are best for keeping wedding dresses safe and sound. 
  • Get a garment bag: It's essential to store your wedding dress in a breathable garment bag to protect it from dust and light while allowing air circulation. In most cases, your dress will come in a suitable garment bag when you collect it from the bridal boutique, but if not, they're cheap and easy to buy online! 
  • Decide whether to hang your dress or lay it flat: It's essential to decide based on the type of dress you've opted for and its fabric. For example, tulle dresses are delicate and require care to store over extended periods. The additional weight of embellishments or beadwork will add unnecessary stress to the tulle and cause it to tear and fall into holes, so the best way to store these dresses is to simply lay them flat. Don't worry too much about creasing, as tulle is known and loved for its ability to bounce back and take shape! While strapless gowns and those with spaghetti straps are fine to hang! The hanging straps inside the dress and the strap underneath the train support the weight of the dress, so it's important to correctly position the three straps to distribute the weight on the hanger and prevent the dress from slipping off. If it's best to lay your dress flat, always place acid-free tissue paper between folds to protect the fabric from creases, discolouration, and potential damage. 

How to store your wedding dress after the wedding

If your wedding's been and gone, there's no better way to savour its memories and magic than by preserving and storing your wedding dress in all the right ways. For many brides, your wedding dress will exist as an emblem of all the special recollections of your big day for years to come - so ensuring your wedding dress remains unspoilt and loved will always be a priority for newlywed brides. While you might find some signs of fun (or too much fun) displayed on your gown - especially after the late-night reception party - that's nothing a professional can't fix! So, whether you're hoping to preserve special memories through your dress or wishing that future generations may want to wear it and continue those cherished memories with their own found love, proper aftercare post-wedding is essential.


Get the dress professionally cleaned ASAP 

  • Professional cleaning: Once the wedding excitement is over, it's essential to get your wedding dress professionally cleaned as soon as possible before putting it in storage. The quicker you get your wedding dress cleaned, the more likely it'll be that stains come out and leave no evidence behind (think red wine, make-up, etc) and prevent fabric damage. While your local dry cleaner might've been trusted with precious garments previously, it's always best to go to a wedding dress specialist for ultimate peace of mind. 
  • Spot cleaning: If professional cleaning isn't immediately possible, gently spot-clean minor stains. While tackling the stain yourself might sound scary at first, the general rule of thumb is to test a small area first, use a mild detergent mixed with water (avoiding harsh chemicals), and - of course - dab, don't rub! 


consider proper preservation techniques 

  • Use acid-free materials: Using acid-free materials is crucial for the long-term preservation of your wedding dress, as it helps to prevent yellowing, avoid fabric damage, and maintain colour and quality. Opt for an acid-free preservation box with acid-free tissue paper for ultimate protection. 
  • Avoid plastic covers: Plastic covers can trap moisture, leading to mildew and fabric yellowing, so a breathable garment bag that allows air circulation is always necessary. 


Think about ideal storage conditions

  • Opt for a controlled environment: After your wedding day, always store your dress in a climate-controlled environment, maintaining consistent temperature and humidity levels.
  • Flat storage: For long-term storage, it's best to lay the dress flat rather than hanging it to prevent fabric stretching and distorting over time. While it may have been advised to hang your wedding dress in the lead-up to the wedding, flat storage is often preferable for the long term. 

Maintain regular inspections & check-ups

Remember to check on your wedding dress periodically! The best way to maintain peace of mind and ensure your gown remains in tip-top shape, with no damage in sight, is to inspect your dress every six months to spot any issues early on. While you're there, refold the dress along different lines to avoid permanent creases.

Storing your wedding dress: Dos and Don'ts Summary


  • DO store your wedding dress in a cool, dry place: It's always best to keep your gown somewhere consistently cool and dry, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
  • DO use a breathable garment bag: Opting for a breathable fabric garment bag prevents moisture build-up and allows air circulation, ultimately protecting the dress from mould and mildew.
  • DO have the dress professionally cleaned after the wedding: Professional cleaning removes stains and oils that could cause damage over time, ensuring the dress remains pristine. If you can, always go for a professional specialising in preserving and cleaning wedding dresses for the best experience. 
  • DO use acid-free materials for long-term storage: Acid-free tissue paper and boxes prevent yellowing and fabric damage, maintaining the dress's gorgeous, original shade - no matter how long it's been tucked away. While also preventing creases from becoming permanent and protecting delicate embellishments.
  • DO lay the dress flat if possible: If space allows, laying the dress flat reduces stress on seams and fabric.


  • DON'T store your dress in basements or lofts: These areas often have fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels, which can damage the fabric and cause mould growth.
  • DON'T use plastic garment bags: Plastic can trap moisture, leading to mould and mildew, and may release harmful chemicals over time. Definitely something you want to avoid! 
  • DON'T delay cleaning the dress after the wedding: Prompt cleaning prevents stains from setting and becoming trickier to remove.
  • DON'T hang the dress for long-term storage: Hanging for extended periods can cause the fabric to stretch and distort, especially if the dress is heavy. So, if you plan to keep your dress around for a while (with maybe future generations in mind), it's best to lay your dress flat! 
  • DON'T expose your dress to light and moisture: Avoid storing your gown in places with direct sunlight or high humidity, as both can cause discolouration and fabric deterioration.

Wedding dress preservation FAQs

How soon should you preserve your wedding dress after the wedding?

As soon as possible, if not immediately after your wedding day! The quicker you get your dress professionally cleaned and preserved, the better condition it will be in. Removing stains ASAP gives you the best chance of eliminating them entirely. Beyond stain removal, proper storage is crucial for maintaining your dress. Once it's been thoroughly cleaned, ensure it's hung or laid flat correctly, out of direct sunlight, and in a suitable area in your home.

Is it better to store your wedding dress hanging or flat?

It's generally better to store your wedding dress flat rather than hanging, especially for long-term storage. Hanging a wedding dress can cause the fabric to stretch and distort over time, particularly for heavier gowns with beading and embellishments. If you need to store it flat, use a large, acid-free storage box and layer the dress with acid-free tissue paper to prevent creases. However, if hanging the dress is your only option (space is often a big factor), always use a padded hanger and cover it with a breathable garment bag, and ALWAYS store your dress in a cool, dry, and dark place to maintain its condition.

Is it okay to fold a wedding dress?

Yes, it's okay to fold a wedding dress for storage, but ensure you do it carefully to avoid damage. While you may consider yourself somewhat of an expert folder when it comes to laundry, folding your wedding dress will take some more precision - so listen up! 

  • Firstly, always ensure the dress is clean before folding. Professional is always best!
  • Use acid-free tissue paper between folds to prevent damage, creasing and discolouration, and place it in a breathable, acid-free storage box. 
  • Store the box in a cool, dry, and dark place to protect the dress from light, moisture, and extreme temperatures. 

Proper folding and storage will help preserve the dress for years to come.

How long can you store a wedding dress?

While you can store a wedding dress indefinitely with proper care, certain aspects become essential after the first six months. After six months, check the dress for any signs of fabric yellowing or damage. This period is crucial because stains and oils from the wedding day can start to set in and cause long-term damage if you haven't caught on in time. 

However, if you have stored your dress correctly - (in a cool, dry, and dark place, within an acid-free, breathable garment bag or box) - you likely won't have anything to worry about. However, it’s still a good idea to inspect the dress periodically. Ensure the storage conditions remain optimal, and consider re-folding or repositioning the dress to prevent any permanent creases. By giving your dress extra attention around the six-month mark, you can help ensure it remains pristine for years to come!

Shona Ezimogho-Moran

Written by Shona Ezimogho-Moran

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