Becky: You might be picking up your dress a couple of days before your wedding, you might have it a week before or because of current circumstances, you might have it in your possession for much longer before you can wear it. If that’s the case, how are you planning on storing it? No one is saying that you can’t pop it on and have a dance around the kitchen, but that might not help with the storing-it-and-keeping-it-pristine purpose of this post.
Whatever your dress storing status is, we’ve bought in an expert to fill you in on how to store it safely. Allow me to introduce Cynthia Grafton-Holt. Cynthia is the founder and bespoke wedding dress designer at Cynthia Grafton-Holt Couture so if anyone can tell you how to store your wedding dress correctly, it’s her. Enjoy.
Hello, my loves. I’m Cynthia, a North London based bespoke wedding dress designer and fairy-godmother to all my wonderful brides. Can I start by sending lots of warm hugs via this article to every couple patiently awaiting their time to shine. Be assured that your day will come – much quicker than you think – and if you have any queries that I haven’t covered, please feel free to reach out at any time. – Cynthia Grafton Holt
Storing your wedding dress and bridal accessories for the next few months is going to be tricky for many brides especially city brides where space is the biggest problem. Whilst it’s doable to have your dress hanging on the back of the door for a few weeks, in the longer term, it can be more damaging to the dress and also block out valuable light where space is at a premium.
In this article, I have focused on the most common problems from the perspective of someone who makes dresses to help you understand exactly what to do to limit and prevent damage to your dress over the new few months.
Tulle Or Delicate Dresses
Tulle dresses are extremely delicate and require care to store over longer periods. The additional weight of embellishments or beadwork will add unnecessary stress to the tulle and cause it to tear and fall into holes. The best way to store these dresses is to simply lay it flat and store. Don’t worry too much about creasing as tulle is a great fabric for bouncing back and recovery.
Strapless gowns and those with spaghetti straps require a little additional care and attention to the detail. The weight of the dress is borne by the hanging straps inside the dress and the strap underneath the train. It is important to correctly position the three straps to distribute the weight on the hanger and to prevent the dress from slipping when it is moved to a new location. Strapless gowns also require a little gentle padding to help keep the shape of the bodice in pristine condition. Inserting a small cushion/pillow is all that is needed – especially if the dress is going to be kept in a tight space such as a wardrobe.
Bridesmaid Dresses & Accessories
Modern bridesmaid dresses are very resilient and will be absolutely fine hung in a wardrobe inside a dress bag to protect from snagging, moisture, dust and sunlight.
Keep your dress away from sunlight; as ongoing light from the sun, will over time, affect the shade of the colour pigment and accumulated dust will discolour the fabric of your dress and veil if left unprotected. Most dresses are delivered in a wedding dress garment bag which is perfectly adequate for keeping your dress protected and away from prying eyes. However, if you don’t have one, we can supply you with one of our breathable bags for £20.00 plus P&P – please email me if this is something we can help you with. If your dress has not been delivered yet and is still at the bridal boutique, it may be worth asking if they can store your dress until nearer the time.
Keeping your dress and all the accessories together in a box is the perfect solution with layers of acid-free paper within the folds of the gown and lined all around in an acid-free box. Begin by folding the lower layers of the dress including the train onto itself in one-third of the dress’ length and fold again another third (placing tissue paper along the folds to prevent creasing). Lastly, fold the bodice over the top of the skirt so that it is folded from the waist. Follow the advice for strapless dresses by placing a small cushion inside the bodice to keep it from crushing. Next, wrap the dress in several layers of tissue paper before sliding the entire dress into its protective garment bag or a large box or suitcase. This will stop any moisture from reaching your dress if it is stored in an area where moisture may be present.
Your veil should be left in the packaging and stored flat. It can either be hung up inside the dress bag or folded into the box when storing your wedding dress. Jewellery and accessories should be kept in their boxes away from sunlight and atmospheric particles. A good idea would be to wrap them also in acid-free tissue paper reducing oxidization or discolouring. When handling your jewellery, make sure that your hands are dry and free from perfumes and hand lotions so that oils and moisture are not transferred onto your lovely pieces
Becky: Thanks so much to Cynthia for sharing her wise words about how to store your wedding dress. Who knew it was a good idea to stuff your dress with a cushion? You can check out Cynthia’s website here and follow her over on Instagram too.
We hope whenever you’re collecting your dress and however long it’s in your possession before you can wear it that you’re now able to store it safely so that when you bring it on on the big day it’s perfect. Happy storing lovers.