LET'S FIND OUT
By Virginia F. Swope. Warrenton, VA
If you are asking yourself what to do with the wedding dress after wedding day, here are some ideas and tips that I hope will help.
If the wedding dress is to be worn again, it can be treated like any other garment. However, if it is not being reused, it must be given special care. In any case, it should be taken to the cleaners within two weeks to prevent any stains from setting.
Once the dress is cleaned, you can choose preserve the dress box that is acid-reduced, dust-proof, and lined with unbleached cotton. Acid-proof paper, placed around and in the dress, allows it to breathe. Avoid cleaners who use a vacuum-sealed or shrink-wrapped process. This can result in a yellowed dress, as can storage in untreated cardboard. Dampness and humidity cause mildew, which cannot be removed. Ideal conditions are a cool, dry place, away from sunlight, 57° F (14° C) and relative humidity of 50-60%.
An alternative method, once the dress has been cleaned, is to stuff the bodice and sleeves with acid-free tissue paper. Once the paper is in place, wrap the dress in a white sheet and hang it in a dry, cool place. It should be checked every few months.
Tell the cleaner about any stains and identify them if you can. Remove trimming, hoops, and accessories before cleaning.
Alternative uses for your dress are: it can be sold or given away; it can be cut down and made into a cocktail dress.
If you choose to sell the dress, you can do this online, through a newspaper ad, or on consignment.
If you decide to donate your dress, a wedding gown is undoubtedly one of a bride’s most treasured possessions. Donating it to an organization that makes wedding apparel available at a reduced cost can make the dreams of another bride come true. Not all women can afford a beautiful dress.
An organization like Brides Against Breast Cancer is a great idea, the generous donation that they receive allows them to contribute to wellness and educational services to those impacted by cancer.
Thank you for reading and good luck with your wedding planning!
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Photo credit: Maddy Williams Photography | Stephanie Messick Photography | Hay Alexandra Photography | Kristen Peake Photography | Prisma Photo/Video | Meghan Watson Photo | Terri Baskin