How to Preserve a Wedding Dress

How to Preserve a Wedding Dress

A wedding dress can be one of the most sentimental purchases a person makes and by taking the time to properly preserve and store your dress, you’ll be creating a lasting memory for generations to come.

Video Resource

Preserving Perfection:
Step-by-Step Guide for Your Wedding Dress

Clean Your Dress!

It is extremely important to have your wedding dress professionally laundered soon after wearing it. Not all stains are visible (such as sweat stains or white wine), but can turn brown or yellow over time. The longer a stain sits, the more difficult it is to remove. 

To find a dry cleaner, ask for recommendations from other brides. Use reviews to ensure that a dry cleaner is reputable. The dry cleaner should be willing to walk you through the process of laundering your dress. Go over the dress with the dry cleaner so all stains are noted. Request fresh or filtered solvent. 

Measure Before You Buy!

Before purchasing a box, do a quick measurement of your dress. If your dress has already been cleaned, be sure to wash and dry your hands thoroughly and remove any rings, watches or bracelets. 

On a large clean surface, fold the dress in half at the waist with the bodice on top. Measure the width, length and height of the dress while folded to determine the best size box for your gown. If the dress has a train, fold the train under the skirt before measuring.


Before handling your dress, be sure to wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Remove any watches or bracelets so they won’t catch on delicate fabrics. 

  1. Line the bottom part of the box with tissue paper. Unbuffered tissue is a good choice for any textile. Leave the tissue hanging over the edges of the box a little bit.
  2. Lay the dress in the box facing down and the skirt centered in the box. The bodice should be face-down over the edge of the box.
  3. Using the tissue, pad the inside of the skirt to provide support. If the skirt has tulle layers, place tissue between each layer.
  4. You may need to fold the edges of the skirt in on itself. Use tissue where the skirt will overlap to prevent any snags caused by beads, pearls or sequins.
  5. Once you’re done with the skirt, place a layer of tissue on top. You want a layer of tissue where any fabric encounters other fabric.
  6. If the dress has sleeves, roll the tissue and gently slide it into each sleeve.
  7. Gently fold up the bodice over the skirt. Gently arrange sleeves next to the dress, and add tissue if they are close to the bodice inside the box.
  8. Using crinkled tissue, pad the bodice to maintain its shape.
  9. Once you’re done, add another layer of tissue over the top of the bodice.
  10. If the dress is puffed up higher than the box, very gently press down on the dress to expel some of the air trapped in the skirt.
  11. Place the lid on top, then clearly label the box.

If your dress has a train, you’ll follow the same steps but add an extra folding step. You’ll the dress face up when you start. Pad the train, then fold the skirt up over the train and follow the instructions. 

Where to Store

Keep your preserved dress looking great by keeping it out of attics, basements or garages. In addition to fluctuating temperature and humidity, they are also often home to little critters who can’t wait to get their hands on your beautiful dress. 

By putting it in a closet or under your bed, you’ll be keeping your dress perfect for years to come.

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