logo wedding belles

Bridal Tips

How to Store Your Wedding Dress

how to store your wedding dress

Have you or a loved one had to postpone their wedding due to stay-at-home orders or COVID-19 restrictions? In today’s blog post, we’re helping you determine what to do with your wedding dress if you have postponed your wedding. We’ll give you the best tips and tricks on how to store your wedding dress from industry experts. Let’s dive in! 

Wedding dress on a hanger

Photo by Allison Francois

First and foremost, location, location, LOCATION. Pick a safe place to store your wedding dress and try your hardest not to move it. Make sure the area you choose is in a dark, cool area free from pests, mischievous fur babies and peeping fiancés. A guest bedroom’s interior closet is a perfect place to store a wedding gown. Avoid places like attics, basements or exterior wall closets because they are not always climate controlled.

You’ll definitely want to hang your wedding dress rather than box it up. By hanging your gown, you ensure that it will not be permanently creased. It also allows airflow around the gown – because, who wants a musty dress? Be sure to pay careful attention to gowns with delicate or illusion straps or sleeves to ensure that you are not having them bear the weight of the gown to prevent tears. You want to avoid having your wedding dress stretch in places where it will be hard to alter. You will also want to avoid hanging the gown close to light fixtures or ceiling fans. 

Make sure to store your gown in a cotton muslin gown bag. Cotton muslin bags are hands down the best way to store your gown and often, this is what your dress will come in when you pick it up from the store. If your gown is currently in a plastic gown bag, remove it ASAP and replace it with the proper storage bag. Muslin or a breathable fabric garment bag that is acid-free will not discolor your gown or cause creases. It keeps dust off your dress and allows air circulation. Try searching for “Breathable Fabric Bridal Gown Bag” on Amazon and you can find multiple suppliers from which to choose. Make sure when zipping up the bag, you’re extra careful to not catch any fabric in the zipper. 

Clothes hanger

We also recommend using a padded hanger. Toss out that plastic or wire hanger if you plan on storing your gown for several months. Narrow hangers can cause the shoulders of your wedding dress to warp over time or even stretch – this is especially true for gowns with sleeves and illusion necklines. Padded hangers come in both linen and cotton which are both naturally acid-free.

Repeat after us: Use ALL the hanger ribbons in your dress. This is an absolute must! Gowns are heavy! Especially ballgowns and wedding dresses made out of silk. Hanger ribbons are there to help distribute your dress’s weight evenly on the hanger. BUT what if you already had alterations and the ribbons were removed? Don’t worry – you can always add temporary hanger loops using cotton twill tape. You can even loop the hanger ribbons around the hanger multiple times to ensure that the weight of the gown is not on the actual gown’s straps, if possible. Again, please don’t rely on illusion fabrics and sleeves to hold the weight of your dress while you store it. 

It’s ok to take out your gown and examine it, but only periodically. Who are we kidding? Of course, we know you will check on your gown! We would too. But, try to resist the urge to try on the gown or remove it from the storage container. The dress should only be removed once you are ready to have your dress altered. The less contact the better. 

When you’re ready to wear your wedding dress, remember to examine your gown at least two weeks before your wedding. Make sure everything is just as it should be and there are no major flaws or stretching. Before your wedding, you will want to take your wedding gown out of the bag a week or two prior to your wear date, and hang it utilizing a padded hanger so that it has the opportunity to release wrinkles. If there are stubborn wrinkles that will not come out, please contact your alterations vendor or bridal boutiques on the best place to have your gown steamed. Pro tip: most bridal retailers will happily steam your wedding dress before your wedding free of charge. 

Steaming a wedding gown

Finally, remember to take care of your veil and accessories! They can be stored in an acid-free box with archival tissue paper. Make sure to store them off the floor and away from pets and high traffic areas. You can keep them in the same closet with your dress or in a drawer. Just like with your wedding dress, you’ll want to make sure your veil is free of wrinkles before the big day.

xoxo The Wedding Belles