You may never have thought about what to do with your wedding gown after the wedding.  Gown care usually isn’t covered either in magazines or online wedding planners, and it’s not one of the fun things such as choosing flowers or deciding where to go on your honeymoon.  Talking about gown care may even seem to you like someone telling you the dishes have to be done after dinner.  And you may be so over your budget by the time of your wedding that you just can’t deal with still another expense! However cleaning and preserving your wedding gown can mean you are either able to hold onto it for sentimental reasons (perhaps a family member might one day want to wear it for their wedding?) or to sell it, and it won’t be a nightmare to clean or repair after sitting in your cupboard with no love and care. From The Wedding Gown Specialists, we bring you “Wedding Dress Woes: How To Stop Your Gown From Going Yellow”…

Jimmy RaperJimmy Raper

Images: Jimmy Raper from Dalia & Anthony’s Modern & Classic Sydney Wedding

Closet Spots

It’s easier to say to yourself your wedding gown isn’t that dirty, and you’ll think about it later. Better not! When you finally get around to moving your wedding gown out of your partner’s way to the closet or out of your mum’s guest room, you may see lots of spots you could swear were not there right after the wedding.  Those spots are from latent stains you can’t see until they have aged a bit, and this can happen to anything you wear that you put away without cleaning.  The spots are often yellow, and some people call them “closet spots” because they can’t imagine how they happened.

Mellow Yellow

Unlike the song, no dry cleaner is ever mellow about any kind of yellow when it comes to wedding gowns.  In fact, yellow is a Wedding Gown Specialist’s worst nightmare because yellow spots are usually a sign the stains are old.  Stains from spills such as white wine or ginger ale dry clear and can’t be seen right after they happen.  As these latent stains age, the sugar content begins to caramelize and turn yellow and then an ugly brown.  Or your entire wedding gown may have oxidized and turned yellow.  Once that happens no amount of dry cleaning can remove the oxidation or the caramelized sugar
stains – it takes a special wet process that not every cleaner can do successfully without damaging your gown.

Eerik Sandstrom

Images: Eerik Sandstrom from Lisa & Chris’ Intimately Romantic Mountain Elopement 

First Aid

Even if you manage to avoid spills that become nasty spots, your wedding gown will turn yellow unless you take special precautions to keep it safe from the air and light that cause oxidation.  Plastic bags are still another danger.  Never leave your gown in a plastic bag because plastic emits fumes that will also yellow your gown.  If the bridal shop does not give you a breathable bag for your gown, buy one or wrap your gown in an old sheet to keep it out of the air and away from light.  After the wedding, take your gown to the cleaner as soon as you can.  The sooner the gown is cleaned, the more successfully the cleaner can remove the stains and preserve your gown so that it will not change color.

What is Preservation Anyway?

There are three parts to a good wedding gown preservation.  The first and most important is a clean gown that is free of all stains, seen and unseen, so choose an experienced cleaner who specializes in caring for wedding gowns.  Second is the materials used when the gown is packed for long-term storage.  Ordinary tissue and ordinary paperboard boxes contain lots of acids that can scorch your gown and turn it as brown as if it had been scorched by an iron.  Third is where you put your preserved gown.  Keep your gown in a wardrobe or in a closet where it will be safe and away from extreme heat and humidity.

Natasha Maree PhotographyNatasha Maree Photography

Images: Natasha Maree Photography from Bree & James’ Romantic Wintery Wedding at Pialligo Estate

Choosing A Cleaner

Again, choose a cleaner who specializes in caring for wedding gowns and ask lots of questions:​

• Will your gown be cleaned in the specialist’s own facility?
• How long has the specialist been in business and how many gowns are cleaned each year?
• How will the delicate trims and decorations on your wedding gown be protected during the cleaning process and how will the specialist guard against latent stains?
• Can you inspect your gown after it has been cleaned?
• Are all the materials used to store your gown completely acid-free, museum-quality tissue and paperboard?
• What is the guarantee and who, today or thirty-five years from today, will honor the guarantee?

If you do not like the answers, look for someone else you can trust.  After all, you chose the gown just right for you.  Now choose the care just right for your gown so your gown, too, will have a happily ever after!

Aisling Bourke Photography

Image: Aisling Bourke Photography from Karla & Seana’s Modern Brisbane Warehouse Wedding

About The Wedding Gown Specialists: Our Certified Wedding Gown Specialists give your beautiful new wedding gown or your precious vintage wedding gown the award-winning care it deserves!

Header Image: Sam Wyper Photography from Christine & Dave’s Sweet & Intimate Mountaintop Wedding