I have to admit that I am addicted to "Say Yes to the Dress." It is this show on TLC that has gals looking for their wedding dress. Occasionally, I am shocked at the dress the bride to be finally chooses. I really cannot tell you why I love this show. I have been married to Mike for 26 years - and we sure are not doing a vow renewal.( not willing to spend the money and I figure I got it right the first time). But when Mike wanders past as I am watching it , because no man would be caught dead much less admit to watching it, I say I'm doing research. Flimsy excuse - yes but I do get to see the latest trend and thus I am a better cleaner. I see the different fabrics that are popular and the "bling". So what does this have to do with cleaning? OK - it is June. What happens in June? WEDDINGS!!!!So here's my point - wether she wants to look sexy,tradtional or like a princess - this will be the most important and usually expensive dress any girl will ever own. ( and do not give the - "You only wear it for one day why waste the money ?" ) ( ok I can't let that pass - one day hello? the most important, till death do you part, day - yeah get the damn dress you really want)
So- by now you believe, and rightly so, that this month is aimed for the ladies. Yes, but just a little nugget for the guys. Grooms, groomsman and fathers of the bride it is still important that you look good. First, you will be in pictures forever. Second, you do not want to be the guy who looks like he slept in his tux every night the week before ( it wil be in that picture that lasts forever). And lastly, groom - your bride will be looking so beautiful that tears will come to your eyes - do the gal a favor and look the same way for her.
So you have the dress, you had the wedding and now you have a dress that cost thousands ( at least on Say Yes to the Dress they do) - now what? Well , now is the time to preserve your dress. For what you say? For perhaps your daughter someday. Ok so sometimes that does not work out - my mom was apparently super skinny - thus I could not wear hers. My daughter is super tall and if she wore mine it would look like a mini skirt. But occasionally, like Goldilocks - sometimes the fit is just right - and it would be nice if the dress was wearable.
First, if you had a fun wedding - the dress will be stained maybe lost some of the beads etc. Not a problem. A cleaners should be able to help you -we can replace lost beads. sequins and rhinestones. The hem of your dress will be stained - all that dancing- so particular attention will be paid to hem. But here is the tricky part - some stains dry clear. Meaning those stains will be invisible - some foods, drinks and body oils. So if it is invisible - how do we know they are there. Honestly, we don't. But what I recommend is DO NOT BOX YOUR DRESS UNTIL 3 MONTHS AFTER THE WEDDING. Why? Because those invisble stains do not remain that way. They will begin to show up - at first as a ring or slightly darker area, then they turn yellow and finally brown. You do not want your dress put away until you have had the oppurtunity to double check to make sure to make sure all those stains are gone. That is why I suggest you clean the dress and then watch and wait before you box. If you do not want to do this yourself, I will do it for you. I believe that once you entrust your dress to me - then I am responsible to clean it as many times as takes to make sure if your daughter wants to wear it - she can.
So how do you store the dress - mine is in a box . Not just any box. Mine is in a box specifically designed for wedding dresses. Theses boxes make sure light and air do not get into your dress. Both of those can cause color changes.My box is in a closet next to my attic. The attic is not the best place to store as it gets pretty darn hot and sometime critters get in attics and no need for your beautiful dress to become squirrel chow. Some folks say not to put veils, shoes etc in the box. But I did. I wrapped them carefully in white acid free tissue and put them under my dress. Just do not put the bouquet in the box - that's what shadow boxes are for. Can you hang your dress for storage - yes you can . But you need a muslin bag that covers the dress.Why muslin - well it a natural fabric that breathes, it is not opaque and it will be a nuetral color ( beige or white) and will not fade unto your dress.
So your wedding was oh so many years ago and the dress has been hanging ( or folded) and was never cleaned and yes, you did everything wrong - so far. Is it toast? Not necessarily. Some of the stains may not be able to come out - but gowns can be restored. Lace can be replaced. Beads can be replaced. Tears can be mended.So all is not lost - it is never too late to try and save that dress.
So Friday night, when you are watching "Say Yes to the Dress" - you can do what I do - claim it is for research - you will have to find your own angle for that one. But now you will know how to keep that dress for future generations. And if your really lucky some kid or grandkid will be just your size and poof you will have the perfect dress.One day - yes, but one perfect day -one day that you will always remember.So buy the dress you want, look beautiful and have your special day. ( I'll take care of the dress after)