From advanced care of your wedding gown to stain management and repairs, this week’s guest blog post comes from Rosario Intelisano from Xpress Bridal 2U. His specialty, passion and core ambition is hand restoring and preserving bridal gowns. With many years in the industry, he is excited to share his tips to help you care for your dream gown.
With the summer wedding season in full bloom and the promise of longer days and warmer nights, many brides are putting the final touches on their wedding plans for their warm-weathered nuptials. There is so much hype in preparation leading up to the event that the care of your dream gown is often overlooked until after the big day. When I am asked for advice about bridal gowns, I encourage brides to think ahead about how they will preserve their bridal gown after the wedding day – as there are some important things to keep in mind that will help preserve your dress to last longer than a lifetime, and save you time and money in the process.
Leading up to the big day, when securing your gown, be sure to ask your bridal specialist or couturier to include a care package of replacement beads, buttons and a swatch of fabric to assist if any repairs need to be carried out (both on the day of your wedding and for the after care). All crystals, sequins, beads or jewellery embellishments must be carefully replaced by hand.
When budgeting the price for your dress, make sure you include gown restoration in your costing. Depending on the degree of restoration required it can be a costly extra on top of your wedding expenses. A high level of care is taken in the restoration of your dress in the replacement of beads or repairs to the bodice and hemline. It is difficult to put an exact cost on repairs as each dress is unique and will vary between brides depending on the repairs. At a specialist wedding gown restoration and preservation service, the dresses are cleaned by hand, the lace is mended, beads and crystals are reattached, and all that may have fallen off on the big day is carefully replaced.
The most common question brides ask is, “What do I do if I stain my dress?” During the celebration, it is very common to mark and stain the special dress. The best thing you can do is leave it: do not apply anything to the stain, and let it air dry. If you drop something messy like sauce on the gown, then we advise patting it with a clean dry cloth; do not wipe it as that will only cause the stain to soak in more. Also, be sure not to use water or soap; if the stain stays moist, bacteria will continue to grow and eat into the fabric, making it harder to remove. I recommend you take the garment to be professionally cleaned within a month of the stain occurring. The more time that passes, the more difficult it is to remove the stain, making it harder to restore the dress to its original state.
The second best tip is to make sure your wedding gown avoids direct heat; heat in general weakens material, causing the fabric to fade and age. In between your big day and taking your gown for restoration, store it in a cool, dry place like your wardrobe. Do not store the gown in a plastic garment bag as elements from the plastic can damage the delicate fabric.
When choosing where you have your dress repaired, enquire about the team working on your gown. A great repairers team will consist of expert seamstresses with couture experience who have access to the finest trimmings to ensure the highest quality of work is performed on your dress.
Wedding dress restorers should return your wedding dress in a specially designed preservation box. The purpose of this box is not only for easy storage but should help keep your dress as close to its original form as possible – making it easier to hold onto this treasured keepsake, whether for the hope that one day you may pass it down to a relative or purely for sentimental reasons.
My last piece of advice is for you, rather than your gown: enjoy your magical day, it is a day of beauty and love, so embrace every moment.
Dry-cleaning is often thought of torturing the dress and causes it to yellow and age over time. Xpress Bridal 2U does not apply any heat to the fabric through using steam, chemical heat or heat caused by the dry-cleaning machines. Our bridal gown restoration is a complete professional service including hand cleaning and restoration of the gown with the greatest care and attention to detail. The finished result is impeccable, and our specialised team take great pride to ensure its delicate authenticity and shape are maintained. Visit Xpress Bridal 2U’s website or Facebook page.
(First image from Emmaline Bride, all other images supplied by author.)