After the honeymoon, it’s back to the reality of those post-wedding to-do’s, like sending out thank you notes, ordering your wedding album—and, of course, preserving and storing your wedding gown. Whether you bought your dress off-the-rack, had it custom made or wore the same one your mom got married in, it holds memories and deserves special treatment. Here are five tips to ensure your dress (and your memories) will endure the test of time:

  1. Plan for the cost. Just as you figured the cost of flowers, music and a photographer into your wedding budget, you should also include the price of cleaning and preserving your gown. The median price of DIY preservation kits is about $400 and professional preservation will cost even more.

  2. To hang or not to hang (it up).  Experts agree: Don’t immediately hang up your dress after the wedding and put it in plastic bag in the back of your closet. Hanging may cause stress to the fabric, which can stretch it out and distort the color; it’s better to roll the dress in a clean white sheet. But if you do choose to store it temporarily in your closet, get an acid-free plastic garment bag and use a padded hanger instead of a wood, plastic or wire one that may snag the fabric.

  3. Professionally clean the dress.  Even if you were especially careful and got through your big day stain-free, there may still be dirt or stains that you can’t see. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have it cleaned by a professional who specializes in wedding dress preservation. Also check the manufacturer’s label to make sure to avoid any cleaning solvents or products listed that should not be used on your gown.

  4. Choose an airtight, acid-free preservation box. Using a regular old box or garment bag to store your dress is ill advised, at best. Instead, choose an air-tight, acid-free paper preservation box or special acid-free plastic garment bag. When using the preservation box, wrap your dress carefully in acid-free white tissue paper or unbleached muslin that has been washed and dried, as colored tissue paper may stain the dress. Place the tissue or muslin between the folded layers of the dress and in the sleeves. Once sealed, the box is airtight, so if you open it for any reason, you’ll need to have it professionally resealed.

  5. Leave it in a dry, dark, cool spot. Avoid direct sunlight at all costs when storing your dress and instead find a location that’s cool and dry. Like other stored items, temperature fluctuations can damage the fabric even inside the box or bag, so it’s important to find a climate-controlled space for your gown. 

Looking for the perfect place to store your wedding gown for posterity or future generation use? Contact the experts at Gotham Mini Storage for secure, climate-controlled storage of one of the most important things you owned on one of the most important days of your life.