Domestic cleaning chronicles

Important Tips for Preserving a Wedding Gown

by Grace Dunn

The way you preserve a wedding gown after your big day will greatly affect its appearance when you're ready to unpack it in a few years. Even a simple mistake in packing and storing your dress can mean a discoloured, moth-eaten, tattered mess once you open those packing materials again. To avoid this risk, note a few important tips for preserving your wedding gown.

Size of packaging

Choose a package for the gown that is as large as you can find so you can pack the dress with as few folds as possible. This will mean fewer wrinkles and less chance of dust and humidity getting caught in the folds. The thicker the material, the more layers to the skirt, and the longer the train, the larger the packaging you'll need.


Light can easily fade and discolour a wedding gown, so avoid boxes with a plastic window in the front, which are commonly used by some dry cleaners. When you store the gown, keep it in the back of a closet, where it's going to be exposed to as little light as possible.

Avoid plastic

The fabric of a wedding gown actually needs some air circulation to keep it clean over the years. If you pack the gown in plastic, thinking this will protect it from dust and moths, the gown might actually collect humidity that allows mildew to form. In turn, the gown may be yellowed and dingy or outright stained when you unpack it. Choose a cloth or nylon bag that will allow for needed air circulation, or choose a cardboard box rather than plastic bag to avoid this risk.

Tissue paper

Wrapping a gown in tissue paper can protect it from dust and humidity and help to keep folded areas from developing creases. However, be sure you use acid-free tissue paper that is free of dyes. Never used coloured tissue paper to wrap your dress, as that colour can transfer to the dress and cause stains.


Be sure to have the dress properly cleaned by a professional who specializes in wedding dress cleaning before you put the dress away. Even if the dress looks clean, sweat, airborne grease and oil and other such residue may have been absorbed by the material. Over time, these substances can show up as stains on the dress if they're not properly cleaned. A good cleaning will also remove dust and other such debris that can damage the dress over time, so be sure to have this done before you pack away your wedding dress.