When I received the call that my wedding dress had been delivered to the bridal shop last May, I should have been thrilled. After postponing my wedding in October 2020 for a whole year because of the pandemic, this exciting moment filled me with fear – what in the world should I do with my dress for over a year? My thoughts immediately went when my best friend picked up her dress before her wedding and received a long list of strict instructions from the store, such as "Avoid cooking until after the wedding" and "Keep it in a cool place" – and that was it to keep it at home for only two days!
To alleviate my panic, I spoke to Lindsey Love, a high-level brand stylist at BHLDN, about her tips on keeping a dress safe for over a year. If, like me, you had to reschedule your wedding or your dress arrived very early but your business can't keep it, read on for tips on how and where to store your beautiful dress until your big day.
What kind of bag can you store your wedding dress in?
My first instinct for storage would have been to put my dress in one of these vacuum bags so no drafts could get there, but plastic can vent gases that can cause an odor over time. No for long-term storage. According to Lindsey, it is also the garment bag that he packed from the store.
"Most of the garment bags that come with your purchased dress are synthetic and better for transporting your dress because they repel dirt and moisture. So don't store your dress with this garment bag!" Lindsey told POPSUGAR. "Instead, cover the dress with a natural, breathable fabric such as a cotton garment bag or a clean white cotton cloth."
The only problem with a breathable fabric is that smells from cooking (especially if you live in a tiny apartment like me where the kitchen is 10 feet from the bedroom) can get trapped in the fabric. "Your dress, like all fabrics, will capture odors. As part of the change process, you can always dry-clean it a few months before your new wedding date." In this way, you can steam, clean and change in one fell swoop by dry cleaning professionals.
How and where to store a wedding dress for the long term
If you covered your dress with a breathable cotton fabric, where should you put it? Lindsey recommends a dry, dark place like under your bed. Even if your closet is considered dark and dry, hanging your dress is not recommended. "If you keep your dress lying down, you can take the pressure off the straps and keep it intact until the big day!" If your dress is heavily embellished, the pressure of these elements will also be reduced.
If, like me, you have pets that like hanging around under your bed (cats, amirites?), A high cupboard shelf could also be an option. It's still dark and dry as long as you have doors on your closet, but keep it away from sharp cat or dog nails and dirty paws. Even if your pet isn't "scratch-prone", pet hair and most bridal fabrics (especially tulle) are not a good combination, "said Lindsey.
If none of these options apply to you, Lindsey recommends contacting your local cleaning company to find out if they have any storage options for you. "If local dry cleaning offers storage options, it is a great option because it eliminates all variables."
Will a wedding dress turn yellow if it is stored for too long?
One of the other concerns I had about keeping my dress for so long was that the flawless white fabric would turn yellow. It's something I heard about that could happen, and I've always cited it as the reason why brides keep their clothes after their wedding. But Lindsey actually made some myths for me. "Yellowing or discoloration usually occurs when fabrics come into contact with other chemicals (and even sweat). You shouldn't see any yellowing on your dress if it is generally stored away from moisture." Hooray for that!
Have a good trip, dear brides, and stay tuned! You will look stunning whenever your day comes.