Ask the Experts: Lasting Effects

By Andrew Rapp | Boston Weddings |

Q: I’ve picked a gorgeous gown, and I dread the thought of just shoving it in the back of my closet after my wedding—and then leaving it there for the next twenty years. What’s the best way of making sure it’s preserved and—hopefully—not forgotten?

A: Preserving that “fresh from the altar” feeling for your gown is easier than you might think.


Q: I’ve picked a gorgeous gown, and I dread the thought of just shoving it in the back of my closet after my wedding—and then leaving it there for the next twenty years. What’s the best way of making sure it’s preserved and—hopefully—not forgotten?

A: Preserving that “fresh from the altar” feeling for your gown is easier than you might think.

Many garment-care companies offer gown-preservation services that include cleaning and sealing the gown, which will keep it from fading or discoloring. Some services will even dress the gown on a partial bust or in an attractive display box.

Ask a reputable dry cleaner for a referral, and act immediately after your wedding—invisible stains will brown over time if not treated. If you’re leaving for your honeymoon right after the reception, make sure you hand the gown off to someone you trust.
Before you box up that gown put some thought into why you are saving it. Dreams of your daughter wearing it might be unrealistic.

“I think it’s a good idea, but very rarely used,” says Leslie Barbini, owner of The Wedding Belle in Nottingham, New Hampshire. Fashion cycles in wedding gowns are longer, and most brides wanting a hand-me-down look would probably prefer their grandmother’s gown, as opposed to their mother’s.

Think about using swatches of your dress as the raw materials for another special occasion. Planner Linnea Tangorra of Tangorra Wedding Planning in Newburyport had one bride make the sash for her bouquet from pieces of her grandmother’s wedding dress. Ideas like these may mean dismantling your gown, but they guarantee it won’t wind up a relic.