Well, before you take off on your romantic getaway, you need to take care of your dress. It is important to have it cleaned as soon as possible to remove any stains before they have an opportunity to set. Many staining agents such as perspiration and champagne are not visible until the damage has already been done, so it is best to send your dress out for a professional cleaning within a few days of your wedding, if possible.
If you are leaving very soon after the ceremony, ask a trusted family member or friend to drop off the gown and make arrangements to have it picked up when the job is complete. Research cleaning companies before the wedding and decide which one you want to use so that will be one less detail to worry about later. Talk to friends and acquaintances and see if they can recommend a company. You want to find a reputable cleaner with experience cleaning wedding gowns. When you take your gown in, let the cleaning company know what the dress is made of (silk, rayon, acetate, etc.) and point out any stains that you are aware of. In addition, if there are embellished or beaded areas on the gown, ask them to test the dry cleaning solution on the beads or sequins before cleaning the entire gown to be sure that the solution will not damage the embellishments. After your gown is cleaned, you can decide how you want to store it. It needs to be protected from light, moisture and other contaminants and stored in and acid and lignin free environment. For more specific information on how to protect your gown from yellowing and other damage, read this website. If you need safe packing materials, you can order a Garment Preservation Pack that contains archival tissue paper and other items designed to assist with properly storing wedding gowns or other fragile textiles.
Another option is to use a wedding gown preservation service such as this one. When you order the kit, it comes with instructions and a package for mailing the gown to the company for processing. I have no experience with this company (or any other of this type) so this is not a recommendation for the service. I am only providing options for your consideration.
If you do not want to store your gown, you can give it new life by transforming it into other items for keepsake purposes. Suggestions include:
- Decorative pillows
- Doll dress
- Ring bearer pillow or flower girl basket (for anotherís wedding
- Christening or baptismal gown
- Communion dress
- Tablecloth and/or napkins
- Special occasion wrap or shawl
- Baby bonnet
- Christmas tree skirt
You can read how this woman turned part of her wedding gown into a first communion dress for one of her daughters: The First Communion Dress Project
Always A Bridesmaid: 89 Ways to Recycle That Bridesmaid Dress
Is there anyone out there without a bridesmaid dress in their closet? I think I have three at my momís house from the late 80s. Yikes.
Green Wedding: Planning Your Eco-Friendly Celebration
The book presents ideas for maximizing the sustainability of every aspect of your ceremony and reception--from choosing (and reusing) wedding attire, to offsetting the global-warming impact of your guests' travel, to designing a menu (including cake and Champagne) that's seasonal, local, and organic.