Wedding Fashion – What to do with Your Gown After the Celebration

Keep Your Dress Flawless!

By Debra Shepperson, Relish Photograph by Lee

It’s the week after your wedding. The champagne has popped, the cake has been cut, and you’re finally coming down from that wedding high. The gorgeous dress that looked perfect on you now sits in your closet. But before it collects dust, you should clean and/or preserve it. With a professional’s help you can ensure your gown is preserved for future generations or another bride down the road.

Relish Photography by Lee

Cleaning should be the first step in this process. The quicker you can get the wedding dress to a professional cleaner who specializes in this, the better. Brides often wait up to three months to do this. Unfortunately by this time, stains will have set in. Try to take your gown the very next day after your wedding. If you’re leaving for a honeymoon or simply don’t have time, rely on a friend or family member to help out.

Consulting a local professional preservation service is your best bet to ensure you know the best options. They know exactly how to treat your dress and will consider the combination of fibers, fabric, and trims of your specific gown. The basic cleaning price starts at $150 and if you select a museum preservation, your cost can be upwards of $500.

Be aware of many national services who offer a low price. They may outsource to a wholesaler to provide bulk services which means your dress may not get the personalized service that a local company will provide. Also, be sure you know how long the cleaner guarantees the gown will remain pristine.

You said yes to your perfect dress, why not preserve its beauty for years to come, especially if you’re planning on passing the gown down through generations. Years from now when your daughter wants to play dress up, you’ll be happy you took it to a professional!


Preserving shoes: Depending on the shoe material, you may be able to include them with your dress in a preservation box.

Preserving bouquets: Bouquets can be pressed, framed and hung on a wall. For this process, the flowers are coated in wax or epoxy resin to preserve them.

Debra Shepperson is Co-Owner of Relish Photography by Lee, a full-service wedding and portrait photography company. To learn more about Relish’s wedding collections and services, please visit All photos courtesy Relish Photography by Lee