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English: Wedding of Nancy and Clarrie Wieting,...Last week after the cocktail reception it was time to put my dress in for drycleaning with hubby’s suit.

Samantha Wynne (where I bought my dress) recommended New City Drycleaners in Mount Hawthorn (details below) where I met John.  John had a look at my dress and said that he could clean it but the intricate beading on my bodice made it too risky and I’d probably lose a lot of the crystal beading.  He said I needed to use a method called GreenEarth Cleaning and only two people in the state currently provide it.

He referred me to Wayne at Herdsman Drcyleaners in Churchlands who’s been in the business for over 20 years, (details below).  John kindly phoned ahead for me and let Wayne know I was coming in.  He said the bodice was fine for them as they’d put my dress into a mesh bag which would protect it, however because of the gentle clean, they would have to seperately treat the hem (which is a bit dirty) with a water based solvent and due to the silk fabric it may discolour it due to the loss of conditioning products they use to add lustre and sheen.  So I made the decision for the hem to be clean and the fabric to potentially be slightly discoloured.  I don’t plan on selling my dress at this stage, I feel too sentimental about it and I don’t want it to be left stained and dirty around the hem.

My dress cost $300 to be drycleaned which is pretty average, and an extra $30 to be boxed with acid free tissue which is a must do.  The dress will be hung up at the drycleaners until I view it and then if i’m happy with the results it will be boxed on the spot.

My top tips for caring for your wedding dress are;

Dryclean ASAP

I’ve left beautiful dresses in the closest uncleaned before and I’ve regret it when the stains haven’t come out very well.  You need to have your gown cleaned immediately as gradually the stains will set and difficult to remove.  I was advised within 2 weeks of your wedding day is ideal.  Some cleaners will come and collect your gown, or ask a friend or relative to drop it off for you if you are on honeymoon and you can collect it when you return.  My dress is taking a week to dryclean but they are very busy at the moment because of Christmas parties and the like, so it may take less time, or longer depending on the drycleaner.

If for some reason you can’t dryclean your dress until after the honeymoon, ensure you store it in a non-plastic garment bag which will allows the dress to breathe.

Boxed & Beautiful

It’s very tempting to simply hang up your cleaned dress in it’s bag in the wardrobe (sorry all the brides that have done this) but the only way to help preserve your dress long-term is to box it with acid-free tissue paper.  Both of my drycleaner recommendations could box your wedding dress.  Ideally, you want to keep the gown away from anything that could stain it over time so acid-free tissue paper is fantastic and by boxing the gown it seals in the air and helps prevent decay.

Store veils, accessories and silk shoes with the dress, wrapped separately and boxed.

Store Correctly

Store your boxed dress and accessories somewhere that isn’t damp or humid, and out of the sunlight, this includes under lights.  Store the box flat, under the bed,  at the top of your wardrobe or in a cupboard is ideal.

Handling your Dress

My dress was handled quite a bit, firstly we drove 3 hours south for the wedding day and 3 hours back.  Then we took it to the hotel and back for the cocktail reception.  We always kept it in it’s long garment bag and laid it flat on top of everything on the back seat of the car.  Alternatively, you can hook it on the window hanger and then lay flat along the seat.  The gown should then be hung somewhere high so any creases can drop out and no more will be created.

It’s tempting to take out your dress and try it on and show people but the more handling it receives the worse condition it will be in, particularly with delicate areas like beading that people will want to touch.  I received my dress in pristine condition, and I wanted to keep it that way before the big day.

If you have any concerns about the cleaning of your dress, ring your drycleaner or visit them with your dress before the wedding day for the best advice.

New City Drycleaners: 194C Scarborough Beach Road, Mt Hawthorn WA 6016, Ph: 9242 2728, they also offer Laundry, Repairs and Alterations.  Average cost at this present time of blog post for a standard wedding dress clean is $280.00, but please visit with your dress for a specific quote.

Herdsman Drycleaners: 2/3 Flynn Street, Churchlands 6018 (at the Herdsman shops), Ph: 9387 3125, they offer GreenEarth Cleaning and are known as the best in WA.

I hope these tips and recommendations help you to clean and preserve your special wedding dress.