Congratulations on the ceremony newlyweds! Now that the festivities are over, how do you keep your wedding gown looking brand new? Knowing how to properly clean and preserve your gown is the key to having your wedding dress look brand new and in its original beauty for years to come.

First off, don’t waste time. The longer you wait after the ceremony to begin the process of preserving your gown, the more time it has for sunlight to hit the dress and oxidation to happen. Not only this, but keeping your dress in the corner of your closet will actually do more harm than good and any stains or soils left on your dress will damage the fibers permanently, making it very difficult to impossible to clean.

Before you have a chance to begin the preservation process, keep the dress in a cool and dark place to prevent any humidity or light to ruin the fabrics. In addition, try to get into a professional dry cleaner as soon after the wedding as possible. Many stains will begin to appear after some time as dust and soils get deep into the fabrics and will not be apparent at first.

When it comes to actually preserving the dress, taking it into a professional dry cleaner that knows all fabrics is extremely important. Depending on the textures, fabrics, and embellishments on the dress, the gown may need to be cleaned in several different ways and preserved differently. If not properly done, the dress can slowly start to turn yellow or brown and then deteriorate, particularly if a natural fabric such as silk is used.

Your gown was an investment to make so you should also take the time and care to find a professional dry cleaner who can take care of your dress and make the investment worth it. The dry cleaner you use should be highly qualified and trained to deal with high-end garments. Don’t be afraid to ask for their background, ask for any references, or see if they are recommended by any couture designer. Asking these questions and doing your research will be the difference from causing your dress to be even more damaged or dirty than originally brought in or perfectly cleaned, restored, and preserved.