Essential Tips on How to Preserve Your Wedding Dress

By Shayna Seid

You’ve got the dress—congrats! Now, it’s time to keep it in pristine condition before the walk down the aisle. But how does one keep one of the most special garments safe from harms way? That’s exactly what we turned to Halfpenny London founder Kate Halfpenny to ask.


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Her bridal label, with a boutique near Saint Pancras in London, is iconically British with a vintage twist, and she’s worked with and styled the likes of Kate Moss, Rihanna, and Emilia Fox. The Central St. Martins graduate knows the ins and outs of wedding dresses, and who better to give us advice on how to preserve our gowns before (and after) saying, “I do.”

What is the best way to store a wedding dress?

“I’d advise brides to take advice from the boutique they purchased the dress from and follow the instructions given for their garments. But, in general, we advise to check that the hanging loops are still secured on the hanger and hang your dress up in its garment bag somewhere spacious and high to minimize creasing. These garments are so precious, so ask where you purchased from if you’re unsure.”


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Should dresses with straps be hung up?

“It depends on the style. If the dress is heavy or bias cut, consider storing flat—under a bed, for example. If it’s light and there is plenty of space in a wardrobe, this will be fine. It’s probably best to keep it on the hanger provided, and if the hanger breaks and the dress has sleeves and/or shoulders, ensure it goes back onto a shaped hanger.

If you have a bias silk dress, hanging it for any length of time after it’s been hemmed, might make the fabric drop, so don’t be alarmed if you need to arrange to have the hem re-levelled—this is something you should check in plenty of time before your wedding. This can be avoided by storing the dress flat as mentioned.”


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What kind of environment should a dress be stored in? Are there any ares you should avoid?

“It would be best to keep it in a dark place with a consistent temperature and best to avoid basements, lofts, or garages. as they can be affected by humidity and temperature changes.”

Should you protect the dress with acid-free paper, and if so, why?

“If it hasn’t been done already, adding acid free tissue paper inside a bodice, sleeves, or between folds can help your garments keep their shape when in storage. We usually put tissue paper cushions in the dresses when we pack. Under no circumstances should you use colored tissue paper.”

What’s the best way to remove creases before the big day?

“When the time comes to unpack your gorgeous dress, you should make sure the floor is clean and dry, and beware of any dirt which may have been picked up on the exterior of the garment bag transferring onto your dress. Follow instructions for your particular dress, but generally, the best way to remove creases is by steaming.

A gentle steam will be best, but do be careful around beading or any delicate embroideries and detailing. A hand steamer can be bought online from John Lewis or Amazon, and I would suggest putting a clean, light tea towel over the head of the steamer to be sure it doesn’t drip water. Test on another item first, and don’t touch the garment with the steamer.”

How should veils and other accessories be stored?

“Keep it as it was delivered, folded and wrapped in tissue, until nearer the time, unless you’re advised otherwise.”

Don’t have a dress  yet? Check out Halfpenny London, which is available for appointments online and in London and available to shop on Over The Moon!