Preservation refers to the special cleaning and packaging techniques used to ensure your gown retains its beauty. A professional preservationist will survey your gown—the materials, embellishments and various stains—then formulate a specialized cleaning procedure. “Cleaning your gown is the single most important part of the preservation process and all the stains, including the hidden ones containing sugar that turn brown over time, must be removed," says Sally Lorensen Conant, the executive director of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. You can usually wait until after the honeymoon to take your dress to a preservationist, but remember it's better to take your gown in while the stains are fresh and not set in (especially if it's stained with mud or red wine). “The longer you delay, the less likely all stains can be removed, and if you wait years, your gown will need restoration rather than just cleaning," Conant warns. After cleaning, your gown is wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and placed in a museum-quality archival box.

WEDDING GOWN PRESERVATION IN PHILADELPHIA