Hot Mamas Know


A long, long time ago, at the tender age of nineteen-almost-twenty, I skipped across the grass on my father’s arm to speak binding vows of lasting love and devotion, exchange rings, and enter the bonds of holy matrimony.

I had no idea what I was getting into.

Nearly eleven years later I am lying on my mother’s bed with my chin propped on my hands watching as mom pulls my wedding dress down from her closet where it has been hidden away, carefully wrapped up inside a sheet.

Ah the wedding dress.

What a BIG DEAL the wedding dress was. Miles upon miles of silk. The embroidery! The pearl buttons! The lace!

The cynical me… the me who’s been married for very many years and who has become practical in her aged wisdom… this version of me would tell you that wedding dresses aren’t worth it.

Spend the money on something else, I’d tell you.

And yet, as I gaze upon the dress now, I can’t help but be sucked into the romance of it. It’s so beautiful! So white! So elaborate! The buttons! The embroidery! The silk!

“It’s like a PRINCESS DRESS!” CJ announces in breathless wonder. And I have to agree.

I hold it against my cheek, breathing in the smell of it, reveling in the crisp glossiness of the silk.

“Try it on, mommy!” CJ orders. And, while I wish I could, there are some things that are not meant to be. Me wearing this wedding dress on this day (with these hips) is one of those things.

I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. That it’s been ten years since I wore this dress. How long will it be before I look at it again?

But the sad fact is that these trips done memory lane won’t be quite so lovely if the dress gets all yellowed and moth-eaten. And The Sheet, helpful (and cheap) though it may be, is probably NOT the optimal storage solution for a priceless artifact of love.

Here’s where you come in. Do you have advice for wedding dress storage? What’s the best approach?

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14 Comments

  1. Take it to the cleaners (a good one) and have it “wrapped” for preservation. I know it sounds a little weird, but it’s the best way to keep it from yellowing and aging. Although – you won’t be able to sniff it. :(

    And I love the pic. Look at you guys! Too cute!

  2. I had mine “heirloomed” at a cleaners that specialized in wedding gowns. Now my dress is sealed in a huge box with a see-through lid so I can gaze at in longingly. It’s even stuffed with tissue so it kind of looks like someone’s inside of it, which I find creepy.

  3. I also had mine preserved. My mom offered to pay for it. I doubt that my daughter would ever want to wear it, but you never know.

  4. I rented my dress. I know! Get up off the floor. But it was the most practical thing to do, my husband rented his tux, why couldn’t I rent a dress? It really worked for us and I don’t have to worry about cleaning it. Yup, I sound pretty boring…

  5. A good dry cleaner can preserve it for you. Pretty picture!

  6. I had mine preserved in a big box too. It kinda makes me sad that I can’t hold it, but I wanted to keep it safe just in case for some reason Muirne wants to wear it. It was about $75 over 6 years ago when I had it done. They put my veil in it too!

  7. I actually bought my wedding dress at the dry cleaners for $70!! Great place to pick up a dress that was never picked up!! Now it sits in a box. $70 worth of yellowness.

    Hi Carla!! :)

  8. I threw mine away the day after my wedding. It was trashed from our outdoor wedding so I figured it’d never be worn again (and I was too cheap to preserve it). Now that I have two boys, I definitely don’t regret the decision.

  9. I got mine preserved too. It was like $250 a 6 years ago. Yikes, but it is cleaned, behind plastic, in a box and not going to yellow. :-)

  10. Can you believe that after I did my Trash the Dress photo session last summer for our 10th wedding anniversary, my grandma was so properly horrified of my actions she went out and had my dress professionally cleaned and preserved? So after all that, I still have the dadgum dress in a box! It’s pretty though :)

    I do recommend getting a preservation box that has a plastic “window” in it so you can make sure that your dress is still in there. I saw a thing on tv about how cleaners were supposedly “preserving” the dresses in special boxes that you couldn’t open (and thereby couldn’t see the dress at all), but then women were opening up the boxes later and discovering the dresses had been replaced with a towel. Bummer.

  11. Well, mine’s still in a sheet too! But considering the fabric it was made of was already 35 years old (and had spent all those years in a plain paper package I’m not too worried about it “yellowing” especially since the fabric is very cream to begin with!
    My mom never had hers preserved either and it’s not bad – it even had a ton of lace on it.
    So don’t spend more than you want to to have it preserved.

  12. Oh goodness, I think mine (that will never again fit over my butt either) is still hanging in a closet at my moms house! Lol! At least you gave yours a sheet!

  13. Take a picture of the dress to keep with your wedding pics, and then sell it. Looking at a picture is pretty much the same as looking at (the top of) a dress in a box.

  14. Mine is hanging in the back of my closet in the plastic cover they gave me at the bridal shop. 9 years later, I have to wonder if that is really the best situation. I will have it made into baptism gowns to give to the kiddos, so I don’t know if I really have to have it preserved just yet. Every time I think about putting it in a “dress coffin” I remember Leeza Gibbons opening up her own dry cleaners’ box on her talk show and finding someone else’s dress in there! There are places where they can be donated so women who can’t afford their own gowns can get married in style. Too bad they go OUT of style so fast!