Being in the spotlight in a white gown involves maneuvering through a wedding day fraught with champagne, red wine, canapes and grass, all of which could be potential accidents just waiting to happen. If you have post plans for your gown such as preservation, resale or even passing it on as a treasure to someone else, there are a few things to know about the kind of stains that could set in and ruin your gown. First of all, relax and realize it's normal through the course of your day to pick up a few drops or splashes of something; most you'll encounter are removable with the help of a good cleaner. Stains that prove trickiest are red wine, chocolate, ink and lipstick, especially those that last all day. If your dress is polyester or synthetic, these stains will lift out without much fuss. 100% silks which most gowns of quality are made of , prove trickier to lift without some modification to the memory of the original weave. So what can be done?
If you purchase your gown from a salon or custom designer, ask for their recommendation for a cleaner post wedding. Cleaning establishments have different product packages for gown preservation and restoration. Whether you're reselling or preserving, a thorough cleaning would include:
1.) Stain removal
2.) Overall cleaning and pressing
3.)Repair (button replacement, hem repair, etc.)
4.) Packaging the gown. For resale this would mean putting the bodice onto a cardboard form and stuffing the rest of the gown with tissue
5.) For preservation the gown would need to be properly boxed.
This is what the cleaner I send all my clients to does. Prior to the wedding the finishing and pressing is done. Post wedding, cleaning, pressing, restoration and preserving. If you do get a stain on your wedding day, it's handy to keep an emergency kit with rubbing alcohol and clean white cloths. Apply the rubbing alcohol (for dry stains like grease) or lukewarm water (for wet stains like wine) to the cloth, and gently (read: gently) blot the spot from its outer edges in; whatever you do don't work from the middle outward or you'll be spreading the stain. Ideally, to dry your gown use a hair dryer on low about six inches away. If it is an oil base stain you're combating sprinkle you can also baby powder on it.
For those of you contemplating preservation, after the gown is boxed, avoid the attic, basement or that room off the garage. Attics are prone to extreme heat in Summer months--cold in winter and basements and outdoor rooms generally have moisture problems that could mildew your gown over time. Temperate places like the top of a closet shelf should work. For resale you'll want to connect with the best cleaner available. Here's a link to help you get started with your search.