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How To Store A Wedding Dress [Keep It Safe & Looking Good]

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON July 12, 2022

& FILED IN Home Organising 


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How to store your wedding dress is an important question for many brides. If you’re struggling to know what’s best (and what mistakes to avoid), then these wedding dress storage ideas will help you make the right decision.

How To Store A Wedding Dress To Keep It Safe And Looking Great

For most brides, your wedding dress will always be one of your most treasured possessions. It took time to find the perfect dress for your big day, and it probably cost a lot more than any other item of clothing you’ve ever purchased before.

You therefore want it to stay in pristine condition for as long as possible, and the last thing you want is for it to get damaged over time. That’s when the right storage becomes so important.

And while a padded hanger with a plastic dress bag works fine for dresses in the short term storage needed before the Wedding day – long term storage for afterwards is a totally different thing with lots of extra stuff to consider.

If you want to learn the best way to store a wedding dress long-term, you’ve come to the right place!

I’m going to let you in on all the dos and don’ts of wedding dress storage so that you’ll always have a well-preserved memento of your special day – should you want to keep it.

So – let’s go…

​​Why Are You Storing Your Wedding Dress?

Before you just start looking at storage ideas, it’s worth asking if you really need to store it at all.

Why are you keeping it?

If there’s a good reason, then great. You’ll be able to work out your storage based on that reason (for example – do you need to store it so it can be worn again, or just for the fabric / sentiment of it (in which case storage may be smaller and easier to decide upon).

But, if there’s not a good reason and you’re simply storing it to get it out of the way, then maybe it would be worth looking at other options instead.

After all – a wedding dress is bulky and can be hard to look after over years in storage – so if you’re not storing for a good reason – maybe it’s time to think again.

Some reasons that you may have for wanting to keep your dress:

  • Sentimental reasons
  • It was expensive so it feels wrong not to keep it
  • For your daughter to possibly use one day (all of it, or in part)
  • To make a christening gown for your children / grandchildren

However – most reasons have a lot of ‘what if’s’ about them. You may not have children – your daughter may not want it and may feel guilt about that if you keep it – etc….

Consider that it may be better to sell it and save the money for future wedding dress etc… while it’s in great condition…

Wedding Dress Hanging Up

Why is Proper Wedding Dress Storage Important?

Many of us are used to storing our summer wardrobes in drawers or boxes during the colder months, and vice versa. While these storage methods might be okay in the short term, a wedding dress is something that tends to remain in storage for many years at a time. 

Wedding dress preservation is critical to think about when it comes to storing it away.

They are often more delicate than other items of clothing, especially if they have areas of fine lace or mesh. While in storage, this fragile material can be exposed to mildew and mould.

Exposure to oxygen over time can cause a chemical reaction in the fabric, leading to brown discolouration, and white fabric has a tendency to yellow over the years. 

Of course, creasing is another potential issue, and stubborn wrinkles are much more difficult to fix in a wedding dress than in a polyester shirt (for example). 

Where Is Best To Store A Wedding Dress?

This is obviously dependent on the space you have, and how often you may want to see it – but you should choose a space to store your wedding dress that is dry, dark, and cool. 

Dry and cool because mould thrives in humid places, and humidity requires both heat and moisture. 

And dark because sunlight can contribute to high temperatures and may also cause yellowing of the white material.

Making sure that these 3 things are ticked off means that you’ll protect the wedding dress as much as possible when it’s being stored.

Good choices can include:

  • Wardrobe space – on a top shelf
  • In a storage bed
  • In a less used cupboard

Bad choices include:

  • Loft / Attic. These can often be warm as they are at the top of the house, and can be prone to animal/insects and damp from leaks in the roof etc…
  • Airing Cupboard – far too warm – even though the space seems like it will work well.

Clean Your Wedding Dress Before Storing

Set yourself up for success by having your dress thoroughly and professionally cleaned before you put it into storage. 

Any dirt on your wedding dress will only get more difficult to remove the longer it’s left to set, and because many wedding dresses have a lot of layers, tiny stains can easily go unnoticed. 

If possible, send your dress to a cleaner who has experience with wedding dress cleaning. A wedding dress needs to be handled with extra care during the cleaning process, so it’s important to hire a professional who is capable of this. 

TIP – Check your wedding dress for a label with dry cleaning (or other cleaning) information before you send it to the cleaners. Some wedding dresses can only be cleaned with specific cleaning products, and some can’t be dry cleaned, for example. Ideally, your cleaner should check for this information themselves, but it’s best to tell them in advance to be on the safe side.

Also – now is the time to check for any repairs that may be needed. Again any alteration is worth doing before it’s put away – because should you want it in the future you won’t want to have the hassle of finding it’s not wearable / looking its best. Check for tears etc…

What Is Best To Use For Wedding Dress Storage?

Use a strong, plastic-free, breathable, pH-neutral box when storing your wedding dress.

Most people don’t realise how important boxing materials are when it comes to wedding dress storage. Again, remember that wedding dresses are delicate and even the slightest chemical exposure can cause damage. 

Your storage box should be strong enough to protect your dress from being crushed in case something else happens to fall on top of it. The lid should also be fitted so that insects can’t get in. 

Never use a plastic box for your wedding dress as plastic is not a breathable material.

Also, make sure the box you choose is pH-neutral, meaning it’s neither acidic nor alkaline. Your dress could be discoloured if it’s exposed to materials that are not pH-neutral. 

Stick to white, acid free tissue paper inside the wedding dress storage box

You’ll need to carefully wrap your wedding dress in tissue paper inside the box to prevent the delicate fabric from getting creased. However, make sure that the tissue paper, as well as the box, is pH-neutral. You’ll need to specifically look for acid-free tissue paper. 

Any tissue you use to wrap your wedding dress should be white to avoid any colour transfer. At the very least, ensure that the tissue paper is light in colour, and above all, avoid black tissue.

TIP – Get a box large enough to store the wedding accessories inside as well. You can individually wrap things like the veil so they’re stored alongside the dress as then they’re less likely to go missing.

What Should You Avoid Using For Wedding Dress Storage?

Here are some common wedding dress storage mistakes you should avoid if you want to keep your dress in good condition:

#1 – Don’t Use a Hanger 

When you purchase your wedding dress, it might come on a hanger.

Hanging your dress in a closet is okay in the short term (the weeks or months leading up to the wedding), but it’s not a good long-term storage method because the weight of the dress hanging down can put strain on the seams. 

If you absolutely have to hang it – make sure you use a padded hanger, and hang from the fabric hooks that should be within the bodice, as these will have been placed to allow for hanging but usually only for shorter term.

#2 – Avoid A Plastic Container / Cover

Similarly, while it’s fine for the bride-to-be to keep her wedding dress protected with a plastic garment bag in the lead-up to the wedding, a plastic bag isn’t breathable enough for long-term storage. 

Ideally you’d use a breathable dress bag whenever you’re hanging your dress anyway.

The Best Storage Boxes For Wedding Dresses Available Now

How To Store A Wedding Dress [Keep It Safe & Looking Good] - 350
GREAT BUDGET OPTION

This is a simple box that does everything you need it to – PLUS it includes some tissue paper so is fantastic value for money.

How To Store A Wedding Dress [Keep It Safe & Looking Good] - q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B006N8FCJM&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=wwwinnerspace 21&language=en GB
Mid Range WEDDING DRESS STORAGE OPTION

Again includes tissue paper which is handy – and you can also choose out of 2 colours.

How To Store A Wedding Dress [Keep It Safe & Looking Good] - q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B09R67NDBC&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=wwwinnerspace 21&language=en GB
MID RANGE OPTION

Another choice of colours (this time, 3), plus a lovely little design on the front of the box to show you exactly what it is.

How To Store A Wedding Dress [Keep It Safe & Looking Good] - 350
PERSONALISED OPTION

Similar to the other mid range options – but with the added advantage of being able to be personalised.

How To Store A Wedding Dress [Keep It Safe & Looking Good] - 350
HIGHER END DECORATIVE BOX

Beautiful box with lovely design on it that would be perfect for any wedding dress, but especially a more traditional style.

How To Store A Wedding Dress [Keep It Safe & Looking Good] - q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B008PSDSFI&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=wwwinnerspace 21&language=en GB
HIGHER END SIMPLE DESIGN BOX

This is a beautiful box, and would be great for a contemporary wedding dress or traditional one.

It comes with tissue paper also.

Wedding Dress Storage FAQs

How Do You Fold And Store A Wedding Dress?

So – you’ve picked out the box and paper you want to use for your storage – the obvious next question would be how to fold it up so it stays looking good.

Firstly – make sure you clean your hands or even wear white gloves before you handle the dress. You’ve cleaned it so it makes sense to not add any oils back onto the fabric at this stage.

Then, fold the dress into the box quite loosely to avoid wrinkles as much as possible, and as you fold each time, add a layer of tissue paper.

Keep the heavier parts of the dress on the bottom of the box as much as possible – with lighter fabric on top. This will avoid too many wrinkles and flattening occurring.

How Often Should You Check Your Wedding Dress?

Even if you do all the right things to keep your wedding dress safe, you should check that the dress is still in good condition at least twice a year.

If you notice any discolouration or damage, take your dress straight back to the dry cleaner, and rethink your chosen storage solution.

Also – make sure your hands are clean when you check your dress – as this can add in new issues with oils etc…

What About Storing The Wedding Dress Before The Wedding Day?

Because this isn’t long term storage that’s needed, you can often hang your dress and put in a dress bag between the time you pick the dress up and your wedding day.

Always take advice from where you purchase your dress, as they will have the specifics for your dress (a lot depends on weight, fabric, time to wedding, colour, travel etc..)

How To Store A Wedding Dress To Keep It Safe And Looking Great

And that’s all the wedding dress storage information you need to help you make the right decisions for your own special dress.

As you can see, long term storage for your wedding dress is very different to the short term storage that you’ll use before the big day.

You need to make sure no damp, mould, discolouration etc.. happens when it’s stored away. To help with this it’s important to pick the right storage products and have them in the right location.

If you make sure you store your wedding dress well – then you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come (and maybe even hand it down to your children one day).

Hope this has helped!

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