Saturday, May 1, 2010


(The back of my dress on my wedding day)

So, yesterday I decided I was FINALLY going to take those bags of stuff to Goodwill that have been sitting in my dining room for a month and a half. They were driving me crazy and I just thought... IT IS TIME. Since it was such a nice day, I also decided to stop by Chubby's Cleaners to drop off my wedding dress. Yes, you read right... my wedding dress. It has been a little over 11 months and my wedding dress has been balled up in a plastic bag since I took it off at the end of my wedding reception before we got in the car to leave!! My mom, though she always has good intentions, had it stashed away in the bottom of a cupboard... and one day I asked her about it and decided just to bring it on home with me.

Well, I got to Chubby's (LOL... I love that it's called that!)... and put the bag up on the counter. The guy asked me how he could help me and I was honestly *really* embarrassed.

"Well , it's been almost a year since my wedding and my mom was going to take care of getting my dress cleaned.... but as you can see [insert motioning at the garbage bag in front of us]... it is still balled up and waiting. I hope it isn't ruined." (*NOTE: I am totally NOT slamming my mom for not getting this done... she is always super busy doing things for everyone else... I don't blame her for tucking it away and forgetting about it!*)

The guy opens the bag as I hold my breath.

"Well," he says, "The good news is... it was in a black plastic bag. The sun couldn't get in to damage the fabric."

He asks where it was stored.

"In the bottom of a cupboard," I answered.

"Another good thing, " he said.

I start to breathe a little easier.

"Also," he says, "It's good that it was balled up!"

I think he could see the bewildered look on my face because then he said, "Most people don't realize that with a garment this heavy, leaving it on a hanger can actually stretch the fabric and ruin it."

Me: "Oh wow, I didn't know that!"

Then the guy got it all situated and hung it up so that he could assess the amount of damage done. He actually was pretty impressed with how clean it was (compared to others he has worked with). All the while, my breathing came easier and I started to feel less guilty for having it balled up in a garbage bag for so long.

He also told me that WHITE fabric is DYED with brightening agents. Did you know that? I never really thought about it... but apparently regular white is more yellowish and dull. So when your white gown (shirt, etc.) hangs in the sunlight and starts to discolor... it is actually going back to it's REAL color (which looks absolutely hideous).

When all was said and done... I felt 100% better and the Chubby's guy was super nice. He is going to clean the dress and then preserve it. I didn't know what that meant exactly... Can I never take it out of the box? Can my (someday) daughter wear it, if she so chooses? Will it be the same as the day I wore it?

All of my concerns were laid to rest... they clean it, put it in a special acid-free box (regular cardboard has acid that discolors things... ever notice old yellowish newspapers in the bottom of a cardboard box? Yep. Acid.), put it in a special plastic bag and VOILA! I can even take it out as many times as I want, as long as I make sure to put it back the right way. (Not that I plan on taking it out any time soon).

So... if you are a bride-to-be or maybe have your wedding dressed balled up in a garbage bag, waiting to take to the cleaners... remember these tips:

--Remember to budget $100-$150 for the care of your wedding dress AFTER your wedding!
--Do not hang your dress up after taking it off on your wedding night (if you aren't planning on getting it to the cleaners anytime soon)--the fabric will stretch if left for a long period of time!
--Fold, Toss, Ball it up (whatever) into a BLACK garbage bag so that light can't get in!
--Look into getting your dress preserved in a special ACID-FREE box that either doesn't have a little plastic window (for display) or has a special plastic that will keep the light from damaging it!

I feel a little weight lifted off of me after getting that taken care of! In 7-10 days, I should have my dress back, good as new!!


  1. Wow, I never thought balling up a wedding dress in a black plastic bag would be a good way to store it! ha! :) Glad it all worked out!!!

  2. ok, my dress is in a garment bag hanging in my closet ... and now I'm going to go and get it the heck off of that hanger!!

  3. Embarrassed to say, mine has been on a hanger for almost 23 years and my mom's 55! (Yup, I have my mom's).
    I wonder if there is anything I could do about my mom's? I don't think it's in bad shape...I must get it out and look at it one of these days.
    I found out all kinds of things from your post!


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