You asked and now we’re answering all of your wedding gown cleaning and preservation questions! At one time, even we were skeptics about cleaning and preserving a wedding dress but we have since been converted thanks to Owl Premier & Bridal. The life of a wedding dress is a dangerous one, especially when there are glasses of red wine to drink and dance floors to be danced on. Heather Ziccarelli, owner of Owl Premier & Bridal, is an expert when it comes to all things bridal dress cleaning and preservation and wedding fashions. If there is anyone in Pittsburgh who knows their stuff, it’s Heather! Keep reading as she answers some of your most pressing questions about cleaning and preserving a wedding dress. Whether you’ve already worn your wedding dress, just postponed your wedding day, or are in the midst of dress shopping, this info will be beneficial to ALL brides!
What exactly is wedding gown preservation?
At Owl Premier, we carefully hand-clean your wedding gown individually – never with other bridal dresses. We take every precaution to protect delicate beads, embroidery, and lace during the cleaning process. Stains containing sugar, salt, and acid often dry clean and can turn ugly brown over time. Our unique anti-sugar stain treatment ensures that all sugar, salt, and acid – both seen and unseen – are removed. Our award-winning green wedding gown preservations include a written guarantee that your wedding gown will not yellow or have caramelized sugar stains.
As part of our bridal gown preservation process, you will personally inspect your wedding gown after it is cleaned. Then, while you wait, we carefully layer your gown with acid-free tissues as we fold it into a completely acid-free preservation box.
White gloves are provided so you may safely handle your wedding gown if you choose to open it.
When your wedding gown is worn again in the future, it will be pressed at no charge by any member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, which is represented in more than 500 locations across the world.
What factors should I consider when thinking about preserving my dress?
Doesn’t the most important dress that you will ever wear deserve to be cleaned, preserved, and protected for future generations to admire, cherish, and possibly wear again?
If there is no emotional attachment to your dress, then it is definitely an investment piece that can be resold to another future bride. However, it must be cleaned first. There is also value in the fabric and beaded embellishments of a dress. Many brides have items made from the fabric of their dress, such as bassinet covers, pillows, or beautiful throw blankets, just to name a few. I have also had brides shorten their dresses to be worn on their first anniversary during a special dinner with their partner.
What should I look for in a wedding dress cleaning and preservation provider?
Longevity in business. Owl Cleaners is a second-generation family-owned and operated business and we are celebrating our 68th year in business!
You should also pay attention to professional designations. We are Pittsburgh’s only Certified Gown Specialist and Preservationist and have been certified for 22 years. Always choose a Certified Gown Specialist who will process your bridal gown in their own facility, never one who sends your bridal gown away to be cleaned. We clean, finish, and preserve all gowns at our award-winning cleaning plant in Warrendale, PA.
You should also discuss the stains on your gown with the specialist to make sure they will be removed properly and completely.
What is the cost, on average?
It is completely a case-by-case cost. At Owl, I personally meet with all of my brides. We review and inspect the dress together. I point out conditional items that may exist, such as rips, missing buttons, missing/loose beads, highly embedded extreme soil, problematic stains such as red wine or caramelized sugar, etc. I provide a price estimate for cleaning/finishing and preservation at this time. Minor repairs are offered at no charge.
We also offer a $25 discount to those who mention Burgh Brides!
Do spray tan stains come out?
It depends on the fabric. A spray tan on a 100% silk dress can be very challenging to remove. We always strive to do everything that we can to remove this. But a spray tan on polyester or lace fabrics is typically remediated in the cleaning process.
Can you preserve other items like a veil or belt?
Yes, all veils and belts are hand-cleaned and then wrapped in acid-free tissue and preserved with the gown.
Where is the best place to store a gown once it is preserved?
Always avoid storing your bridal gown in the attic or basement where there are extreme changes in temperature or humidity. Avoid resting your wedding gown chest against outside walls too because dampness can migrate through the wall and penetrate the wedding chest.
It’s best to store your gown in a temperature-controlled environment – one that is heated and air-conditioned.
I have had to postpone my wedding because of COVID-19. What is the best way to store my gown until our new wedding date?
If you have had to postpone your wedding for any reason, please call us for a private phone or video consultation. Plus, Owl Premier is currently offering free pickup and delivery of gowns! Your needs and concerns are our first priority and we are here for you! If you have any questions, you can feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-272-0324.
Are you going to clean and preserve your wedding dress? Why or why not? What other questions do you have about the process and Owl Premier & Bridal? Comment below or DM us on social media and we’ll help you out! You can also learn more about Owl Premier & Bridal in our Vendor Guide!