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How to care for your wedding dress before,during and after your wedding day

You fell in love with the perfect, pristine white wedding dress and put down your deposit for the purchase. Very soon, you will have this beautiful gown altered to your measurements and take it home. It will stay there till your wedding day, when you finally get the chance to show it off and be a gorgeous bride. All this seems easier said than done!

White wedding dresses with their heavy fabric layers and intricate embellishments are susceptible to different types of damage. From stains to embroidered details coming loose and even yellowing of fabric, there are many things that can ruin its brand new look. This would be a huge tragedy, since it is the one dress that will aid your transformation into a stellar bride.

Furthermore, you cannot risk damaging it beyond repair during or after the wedding. You may have plans to sell your wedding dress afterwards, store it for yourself or preserve it as an heirloom for your future generations. This is possible only if your dress is as good as new, even though you wore it. This makes it all the more important to retain the original look of our dress.

Fortunately, we have the perfect guide to help you keep your wedding dress in great shape before, during and after the wedding. So, get ready and make notes of what you ought to do at each stage.

Keeping your wedding dress safe before your wedding day

When you buy a brand new wedding dress, it will be created from scratch by the manufacturer and shipped to your bridal store. It is a good idea to have your alterations completed at the same boutique, since this will minimize handling of your gown.

After the fittings, your gown is ready to go home. Exercise caution about how you go about handling your gown at every stage, from this step onwards. Here is all that you should know at this point.

Transporting the gown: Make sure that your gown is properly boxed or wrapped in plastic, before you take it outdoors. We suggest you lay the gown down in the back seat of your car, instead of shoving it in the storage. The more space you can afford to spread it out on, the less it will wrinkle. If creases are formed during transport, you will end up having to press the dress again to restore its original look.

Keeping it intact till the big day: Allocate a low-traffic area which is out the way, for the storage of your wedding dress. Don’t remove it from the bag, unless absolutely necessary. However, if it comes wrapped in plastic, we suggest you move it into a fabric bag. Plastic causes stains over time and it doesn’t allow the fabric to breathe. So, it is best avoided, if your dress arrives home long before your wedding day.

How to store it: Most wedding dresses have heavy fabric layers and plenty of embellishments. It isn’t wise to hang such dresses. However, if your dress has minimum embellishments and is light-weight, consider hanging it in a closet or a similar safe place. For a heavy gown, you should ideally store the dress flat. Ideal locations would be the top shelf of your closet or a storage area under the bed, that you rarely use for anything else. Or if you have a spare room, consider storing it there, if it is out of direct sunlight.

Hang it with care: If your dress isn’t too heavy, you can hang it up in your storage space. However, be careful how you do this. Always use a padded hanger for the purpose, and not one made from wiry material that can damage the fabric. Wedding dresses will have fabric loops on the inside. Use these to hang it. Never hang a dress by its straps or sleeves. This can cause the delicate material to sag or rip.

Keep it away from heat and dampness: Exposure to heat can damage your wedding dress. Also, placing it in a humid environment makes the fabric prone to stains and mold. So, make sure that your storage area experiences no fluctuations in temperature. Additionally, it shouldn’t be damp. Use a dehumidifier in the room, if you aren’t certain the space is prone to dampness.

Do not handle it too often: Resist the temptation to constantly check on your dress or show it off to guests. Let it rest in its spot, so it continues to look clean and crisp. Remember that you risk damaging or staining your dress every time you touch it or take it out. So, avoid touching it while it is in storage. Occasionally give it a quick visual check to make sure everything is fine, and it will be sufficient.

Traveling with the gown: If you have a destination wedding, it is imperative to travel with your gown. In this case, make sure you carry it in your hand luggage and not check it in. Arrange with your airline to hang it in a safe area for the course of your journey. Else, transport it in a box to ensure minimum handling. We suggest you choose fabric that doesn’t wrinkle easily and a dress with few embellishments, to reduce the risk of damage during travel. Visit this article on the Bridal guide to find out more about how to pack your wedding dress for travel. 

Steaming and pressing: Simply hanging your dress high can help most of the wrinkles in it drop. You can also hang it in the bathroom with a hot shower running. This is sure to get any remaining wrinkles out. However, be careful that you do not get the dress wet in the process. If you still notice wrinkles, entrust the job of getting them out to a professional dry cleaner. It isn’t wise to try this yourself. So, find the right agency who can do this without causing any damage to your wedding gown.

Caring for your wedding gown on your wedding day

You will finally get to wear your brand new wedding gown on your wedding day. Isn’t it exciting? However, remember that this is also the day when your dress will be subjected to most wear and tear. If you are a little careful, you can make sure that the damage to your dress is minimum. Here is what you should take care of on your wedding day.

Wear your dress only after your hair and makeup is complete: Hair spray, perfume and makeup will cause stains. With a little care, you can eliminate the chances of any of them coming in contact with your wedding gown. Complete your hair and makeup first, and only then wear your wedding dress. If you must touch up your hair and makeup, place a towel over your dress, so the products don’t come in contact with the fabric. This sample timeline on the Brides website may be handy in planning your day.

Have an emergency kit at hand: A wedding emergency kit is a lifesaver on most occasions. You can either buy a ready-made kit or set it up yourself. This emergency kit will contain all the essential items to address any unexpected wedding dress mishaps. From crystals that fall off to makeup stains or rips and tears, it will have the emergency supplies to handle such situations. So, don’t go anywhere on your wedding day without your emergency kit to tackle things at a moment’s notice.

Never rub any stains that may happen: Should an accident occur, never use harsh products to clean up the mess. For makeup or oily food stains, apply baby powder to the area and dust away the excess powder. In case of wine stains, simply blot the area with a dry tissue. A professional dry cleaner will be able to tackle the stain that remains, as long as you get the dress to them soon after the wedding.

Be ready to spot clean or mask stains: Wearing your wedding dress is usually one of the last dressing up things to do. So, you will already have your hair and makeup done by this time. Although you will most probably step into your wedding gown after the rest of the works, you cannot entirely eliminate the risk of a makeup stain. There are also chances of ending up with wine stains, food stains and dirt or mud stains. Be prepared to mask or spot clean your dress, should any of these occur. Baking powder, baby powder or chalk will mask most stains. In any situation, never use anything permanent like shoe polish or white out as you cannot get these out later.

Hold up your skirt and train when outdoors: Not only will your dress collect dust, dirt and moisture when you are outdoors, it can stain and the fabric may be damaged beyond repair. The fibers in wedding dresses are very delicate and susceptible to ripping and tearing. So, pick up the train and hold your skirt up when you step outdoors. Have your bridesmaids support your skirt and train if it is a long walk, so your dress isn’t damaged.

After the wedding

The big day has come and gone. Yet, your job isn’t complete! It is time to get your wedding dress cleaned pronto! Here is what to do.

Hang it out to dry: Your wedding dress will pick up sweat, dirt and dust over the course of your wedding day. So, don’t stash it into a box or your closet right away. Hang it up, and allow it to air dry for a bit. Don’t wrap it in plastic, as this can cause stains to set and new ones to form.

Cleaning and storage can’t wait: If you plan to head off on your honeymoon soon after the wedding, entrust your wedding gown to a faithful friend. Ask her to drop it off for cleaning and preservation ASAP! For tasks like this can’t wait till you are back. The sooner you attack the stains, the better your chances of getting them out. So, have your dress sent to the dry cleaners with instructions on the damage done, so they can work on it accordingly.

Store it the right way after cleaning: For your dress to be re-usable, it should at least be dry cleaned after the wedding. Once you get it back from the dry cleaners, you can store it carefully at home by yourself. You will need a box that is at least one-third the length of the front of your gown to store it properly. Use plenty of tissue to line the box and stuff the dress to avoid creases from forming. We also advise removal of metallic buttons, zippers and hooks that can oxidize and stain the dress over time. Take the dress out of storage once in a while, inspect it for deterioration of any kind, refold and put it back to ensure it is in best condition.

Use professional preservation services for guaranteed results: To guarantee the storage of your dress in perfect condition, it is best to have it professionally preserved by the experts. Heirloom preservation methods remove existing damage and box it in such a way that it is completely shielded from environmental elements. You can choose to save it in a window box, so you can see it from outside. Make sure that you choose the best storage method for your gown—vertical vs horizontal—to ensure the gown is stored right. Finally, place it in an area that isn’t prone to moisture, temperature changes or pests, so your gown retains its fresh condition.

Well-kept wedding gowns are a pleasure to have. If you are lucky, the women in the future generations of your family will be thankful for this gift that you lovingly hand over to them. Or you could yourself wear this special dress years later, for a vow renewal ceremony. Even if you were to sell it off, a properly preserved gown will fetch a good price and have more takers.

At Best for Bride, we have a professional dry cleaning and wedding gown preservation service. Take a look at this page on our website to find out more about these options. 

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Common wedding emergencies and how to handle them

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Every wedding includes hundreds of details. With so many big and small factors being part of this special day, there is a probability of at least one thing going against the plan. From vendors and bridesmaids to guests and family, there are so many people involved. Although you are in charge, these several others have to all co-operate to make your wedding happen.

This is one of the reasons why couples hire wedding planners. They come with a lot of experience in planning weddings. They have already seen their fair share of problems, and know the quickest fix to all of them. Unfortunately, if you do not have a wedding planner on board, it is all up to you to make sure everything progresses smoothly.

Definitely brace yourself for a wedding emergency or two on the day. Prepare yourself in advance for every likely situation and you can still enjoy your big day despite any drama that unfolds.

Here is a compilation of the different likely glitches that happen at weddings. Fear not, for we have the solutions too. Although we advise you to read through the possible situations and prepare yourself with plans, remember that this is not to stress you out further. Keep those wedding jitters at bay, because forewarned is forearmed!

Is that a pimple?

Call it wrong timing, but zits do appear when you least expect them. Lack of sleep, proper nutrition, and stress will all contribute to pimples that pop up close to the wedding day. If it is just a small pimple, it is best to conceal it with makeup. Before you apply makeup, put ice on the zit . This will reduce the size, redness and puffiness. Then cover it up with a smooth coat of concealer and then apply foundation. Don’t disturb the pimple too much and it will heal quickly.

The child attendants go on strike

Even the most well-behaved children may refuse to don the role of ring bearer or flower girl at the last moment. Some children dread the idea of walking down the aisle by themselves when there are onlookers. Or in the case of a younger child, he or she may feel tired, hungry, or sleepy. Prepare yourself for such a scenario when you decide to have children in your ceremony. If the child is frightened and refuses, you can ask one of her parents or a bridesmaid to escort her. If the child is too tired or fussy, think carefully about whether it is better to cancel the child’s role or proceed with it. It is better to prepare for such a situation in advance, so the child is comfortable and ready for the ceremony.

Wedding dress disasters

Your clear, white wedding dress, as beautiful as it is, is an invitation for disaster. So, take extra care once you are in it. Here are some of the likely issues you may face and the solutions to each of them.

Makeup stains: On a day when you have to wear makeup, there is every chance of it staining your gown. To avoid this, complete your makeup before you change into your dress, and then step into the gown without letting it brush against your face.

Should any makeup stain your dress, immediately blot the area with a towel? Don’t rub it at all. Use white chalk or talcum powder to cover up the stain as much as possible.

  • Oil stain: This could happen during the reception, when oil from your plate may drip onto your wedding dress. Don’t worry. Simply dab on some talcum powder onto the stain and let it set. It will soak up the moisture and the stain will disappear.
  • Wine stain: Soak up the wine from the dress with a blotting paper or cotton towel. Once you get it out, sprinkle talcum powder or chalk on the stain. Send the dress to the dry cleaners soon after the wedding, and they can prevent the stain from setting.
  • Ink: Tackle ink stains quickly with hairspray or rubbing alcohol. Spray it on the area and rub it off with a clean white cloth.
  • Ripped gown or veil: Use safety-pins, super glue or double-sided tape and attack the problem, based on what is most effective in the situation. Safety pins can hold buttons in place as well as attach torn pieces of fabric. If you have enough time and someone in your bridal party can quickly cover the damage with a thread and needle, ask for their assistance in restoring your gown.

Since your white wedding dress is very prone to stains, make sure you carry an emergency kit with all these essentials. You can then address the problem without delay rather than wait for the supplies. Either set up your own wedding emergency kit with the help of this article or buy a complete emergency kit like the one here. 

Who is that arguing?

Tempers may soar and there is scope for heated arguments when different personalities come together at a wedding. Such a scenario isn’t pleasant for the couple, nor the guests. So, don’t wait for an argument to settle on its own. Interrupt with a suitable distraction. Have a member of the wedding party split up the two people in the discussion with a good excuse. Make sure that they sit separately and don’t cross paths afterward, so decorum is restored.

Rain, rain, won’t it ever go away? 

When you plan an outdoor wedding in spring or summer, there is every chance for a sudden shower. You should always have a Plan B in case Mother Nature decides to pour over your wedding. An alternate venue as backup is a wise option. Either have a tent or an indoor hall that you can quickly shift to if needed. You should also arrange umbrellas at the venue for your guests to use in case of a light shower. You can always continue with plans as long as there isn’t heavy rainfall and provided nobody is becoming wet. Or if you are a good sport, you can even enjoy the rain and make it a part of your wedding scenery. Just like these couples did! 

Your makeup melts in the heat

A definite risk at outdoor weddings. So, if your nuptials are at an open-air venue, make sure you use waterproof makeup on the day. Instruct your makeup artist to use cosmetics that won’t smudge or run when you are outdoors. If you are doing your makeup yourself, invest in good quality waterproof makeup and stay away from oil-based foundations. Before you apply makeup, it is a good idea to drag ice over your skin. This will close off the pores and improve the chances of your makeup staying put.

Unexpected plus-ones

It is nothing short of a nightmare when your single friends turn up with the company, and you do not expect it. Inconsiderate that this may seem, it is still up to you to accommodate them in some way. Contact your caterer and the venue decorator, and ask them to get you extra chairs and plates of food. Unless the number is more than what you imagined, don’t worry too much about it. Don’t fret over how you would have to alter the entire seating arrangement for this purpose. Simply put them on a table where you can squeeze in an extra chair.

It looks like someone is about to faint at the altar

For some people, the pressure of walking down the aisle is more than you can imagine. Unless it is the bride or groom, it isn’t a big problem if someone in the wedding party is feeling faint. Remember the emergency kit we mentioned about earlier? Have some smelling salts in it for this reason. These will alleviate the dizzy and nauseating feeling and help the person bounce back to normal. In any case, ask the person to sit down and relax, and continue with your wedding on schedule unless there is a medical emergency.

What to do if someone is giving an inappropriate or unending speech at the reception

Not everyone hides from raising a toast at the wedding. In fact, there are few people who eagerly look forward to speaking more than just few words. Unless it is an unending speech or an inappropriate one that sounds embarrassing, there is no issue. If you notice the speech progress in the wrong direction and your guests are bored or shocked, it is a good idea to get your Maid of Honor or Best Man regain control of the situation. They can slowly interrupt to create a quick distraction, and ask for music. If you have a DJ, he ought to help you out in such a situation. With previous experience, he will have a good idea of how to break up the speech and get the party back on.

Your bridesmaid is late

When you pick bridesmaids, make sure they are reliable and responsible women. This way you needn’t stress over them on your wedding day. In case you have a friend who is a regular late-comer, prepare in advance. Ask your maid of honor to take charge, and make sure she has everything in place and on time. Or you can send reminders to her, so she doesn’t miss out on anything she should complete. On the day of the wedding, give her a call just in case she forgets or is likely to slog. When a bridesmaid is late, it is best to ask the rest of the girls to help her dress up on time.

The DJ plays songs you do not like

Always share your favorite song list as well as a list of the songs that shouldn’t be played at your reception. This will allow your DJ or band to prepare for the event. Nevertheless, it is possible that he still picks a song that you do not like, but have missed adding to the list. Avoid this from continuing by designating a wedding party who will tell the DJ when the couple do not appreciate this song. Inform the DJ in advance about who this person is. This will avoid any confusion when the person you designate for the job walks up to him and tells him to halt.

Last-minute vendor cancellation

Make sure you read your vendor contracts carefully and clarify any likely gray areas. Explicitly ask about cancellations and last-minute emergencies. This will help you prepare in advance for the worst-case scenario. In any case, situations may occur when a cancellation is inevitable but the wedding must go on. First of all, check whether the vendor can still make it to the event or arrange for a replacement. If that is the case, slightly adjust the schedule to accommodate this change.

However, if it is an actual last-minute cancellation, it is best if you ask for assistance from the other vendors at your wedding. They will know many people in the wedding industry and may have the right contact who can handle the task at short notice. In any case, make sure that you have copies of the pictures and details of the plans you made so you can quickly help the new vendor understand your requirements. Also, be flexible with your demands. Go with what can be done at such short notice, then be unbending about what you want to have.

Besides these common problems, there are many other issues that can go wrong at a wedding. Nonetheless, the day must go on. Keep yourself cool and ready for any hassle, with the help of this article here. 

Visit Best for Bride to enjoy our interesting range of wedding services apart from every wedding-dress related service for the bride. Check out our impressive inventory of designer wedding dresses and all that what we have on offer by visiting our website here.

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How to tackle wedding day dress disasters

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As much as we hate to tell you this, wedding day dress disasters can and do happen! A white dress with delicate details on expensive fabric is an invitation for trouble in the form of stains, tears and more.

The best way to stop worrying about a wedding dress mishap is to be prepared for every likely scenario. If you have a wedding planner, she will be equipped to handle most situations. If not, don’t worry. With this handy guide, you will be set to tackle most wedding dress disasters yourself. So, prepare yourself for the worst, and then hope with all your heart that you will not need it.

Prepare your emergency bridal kit in advance

When you put your bridal kit together, include not only your makeup and face towels, but also all the items to fix likely wedding dress disasters. Your kit should contain

  • safety pins
  • transparent tape
  • fabric glue
  • extra buttons
  • emergency sewing kit with threads and needles
  • tissues
  • talcum powder
  • Q-tips and
  • white chalk

Or you could purchase a ready-made emergency bridal kit, that contains all these supplies and more, if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.

Removing stains

Attack any stain on your dress immediately, so it doesn’t settle. But, make sure you use the right stain remover, or you may end up doing more damage. It is a good idea to find out what will take out stains from the fabric of your wedding dress, and keep it handy.

Attack ink stains with hairspray and make-up stains with club soda. Cover up the color difference with white chalk and it will not be obvious. Should you notice an oil mark over your dress, quickly spray talcum powder over it and let it soak up the oil. Then dust it off. If marks remain, it can be taken out when you send your gown in for preservation.

Rips or tears

Attend to any rip or tear promptly with your emergency kit supplies. Get someone who knows their way with threads and needles to do it for you. Whether it is to darn the tear quickly, or stick a piece of fabric beneath it, make sure this last-minute repair is done without making the existing rip any bigger. Try to camouflage the spot by holding your bridal bouquet over it, or bunching up your veil over the spot.

Hem your dress to the perfect length

A little extra length is all it takes to have you trip over your dress and fall on your pretty face. Since we aren’t used to wearing long-flowing gowns and maneuvering our way through a maze of tables, we should prepare ourselves ahead for it.

Get your wedding dress hemline correct, by wearing your wedding shoes to the alteration sessions. This will allow your seamstress to get the length right. Also, practice walking in your bridal gown before you wear it on your wedding day, so you are accustomed to it. Ask your bridal consultant to teach your MoH how to bustle the train, so it doesn’t pose a problem during the reception.

You are now covered for most wedding disasters and let’s hope that despite all this preparation, you will need none of it. For more wedding day tips, shopping needs and advice, or to buy your wedding emergency kit, visit us at Best for Bride.